Event Overview: WORDTASTING TOUR 2015

On Sunday, May 10th, we hosted the Calgary edition of WordTasting Tour 2015, as presented by Asymmetrical Press, The Minimalists, and Exile Lifestyle. If you missed it, the store was filled to capacity, with a last-minute second show added on for those who didn’t make it in the door the first time. Here’s a recap of what went on.

Live music was provided all evening by Brooklyn violinist and composer Skye Steele, through an elaborate set-up of different instruments, some of them homemade. If you sat in the front row, you might have helped him with a long string of bells.
You can listen to his music here.


Josh Wagner (pictured below)–poet, playwright, graphic novelist, and author–started the reading by shouting from the perimeter, circling the audience with spoken word poetry. “Break your computer, burn your house down!” He later read from his new novel, Shapes the Sunlight Takes,  written from the point of view of a teenage lesbian, a perspective he chose to deliberately challenge himself and widen his worldview.

photo taken from Aysmmetrical Press’ Facebook

Shawn Mihalik, editor-in-chief of Asymmetrical Press, read from his new novel, Particles. Though the book is an exploration of contemporary loneliness, discomfort and uncertainty, he had everybody laughing. This is his first tour, so we are pleased to share this quote from Mihalik’s twitter: “Canada, you’re making my first book tour an incredible experience. Thanks so much for everything.”


Maybe you caught co-founder Joshua Fields Millburn in the store during his Minimalists tour last year. This time, he recounted the story of what led him to take a minimalist approach to life in the first place: “In the same month, I got divorced and my mother died…”
He talked about the process of clearing out his possessions, cutting down to essentials, and how these changes afforded him an observable new kind of peace. For example: it is possible to live for years with 52 things or less. Not because “consuming is bad” in and of itself, but because “compulsive consumption” is a never-ending loop of non-neccessity no one needs to get stuck in.
We have copies of Essential: Essays by The Minimalists in store, but if you’re not ready to go all in, try checking out Marie Kondo’s The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.


Lastly, Colin Wright spoke about his life abroad – he moves to a new country every four months, as dictated by his blog readers (comment from audience: how easy would it be to make him move back and forth between the Arctic to the Antarctic) – and underlying life philosophy. His book, Considerations, is a collection of “thoughts and questions about perspectives, beliefs, and how they guide your actions.”


The event ended with book signing, chatting, and hugging (as promised).

There’s a good chance of another Minimalists tour next year, so keep tabs on their blog.