Argo Featured Reading Series #5: A Double-Header with Anita Lahey and Walid Bitar

Poet Walid Bitar (The Empire’s Missing Links), acclaimed poet launches his fifth book, Divide and Rule, a new collection of dramatic monologues, variations on the theme of power structured in rhymed quatrains alongside the launch of the wonderful poet Anita Lahey’s (Out to Dry in Cape Breton) second book of poems, Spinning Side Kick. Come out and listen to these fantastic writers read their work on April 30th at our fine shop @ 7PM.

c/o Coach House: In Divide and Rule, Walid Bitar delivers a sequence of dramatic monologues, variations on the theme of power, each in rhymed quatrains. Though the pieces grow out of Bitar’s personal experiences over the last decade, both in North America and the Middle East, he is not primarily a confessional writer. His work might be called cubist, the perspectives constantly shifting, point followed by counterpoint, subtle phrase by savage outburst. Bitar’s enigmatic speakers are partially rational creatures, have some need to explain, and may succeed in partially explaining, but, in the end, communication and subterfuge are inseparable – must, so to speak, co-exist.

Walid’s Bio:
Walid Bitar was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1961. He immigrated to Canada in 1969. His previous poetry collections are Maps with Moving Parts, 2 Guys on Holy Land, Bastardi Puri and The Empire’s Missing Links. He lives in Toronto. His latest book, published by Coach House Books this April, is Divide and Rule.

c/o Vehicule: Anita Lahey’s second collection, Spinning Side Kick (Vehicule Press), is a hard-knuckled look at the other half. These lively poems mix a girl-about-town cockiness with an all-too-rare emotional honesty about men, love, and relationships. Whether the subject is a one-man chimney demolition, the lifelong fidelity of seahorses, a lover at war in Afghanistan or a kickboxing match, Lahey confronts the enduring disconnect between the sexes in a language that is slangy and quick, punctuated with jabs. She eyes those moments–in a day, in a life–when the normal clues we rely on disappear, shifting the line between domesticity and danger. In Spinning Side Kick, a talented poet returns with sharper aim.

Anita’s Bio:

Anita Lahey’s second collection of poems, Spinning Side Kick, was released by Véhicule Press in 2011. Her first book, Out to Dry in Cape Breton, was nominated for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and the Ottawa Book Award, and she is a past winner of the Great Blue Heron Poetry Prize and the Ralph Gustafson Prize for Best Poem, among others. Her work has been shortlisted several times for the CBC Literary Award for Poetry. She worked as editor of Arc Poetry Magazine from 2004 to 2011, and is also a journalist who has written on a wide range of topics for Canadian publications such as The Walrus, Cottage Life, Maisonneuve, Canadian Geographic, Quill & Quire, and several others. She has lived in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, and currently lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

The event will be hosted by poet and editor Carmine Starnino. Doors @ 7PM, reading @ 7:30PM. Admission is free.

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