Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the fall book launch party for TSAR Publications at the Gladstone Hotel. Located in the artsy Queen West neighbourhood of Toronto that I love, the Gladstone was a cozy venue for this fantastic event. I arrived a bit early so I had a chance to sit and chat with Andrea (Cozy Up with a Good Read) and Christa (Hooked on Books) prior to the crowd that would soon fill the ballroom.
After getting myself a glass of wine and finding a table, I flipped through the catalogue and waited for the event to begin. TSAR publishes a variety of fiction, short stories and poetry from new Canadian and world writing. The books often have a common theme among them and that is showing the cultural diversity around us today. There were quite a few books that I found really interesting, and the diversity that’s explored in each of them feel really relevant and thought-provoking to me.
Eventually, Nurjehan got up to the microphone to say hello and thank everyone before introducing the 6 authors that would be doing readings from their books that evening.
The authors who read from their work, in this order:
- Sonia Saikaley, author of Turkish Delight, Montreal Winter (poetry) | Sonia wrote this to deal with the grief of her father dying of cancer. I loved the “Speak English” poem
- Safia Fazlul, author of The Harem (fiction) | Based on her experience as a “phone girl” when she was 18
- Mansa Trotman, author of The Space that Connects Us (poetry) | Loved her sultry & soulful voice. Loved “Key of You” and “Unholy Trinity”. The cadence in her poetry is lovely. (Shoutout by Mansa to Christa for designing the cover!)
- Irene Marques, author of The Perfect Unravelling of the Spirit (poetry) | Irene introduced her poetry as “the need to recapture enchantment in our lives”, and the overall theme to revolve around memory.
- Ava Homa, reading Miah for Julia Lin who was in Vancouver (fiction/short stories) | The book I bought at the event. A collection of short stories that tie together.
- Pamela Mordecai, author of Subversive Sonnets (poetry) | Pamela’s poetic voice holds such humour & wit. Fantastic & delightful to listen to!
What’s interesting is that I’m not usually a fan of poetry but the collection that was read last night were all so captivating. A great diverse collection of authors and their talented work.
Thank you to all the authors and TSAR publications for a lovely literary evening discovering new reads!