David James Brock

playwright, poet, librettist

David James Brock is a Canadian playwright, poet and librettist. Author of poetry collection, Everyone is CO2. Librettist for Scottish pub opera, The Sloans Project. Co-creator of Breath Cycle, an opera for cystic fibrosis.

New Book, New Blog

April was a cool month, and it was also poetry month—a poetry month made even more special for me by the release of my first collection, Everyone is CO2 (and at only 2 of the 5 readings was it introduced as “Everyone is Carbon Dioxide”—which is all right: I knew the risk of subscript).

So far, the book has taken me to Picton, Queen West on a week night, Waterloo, University of Toronto, and Montreal (it was my first time in Montreal, so the book has already done a lot of its work for me). And yes, maybe I sold a copy of the book at my sister’s wedding in Jordan, Ontario.

The playwright in me is still working out which poems to read aloud. As I get more opportunities to read from the book, I’m excited to branch out and try some new ones. I’ve felt pretty safe with Mercury (p. 2), I Lied About Being the Outdoor Type (p.36), and Asshole, Werewolf, Hangover (p.4) since I can hear or see the immediate reaction. I’m a gasp/laugh addict. In the upcoming weeks and months, I’ll try to make myself a bit more comfortable with the silences. Draw on some of the powerful readers I’ve been lucky to read along side with so far, like Catherine Graham and Suzannah Showler, whose readings have cast a spell over our shared audiences.

Though every reading has been great, the launch at the Gladstone on April 16th was damn great. Launching along side Erina Harris (The Staghead Spoke) and my good friend D.D. Miller (David Foster Wallace Ruined my Suicide) to a packed room was something I won’t forget. Despite the number of people in attendance, it was the least nerve wracking of the readings. The room was full of family, friends, Toronto literati, trivia rivals, employers, nice strangers, derby girls, and Michael Ondaatje (holla!).

[Side note: during my reading, I alternated my gaze between Ondaatje's luminescent white head on the left side of the room, and my Dad’s luminescent white head on the right side of the room—two beacons of light on the ballroom’s dark horizon.]

Thank you to the Wolsak and Wynn team of Noelle Allen, Ashley Hisson, Emily Dockrill Jones, and Paul Vermeersch for the incredible turn out.

I also want to thank anyone who has had a chance to read the book so far, and to the people who soon will. It means a lot.

Lots of fun stuff coming up in the next little while. Check out my Events Page.