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Pivot Reading Series Season Three Begins August 11th

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Pivot Reading Series Season Three Begins August 11th

By Nathaniel G. Moore

I heard from a good literary source recently that American actress Claire Danes has been going to a lot of literary events in New York, hanging out with Zadie Smith and the lot. I’ll touch back on New York in a moment; right now I want to talk about Toronto and August 11th.

It’s hard to believe — (or is it?) that the popular IV Lounge Reading Series suspended its activities permanently two years ago. The IV Lounge bar itself closed, and Alex Boyd, who took over the reading series founded by Paul Vermeersch, decided it was time to let the show come to a close.

The series itself accomplished a lot, featured hundreds of readers and produced two terrific literary anthologies in the process, one published by Insomniac Press and edited by Paul Vermeersch, and one published by Tightrope Books and edited by Alex Boyd and Myna Wallin.

In 2008, the unofficial/official sequel to the much loved Friday night classic became the brainchild of Carey Toane, and every other Wednesday night the Pivot Reading Series at the Press Club was born, has been born and continues being born. It’s alive! It’s alive!

As most of the community knows, the US recently swallowed up Carey Toane, the much-adored, Molly Ringwald-esque poetry and prose enthusiast who lovingly founded and hosted the event for two complete seasons (late fall 2008 until late spring 2010). Just before moving to New York with her husband in May of this year, Toane handed the series over to Sachiko Murakami, who now shares hosting duties with Angela Hibbs.

What’s interesting, perhaps in a Trivial Pursuit CanLit Edition board game sense, is that a year and a bit ago, both of these poets were living large in Vancouver (Sachiko) and Montreal (Angela) respectively. What does that say about the series itself? That perhaps it embraces the strangers among us, the strangers who end up becoming real life Facebook friends.

Seriously though, books get rave reviews, so do restaurants and bars, so why shouldn’t a reading series that features books garner the same prestigious notoriety? The Pivot Reading Series can easily be described as an essential tool for the Toronto literary voyeur, for those who want a better grasp of the literary scene, for writers who want to see the freshest source of literature for the same price as a Big Mac.

No other single live-lit reading series in Toronto provides spaces for local writers and those writers who are stumbling into town for a brief appearance as does our little Pivot. So it’s important that this series continues and that it is supported as we enter Season Three, with new hosts, new readers, fresh faces and those who just won’t go away. It’s one of the best reading series going in the city, and I’m not being paid to say that, quite simply, it offers a unique and frequent opportunity for authors to read and listen to each other as we excel in greatness and give the unsuspecting public the ability to endure the occasional awkward sounding bio. I will, at no additional cost to any patron of the series, offer an extensive course on how to make your bio sound less threatening, more threatening, more memorable, more anonymous, or sound as though you are describing someone who could not possible exist. And I’ll even throw in a couple of back issues of Broken Pencil.

Pivot Reading Series Season Thee Premiere occurs on Wednesday, August 11, 2010, 8 p.m. at the Press Club 850 Dundas Street West. Hosted by Sachiko Murakami and Angela Hibbs. PWYC ($5 suggested). Readers: Jill Battson, Mat Laporte and Rebecca Rosenblum.

And Claire, if you’re in town on the 11th, I’ll see you at the bar. We’ll work on your bio.

For more information on the series, go to:

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