Writers, readers, book-buyers, teens and tweens in Canada’s national capital region on Sunday, October 30th, head over to Aylmer (Gatineau, Quebec) to celebrate the release of my two fall titles: 26 Tips for Surviving Grade 6, a middle-grade comedy from Lorimer, and All Good Children, a teen thriller from Orca.
The launch will be held at the Lucy Faris Library (115 rue Principale) from 2:00 – 4:00 pm. We’ll have a reading, live music, lots of snacks, crafts for the young and a graffiti wall for the rebellious. There may even be zombies.
You can read more about the books and launch on my website.
I could not find an Aesop fable about book launching, but I learned enough from my first launch (see my Afterword on the Walking Backward launch from way back in 2009) to make my second launch a stress-free party (see my Afterword II on the My Cat Isis launch from Spring 2011), and I figure the lost fable goes like this:
The Writer and his Book Launch
One day, Theognis of Megara met Simonedes of Ceos for coffee. “Coming to the launch of my new poetry collection?” Theognis asked.
“Will there be snacks?” Simonedes replied. “Drinks? Something to entertain my children?” “No,” Theognis said. “Just poems.”
“Will there be a small discount on the poems? A bookmark? A button? Perhaps an exclusive trailer to view?” “No,” Theognis replied. “Just the regular poems. But I’ll sign your copy.”
“Is anyone else going?” Simonedes asked. “Maybe a local singer? Fun friends? Other poets I can hobnob with?” “No,” Theognis said. “Honestly, it’s just me and the poems.”
“Hmm,” Simonedes replied. “I think I might be busy that day.”
And the moral is: It’s not all about you (even when it mostly is).
As a complete aside, my all-time favourite poem was written by an ancient Greek, Archilochus of Paros, who is described by the scholar Richmond Lattimore in the beautiful little book, Greek Lyrics (University of Chigaco Press, 1960), as an “amateur poet, driven by love and compulsion to record his hates, loves, friendships, and amusements. He also wrote beast-fables, apparently of the sort later assembled under the name of Aesop.” No wonder I like the guy.
And the poem? It is not known whether it’s a fragment or a complete poem, but it reads to me like a complete short poem (and saying so helps ensure that I am following UCP’s fair use guidelines in quoting the work as part of a comment upon it.) Here it is:
“By spear is kneaded the bread I eat, by spear my Ismaric
wine is won, which I drink, leaning upon my spear.”
(Archilochus of Paros, translated by Richmond Lattimore in Greek Lyrics, Second Edition, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago: 1960.)
That’s it. Seriously. That’s my favourite poem. Rilke’s Panther, Eliot’s Preludes, and (especially) Dylan Thomas’s Poem on his Birthday all come a close second, but they are much harder to remember. I bet Archilochus did a great launch.