Japan Book Club - Winter
Thursday February 27 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Looking for a lively read for the cold season? The Argo Bookshop, in conjunction with the JET Alumni Association of Quebec and Atlantic Canada, will be hosting its winter Japan Book Club on February 27.
For this meeting, we'll be discussing Convenience Store Woman by Murata Sayaka, winner of the Akutagawa Prize in 2016. In this book, a woman who got a job at a convenience store at 18 and found it simplified her life is still working there at 36, and is under pressure to do something else - change her career, her personal life, and more. Unusual, fun, and incisive, Murata questions what it means to be a person and a worker in modern Japan.
Come for a lively discussion of a thoughtful and offbeat piece of Japanese literature, and enjoy some snacks and refreshments! You can read the book in any language. You're also welcome to come if you haven't read the book, but there will likely be spoilers.
Genji Book Club
Friday February 28 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
The Tale of Genji, written by Murasaki Shikibu around the year 1000, is often considered the world's first novel. Her story of the Shining Prince of the Imperial Court and his life, culture, and relationships with women, has stood the test of time and form an important piece of the foundation of Japanese literature.
For 2020, the Japan Book Club, presented in collaboration with the Argo and JETAA Q/A, is meeting monthly to discuss this important and still lively work. You can read the complete Tale of Genji in any of its English translations, by Arthur Waley, Edward Seidensticker, Royall Tyler, or Dennis Washburn; we have all of them available for sale in the store. You can also choose to read it in French or other languages, if you prefer.
In our second edition, we will be discussing Chapters 1-5 of the Tale of Genji in whatever translation you are reading. Please join us for this trip through a historic yet timeless tale!
March Argo Reading Series
Thursday March 05 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
For our second reading series of 2020, we bring together poetry, prose, and music from a number of local artists. Curated by Ilona Martonfi, this event is $6 at the door.
Our lineup for this month's event:
Blossom Thom's poetry explores the inconsistencies found in language and society. She is the author of #HashtagRelief (Gaspereau Press, 2017).
Zsolt Alapi’s novel Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (DC Books) will be launched at the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival on May 2, 2020.
Salena Wiener is a poet. Work in Honey and Lime's blog Oceans & Time, Peculiars Magazine, Pulp Poets Press, elsewhere.
Marie Dupuis a publié quatre recueils de poésie et plusieurs textes dans des revues littéraires. http://marie.dupuis.phare.uneq.qc.ca
Hugh Thomas teaches mathematics at UQAM. His most recent book, Maze, was published this past spring by Invisible Publishing.
Marie-Josée MJ Tremblay is an indie-folk singer-songwriter, photographer, filmmaker, actor and painter of Algonquin ancestry.
Sheryl Halpern is the author of the short story collection, Surviving Love. Publishes stories and poetry in various Canadian literary journals.
Matthew Rettino is a speculative fiction writer whose urban fantasy story "The Goddess In Us" is forthcoming this fall.
Mike Di Sclafani, Multidisciplinary artist, author of Vultures (2017). Forthcoming, spoken word album Apothecary (2020). mikedisclafani.com
Mark Paterson’s most recent book is Dreamers and Misfits of Montclair (Exile Editions, 2019) is a short story collection about the suburbs.
Ilona Martonfi is an editor, poet, curator & activist, her most recent poetry book is Salt Bride (Inanna, 2019). Forthcoming, The Tempest (Inanna, 2021).
Open Mic #15
Thursday March 12 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
It's your time to shine! We'll be hosting our fifteenth open mic night since our reopening. Come share stories, poetry, music, or whatever suits your fancy! Let us know you're planning to come at firstname.lastname@example.org - we try to accommodate walk-ins, but if you want to be sure of a spot, please let us know in advance. But you can also take your chances coming the day of to lay it on us! See you there.
Trans and NB Book Club - I Hope We Choose Love
Thursday March 26 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Starting in 2020, we are launching a new book club, focusing on works by trans and non-binary authors. We will be starting off with I Hope We Choose Love by Kai Cheng Thom! Along with the discussion, we'll also have some light refreshments.
About the book:
In a heartbreaking yet hopeful collection of personal essays and prose poems, blending the confessional, political, and literary, acclaimed poet and essayist Kai Cheng Thom dives deep into the questions that haunt social movements today. With the author's characteristic eloquence and honesty, I Hope We Choose Love proposes heartfelt solutions on the topics of violence, complicity, family, vengeance, and forgiveness. Taking its cues from contemporary thought leaders in the transformative justice movement such as adrienne maree brown and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, this provocative book is a call for nuance in a time of political polarization, for healing in a time of justice, and for love in an apocalypse.
About the author:
Kai Cheng Thom is a writer, performance artist, and psychotherapist in Toronto. Her novel Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl's Confabulous Memoir was released by Metonymy Press in 2016. Her first poetry book, a place called No Homeland, and her children's picture book From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea, illustrated by Kai Yun Ching and Wai-Yant Li, were both published by Arsenal Pulp Press in 2017. Kai Cheng won the Writers' Trust of Canada's Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers in 2017.