You may have noticed we’ve taken a little breather these past two Fridays. That’s about to change…
now known as an angelic upstart from coast to coast in Canada, [knife fork book] started out in 2016 and has blossomed into one of the top must-read venues for poets from all over North America.
Nathaniel G. Moore, Verbicide Magazine
99+ randomly selected photographs, a flurry of the past sixteen weeks, including our KICKASS National Poetry Month in April (our biggest month ever), to last week’s ‘power outrage’ reading, and still, even in the ice storm two weeks earlier, you came. And return, again and again, making KFB your ‘familiar.’ Awed, humbled, and so very grateful to you, the poets, who continue to make us who we are, a residence for poetry, powered by poets.*
That’s it, really. knife | fork | book is completely powered by poets. “Organically,” from the start. People/poets often thank me for “all I do for poetry,” (and, you’re welcome) but I look at these pictures and see the real story, know what each of us bring to this shining place we cherish, hold dear.
It ain’t perfect, there’s exciting, challenging work to be done. And new direction, vision, opportunities as we move forward. Your ideas, suggestions, contributions are not only welcome, they’re essential.
Thank you, poets. Thank you for your love, for volunteering, donating time and talent, holding this space with me, making it so.
Look at these pictures. May we all continue to be rewarded ten-fold.
Yours, I remain,
Kirby, knife | fork | book
p.s. Check out our NEW ONLINE SHOP, goodies added weekly.
*KFB’s new hashtag/byline to go with our striking new logo by poet, JOHN STI NTZI
One of my favourite shops in the city is closing. Good Egg, delightful purveyor of fine books and all things cookery, riveting storefront window displays, for many a must stop destination, directly across the street from us, in Kensington Market. Their lease was up. Word is the landlord/s asking for $35,000 more a year. So long, Good Egg.
So long, Elliots, Pages, The Cookbook Shop, Britnells, Nicholas Hoare, This Ain’t the Rosedale Library. The [glorious] Silver Rail.
“Why is the measure of love loss?”*
Here’s the real “deal.” We’re a poetry-only bookshop with one of the most vibrant reading schedules on the face of the earth. In Toronto. You can’t get that online. We’re worth the actual retail cost of a book. And a little more. – @itsakirby @verbicide https://t.co/of8yjPnhM6 pic.twitter.com/iJPhpjuI3P
— knifeforkbook (@knifeforkbook) April 17, 2018
knife | fork | book is not a monthly reading series, nor are we funded. We’re an upstart, bricks and mortar, poetry-only independent bookshop (the only one in Canada) entering our second year. The fact that we’re able to coexist in a second-floor shared artists space anywhere in Toronto is a miracle.
It took our friends at Glad Day Books 25 years to land a street-level space (to some, not entirely accessible), not to mention they became a bar to do so.
KFB has a 5 to 10 year plan in the works to become a fully accessible not-for-profit housing cooperative for poets, including a storefront for the shop and a printing house.
Meanwhile, we have held offsite readings upon request in [more] accessible venues and we’re looking into livestreaming our events (I know, it’s not the same).
We’re a poetry-only bookshop. Our fledgling business, at this time, is wondrously here. In this space. Small, with a mighty heart and vision.
I’ve already stated our policy regarding social media, how we use it (and don’t use it).
Here, I’d like to fill in a bit more.
Upon graduating from university, my first job was to create a performance and movement arts company with severely disabled artists, many who came into their own voice, moving from dependent to independent living as a result. In 5 years I worked myself out of that job with the artists themselves continuing to direct the project.
I then entered an international program (housed at U of T) learning a modality that would increase my own mobilty and the mobility of those I’ve worked with (the Feldenkrais Method) which is what brought me to Canada. My first employment here was as an attendent assisting those with spinal cord injuries living in independent housing.
Soon after, I established a bodywork practice opening a business called MindBody Resources, again focused on breaking any barriers to physical mobility and choice. During this period, two-thirds of my clients became physically disabled with AIDS/HIV, and we established The Nourish Project meeting weekly in each other’s homes, preparing nutritious meals together for the week, washing each other’s hair, sharing current treatment information, fighting, attending memorials, shopping and delivering for each other, choosing love and intimacy over isolation.
It’s amazing what many of us have lived through. Continue to live through. Such odds.
It’s a courageous choice/act to continue. I bow.
I have been called many things. Go ahead, toss epithets at me #ableprivileged #whitegay #canlit
Yes, I am. White. Gay. Privileged. Approaching 60. Fortunate. Still here.
I am also radical, queer, poet, fairy, faggot, warrior, princess.
“Unprincipled?” “Indecent?,” (well, she’s been called that, too).
No excuses. No exemptions. Cast your stone.
*Jeanette Winterson Written on the Body
THIS FRIDAY + SATURDAY
Laurie D. Graham
Emily Rosello Mercurio
VALLUM CONTEMPORARY POETRY ISSUE 15:1 MEMORY AND LOSS TORONTO LAUNCH FRIDAY APRIL 27TH 7PM
Doors 6:30 Poetry 7-ish Wear socks to be seen (we’re shoeless).
CELEBRATING CANADIAN INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE DAY SATURDAY APRIL 28TH
beautiful @itsakirby of @knifeforkbook handles each and every poetry book with love. taken last night at the touching and endlessly inspiring Poetry in Voice (@PIV_LVP) Recitation Finals last night. I was there with my daughter, Sadie. Her eyes were lit the whole evening. pic.twitter.com/W43dbBcHHf
— Shannon Bramer (@brokencloudco) April 20, 2018
— PIV/LVP (@PIV_LVP) April 20, 2018
— Alex Prochshenko (@marvelle_grey) April 19, 2018
.@itsakirby has the best smile in the business.
— Holly Kent (@hollykent) April 21, 2018