A Brief Conversation with Michael Nardone About Zutique, an Occasional Reading Series.
In the past months, Godberd has had the great pleasure of hosting Michael Nardone's curated reading-series called Zutique. Michael's pleasant demeanor is so consistent as to be unnerving, and his enthusiasm for contemporary poetry is absolutely contagious; the compendium of names of writers he drops casually in conversation is staggering. We recommend spending some significant time with the hyperlinks in this article for a brief education on the impressive work by the artists mentioned and we hope to see you at Zutique 4! The events are open to Godberd members only via the website. Also, stay tuned for upcoming features on some of the artists we've hosted so far.
Hi Michael! Can you tell us a bit about past Zutique events, the inspiration behind them and what we can look forward to?
The Zutique events evolve out of an occasional reading series I've held at my apartment over these last few years. It's been a good way to have poets from elsewhere who have been interested in Montreal – in the city, and in its writers – to have an intimate space to present their work and also find out what's happening here. I think a lot of important friendships and affinities have formed out of these occasional readings. Some of the poets involved in those apartment readings have been Corina Copp, Ada Smailbegovic, Shiv Kotecha, Diana Hamilton, Helen Guri, Peter Dubé, and Daniel Poppick.
In working with Godberd, I thought it might be nice to keep the occasionality of the series. They really only take place when poets from elsewhere come to town and I think of them as intimate and informal ways to interact with poets and works that one usually experiences only from a distance.
The next Zutique features three incredible novelists – Joni Murphy, Jesse Ruddock, and Jacob Wren (who will be presenting a new collaboration with the musician Andrew Whiteman). Joni lives in Brooklyn but has deep roots with the Montréal community – it will be great to have her back and hear her read from a new work. Her book Double Teenageis lovely, and it's been great seeing it get all of the attention it deserves.
Jesse Ruddock has recently moved to Montreal from New York, and I'm quite sure this will be her first Montreal reading. I'm not even going to begin to describe how amazing I think she is – everyone will know this once they hear from her and her work. Her first novel, Shot-Blue, published by Coach House just got his great write up in the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/31/books/review/shot-blue-jesse-ruddock.html.
I'm a writer and editor. I work mostly on issues concerning poetics, contemporary poetry, and sound, and have a book coming out next year called The Ritualites. It's a kind of serial poem I've written over the last decade. I also have a critical book in the works about the historical transmission of poetry and poetic practice, focused on ideas of the archive and their relation to poetics. I'm from the States originally – from ruralish Pennsylvania – and lived in Berlin for a number of years before moving to Canada, to the Northwest Territories in the mid-2000s. I've lived in Montreal with my 11-year-old daughter for a few years now, and can't imagine being elsewhere.
A brief Conversation with Michael Nardone About Zutique, an Occasional Reading Series.
Mark Francis Johnson is the author of Can of Human Heat, Treatise on Luck,and After Such Knowledge, as well as numerous shorter works. He lives in Philadelphia, where he sells antiquarian books and rare records out of his small shop, Hiding Place.