December

Driving from Camrose to Calgary AB in November

It’s been a hell of a run. I am exhausted and happy to focus on my (very busy – not complaining) day job.

November’s tour of Alberta was wonderful, and I’m happy I pushed myself to make it happen (and grateful my publisher was able to wave her travel grant wand my way). I met readers, old friends, new friends, and relatives. I saw Alberta — a place I haven’t set foot in for almost 30 years — with fresh eyes (and a driver’s license). I could not have asked for a smoother tour, and I am thankful.

I am also tired, and am happy to put The Society of Experience to rest so that I can focus on the next book. I don’t want to publicize anything for a while. That said, I will have an essay coming out in the next issue of the Humber Literary Review, looking at our skewed depictions of madness in film and literature – that’s coming out in January, I am told.

If you are reading this, I hope you have a good December, and are able to find light in what was quite a dark 2016 for many.

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Alberta Tour 2016

Here’s the short and sweet on my upcoming tour of Alberta:

The Society of Experience Matt Cahill Alberta Tour 2016

November 9 — University of Alberta, Augustana (Camrose) campus: reading from The Society of Experience at the bookstore @ 2pm. Books will be sold and signed. If you are in Marina Endicott‘s creative writing class, you will have the added bonus of having me hang over your shoulder and talk about writing and stuff on November 10th!

November 12 — Calgary, Literary House Concert, from 2pm to 5pm: the inaugural launch of a literary salon that is going to be awesome, but due to its intimate location will be RSVP only. Go here to find out more. I’m reading with Nikki Reimer & Shannon Maguire! Books will be sold and signed.

November 13 — Edmonton, at Audreys Books, reading from The Society of Experience. @ 3pm  I’ll be joined by writers Tim Bowling and Greg Bechtel! Books will be sold and signed. Facebook invite here!

Updates will be made as the week progresses. I hope to meet new friends and readers during this whirlwind-ish five days!

 

 

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IFOA Reading, Alberta Tour & A New Essay

I’ve got some great things in store for the next month or so:

October 25th: I’m going to be reading at the Literary Press Group‘s Boos & Books event, which is part of the International Festival of Authors. I’m thrilled to have been selected as well as honoured to be part of the IFOA. Because it’s a Halloween-themed event, I’m going to be reading an excerpt from my short story, Snowshoe (if you haven’t read it, it’s available at Found Press for the price of a cup of coffee – super cheap!)

 

 

 
November 9th – 13th: I’m going to be on a (very fast) tour of Alberta, reading/promoting my novel, The Society of Experience. Current dates are as follows:

November 9 – Camrose (University of Alberta campus)

November 12 – Calgary (location tbd)

November 13 – Edmonton (Audreys Books)

Somewhere in here I’m hoping to make an appearance in Red Deer – stay tuned! I’m looking forward to seeing old friends from when I lived there, as well as meeting readers, not to mention members of the Alberta publishing community (this last part may not sound exciting, but I think it’s significant!)

Lastly, I have an essay coming out in the next Humber Literary Review (due in November). This is a themed issue whose topic is mental health. My essay explores fictional depictions of madness in contemporary mainstream media, their worrisome undertones, and the challenges with working with the idea of madness. This is a very challenging piece, written from varying perspectives (as a psychotherapist, as an artist, and also someone who has a personal perspective on mental health challenges).

Stay tuned for updates — this is going to be a busy last quarter for 2016…

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A Note For Book Clubs

This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting a book club in Brantford, Ontario. It was my first experience and I truly enjoyed it. I valued the perspective of the readers and was able to hear questions I often wouldn’t get a chance to hear in professional Q&As, which end up being rather tightly formatted. The questions I received were often challenging and thought-provoking. It was also fun talking about my history there (I spent a chunk of my early years in Onondaga), which was referenced in the Brantford Expositor last year.

I wanted to share this because if anyone reading this has a book club and would consider having myself (and my book, The Society of Experience) make an appearance, please feel free to get in touch. My contact info is on my author page: http://mattcahill.ca. I can’t always guarantee my availability, but wherever I can make it work, I will. I’m happy to make a visit in-person, as well as field a Q&A via email, or take part in a Skype session.

 

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Hello, Winnipeg!

June is going so fast. I suppose it’s to be expected when you have a full-time job and write books on top of it. On this note, and as mentioned earlier, I’m setting my sights on Winnipeg, Manitoba as the next stop on my (very gradual) book tour.

McNally Robinson Booksellers is, I understand, a gorgeous location for a both a book retailer and a public reading. I will be joining David Lee, author of the YA book The Midnight Games, for a reading and a follow-up conversation with Chadwick Ginther and S.M. Beiko. This is happening on the 6th of July – mark your calendars.

I look forward to visiting Winnipeg and meeting new people. I hope you are able to make it out!

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Upcoming Readings With Kyp Harness and Mark Sampson & A ChiSeries Video

I have two new gigs lined up over the next few months. I have to say that my visit to Ottawa was wonderful — everyone involved, organizers and audience alike were very friendly and great people to chat with (in case you were curious, or thought these were terribly serious affairs). If you’ve been thinking of making it out, it would be great to see you at either of the next two events.

June 10th @ The Belljar (2072 Dundas St W, Toronto)
I will be reading from The Society of Experience as part of a launch for indie musician Kyp Harness’ debut novel, Wigford Rememberies. We will be joined by poet Mark Sampson, reading from his new collection, Weathervane. Details of the event can be found here. Authors’ books will be sold via Another Story Bookstore.

July 6th @ McNally Robinson Booksellers (1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, MB)
I will be joining the ChiSeries once more, this time for my first reading outside of Ontario! Also reading that night will be David Neil Lee — we will be joined in conversation by Chadwick Ginther and S.M. Beiko. Details can be found here. I haven’t been in Winnipeg before so I’m really looking forward to it.

Speaking of Ottawa, the people at Silver Stag Entertainment managed to tape my reading. I normally can’t stand the sight of myself reading (or hearing my voice), but it ain’t bad. The audio quality is a little rough, as you can overhear bar patrons in the room next door, but I thought I would share it with you. Enjoy!

Lastly, I’m hoping to announce a brief Alberta tour that will be happening in September. It’s in the planning stages, so fingers are crossed!

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Look Out, I’m Coming At Ya [updated April 25th!]

Late April/early May is going to be busy with appearances! First up, I will be participating in the 35th annual Ad Astra Convention (happening April 29-May 1 in Toronto). UPDATE: I’m appearing on Sunday the 1st of May at 2pm on the panel The Trials and Tribulations of Writing About Time Travel (along with fellow authors Kari Maaren and Kelly Robson).

Then, on Saturday April 30 I will be taking part in Authors For Indies Day, working the floor at Type Books during their 10th Anniversary (Queen West location) from 12pm to 1pm. Come by and I will help you find books!

Lastly, I will be reading in Ottawa on Tuesday May 3rd at Patty Boland’s (101 Clarence Street). UPDATE: I’m appearing at 7pm, alongside authors Chadwick Ginther and Mark Shainblum. Event listing here.

Like I said: it’s busy!

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The Hammer (pt. 1)

When I rented a car and went to Brantford/Onondaga to do some reminiscing and photo-taking, I knew that Hamilton was also, ultimately, on my to-do list.

The aim of these trips is not preconceived. This makes it doubly hard to explain to others (friends, strangers, and loved ones) what exactly the hell I’m planning to do. “Taking pictures and stuff.” I’ll say – that’s certainly no lie, but of course there’s more to it. The thing about Zen is this: the second you begin to describe it, it disappears. And so – Art & Zen being the same – there’s always a scaffolding I build around my explanation for these trips. It’s the same scaffolding I use when I go out writing, or to take photos locally: a vague (yet not untrue) reason which allows me to unspoil the inspiration (which itself needs to be vague) while preventing others from thinking I’ve lost my mind. I’m not uncomplicated.

Hamilton, being a place of the past for me, exists in patches of haze – this isn’t to say I did a lot of drinking or drugs when it was a destination, and yet it seems that way: murky. Of course, a good chunk of that time is best forgotten now. The downtown seems more hollowed-out than it did before, with the exception of Gore Park which to this day reminds me what a good idea it is to have spacious downtown promenades.

It was a precursory destination. First, with an ill-fated relationship which spawned a series of bad decisions which I owe to naivety. I am not alone in stating that I owe many mistakes in my 20s to naivety. It all culminated in a brief tenancy at an old apartment building north of St. Joseph’s hospital. In so many ways, it was one of the more excruciating periods in my life – I think the haze I mentioned previously is partially there to protect me from looking too closely at things like this.

The second identity Hamilton had for me happened a few years later when, staying with relatives in Burlington while I studied at college, it became a “big city” to escape to. Toronto was bigger, of course, but it was too far to drive to just to have kicks. Hamilton was perfect and in the early 90s had a great nighttime scene in and around Hess Village. My hang-out was the Bauhaus Café, which sadly (though not surprisingly) no longer exists.

Walking around there now, it seems as if parts of it just gave up. People don’t even want to advertise on billboards. To be fair, I shouldn’t make any judgments without going there again, but on a Friday night – I’m afraid however that these judgments will only skew worse if I do.

Perhaps I have a better understanding of the haze now: it’s there to protect my feelings, it’s there to protect the city from the cold light of an unsympathetic audience.

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