Our friend Nyla is a poet and her second full-length book, Stranger, came out last week. We went to the launch party, held at The Monarch Tavern in Little Italy. It was a join release with another Canadian poet, Robert Moore, whose book “Based on Actual Events” was also being presented.
The Monarch is one of Toronto’s oldest bars, having opened in 1927. It was lovely with its glimmering chandeliers and lush red velvet curtains — a perfect setting for poetry. True to the description on their site, “At night, the lights get turned down low and the room is transformed into a cool but totally casual cocktail lounge and event space, …” it was very dark in there.
So, I had to push the light on all of these pictures which is why they’re so grainy, but hey, badly lit pictures are better than none, right?!
We had the pleasure of hearing the poets read several of their creations. I’m not sure if it’s the norm for poetry readings but even they were pretty much in the dark up on stage. There were spotlights available but nobody called for them, so I assume it was intentional. It made for a very intimate feeling.
↑ The artist (with a pretty hairdo), signing our copy of her book ↑
↑ Nyla with our mutual friend Julie, who is a writer as well, and by coincidence also has her second book of poems coming out this month. I first me Julie at the launch party for Nyla’s first book. ↑
We sat with a couple of other mutual friends who were there, Siobhan and Chris …
One of Nyla’s poems was published by The New Yorker magazine, which is very exciting. Another writer I spoke to at the party said that this privilege is a dream of any poet. You can read it here – Resolve, if you’d like, and listen to a recording of Nyla reading it.
I’m happy to call this talented person my friend. It’s inspiring people like this in my life that keep me reaching to be better.
Thanks for reading,