I drove down to Toronto and back yesterday to participate in my publisher's fortieth anniversary bash at the International Festival of Authors (Harbourfront). Clocking 900 km, it was a long drive but certainly worth it to hear readings by some of Guernica's finest fiction writers and poets, including George Elliot Clarke, Canada's Parliamentary Poet Laureate.
It was also very touching to hear Michael Mirolla and Connie McParland, Guernica's current publishers, speak about their responsibility to respect and continue the special role that founding publisher Antonio d'Alfonso established for Guernica in Canadian literature. Named to honour the innocent victims of the nationalist bombing of the Basque city of Guernica, immortalized in art by Pablo Picasso, Guernica Editions was founded on the hope that its books would make this world a better place in which to live and love.
The highlight of the evening was the announcement of the winner of the Guernica Prize, Marcia Walker, for her manuscript Do You Think This is Funny? I look forward to reading alongside Marcia and other new Guernica authors in the coming year.
Next up is Guernica Editions' 40th-anniversary bash on November 14 in Montreal where the press started (I will post the details on this free event in my next blog). The party will take place on the margins of the prestigious Salon du livre de Montréal where Guernica will represent its authors at the annual translation rights fair. I will be joining Guernica's associate publisher Anna Geisler at the fair to interest German and French publishers in the rights for Quill of the Dove. All just a few more steps in this writer's journey.
Ian Thomas Shaw