Swoon Finale Spring 2017

Thank you to our amazing writers/performers and our devoted audience for making the Swoon Finale event so completely wonderful! The evening was sexy, funny, serious, thought-provoking, and absolutely overflowing with love.

Look how happy it made me and Sierra!


Swooners forever: hosts Ruth Daniell (left) and Sierra Skye Gemma (right)

Our first performer of the evening was D. S. Stymeist, who treated us with an erotically-charged set of poems from his collection, The Bone Weir. 


D. S. Stymeist, who came all the way from Ottawa to appear at Swoon. Our thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts and the League of Canadian Poets for the funding that made his appearance possible.



Words cannot express how much I appreciate that Chelsea gave me a goofy smile when she noticed me taking this shameless I’m-in-the-audience-too selfie. So much affection for that woman!

Chelsea Rooney, always the storyteller, shared a tale of true (non-fiction!) love–the lead-up to her first kiss with her now-partner.


The story went from sad to surprising to very happy!

Now we just have to share some great photos of our enthusiastic Swoon audience. Along with our authors, the audience members collaborated with our love game. Sierra and I handed out pieces of paper and invited everyone to write down specific things, people, or places that they love, and then we shared them after the intermission and at the end of the show. We got so many fantastic declarations of love we couldn’t recite them all, so we compiled them all (into this great list right here).


The Swoon audience: truly the loveliest.



I asked these Swoon audience members to demonstrate how they felt about being at a Swoon event, and this is how they posed for the camera. (I must admit that the handsome man in the light blue collared shirt is my husband, otherwise you might think I paid some guy to pump his fist in the air. Nope. He’s not paid. He’s just a very devoted partner. He has this same reaction when I tell him we’re having macaroni and cheese for dinner.)

Before the second half of the show, Sierra and I read some of the amazing declarations of love, and I convinced Sierra to read a little bit of her own writing with the audience. She read some brand-spanking-new comedy for us and it was hilarious and smart and super great, just like Sierra.


Also, will you look at that dress! So many tiny animals on such a flouncy skirt. A++

Up next was Rob Taylor, who read us many wonderful poems, including some from his newest collection, The News, which is a series of poems for each week of his wife’s pregnancy with their son. It is such a great book and so so fitting for Swoon.


Thank you, Rob. You are so great. I’m sorry Sierra told everyone the unfortunate yogurt story.

Christina Myers, nonfiction writer extraordinaire, read some new fiction (!) and was (of course) marvelous.


All of Christina’s face is beautiful; I’m sorry I failed to capture a photo that didn’t have the mic blocking it.


Curtis LeBlanc was our final reader of the evening–of the series!–and he was fantastic. He read some lovely poems from his chapbook and also some from his forthcoming full-length collection. A couple of them were love poems for his dad. We all liked them very much.


Curtis read his poems and charmed us all.

After Curtis had elegantly finished our performances for the evening, Sierra and I took over the mic again to ruminate about the end of Swoon and on the endlessness of love. It was pretty poignant.

Thanks to Trees Coffee for hosting us for the past three years, for Cocoa Nymph for being our first home, and for everyone who ever performed or attended our events.

We really are super grateful for the years (years!) we’ve been able to do what we do and spread a little CanLit love. Stay in touch, okay? We still love you.


Don’t forget to read more about these fine folks over on our Meet the Authors page and follow links to buy their books!

The Spring 2017 Swooners (from left to right and top to bottom): Rob Taylor, D. S. Stymeist, Curtis LeBlanc, Chelsea Rooney, and Christina Myers.


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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