Off the Stage: Soliloquies Anthology 20.2 Launch, April 2016

As the last relics of winter melted from the streets of Montreal a launch party of readers, writers, and enthusiastic audience members sprung up in McKibbins pub to celebrate Soliloquies Anthology 20.2. Six of the journal’s contributors shared their poetry and prose over the course of the evening, as we partied in style with music, chips and salsa, and an exciting chance to win fabulous prizes through our raffle.

“Two years ago, I started writing this collection of poems called Memory Spell,” said recently interviewed Karissa LaRocque as she introduced the second poem of the evening while holding a flickering tea light in the palm of her hand.  “Now, whenever I want to write a poem about memory or grappling with things, I write one of these spells.” On the aesthetics of performing this collection—which LaRocque calls “so Tumblr 2009”—she says, “I want to give something to [the audience] rather than them just giving something to me by listening.” Annah-Lauren Bloom seems to hold a similar opinion; she gave the audience more than a few laughs with her poem “Life on Mars,” which began with the line, “I want life to be like Gossip Girl.”

Poet Ilona Martonfi transported the audience with her recently published piece, “The third panel: black rain.” Martonfi later shared her experience of producing the monthly Yellow Door and Visual Arts Reading Series reading series: “It’s something that I enjoy—I have to have fun while I’m doing it. I go home with a high after.” She emphasized that the process of organizing and performing at a reading series builds a two-way street between reader and audience.

After the reading, poets Esmé Pine and Sarah Mudrosky told Soliloquies Anthology about their writing processes. “My sister and my mom are both painters,” Pine said. “I think that, by being around them, I approach writing visually. I try to paint a word picture, to recreate an image in the mind of whoever is reading [the poem].” Mudrosky also shared her method for writing incredibly evocative poetry with such an economy of words: “Sometimes, it gets boiled down or reduced from something longer. Other times, it’s something that starts off as a good punchline to a poem, but then I realize I don’t actually need the rest of the poem.”

Amidst all the poetry, Darina Blaszczyk filled the audience’s prose needs with excerpts from her creative non-fiction piece, “Terroir,” a powerfully moving story about struggle and nuance and romance across borders.

This event marked the culmination of a year of dedication from the current editorial committee, and we can’t wait to see what Soliloquies Anthology has in store next.

Soliloquies Anthology is presently seeking applicants for the 2016-2017 editorial committee. Find more information here and submit your application by April 27, 2016. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up with all things Soliloquies Anthology.