Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Angela Hibbs

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Angela Hibbs's second collection of poetry, Wanton, came out with Insomniac Press in the Fall of 2009. Her work has been translated into Russian and French. She holds a MA in Creative Writing from Concordia University. With Sachiko Murakami, she co-hosts Pivot at the Press Club.

Please send your questions for Angela to

On Writing, with Angela Hibbs

Open Book: Toronto:

Tell us about your latest book, Wanton.

Angela Hibbs:

Wanton came to me as a story about sibling rivalry. I exacerbated the sibling rivalry in two ways: 1. the girls are adopted, and 2. they are in poverty and have to work to earn their keep. Their value as individuals does not exist. Their value is monetary, and the way they hate each other is shaped by that. The opening suite of poems work with the long poem ("Wanton") in that they address concerns of loyalty and legitimacy.


Did you have a specific readership in mind when you wrote your book?


Apparently not my 12-year-old niece!


By Angela Hibbs

"In the first section of Angela Hibbs's second collection, short lyrical poems blur the lines between personal, geographical, and artistic spaces, demonstrating how we blend the intimate details of our lives with the culture we consume — be it modern literature, primetime television, or contemporary art. Here, liminal spaces are not denounced as confusing gray areas, but celebrated as welcome places of pause, ripe with opportunity for fertile mutation.

Recent Writer In Residence Posts

"ducks, cottonwood trees, soap opera ladies, storms and lost yelps" in conversation with Winterkill author, Catherine Graham

Catherine Graham is the author of four acclaimed poetry collections: The Watch and the poetry trilogy Pupa, The Red Element and Winterkill Vice President of Project Bookmark Canada and Marketing Coordinator for the Rowers Pub Reading Series, she holds an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University (UK) and teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies.

Troll Was No Monster
after the painting by Kate Domina

My body’s thin like an icicle
but my fur warms, the rug of me.
I feel good in this suit. My tie,
a material icicle. It wears me well
like the mouse I wear that wears me.
See past my wolfish eyes, the wildness
that makes the menace race

All that's Sweet with author Dani Couture

Dani Couture is the Author of Good Meat (Pedlar Press, 2006) and Sweet (Pedlar Press, 2010) Her novel, Algoma, is coming out with Invisible Publishing this year.


There are things my body is not telling me:
late nights and friends I’ll never meet.
The yellowing bruise on my hip.
Strangers who ask, Haven’t we met?
Pine Needles threaded through my black knit dress
and I have not left the city in months.

Morning when my body thinks me asleep,
I listen to it work.
A soft-footed rummaging,
the slow sharpening of bones.
Suddenly, a femur thrust through thigh,
a door opened, the body no longer at home.

- from the collection Sweet, Pedlar Press, 2010.

Seeing People and Seeing Celebrities

Why should my stomach go into my feet when I see someone who wrote a book I really love? I remember in elementary school, a man coming in to talk to our class about whale watching. I asked him to sign my autograph book. I think it was equally awkward for both of us. It was a case of mis-reading celebrity status. When you are a celebrity, you can be asked to perform the awkward, however, outside of that designation the awkward retains its meaning.

Since I’m going to talk a bit about celebrities as in movie stars and celebrities as in writers, I want to make a bit of a disclaimer. Celebrating Kim Kardashian for having a Bentley and wanting a 10 Karat Diamond is different than lauding someone for producing a book that is a symbol of personal sacrifice and intellect. Of course.

"Collage, montage, politic, polemic, gut punching, slippage": In Conversation with [sic] author Nikki Reimer

Nikki Reimer's first collection of poetry, [sic], came out with Frontenac House in 2010. It has been nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award.

visit her website
fan her on facebook:

AH: The first sequence in [sic] "illness narratives" is largely constructed of what I'll call soundbites of medical jargon and media representations of health issues, can you comment on the work of fitting these fragments together by sound and/or by theme?

Lardcakes, Dogboys, Hamburger Valleys and Sitcoms with David McGimpsey

David McGimpsey is the author of Lardcake (ECW Press, 1996); Dogboy (ECW, 1998); Imagining Baseball: America's Pastime and Popular Culture - (Bloomington, Ill: Indiana U. Press, 2000) Hamburger Valley, California (ECW, 2001) ; Certifiable (Insomniac, 2004); Sitcom (Coach House, 2007), which was shortlisted for the 2007 A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry and the ReLit Award; forthcoming is the poetry collection Li'l Bastard (Coach House, 2011). His work is the the subject of the essay collection Population Me: Essays on David McGimpsey (Palimpsest Press, 2010). He is the Montreal editor for Joyland: A hub for short fiction. He edits short Fiction for the DC Books Punch Writers Series. He writes the ‘Sandwich of the Month’ column for EnRoute magazine. He is a professor at Concordia University.

In Conversation with Rebecca Rosenblum, Author of Once

Rebecca Rosenblum is the author of “Once” (Biblioasis), a Quill and Quire Top 15 Book of 2008 and Winner of the Metcalf-Rooke Award. Her forthcoming book is “The Big Dream” (Biblioasis, Fall 2011).

Check out her website at:

Archives become him: In conversation with Angela Szczepaniak

Angela Szczepaniak is the author of Unisex Love Poems (DC Books, 2008) . Her forthcoming book is The QWERTY Institute of Cosmetic Typographical Enhancements.

See her read with Bill Kennedy, and Eric Foley on Tuesday, April 19 at 6:30pm; Avant Garden, at the Ossington at 61 Ossington Avenue.

AH: Could you describe the format of your upcoming book?

AS: It’s actually an oversized (9” x 12”) book called The QWERTY Institute (annual report) with a smaller (5” x 6”) book tucked in (hopefully) a back pocket of the larger book—the smaller one is called The QWERTY Institute of Cosmetic Typographical Enhancement.

How DO people think? In conversation with Evie Christie, Author of The Bourgeois Empire

Evie Christie is currently working on an adaptation of Racine's Andromache for Graham McLaren and Necessary Angel Theatre Company which will premier at Luminato on 2011. Her first book, Gutted, was published in 2006; her novel, The Bourgeois Empire came out in Fall 2010. It is funny, shocking, endearing and un-put-downable. Her work can be found in such journals and anthologies as Jailbreaks: 99 Canadian Sonnets, IV Lounge Nights Anthology and Approaches to Poetry: The Pre-Poem Moment.

“The book essentially tells me when it's done” In conversation with Catherine Owen

Catherine Owen is the author of Seeing Lessons (Wolsak & Wynn, 2010), Frenzy (Anvil Press, 2009), Somatic: The Life and Work of Egon Schiele (Exile Editions, 1998), Cusp/detritus: An Experiment In Alleyways (Anvil Press, 2006). The Wrecks of Eden (Wolsak & Wynn, 2002) was shortlisted for the BC Book Prize. "Geologos" from Seeing Lessons was nominated for ARC's Poem of the Year. A collection of essays and memoirs called Catalysts (Wolsak & Wynn) is due out this year. Her writing is diverse, passionate and often startling.

See a recent interview with Owen at:

Her fan page on Facebook:

In Conversation with Jocko Benoit, Author of Standoff Terrain

Jocko Benoit’s book Standoff Terrain is one of Frontenac House's Dektet 2010 books, for which the editors were bill bissett, George Elliott Clarke, and Alice Major. Each poem in Standoff Terrain begins with a quote from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and deals with relationships in varying states of decay. The speaker is frank and often disarmingly (pardon the pun) humble.

AH: What drew you to Sun Tzu's The Art of War? Were you thinking of love poetry when you came to his text or did you read his text and think it would be a great way to reframe love poetry?

Best Eat Bird: In Conversation with Bird Eat Bird Author Katrina Best

Can you imagine walking in on someone using a public toilet and speaking to them for over a page of dialogue and then congratulating yourself on your politesse while disparaging the intruded-upon? Can you imagine thinking a date successful when your companion is texting and flirting with the waitress the entire time? Katrina Best does, in Bird Eat Bird (Insomniac Press, 2010), a collection of comedic and insightful short stories that won the Canada/Caribbean section of the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book. She will travel to the Sydney Writers Festival in Australia where the overall winner will be announced on May 21st. She is originally from the U.K. and now lives in Montreal.

Catching up with "Squishy" Author Arjun Basu in 140 Characters or More

Arjun Basu is the author of “Squishy” (DC Books, 2008), which was shortlisted for the ReLit Award. He is also the author and inventor of Twisters, short stories (I'll call them) that are no longer than the 140 words allowed by Twitter. He won the Shorty Award in 2010 for these Twisters (He beat out Neil Gaiman). At last count, he has over 85,000 followers on Twitter (@arjunbasu). About a month ago when I started the interview, there were < 75,000. That is amazing.

One of his tweets, called "Life." was made into a short film, which one People's Choice Award in Filminute The International One-Minute Film Festival, 2009

From Page to Stage: The Hooked Journey with Author Carolyn Smart

Carolyn Smart is the author, most recently, of Hooked (Brick Books 2009), dramatic monologues that explore the lives of seven women, including Elizabeth Smart, Jane Bowles, Carson McCullers and Zelda Fitzgerald. Acclaimed actress Nicky Guadagni has performed the dramatic monologues in people’s homes ( Carolyn Smart is also author of The Way to Come Home (Brick Books, 1992). An excerpt from her memoir At the End of the Day (Penumbra Press, 2001) won the CBC Radio Literary Competition in 1994. She teaches Creative Writing and Contemporary Canadian Poetry at Queen’s University. You can read samples of her work here:

Sharing a Slice with This Cake is for the Party Author Sarah Selecky

Since being nominated for the Giller prize, Sarah Selecky is unlikely to need much in the way of introduction. She was also shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize, and longlisted for the Frank O'Connor Short Story Award. She has been facilitating writing workshops since 2001. Her stories are sophisticated; they range in register from somber to funny, quirky to gut wrenching. Selecky will be appearing on several other blogs this month, so please stay tuned:

AH: I want to ask about reception of the book. Were there things that people didn't get that you were surprised about? Were there things you thought would be more mysterious that people connected with?

"let words be words": in Conversation with Matt Rader, author of A Doctor Pedalled her Bicycle over the River Arno

Matt Rader is author of Miraculous Hours (Nightwood Editions, 2005) which was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and longlisted for the ReLit Award; Living Things (Nightwood Editions, 2008) and most recently A Doctor Pedalled Her Bicycle Over the River Arno (Anansi Press, 2011). He’s been nominated for the Journey Prize, two Pushcart Prizes and National Magazine Awards for both fiction and poetry. His work was featured in the Best Canadian Poetry 2008 and 2009. He is author of the chapbooks Reservations and Customs. He holds an MFA degree from University of Oregon.

From Spine to Reel: an Inquiry into the Pitfalls of Adapting Movies from Books

Some are terribly ill-advised and unwatchable: think The Road. Nothing like taking a minimalist text and putting a schmaltzy soundtrack to it, to make sure everyone knows how to feel. The Coen Brothers do much better with No Country for Old Men. They keep close to the book and are true to its lack of sentimentality.

Others we 'accidentally watch' before we read the book. I did that with Never Let Me Go and still have the book to look forward to. Maybe some of the crying I did to the movie will be robbed from the book.

Consider this: often a movie is so good you want to spend more time with it, read the book it was based on. However, rarely is the reverse true. The book does not leave you wanting two hours of moving pictures and sound.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.