Coach House Books launch party– a night of readings and more!

On Wednesday October 7th, Coach House Books hosted a launch party and readings at La Vitrola for three newly-released books of poetry by Jay Ritchie, Jeramy Dodds, and Sina Queyras. Jay Ritchie began the event with readings from his new book, Cheer Up, Jay Ritchie. Before commencing, he informed the crowd: “I’ll be reading some poems I don’t usually read tonight, because a lot of you have heard the other ones a million times, which will be fun…and by fun I mean terrifying!” Jay’s poems painted the relationship between disengagement and everyday anxieties, and shows that the two aren’t actually all that different. He humorously examined the absurdity of the everyday problems that often plague our minds and presented another way of existing: in the beauty and wonder of the moment. An example of this from his poem “Upcycle” that resonated particularly well with the crowd was, “I remind myself to exist in the everlasting present, drafting an email to a potential employer in my head, subject line: ‘every brand has a story, here’s mine.’” His funny and relatable approach was present throughout his reading, and the audience was receptive toward it.

Jeramy Dodds read from Drakkar Noir with a flow that fluttered. His pace quickened and slowed with his poems’ content, creating a rhythm that engulfed the audience. He slowed over the humorous or profound punchline-like lines like: “my dog and I were like two peas in an escape pod” or “a river is always too curious of its end.” The language of his poetry was playful and witty, and he often juxtaposed images or scenes using alliteration and rhyme in clever ways. This had the effect of heightening the audience’s curiosity about what would come next in each poem, which was often something both unexpected and delightful.

The last reader of the evening was Sina Queyras, senior lecturer in the Department of English at Concordia University (MxT, or ‘Memory x Time, (Coach House Books, 2014),  who read from her book, My Ariel. In this book she revises the poems of Sylvia Plath’s Ariel. A line in the first poem that Sina read, “What is missing in me?” established an honestly introspective theme for the reading. Sina examines the gaps and unconscious driving forces in both her life and in Plath’s, which resulted in a poetry reading that was unafraid of being vulnerable.

You can also buy their books and read their poems for yourself on Coach House’s website: chbooks.com.

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