Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Open Book Special Series: Toronto Street Writers - Caleb Trudeau

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Caleb Trudeau

The Toronto Street Writers program is an initiative headed by author Emily Pohl-Weary which brings together talented young writers from different walks of life. The group meets weekly, ten months out of the year.

On July 1, the Toronto Street Writers launched their 2012 anthology, West of What We Know. You can buy copies for $10 (including postage) by emailing or visiting their website.

As a celebration of the anthology, Open Book: Toronto is proud to host a special series of interviews with several of the contributing writers. Today we conclude our series with Caleb Trudeau, one of the talented young writers featured in the anthology. You can also check out our interviews with Caleb's fellow Toronto Street Writers Krystle McKenzie, Richard Chang, Jenna Anne Kennedy and Rob Saffrey.


Open Book:

What drew you to the Toronto Street Writers program?

Caleb Trudeau:

Magnets. A plethora of magnets. No. Really, one of the people who helps run the program came to my old high school years ago and broke down what the writing group was about. Intrigued as I already was, I became more so once they mentioned that Supreme Being Unit — a rap group out of Toronto I’d started listening to months prior — also partook in this fancy writing function. Since I have a propensity to rhyme what I write, I felt more compelled to be a part of it knowing there were other rappers attending. I'm actually surprised I didn't rhyme anything in this answer...


Was there anything about the program that surprised you once you were a part of it?


What surprised me most was the vibe and good nature of the group. At first, I assumed it was in the actual library, but then was told it was in the basement. Basements make me shiver, same with introductions. So I was crazy hesitant. Beforehand, I felt as if I was going to be an interloper in this big collective of people. Then I realized I was the new guy, so I could pretend to be someone else. They still don't know my real name.


Tell us a bit about a piece of writing you've created during the program that you're proud of.


It rhymes. It's about 300 words long, and I never once used spell check. That's a bit about a piece of writing I've created during the program. Sorry, I have a thing for flippant derisory. Even still, I'd like to tell you more, because my hands are cold and typing this warms them. Plus my boss thinks I'm working right now, so I might as well keep this up. I had volunteered to do a five-minute spoken word performance at Clinton’s Bar and had put off writing for it until the day of, so I just let my mind go. What I had come up with really impressed me. It's also in last year’s publication. Just saying. No big deal.


Who are one or two of your favourite authors or poets?


I used to really like Hunter S. Thompson before he went all tangent crazy and died. I went through a Chuck Palahniuk phase a while back, and before that I read a heavy amount of David Gemmel because my friend was really into that fantasy stuff. Nowadays I would read anything you put in front of me. Shoot me a Jehovah's Witness Watch Tower magazine — seriously. I have tons at home already.


What are some of your goals or dreams when it comes to writing?


I wanna be just like you. So, what are some of your goals or dreams when it comes to writing? Goal accomplished. You made it happen. Thanks!

Caleb Trudeau is a member of the Toronto Street Writers group. His work will be included in the 2012 anthology West of What We Know.

For more information about West of What We Know please visit the Toronto Street Writers website.


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