A Reading: Tess Liem with guests
Tuesday July 23 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
You're invited to an exciting evening with Tess Liem as she reads from her recent book, Obits. Tess Liem will be joined by Joshua Whitehead, Neil Surkan, and Madelaine Caritas Longman.
Can poems mourn the unmourned?
In Obits. a speaker tries and fails to write obituaries for those whose memorials are missing, those who are represented only as statistics. She considers victims of mass deaths, fictional characters, and her own aunt, asking what does it mean to be an 'I' mourning a 'you' when both have been othered? Centring vulnerability, the various answers to this question pass through trauma, depression, and the experience of being a mixed-race queer woman.
Tess Liem is a queer writer living in Montreal, Tiotia:ke, the traditional territory of the Mohawk nation. She is the author of the chapbook Tell everybody I say hi (Anstruther 2017) and her writing has appeared in Plenitude, Room Magazine, PRISM, Best Canadian Poetry 2018 and elsewhere. Her essay "Rice Cracker" won the Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize in 2015. Her debut collection Obits. was nominated for the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry in 2019, as well as long listed for the Pat Lowther Award. The book recently won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for 2019.
Joshua Whitehead is an Oji-Cree/nehiyaw, Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer member of Peguis First Nation (Treaty 1). He is the author of the novel Jonny Appleseed (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2018), and the poetry collection full-metal indigiqueer (Talonbooks, 2017). Currently he is working on a PhD in Indigenous Literatures and Cultures in the University of Calgary's English department (Treaty 7). His novel Jonny Appleseed has been longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize,as well as shortlisted for the Governor General's Award for English-language fiction and the 2019 Amazon.ca First Novel Award. The book recently won the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction in 2019.
Neil Surkan’s debut poetry collection, On High, was published by McGill-Queen’s University Press (September, 2018). His chapbook, Super, Natural, was published by Anstruther Press (March 2017). His most recent poems are forthcoming in PRISM international and Riddle Fence.
Madelaine Caritas Longman is a poet and essayist currently based in Montreal. Her writing has appeared in Room, filling Station, Prism, Lemon Hound, and other literary journals. Her first book, The Danger Model, is a collection of poetry exploring the nature of art, illness, and identity, and is scheduled to be released by McGill-Queen's University Press this September.
Book Trivia Night!
Thursday July 25 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
What was Philip Roth's first published book? Which 1990s novel begins with the lines, "I'm in love with red. I dream in red'?
Join us for the inaugural Book Trivia Night at Shelf Life Books on Thursday, July 25th at 7 PM. Show off your literary knowledge, and you could win prizes!
How Can You Think That?!? A Political Book Club
Saturday July 27 | 10:00AM - 12:00AM
A book club for conservatives and liberals who want to get out of their echo chambers and bridge the great divide. Buy the book, read it, and come join us for a lively discussion.
We’ve all felt it: Whether we’ve argued pointlessly with someone on social media, felt our blood pressure rise as we’ve fought over politics with family members, or simply veered delicately away from certain topics, it’s hard to ignore the chasm between those who hold opposing political views. And it feels like it’s getting worse, that politics are getting uglier, and that reasonable discussion is falling by the wayside.
What can ordinary people do to bridge the great divide? We can read books that smart and reasonable people have written in defense of their views and we can talk about these books with others who may or may not wear the political stripes we do.
Come to Shelf Life Books for a monthly book club that does just that. Ideally, participants will have read the book assigned for that day, and will come prepared to discuss it. All of the books on our list will be made available by Shelf Life. We will meet from 10 am to noon on the last Saturday of every month.
Factfulness by Hans Rosling