It’s been a busy February for the Taipei Writers’ Group!
From February 6 to February 11, the group manned a booth at the Taipei International Book Expo (TIBE), selling anthology works and works by individual TIBE members. On Feb 24, we had an official launch party for Taiwan Tales Vol. 2, as well as Forms of Formosa, the group’s first poetry collection.
TIBE was a fun event. It was pretty quiet over the first few days, as it had been last year, but things certainly picked up over the weekend. We had a reading event on the Friday evening, hosted by Pat Woods with reading contributions from Mark Will, Connor Bixby, J.J. Goodwin, Ray Hecht, and Hugo Chung. The Q&A part of the event went well – as did the raffle. Free books are understandably popular!
The weekend was fun, with a few old friends popping by to check out our stuff, as well as plenty of new people, many of whom stayed for a chat to see what we’re all about. We did some good schmoozing as well, and made some potentially interesting contacts. J.J. Goodwin and Mark Will gave added entertainment with a ukelele, while Ray Hecht sketched a few passersby. J.J.’s popcorn machine and Molly Yang’s excellent artwork from Forms of Formosa also got people interested.
We probably got the most attention for Saturday night’s guerrilla readings, where we decided to liven things up around our (rather quiet) part of the hall with some impromptu readings from our books. There were all done with a bit of extra performance “oomph!” A few people stopped to watch, and we even made some sales from them!
Overall, we sold (or gave away) over 100 anthology books, and sold quite a few individual author books as well. This was pretty good, considering that the overall attendance for TIBE was down due to factors such as the Hualien earthquake, the bad weather, and the pre-New Year dates.
The Feb 24 Launch Party took place at Yue Yue & Co. Bookstore in Songshan Cultural Park. It was a well-attended event, with plenty of guests coming along to support the writers. Taiwan Tales Vol. 2 was read from, and plenty of time was devoted to Forms of Formosa. Many poets were present to read from it, including Mark Will, J.J. Goodwin, Jeremy Bee, Noam Zohar, Matt Van Pelt, Keith Jon Nipper (who came up from Kaohsiung), and host Hugo Chung. Pat Woods, Mark, and J.J. also read from Taiwan Tales Vol. 2, while Bradley Verdell was also on hand to read from his own book, The Fourth Warlock.
Yue Yue is (currently) the only bricks-and-mortar bookstore where TWG titles and those by other TWG members can be purchased, so we’re really grateful to them, both for this and their support for the reading event. Thanks to them, we sold all our remaining print copies of Forms of Formosa from the original run, a great result.
Next for TWG is getting Forms of Formosa in ebook form, which hopefully won’t be too long – we’ll post when that’s done, with some information about the book itself. After that, we’re all due a bit of a rest before we turn our minds to future group collaborations. Meanwhile, everyone continues to work on their own stuff, and the critique meetings carry on as usual.
Until next time!
Taipei Writers’ Group