Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015


“I am Not Not Romantic,” an Interview with Andy McGuire

In a 2011 interview with Guernica Magazine, poet Timothy Donnelly, in response to a question about the influences he had just named (Keats and Shelley) and whether he considered his work in the tradition of the Romantics, replied that he though of himself as a “post-romantic.” If we take Donnelly’s work as an example of what post-romanticism might be, then this is a poetry where the vehicle is the sound and image, is pleasure and liberation, but also something darker as well, something heart broken, watching from the shadows.

"Instead of Throwing up Our Hands . . . We Asked Ourselves Hard Questions," an Interview With Rachel Thompson

Rachel Thompson is author of the poetry collection Galaxy and an editor at Room , Canada’s oldest literary journal by and about women. We both attended Simon Fraser University’s The Writer’s Studio program at the same time, where the very compassionate Miranda Pearson mentored our poetry, and Rachel was one of the first poets I ever met.

“There are lots of good non-poetry things to assign your time to,” an Interview with Jacob McArthur Mooney

Jacob McArthur Mooney is an author of three collections of poetry, an occasional critic, and the current host of the Pivot reading series. His latest, Don’t be Interesting, explores the cult of personality and spectacle as ritual at the end of history Don’t be Interesting is already one of my favorite books of the year, so I had a few question for Jacob about criticism, spectacle and routine.

"Pop Singing Always Seemed Gay to Me," a Conversation With Derek McCormack

There are no other writers in Canada doing what Derek McCormack does. His books are obsessed with history, music, sex, fashion and horror; each one reinventing itself in a new form. Like Kathy Acker, he legitimizes obscenity and smut, combining them with dark comedy and making it his metaphorical fuel that he smears across the page in a way that is both very funny and very sad at the same time. I first met Derek over a decade ago when we both worked at the now defunct Book City at 501 Bloor Street. He’s always been great for recommending new writers, so we had a tête-à-tête about poetry, music and self-deprecation.

"There Will Always Be People Passionate About Music in the Abstract and Imaginative Sense," Slim Twig's Literary Influences

In 2012 my record label, Pleasence Records, co-released Slim Twig’s conceptual baroque-rock album, A Hound at the Hem (later reissued on DFA), along with his own label, Calico Corp. String arrangements by Owen Pallett and Slim Twig’s fondness of harpsichord give the album a grandiose atmosphere that evokes the orchestration of The Zombies and Serge Gainsbourg.

In The House of Saucer: an interview with Jesse Locke on his upcoming Simply Saucer biography, Heavy Metalloid Music

Jesse Locke is one of the great unsung heroes of Canadian music journalism. Through his years of work as a writer and editor for Weird Canada and AUX he has helped to expose countless bands and artists from across the country. In full disclosure, I am lucky to call him one of my best friends, so I was ecstatic when I heard that the Canadian-music-centric Eternal Cavalier Press had picked up his book, Heavy Metalloid Music, on the legendary Hamilton psychedelic proto-punks Simply Saucer.

"All Music is Coded," an Interview with Jean Marc Ah-Sen

“Somewhere amid the bladdered haze of sleep, I managed to buff a zigzag pathway across two whole floors, faintly resembling my initials—even with the horrors, my subconscious still being raved for acknowledgment.”

Music to Work to

I enjoy having a soundtrack while I write, music stimulates me when I lose concentration, but it can’t be anything with lyrics. Songs are too distracting. I think there’s a part of my mind that innately recognizes that words are being uttered and wants to try to make sense of them. As if I was being spoken to, I need to process the communication and think of a response so as to not be rude. So when I write the music I listen to tends to be on the instrumental and ambient side: background music I don’t have to fully commit to, that I can easily stop paying attention to but then settle right back in with when the writing pauses. In no way is this statement against the quality of this music.

On Fallout: an Interview with Michael Lista about "The Shock Absorber"

Please note the views and opinions expressed by writers in the Open Book writer-in-residence program are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect those of Open Book, its staff or contributors

"Poetry Would Blow Up like Beyoncé" An Interview with Robin Richardson

Robin Richardson is a writer, poet and illustrator. She is the author of the poetry collections Grunt of the Minotaur, Knife Throwing Through Self-Hypnosis, and Sit How You Want, forthcoming on Véhicule Press. Most recently she founded the Minola Review, an online journal for women, femme-identifying, and non-binary individuals. I remember repeatedly reading her poem “Little Robin Explains Growing Up” (from Knife Throwing Through Self-Hypnosis) when it first appeared in Tin House, struck by its probing imagery (“What does static/ on pink cotton have to do with sleep?”) and confident, confessional tone (“I lost his love/ the day I learned to know things on my own”).

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