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Derby Dedication

Wednesday April 17th, 2013, 12:00pm


Hello time traveller!!
This article is 4112 days old.
The information listed below is likely outdated and has been preserved for archival purposes.

Pain Eyre, AKA Kate Hargreaves, author of Talking Derby

Passion. It can take hold at any moment, for any reason, and never let go.

For Pain Eyre, her passion is roller derby.

It was obvious on April 6th when her team, Windsor’s Border City Brawlers, played their season opening bout. Forest Glade Arena was packed with over 600 people that night, when they went skate-to-skate against London’s Timber Rollers.

“Turnout to other people’s games is not as good as ours,” notes Brawler Carley Schweitzer on the great game attendance.

Ten players at a time flew around the track, shoving, pushing, pulling. The point scorers for each team, known as jammers, moving through a pack of teammates and opponents in a sort of violent osmosis.

The crowd looked on in curiosity and awe as the announcer gave a play-by-play of what was happening on the track. For the many first-time derby watchers it still took a bit of time for the game to sink in. Murmurs could be heard throughout the bout.

“What’s a jam?”

“How did she just score points?”

“Why did they end so fast?”

In the end the Brawlers lost a tough match 126-103, but played a great game against a team ranked  8 points above them . According to their website, the team is still happy with how the match turned out, having, “fought hard and left it all on the track.”

At the end of the game, as spectators browsed tables of t-shirts and leggings, they also came across a table of books.

Books written by Pain Eyre’s alter ego, Kate Hargreaves.

Entitled Talking Derby: Stories from a Life on Eight Wheels, the book covers the life of a derby girl, based on journal entries Hargreaves began making at the prodding of former professor Marty Gervais. Willing to poke fun at herself and looking to take some of the mystery away from roller derby, Hargreaves has really managed to make her passion shine through the pages of her book.

Talking Derby covers everything from cleaning gear, to dealing with the non-derbier’s perception of the sport, to crossing the border for practices. Complete with a break-down of how the game works and a glossary to explain the at times bizarre language of participants, it is an excellent introduction to an often misunderstood world.

“They’re not true stories per se,” noted Hargreaves in Derby’s press kit Q&A, “they’re sort of inspired by true things and then fictionalized and based on other true events and other thoughts and things that were going on.”

Talking Derby was published through Black Moss Press by the University of Windsor Editing and Publishing Practicum. A course unique to UWindsor, it has students produce a complete book in only eight months.

F0r the 2012-2013 school year, the class spent time pitching, editing, arranging, re-editing, re-arranging, and releasing this book.

Having taken the practicum in university and worked as a teaching assistant for it while in graduate school, Hargreaves had “been all sides of it, except the authorial side of it,” she stated at the official launch, “so it only seemed fitting that my book would come out through Black Moss, through this course.”

The launch took place on 10 April at the Caboto Club, and it soon became clear that the interest in this, and Whisky Sour City, another product of the practicum, was highly underestimated.  More chairs had to be brought into the hall, and even still the back was clogged with standing audience members unable to move freely. Teachers, family members, derby girls, and friends made up the majority of the turnout to the event.

A presentation of lights, speeches, videos, and dramatic performances of book passages greeted those in attendance.  Each section garnered enthusiastic applause from the crowd as eyes and ears were glued to the podium and projection screen.

The night was closed by Gervais, who runs the editing and publishing practicum and encouraged Hargreaves to write about her derby experiences.

“I feel blessed working with some of the most talented, energetic, insightful, intuitive, and pain in the butt students that ever came through the English Department,” he said of the class responsible for the book.

Talking Derby was made possible through passion. Passion of the students who wanted to produce something great, and Pain Eyre’s passion for roller derby. Pick up a copy at the University of Windsor Bookstore to experience it for yourself.

University of Windsor Editing and Publishing Practicum class of 2012-2013

UWindsor Drama student acting out excerpt from Talking Derby

UWindsor Drama student acting out excerpt from Talking Derby

Marty Gervais, Professor of UWindsor Editing and Publishing Practicum


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