On Thursday, October 8th, writers and readers from Montréal and across Canada packed into the basement of local café-bar Kafein for drinks, discussion, and readings at the inaugural event of Soliloquies Anthology’s new reading series, Soliloquies Reads. Soliloquies Reads puts generations of our contributors on the same stage to discuss their current work and read some of their recent writing.
“Over the past nineteen editions of Soliloquies Anthology, we have published poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, comics, photography, visual arts," Editor-In-Chief Kailey Havelock said. "What better way to celebrate the milestone of our twentieth edition year than to bring back some of our past writers and hear what they are working on now?”
First to be welcomed to the stage was Ronan K. Nanning-Watson, a filmmaker, writer, and artist visiting from British Columbia. Sitting on a floral couch with clawed feet, he read from a non-fiction work in progress that bears witness to the region where Canada’s oil money goes to show itself off. He also spoke about his upcoming feature film, “Crusade,” the first installment in a trilogy. “It’s a really big project,” he said. “It’s a very difficult thing to make a feature film and it never seems to end, either.”
Next on the stage was Guillaume Morissette, contributor to Soliloquies Anthology 15, author of New Tab, and co-editor of Metatron Press. He entertained the audience with non-fiction writing about his visit to his girlfriend’s family in Newfoundland, and a Breaking Bad fan fiction piece. “Even if I tried to do the absolute worst thing that I could do,” he said in a discussion about the latter project, “I still wouldn’t be able to help myself from putting something in there that’s a defense for it.”
Katrya Bolger, writer, journalist, and recent graduate from McGill University, read from a copy of Soliloquies Anthology 19.2, and discussed some of her work with Maisonneuve Magazine and the Montréal Press Club. She described the Montréal Press Club as a wonderful community through which to share different ideas in the media and a great way of overcoming the solitude that writers tend to be condemned to throughout their careers.
Tess Liem shared a poem titled “Everything is Going Great and I am Happy Right Now,” which she wrote for a friend who had asked for a work in which they were happy. She later returned to work published in Soliloquies Anthology 19.1. “I was thinking that it was funny to be part of a retrospective,” she said. “Soliloquies Anthology was actually the first journal to publish my poems, and it wasn’t that long ago.” Since then, Liem has been accepted into the Masters of Creative Writing program at Concordia and is now assistant to the director of Concordia’s Writer’s Read.
To conclude the evening, Graeme Shorten Adams and Sasha Tate-Howarth shared the stage to read and discuss their writing. A comic artist as well as a fiction writer, Shorten Adams spoke about the peculiarities of the comic form. “It’s funny to think about them as literary or art objects because they’re kind of neither,” he explained. Tate-Howarth, who was recently interviewed for Soliloquies Writes, commented on how poetry can be translated into theatre and adapted for the stage.