Did You Miss Me? A Recent Release Reading

On Sunday, July 23rd at 2pm, join Massy Arts, Massy Books, Coach House Books, Nightwood Editions, Brick Books, and House of Anansi Press for Did You Miss Me? A Recent Release Reading with authors Molly Cross-Blanchard, Selina Boan, Shaun Robinson and Christopher Evans.

Bridging poetry and short stories, these four works were launched during times when we could not so easily gather, and are aching to be celebrated for the stunning collections they are.

This project has been made possible by the Government of Canada. Ce projet a été rendu possible grâce au gouvernement du Canada.

About the books

Exhibitionist by Molly-Cross Blanchard

One minute she’s drying her underwear on the corner of your mirror, the next she’s asking the sky to swallow her up: the narrator of Exhibitionist oscillates between a complete rejection of shame and the consuming heaviness of it. Painfully funny, brutally honest, and alarmingly perceptive, Molly Cross-Blanchard’s poems use humour and pop culture as vehicles for empathy and sorry-not-sorry confessionalism. What this speaker wants more than anything is to be seen, to tell you the worst things about herself in hopes that you’ll still like her by the end.

Undoing Hours by Selina Boan

Selina Boan’s debut poetry collection, Undoing Hours, considers the various ways we undo, inherit, reclaim and (re)learn. Boan’s poems emphasize sound and breath. They tell stories of meeting family, of experiencing love and heartbreak, and of learning new ways to express and understand the world around her through nêhiyawêwin.

As a settler and urban nehiyaw who grew up disconnected from her father’s family and community, Boan turns to language as one way to challenge the impact of assimilation policies and colonization on her own being and the landscapes she inhabits. Exploring the nexus of language and power, the effects of which are both far-reaching and deeply intimate, these poems consider the ways language impacts the way we view and construct the world around us. Boan also explores what it means to be a white settler–nehiyaw woman actively building community and working to ground herself through language and relationships. Boan writes from a place of linguistic tension, tenderness and care, creating space to ask questions and to imagine intimate decolonial futures.

If You Discover a Fire by Shaun Robinson

If You Discover a Fire is a debut collection of poems that make a virtue of their failure to communicate. They forage through the syntax and vocabulary of late-night voicemails, letters to the editor, songs invented in the shower, professional jargon, “Witness Wanted” signs, technical manuals, and text-message typos to assemble verbal collages that raise more questions than they answer. In settings ranging from Montreal’s Mile End to a commercial flight above the Midwest to a wildfire in the mountains of British Columbia, these are poems rooted in workingclass Canadian experience, poems that flirt with both safety and danger, that drone on like drunken strangers in a bar.

Nothing Could be Further from the Truth by Christopher Evans

In stories both absurd and all-too-real, Christopher Evans paints a portrait of the uncanniness of modern life.

The president of a holistic dog food company is haunted by a pop song from her past. Nine siblings band together to raise themselves after parental abandonment. A domestic argument reveals a woman’s supernatural gift. A failing musician finds his calling soundtracking another man’s life.

Christopher Evans’s stories are people with strays ― those who fall for the allure of nostalgia, grapple with male fragility, deny family trauma, and acquiesce to authority. For these characters, resignation and reinvention are only a breath apart.

About the authors

Molly Cross-Blanchard is a white and Métis writer and editor born on Treaty 3 territory (Fort Frances, ON), raised on Treaty 6 territory (Prince Albert, SK), and living on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples (Vancouver, BC). She published her debut collection of poems, Exhibitionist, in 2021 with Coach House Books, and currently teaches Creative Writing at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Selina Boan is a white settler-nehiyaw (Cree) writer living on the traditional, unceded territories of thexʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh), and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) peoples. Her debut poetry collection, Undoing Hours, was published in Spring 2021 by Nightwood Editions which won the 2022 Pat Lowther Memorial Award and the Indigenous Voices Award for Published Poetry in English. Her work has been published widely, including The Best Canadian Poetry 2018 and 2020. She is a poetry editor for CV2.

Shaun Robinson‘s first book, If You Discover a Fire, was published by Brick Books in 2020. His poems have appeared in The Walrus, The Malahat Review, Arc Poetry and The Best Canadian Poetry 2019. He lives in Vancouver and is a citizen of the Metis Nation of British Columbia.

Christopher Evans is a writer and editor, originally from the lands of the Lkwungen People, on the traditional territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, in Victoria, BC. Chris is a former editor for PRISM international magazine and currently teaches creative writing to children. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Maisonneuve, EVENT, and Best Canadian Poetry, and has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. His debut short story collection Nothing Could Be Further from the Truth was published by House of Anansi in 2022.