Katya Nosko, with the Scout dog, from The Great Escape Book Store near the garage where she will be presenting an upcoming poetry gallery. Photo: Submitted.
By JAYSON DIMAANO
As more people finally receive vaccines, the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel appears to be getting brighter. While many people would like to put the pandemic in the past, some are looking to tell their inspiring stories during such a difficult time.
“Starting in June, we’ll have a poetry gallery in my garage,” said Katya Nosko, owner of The Great Escape Book Store on Kingston Road. The gallery will not take place in the store and will follow all COVID-19 rules and regulations.
The garage is actually located behind the store, Nosko said.
“It’s a big open garage, where one or two people can walk in, independently, and be at peace with the poems surrounding them.”
Nosko said it was difficult for the bookstore not to be open to community members to come and pick up books as they please during pandemic closures, but she is always there and wants to help improve the community experience.
“I give this space (her garage) to the artists so that they can enjoy it and on top of that, they make us enjoy their art,” she said.
“If I can do it, with people who can read and read something, which helps people recover from this terrible crisis that we’ve all been through, then I feel better about myself. “
Nosko added that she hopes the exhibition will add “comfort, togetherness and assertiveness to life in the future.”
Social distancing will be strictly enforced according to prescribed rules, but there will be space for people bubbling together to share the experience.
Nosko partnered up with local poet and Hospital for Sick Children staff physician Conor Mc Donnell, who also recently published his first collection of poetry, Recovery Community, with Mansfield Press, for the gallery in which he also participates. .
Other participants in the Poetry Gallery with their works will be Amanda Earle, Julie Cameron Gray, Shelly Harder, Jim Johnstone, Kirby, Victoria Mbabazi, AF Moritz, Shazia Hafiz Ramji and Jane Zhao.
“I said to Katya from the start: If we are talking about post-pandemic it should feel like everyone is emerging from the clouds and the sun. I would like to have a diverse and multicultural view of the people who contribute to this, ”said Mc Donnell.
He congratulated Nosko on the idea of setting up the gallery. She turned to Mc Donnell for help and he was more than happy to find artists from the west end of town for their work.
“It is also an opportunity to have writers who rise and emerge to make their voices heard to certain people. The West End has an incredible resource of poetry in Knife Fork Book that Kirby runs.