Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Objects To Inspire II

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harappan pottery

Objects to Inspire II:

More lovely tidbits on what local authors keep on their desks & around them while they write...

"Several years ago, I had the chance to visit the ruins of Harappa, a bronze valley civilization along the Indus that built the first planned cities, the first covered sewers and has a script that has yet to be deciphered. When Harappa was first discovered, the bricks were in such good condition that the villages replaced their own walls with the three thousand year old bricks because they were better. Walking along Harappa, the paths are literally paved with shards of pottery. Some might be three thousand years old, others merely three hundred. I picked up two pieces of broken earthenware. I have no idea of their provenance, but I don't really want to know.

Words and stories are after all like these pieces. One never really knows where they come from and how long the tale has been buried in one's subconscious before it slowly bubbles up to the surface. And like my two pieces, I have no idea which of my stories will prove to stand the test of time."

-Anand Mahadevan, author of The Strike (TSAR Publications)

"The object that I cannot write without is an art book of some kind: a book of paintings, photos, sculptures, film stills, etc. This is the first place I turn when I am stuck. I rarely write about the art itself. What stimulates me is the combination of the images—their physical frozenness in tension with the infinite activity of their constituent parts—and the book itself, both the weight of it in my hand or lap and the pages, the ability to flip at random from here to here to there. When I started The Mourner’s Book of Albums, I kept Joel-Peter Witkin close at hand (I love those portable Phaidon 55s). Art Since 1900 is my all-time favourite. Most recently, I have been visiting with Shary Boyle and Otto Dix."

-Daniel Tysdal, author of The Mourner's Book of Albums (Tightrope Books) & Dear Adolf (Steel Bananas Publications)

"I have a small grey stone that I rub in my left palm as I write. I don’t usually write at my desk though. I write on my bed, at my kitchen table, on my porch and more likely than not, I write in trees. The stone is very mobile, especially when I’m tree climbing. It’s smooth and oblong, and I want to believe that it absorbs all my self-deprecating and anxious thoughts that tend to pop up while writing."

-Whitney French, author of 3 Cities (Branch Out Books)

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.

Related item from our archives

Sheniz Janmohamed

Sheniz Janmohamed is a spoken word artist, author and graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing program at the University of Guelph. Her first book, Bleeding Light (TSAR) a collection of sufi-inspired English ghazals, was published in 2010.

Go to Sheniz Janmohamed’s Author Page