STORIES BY STEFFANIE LING
Edited by Jacquelyn Ross
Published by Blank Cheque Press/Publication Studio Vancouver
Publication Studio Vancouver
8 East Pender Street
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
With readings by Steffanie Ling & Alex Bovril
“Somehow, the idea of watching him, a sexy sports car, only emphasized the straightforwardness of mastery. A matter of hitting notes, a grasp of physique.”
In sixteen short stories punctuated by smoke breaks, writer and critic Steffanie Ling ponders questions of art and subsistence while relating her comically mundane misadventures alongside a band of struggling twenty-something painters, editors and merchandisers. Touching on topics like taste, mastery, straight white males and sparkling water—and in conversations in galleries and artist’s studios, on busses and park benches—these are concise, poignant stories that show a general disregard for one’s health. Against the languor of art, sarcasm and late capitalism, the gesture of the shared smoke may just be a small, but hopeful, offering of community.
Steffanie Ling said she would quit smoking after this book was published. Her essays, poems and criticism about contemporary art, photography, cinema, literature, professional wrestling, and smoking have appeared in print and online in Canada, the United States and Europe. She has published one book of minimal poems, Cuts of Thin Meat (Spare Room, 2015). This is her first book of prose.
Alex Bovril never knows whether to start these artist bios with his birthplace (the UK), the city he calls “home” (Vancouver), or the university he currently attends (Creative Writing MFA candidate at NYU). He’d rather just say how fondly he remembers his time at the project space Avenue; how thankful he is to get the opportunity to collaborate with Tom Richardson and Jordan Milner, and exhibit work at Skylight Gallery and spare room; and how good it felt last year to publish his first collection of prose, Fragments of Bismuth, edited by Steffanie Ling and co-published by Somewhat Urgent/Publication Studio Vancouver.
Blank Cheque is a small press based in Vancouver and Toronto publishing eclectic books and print works by emerging artists and writers. Conceived while daydreaming in an overpriced shoe store, the series is edited by Jacquelyn Ross and produced in living rooms, studios and copy shops.