Swoon Spring 2016 – The Photos

Last night’s Swoon event was one of our best events ever, thanks to an amazing turnout (thanks, audience!) and amazing performances (thanks, authors!).

Swoon Spring 2016 featured performances by Dina Del Bucchia and Daniel Zomparelli, Christopher Evans, Jim Johnstone, Laura Trethewey, and Daniel Scott Tysdal. For more about our authors, be sure to check out our Meet the Authors post.

Below are some of the highlights of Swoon Spring 2016, captured on our iPhones and in our hearts.


Early in the evening, Trees Coffee House is already filling up.

There is so much Swoon love in this first picture. Swoon alumni Ellie Sawatzky (one of the cuties in the far back) is busy spreading love wherever she goes. Dina Del Bucchia and Daniel Zomparelli are making plans and warming up their voices for their outrageous performance. Toronto poet Jim Johnstone is in conversation with Vancouver poet Adrienne Gruber. Swoon alumni Jane Campbell is in conversation with Laura Tretheway. And there’s Christopher Evans bottom right corner of the frame.

Before the event had even started, Sierra and I were full of warm and fuzzy feelings of love.


Co-hosts Sierra Skye Gemma & Ruth Daniell already in love with the evening


Sierra’s pink petticoat and pink pony skirt is on point. Photo credit: AlphaSiren.

Sierra and I started off the event by reminding everyone why Swoon exists (because we want to have fun, basically). Big thank yous to the Trees staff who were so good to us, as always. We’re so lucky to be able to do what we do.

Our first performer of the evening was poet Jim Johnstone.


Jim came all the way from Toronto to share his love with our amazing Vancouver crowd.

Jim read from his most recent collection, Dog Ear (Véhicule Press, 2014), and one of the Early Birney poems he selected in The Essential Earle Birney (Porcupine Quill, 2014).


Poet Jim Johnstone. Photo credit: AlphaSiren

Of the fine poems Jim read for us one of them was “Epoch” (from Dog Ear), which meditates around a statue of Edward VII on a horse with its scrotum painted gold by vandals. A well-chosen poem for Swoon.

Up next was the talented Laura Tretheway, who read a fiercely intelligent and empathetic piece of creative non-fiction about intimacy before and after the digital age.


Laura Tretheway’s piece was tender, nostalgic, smart and really wonderful.


The piece Laura read is called “That Time We Made a Sex Tape Before the Internet” and it was gently funny and thought-provoking and did we mention really, really wonderful? Perfect Swoon material. Photo credit: AlphaSiren

Finishing off our first act was the formidable Canlit (Can’t Lit) duo, Dina Del Bucchia and Daniel Zomparelli, reading from their co-authored book of poems, Rom Com.


Everything about Dina and Daniel’s Rom Com is collaborative.


Rom Com dance moves. Photo credit: AlphaSiren


Dina dances for the Swoon crowd, is magnificent.










Do you have a copy of Rom Com (Talonbooks, 2015) yet? You need a copy of this book if you a.) like romantic comedies and pop culture, b.) like Dina and/or Daniel, or c.) if you are sad sometimes. Let’s be real: all three reasons apply to you.


Ruth & Sierra starting off the second act with enthusiasm and bright colours. Photo credit: AlphaSiren.

I convinced Sierra to share a little snippet of her own excellent writing with the Swoon audience. She read a powerful and moving excerpt from her memoir “So Big Men Can’t Help Themselves,” which is forthcoming in Boobs: Women Explore What It Means to Have Breasts (Caitlin Press, 2016).


The imcomparable Sierra Skye Gemma. Photo credit: AlphaSiren.

After Sierra’s powerful non-fiction, Christopher Evans treated us to some hilarious and well-crafted fiction. He ended with a short story called “Unsung,” which came out recently in The Ottawa Arts Review. He had the entire audience laughing out loud. He’s a great writer but also a great performer. If you’re not following Chris’s work in literary journals yet—do!


Christopher Evans. Photo credit: AlphaSiren


Christopher was absolutely hilarious. He had all us Swooners in stitches.

After Christopher’s brilliant performance of fiction, Daniel Scott Tysdal finished the evening off with some decidedly lively (and frequently moving) poetry.


Daniel Scott Tysdal, our final featured author of the evening. Photo credit: AlphaSiren

Daniel read from his most recent collection of passionate poems for speculative occasions. You can get your own copy of Fauxccasional Poems (icehouse 2015) by Daniel Scott Tysdal! Do it! Not only are the poems sharp, funny, and smart, but the book itself is beautifully designed. When I hold the book in my hands I am happy.


Daniel, poet, possessor of expressive eyebrows. A+

Sierra and I are so excited to get to run Swoon.  The community that’s grown up around us remains warm and welcoming—a vibe we’re really proud of. Thanks to everyone who helps build our fun-loving, love-loving community.

Thanks to Dina Del Bucchia and Daniel Zomparelli, Christopher Evans, Jim Johnstone, Laura Trethewey, and Daniel Scott Tysdal for making this the best Swoon event yet, and our amazing audience members for braving the uncertain weather to help us fill the coffeeshop up, just brimming over with love.

We’ve got some swoony things planned for our blog soon (so watch this space!) and of course we’ve already got our hearts set on our next event. Keep up to date with us on Twitter and Facebook!


About Ruth Daniell

Ruth Daniell is a writer and the editor of Boobs: Women Explore What It Means to Have Breasts (Caitlin Press, 2016). Her work has appeared in Arc, CV2, Event, and Grain. Most recently, she was awarded first prize in the 2016 Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest with The New Quarterly.
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