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QWERTY Magazine to Host “QWE(e)RTY Reads” Literary Event

QWERTY Magazine will host a ‘Queer Reading’ as part of Winter Pride Week.

The reading will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at the Capital Complex.

QWERTY, UNB’s graduate student-run literary magazine, has organized reading events before—but this is the first time queer narrative will be a common theme throughout.

“We do a few QWERTY Reads every year and usually these are just poetry readings, but I thought this year we could make a special QWERTY reading,” said Annabelle Babineau, the magazine’s managing director.

The idea came after Babineau met with the magazine’s past managing director to brainstorm new themes for a special edition of the event.

“[The old managing editor] told me that often the type of material we tend to [cover] is stuff that is a little weird, different, outside of the box,” Babineau said. “We were making jokes of how QWERTY sounds like ‘queer-ty’ so we just thought it would be a fun idea to make that a special event and put some life into the magazine again.”

The event will be emceed by two local drag queens—Freeda Whales and Hinky Dinky—and headlined by Professor Lucas Crawford from UNB’s Department of English. Other readers and performers include Perry Reimer, Colin Johnson, Rebecca Salazar, Samuel Crowel and Carmen Ellison.

According to Babineau, they will share “something queer, defined as they will; it’s really up to their own interpretation. So we have some poetry readers and one musical performance.”

Babineau thinks the event is going to tie together two communities that might not have interacted as much as they could’ve had in the past: the queer community and the literary community.

“I find [these communities] go hand-in-hand,” said Babineau. “There’s a lot of overlap between them both, so I’m really excited about that. We might have new people coming to QWERTY readings who might not have come before, so I really look forward to it. I think it’s going to be a really good evening.”

The reading is being presented in conjunction with Winter Pride, “a perfect storm of events,” according to the event’s publicity. The series of events, running from Feb. 1 to 10, include Tony Award-winning musical Rent staged by Fredericton High School, a Call Me By Your Name movie screening by Monday Night Film Series, Fredericton Pride (Winter) Games Night at Unplugged, a new edition of Bottomless Bingo and the second annual Pink Lobster Film Festival.

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