from Influency Salon

Brainchild of poet Margaret Christakos, “Influency: A Toronto Poetry Salon” began in fall 2006 as a ten-week course offered by the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. Each salon consists of eight poets “from a diversity of traditions and schools of writing”: one poet speaks about another poet on the roster, who then reads; an hour of discussion follows, facilitated by Christakos. The aim? “It might benefit all of us to read more frequently across our more usual paths of influence, to in fact attempt to cross whatever artificial divides there might be among us” (Influency Salon website). In April 2010, a companion website was launched, hosting a range of poetry and commentary, with Coach House Books as a “launching pad” and the collaboration of the TransCanada Institute (University of Guelph). So far, its online magazine has published three issues. By presenting poets from many of the micro-communities in the city’s literary scene and beyond, “Influency” creates the opportunity for social and intellectual interaction, and builds a sophisticated audience for contemporary poetry in general and Toronto’s “multi- traditional literary culture” in particular. On 25 May 2011, this series, this “flow chart,” this “intertextual parade” featured Erín Moure speaking on Rachel Zolf ’s Neighbour Procedure and Zolf speaking on Moure’s Pillage Laud. These two talks, revised for print publication, appear below.

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