And that’s a wrap!

For all you who didn’t know, Brides in Black launched this past Monday evening and the outcome was more than “ok”. Around 300 people showed up to The Caboto club to hear Mary Ann and Terry Ann Carter read samples from their newest books (Terry Ann’s being Day Moon Rising)! What a turn-out!

Both groups of students were able to share their experiences with the audience and mingle with fellow classmates and friends of the authors (over mini cheesecake and Tim Horton’s coffee no less), as Mary Ann and Terry Ann assembly-line signed their books.

There was a jazz ensemble, a cash bar (whose cocktail tables, looked like they had been through a war, the shrapnel being cocktail napkins and empty cups) and a slew of laughter filtering in and out of the hallways of Caboto.

And now that this is done, now that the book has been born and fed and nourished and propped on its feet, this will be my last posting. It’s been great having my own literary blog-garden to tend to and watch grow. I hope you all enjoyed these posts, both from students and Mary Ann herself and I urge you:

Get your own copy of Brides in Black! You won’t be sorry you did!

You can purchase them right now at the University book store but they’ll also be for sale at Chapters in the coming weeks.

All the best, Emily.

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The time has come…

…reaping day. Or rather, READING DAY! Come out come out this evening to the Launch of Brides in Black! Info in the sidebar –>

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Coach House Press

Yesterday, while many of you were braving hail storms and thunder-n-lighting, a group of us Brides in Black students and a handful of Day Moon Rising students from the University of Windsor went to Toronto to see our books.

a bpNichol poem engraved outside Coach House Press

Like any good Publishing house, it is situated in the heart of downtown Toronto, brimming with history; Canadian authors like Margaret Atwood and Michael Oondaatje have been known to sit in the upstairs part of Coach House, and a few beat poets  have been to bpNichol lane too (Allen Ginsberg, anyone?)

We had a great tour, learned all about the actual printing process(which described by some sounded like a process straight from Willy Wonka) and in the end, saw the final result of all the hustle and bustle of this past year: our books!

Here are a few images from our trip:

Be sure to join us on Monday as we launch both books! (poster in the sidebar)

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Change is imminent

The daily grind: I am waking up every day before 7am to rush and get to school to find a parking spot. I am rushing to beat someone else to the Tim Horton’s line. I am rushing to finish the book I was supposed to have read yesterday. I am rushing to finish school and go home to sleep. I am rushing through conversation with family members.

That series of hurried activities is the trend that I feel students fall into. Semesters are too short and don’t allow for me to properly enjoy the education I pay dearly for. Now, I am in my 4th year of my Undergrad and I am preparing to graduate in June. Reflecting back on my time in University, it has provided me with some of the best memories and experiences. I have grown up at school. This is the moment when my anxiety sets in. I know that it is necessary and in my best interest to leave because there are better things awaiting me in the world. But what if I can’t find those things? I am terrified, inside, of the changes waiting for me beyond the reaches of the University – in the REAL world.

I think those feelings of uncertainty are applicable to the Nuns that Mary Ann Mulhern writes about in her newest collection, Brides in Black. Although a woman may choose to leave the convent, the decision may not be easy. There is finality in decision making which is what scares people. The thought that the decision cannot be taken back is what causes grief. Furthermore, the fear of change that I experience as a graduating student is parallel to a Nun who is re-entering the world and doesn’t know what to expect.

I suppose no matter what we do in life we will always be students struggling to adjust and persevering ahead into the unknown.  -Ashley Gibb

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We’re still alive!

Yes, it’s true, the writers for Brides in Black‘s blog haven’t abandon ship just yet.

As the month of March dwindles down into a distant memory (It’s almost April, really?) and our book is sent off to print, we now have to deal with another major event (besides final exams and graduation of course): the book launch.

And as simple as it sounds, as easy as it is to say, this book launch is taking a lot of preparation, a lot of planning and a lot of time. Hence, the recent lack of posting.

But  everything worth having takes effort.

So besides minor disagreements and deep inhale/exhales, we’re all super excited for the 2nd of April (details to follow) because then all our hard work and effort and late nights in the lab will result in a tangible, finish product we can all be really proud of and show-off to everyone.

Once we have stacks of pastel-colored Brides in Black covers sitting on a black table clothed table,  it’ will all be worth it.

***Stay tuned for further information into our book launch!

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A meeting at Elias

Its 3:50pm on a grey February afternoon and I’m still in East Windsor.

I forgot that grade schools get out around now, meaning I underestimate the amount of time it would take to get downtown, for 4:00pm. Tapping my fingers impatiently on the steering wheel, moving an inch per 5 seconds past groups of children and crossing guards who think they own the world; I finally made it to Elias Deli about two minutes late. Rushing in, I’m greeted by its familiar ambiance: mood lighting, brick walls, wooden counters. And there in the middle is my waiting table.

I see Mary Ann first, wearing her signature dash of red (or maybe burgundy) and then spot my fellow classmate Rebecca and singer/songwriter Crissi Cochrane. It’s a meeting they set up to finalized details about an upcoming show between Mary Ann and Crissi, set for the end of March at the Taloola Café in Walkerville. I take my place at the table and order a tea. I’m introduced to Crissi. Wrapped in a floral shawl, she talks of her musical style for the show. “Acoustic unplugged, but maybe with an amp of some sort, so people feel they don’t have to be too quiet.” An artist considering her audiences feelings? That’s a new one for me, but I’m not really shocked by this remark as our meeting progresses. Soft spoken and kind, she strikes me as someone who would make you cupcakes for your birthday. And she does make them actually; it’s one of her signature performer-isms, bringing baked goods to her concerts.

Over odds and ends of meeting formalities, we talk about numerous things. Mary Ann asks about the cover design for Brides in Black which leads us into a discussion on a covers potential to “make or break” the book. Crissi agrees, as a similar dilemma occurs in the music industry, only with album covers. We all look towards the cover of Mary Anns most recent book The Red Dress, which prompts our discussion on the impact of red in a cover, how it draws the eye in. Crissi agrees, she says that red is most certainly noticeable, especially in a crowd of people. I smile to myself as I jot notes down in my book because I realize how all forms of art- like music and poetry- contain similar formulas for success. And no matter your age or your occupation, everything can be related to everything in some way, artistically. Even the colour red.

I notice instantly, the effortless chemistry between both Rebecca and Crissi and have to ask, “Do you two know each other, outside of this, meeting?” They smile. They work together, Rebecca explains, on the fourth floor of Leddy in this program called CSCI (I keep calling it CSI through the whole meeting). Apparently, Rebecca and other students realized who they were working with when they came across a YouTube video of Crissi singing. “It was like, oh hey, that’s you! So strange, her being on the computer and in front of me” Rebecca laughs. Crissi smiles “Yeah, it was me.”

Hailing from a rural setting in Nova Scotia, Crissi came to Windsor not too long ago. She contemplated studying journalism in Halifax for a while, but felt a stronger pull to be a musician, “I felt it was better for me, “she says” I’ve always loved music.” So she left Nova Scotia for a southern border city in Ontario and now resides here, in Windsor, with her boyfriend who happens to be a musician as well, and member of the well-known band Michou. Needless to say, music abounds in Crissi’s life.

 We finish up the final details for the event. It’s Super bowl weekend and football is on every TV in Elias. None of us are keen on watching the game (not as much as eating the food at the party!) but we inevitably discuss who will be the star of the half-time show. This year, it’s Madonna. I mention how it seems like the older a celebrity gets, the more they feel they need to reinvent themselves in order to stay current. Madonna has been compared and contrasted against Lady Gaga time and time again, and there was one interview in which a heated Madonna lashed-out against Gaga’s praise of her. “It’s probably a reflex” I say of Madonna’s heated remarks towards Gaga, “Because she sees someone who is replacing her on so many levels and soon, Madonna will just be an icon of the past.” Crissi comments on how interesting it would be to study the “Psychology of Fame” and the effects of a person in constant spotlight. We all agree. Mary Ann says it must be quite difficult, having so much attention all the time and having to constantly try and keep it. She comments on how after each performance, Madonna allegedly gets iced down to keep her “fresh” for her next set.  I tell Mary Ann if she’d like, I could get someone to ice her down after each poem at Taloola’s. We all laugh. Could you imagine that!

But there truly is no need. After our meeting, and our goodbye’s I feel confident in both Mary Ann and Crissi’s ability to perform and deliver a solid show. There won’t be any wobbly knees or pre-show jitters (in a bad way, of course).

They’re seasoned veterans, they’ve done this before.

-Emily Buta

Check out Crissi’s Website.

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Where do YOU do it?


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