Geeking out at Heartwood Café for the ROOM Magazine issue launch

Room launch Twitter 2I had a wonderful time at Room’s fall launch last night!

For the first set, Kayla Czaga read her heartwrenching/heart-warming nonfiction piece from issue 37.2, “Expanding the Voice.” Then Paula Lemke read a story that was recogonized with an honourable mention in the 2014 Room Contest – Fiction Category, and Kelly Thompson read a great nonfiction story that was also shortlisted for the competition this year.

The second set was for “the geeks,” when both Julia Dillon-Davis and I read poetry from issue 37.3, “Geek Girls.” Julia was an excellent reader of her own work, including her poem from the issue, “Rites,” which she introduced as a poem “about her decade-long obsession with Buffy.” This was met with complete approval, of course.

Room launch 5I read my poems from “Geek Girls” again (I previously performed them at WORD Vancouver). “Fairy Tales I” is about how hard it is to be a geeky grade six girl, and “Fairy Tales II” is about the power of having imaginary friends and a great brother. Then I read three other poems from my manuscript, The Brightest Thing. None of the extra poems had been tested in front of an audience before, and I was happy to have such a receptive audience! I read a poem inspired by “Hansel and Gretel,” another based on Charles Perrault’s “Bluebeard,” and ended with a love poem with traces of Perrault’s telling of “Cinderella.”

I have so much gratitude to all my fellow writers and to the hard-working editors of Room. Taryn Hubbard and Meghan Bell made the night go smoothly and brightened up the evening with their enthusiasm! Even if, or especially because, they kept calling me a geek.

Alright, so, who’s excited for the Vancouver Writers Fest? I’m going to a bunch of events this weekend before I have to head back to work. Maybe we’ll run into each other? Say hi!

Me performing my fairy tale poems for the wonderful audience at Heartwood Café
Me performing my fairy tale poems for the wonderful audience at Heartwood Café
Room launch 3
Photo credits: James Daniell

I was also so pleased that Garth Martens (currently on the shortlist for the Governor General Award for Poetry for Prologue for the Age of Consequence, from which he read at Swoon this past spring) was in town, and he was able to come make it to Heartwood for the Room launch! He’s here from Victoria to catch some of the Writers Fest this weekend. He generously tweeted his excitement before the Room launch last night:

Published by Ruth Daniell

Ruth Daniell is a speech arts teacher, a book editor, and an award-winning writer. Her first full-length collection of poems is The Brightest Thing (Caitlin Press, 2019). She lives in Kelowna, BC, where is at work on her second collection of poems.

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