The Walrus Blog

Category Archive: Chapter and Verse

The Trillium 25 Interview: Nick Thran

A Q&A with the author of Earworm
Nick Thran
Earwormnightwood Editions

The Walrus Foundation joins the Ontario Media Development Corporation in celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Trillium Book Award, Ontario’s leading literary prize. At walrusmagazine.com/trillium, we’ve grouped the finalists for the 2012 Trillium Book Award and the Trillium Book Award for Poetry alongside a select collection of past winners and Walrus contributors, including Margaret Atwood, Austin Clarke, Thomas King, and Karen Solie.

Here on The Walrus Blog, we are publishing a series of written interviews with this year’s English-language contenders. Yesterday, we completed our conversations with finalists for the Trillium Book Award; today, we are hustling through finalists for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, which is given to “emerging” poets who have published a maximum of three books. Both awards, along with their French-language equivalents, will be announced this evening in Toronto.

Last in our group of three: Nick Thran, who is nominated for his collection Earworm.


Joseph MacKinnon: How did you react to this Trillium nomination for Earworm?

Nick Thran: I reacted with a mix of elation and temperance. With a celebratory spirit, then a long hard look in the convex mirror.

Joseph MacKinnon: The poetry award is designated for new and emerging artists, though it is evident from this and previous work that you’ve clearly set out a distinct style and voice, which I imagine took some time. That being said, do you feel as though you’re still a new and emerging writer?

Nick Thran: I am always new to the task of the poem at hand. I am also emerging into the concept that one may spend their whole life writing in a state of perpetual but rigorously inquisitive uncertainty — both about the kinds of work one wants to write and the tools one chooses or ends up with in order to bring the final product (ink) into existence.  (more…)

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The Trillium 25 Interview: Jacob McArthur Mooney

A Q&A with the author of Folk
Jacob McArthur MooneyMike McPhaden
FolkMcClelland & Stewart

The Walrus Foundation joins the Ontario Media Development Corporation in celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Trillium Book Award, Ontario’s leading literary prize. At walrusmagazine.com/trillium, we’ve grouped the finalists for the 2012 Trillium Book Award and the Trillium Book Award for Poetry alongside a select collection of past winners and Walrus contributors, including Margaret Atwood, Austin Clarke, Thomas King, and Karen Solie.

Here on The Walrus Blog, we are publishing a series of written interviews with this year’s English-language contenders. Yesterday, we completed our conversations with finalists for the Trillium Book Award; today, we are hustling through finalists for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, which is given to “emerging” poets who have published a maximum of three books. Both awards, along with their French-language equivalents, will be announced this evening in Toronto.

Second in our group of three: Nova Scotia–born poet Jacob McArthur Mooney, who has lived in the Greater Toronto Area since 2006. He is nominated for his collection Folk.


Joseph MacKinnon: How did you react to this Trillium nomination for Folk?

Jacob McArthur Mooney: I was excited to be on a really good, really interesting list. Nick [Thran] and Helen [Guri] are wonderful, exciting, public poets. Prizes are great and all, but it’s really about who else is in the group with you, the shelf your book is placed on. And this is a really good shelf. It’s rewarding for Folk to be shelved alongside [Helen’s] Match and [Nick’s] Earworm. And there were so many other great eligible books this year, too. Aisha John’s The Shining Material and Robin Richardson’s Grunt of the Minotaur and others. Luck of the draw, sometimes.

Joseph MacKinnon: Do you feel as though you’re still a new and emerging writer?

Jacob McArthur Mooney: It’s such a weird expression. I feel like, in poetry, there’s two types of poets: emerging and deceased. But I’d like to think I’m always growing, emerging, rolling out. Improving maybe? But that one’s hard to define. And I’m a young guy, in poetry terms. So I don’t mind the word. Everyone wants to qualify you with something, and “emerging,” as an adjective, is at least adaptive. It’s something that you can evolve with.  (more…)

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The Trillium 25 Interview: Helen Guri

A Q&A with the author of Match
Helen Guri
MatchCoach House Books

The Walrus Foundation joins the Ontario Media Development Corporation in celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Trillium Book Award, Ontario’s leading literary prize. At walrusmagazine.com/trillium, we’ve grouped the finalists for the 2012 Trillium Book Award and the Trillium Book Award for Poetry alongside a select collection of past winners and Walrus contributors, including Margaret Atwood, Austin Clarke, Thomas King, and Karen Solie.

Here on The Walrus Blog, we are publishing a series of written interviews with this year’s English-language contenders. Yesterday, we completed our conversations with finalists for the Trillium Book Award; today, we are hustling through finalists for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, which is given to “emerging” poets who have published a maximum of three books. Both awards, along with their French-language equivalents, will be announced this evening in Toronto.

First up: Toronto poet Helen Guri, who is nominated for her debut collection, Match.


Joseph MacKinnon: What first prompted you to start writing?

Helen Guri: God, I have no idea. I have written ever since I was a really small kid. By the time I reached the choose-a-career-path part of high school, I was already so committed to the idea of being a writer that I completely ignored the advice of the careers questionnaires (one of which, if I remember correctly, told me I should be either a teacher or an air weapons designer).

Joseph MacKinnon: What was the first work you published?

Helen Guri: Grain magazine was generous enough (cruel enough?) to accept the very first piece of work I ever sent anywhere, when I was eighteen. It was a poem about a house robbery. (Please, for your own good, do not look this up.) (more…)

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The Trillium 25 Interview: Phil Hall

A Q&A with the author of Killdeer
Phil HallAnn Silversides
KilldeerBookThugThe Walrus Foundation joins the Ontario Media Development Corporation in celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Trillium Book Award, Ontario’s leading literary prize. At walrusmagazine.com/trillium, we’ve grouped the finalists for the 2012 Trillium Book Award and the Trillium Book Award for Poetry alongside a select collection of past winners and Walrus contributors, including Margaret Atwood, Austin Clarke, Thomas King, and Karen Solie. Here on The Walrus Blog, we are publishing a series of written interviews with this year’s English-language contenders.

Born: Bobcaygeon, Ontario

Resides: Perth, Ontario

Trillium Book Award–nominated work: Killdeer (2011)

Selected additional works: Eighteen Poems (1973), The Crucifixion (1979), Homes (1979), A Minor Operation (1983), Why I Haven’t Written (1985), Old Enemy Juice (1988), Amanuensis (1989), The Unsaid (1992), Hearthedral: A Folk-Hermetic (1996), Trouble Sleeping (2000), The Bad Sequence (2004), An Oak Hunch (2005), White Porcupine (2007), The Little Seamstress (2010)

Biography: Phil Hall was raised on farms in the Kawarthas region of Ontario. He moved to Windsor in 1972, where he received an MA in creative writing. In 1973, he published his first book, Eighteen Poems, in Mexico City. He considers much of his poetry “work writing,” having to do with the concerns, language, and ideals of labourers. When Hall moved to the West coast, he joined the Vancouver Industrial Writers Union as well as the Vancouver Men Against Rape Collective, and ended up teaching at the Kootenay School of Writing. In 1976, he started Flat Singles Press, a small imprint that primarily publishes broadsides and chapbooks. Hall has since worked as the literary editor of This Magazine, taught writing and literature at Toronto’s York University and Ryerson University, and has been a poet-in-residence at a number of universities and writers workshops. His Trillium Book Award–nominated Killdeer has already won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry.

Joseph MacKinnon: Killdeer has made a big splash in the Canadian poetry world. Can you tell us a bit about the collection?

Phil Hall: A book of essay-poems. The only punctuation is the dash. I like the dash for its speed, and I use it as musical notation. My stanza, in these, is the sentence or partial sentence, again a musical pacing. Reels and jigs.

Many of the pieces are about people: Margaret Laurence, Bronwen Wallace, Libby Scheier, Dan Jones, Nicky Drumbolis. My models for these poems were the French poet René Char, his work, and also old fiddle tunes.

Hoedowns. I like that word, hoedown. It means, Put your hoe down. Cut the rug…

Joseph MacKinnon: How did you react to this Trillium nomination for Killdeer?

Phil Hall: I think of Killdeer as a very Ontario book, and of Ontario as my country. So to be recognized by the Trillium folks means a lot to me. Samuel Johnson said, everyone secretly wants to be thought well of in his hometown. (more…)

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The Trillium 25 Interview: David Gilmour

A Q&A with the author of The Perfect Order of Things
David GilmourSandrine Expilly
The Perfect Order of ThingsThomas Allen PublishersThe Walrus Foundation joins the Ontario Media Development Corporation in celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Trillium Book Award, Ontario’s leading literary prize. At walrusmagazine.com/trillium, we’ve grouped the finalists for the 2012 Trillium Book Award and the Trillium Book Award for Poetry alongside a select collection of past winners and Walrus contributors, including Margaret Atwood, Austin Clarke, Thomas King, and Karen Solie. Here on The Walrus Blog, we are publishing a series of written interviews with this year’s English-language contenders.

Born: London, Ontario

Resides: Toronto, Ontario

Trillium Book Award–nominated work: The Perfect Order of Things (2011)

Selected additional works: Back on Tuesday (1986), How Boys See Girls (1991), An Affair with the Moon (1993), Lost Between Houses (1999), Sparrow Nights (2001), A Perfect Night to Go to China (2005), The Film Club (2007)

Prose for The Walrus: Ringo’s Drum Roll” (February 2007); “My Life With Tolstoy” (July/August 2006)

Biography: After studying comparative literature under Northrop Frye at the University of Toronto, David Gilmour began his career in 1980 as managing editor of the Toronto International Film Festival (né the Festival of Festivals); he worked there for four years. A decade later, he began hosting his own program on CBC Newsworld, Gilmour on the Arts, which won a Gemini Award in 1997. That’s when he left broadcasting to write full time. In 2000, he received his first Trillium Book Award nomination for his best-selling Lost Between Houses. Later, he won two gold National Magazine Awards for his Walrus essay “My Life with Tolstoy.” In his memoir The Film Club, which was a best-seller in Germany, Brazil, and Canada, Gilmour documented his reasons (and conditions, including the weekly viewing of three films) for letting his fifteen-year-old son drop out of high school. He currently teaches literary studies at the University of Toronto’s Victoria College.

Joseph MacKinnon: Has the validation of this Trillium nomination changed your self-perception as a writer?

David Gilmour: No, not at all. If you set your standards by these things, you’ll be a wild-eyed, embittered alcoholic within a few short years.

Joseph MacKinnon: Your combined experience as a writer, teacher, and film critic has undoubtedly provided you with some insights into writing dos and don’ts. What patterns of behaviour or thinking would you caution would-be writers against? What writing rituals do you find personally enabling or helpful?

David Gilmour: I have only one word for writers: Persist. If you pressed me for more, I’d say never read reviews, even good ones, and rewrite, rewrite, and then rewrite some more.

Joseph MacKinnon: Is it important to pursue other interests and activities sidelong to your literary endeavours to keep your writing fresh? What are your preferred alternatives?

David Gilmour: I avoid the company of other writers. That’s a full-time job. (more…)

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The Trillium 25 Interview: Kristen den Hartog

A Q&A with the author of And Me Among Them
Kristen den HartogSara Angelucci
And Me Among ThemFreehand BooksThe Walrus Foundation joins the Ontario Media Development Corporation in celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Trillium Book Award, Ontario’s leading literary prize. At walrusmagazine.com/trillium, we’ve grouped the finalists for the 2012 Trillium Book Award and the Trillium Book Award for Poetry alongside a select collection of past winners and Walrus contributors, including Margaret Atwood, Austin Clarke, Thomas King, and Karen Solie. Here on The Walrus Blog, we are publishing a series of written interviews with this year’s English-language contenders.

Born: Deep River, Ontario

Resides: Toronto, Ontario

Trillium Book Award–nominated work: And Me Among Them (2011)

Other notable works: Water Wings (2001), The Perpetual Ending (2003), Origin of Haloes (2005), The Occupied Garden: A Family Memoir of War-Torn Holland (2009)

Biography: Growing up along the Ottawa River, Kristen den Hartog would often copy her sister Tracy Kasaboski’s stories and put her own dramatic spin on them. This was both symptomatic and catalytic of her desire to write creatively. Her second novel, The Perpetual Ending, was a finalist at the Toronto Book Awards in 2003. The Occupied Garden, a work of non-fiction that she co-authored with Kasaboski, investigates the lives of their father’s family during World War II. den Hartog, a self-professed “perpetual” amateur knitter, lives in Toronto with her husband, visual artist Jeff Winch, and their daughter.


Joseph MacKinnon: Since childhood, you have engaged your sister Tracy in your writing process and collaborated with her on certain projects. Has your methodology and approach changed over time? For instance, while writing, do you find it helpful to conference ideas with her, or do you now treat writing as a solitary craft?

Kristen den Hartog: Tracy is my oldest sister (there are three of us), and as a child I always admired her ability to make stories appear from the typewriter. I used to copy her rather melodramatic ideas and change the names, and add more dead people that got buried in backyards. (As if her three or four weren’t enough.) Years later, as grown-ups, we decided to collaborate on a family memoir. It was both personally and professionally rewarding, so much so that we’ve decided to do it again, this time about our mom’s family in WWI[-era] England. My process for these books is much different than for my novels, and I enjoy that shift, the collaborative aspect. Tracy and I communicate mostly by email, and the few times we’ve tried to write in the same room have been pretty disastrous. But we have phone meetings regularly, and do research jaunts together, and that keeps us on track with each other. (more…)

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The Trillium 25 Interview: Tony Burgess

A Q&A with the author of Idaho Winter
Tony BurgessIan Willms
The Free WorldECW PressThe Walrus Foundation joins the Ontario Media Development Corporation in celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Trillium Book Award, Ontario’s leading literary prize. At walrusmagazine.com/trillium, we’ve grouped the finalists for the 2012 Trillium Book Award and the Trillium Book Award for Poetry alongside a select collection of past winners and Walrus contributors, including Margaret Atwood, Austin Clarke, Thomas King, and Karen Solie. Here on The Walrus Blog, we are publishing a series of written interviews with this year’s English-language contenders.

Resides: Stayner, Ontario

Trillium Book Award-nominated work: Idaho Winter (2011)

Selected additional works: The Hellmouths of Bewdley (1997), Pontypool Changes Everything (1998), Caesarea (1999), Fiction for Lovers: A Small Bouquet of Flesh, Fear, Larvae, and Love (2003), People Still Live in Cashtown Corners (2010), Ravenna Gets (2010); Pontypool (film, 2009)

Biography: Growing up in Mississauga, Ontario, Tony Burgess took an interest in punk music, which helped derail him from the straight and narrow. After watching A Clockwork Orange and Straight Time, he robbed a convenience store sporting one of his mother’s blouses — a stunt for which he served three months in a medium-security facility, with day passes to finish high school. Later, Burgess — then known as Tony Blue — became a regular on Toronto’s Queen Street West arts scene. He studied semiotics at the University of Toronto before publishing his first book, The Hellmouths of Bewdley, which was rife with stories both macabre and absurd. The next year, he moved to Wasaga Beach, Ontario, where he played Curly in the local theatre’s rendition of Oklahoma! In 2009, he turned his second book, Pontypool Changes Everything (1998), into a Genie Award–winning screenplay. He currently lives in what was once a funeral home with his wife of twelve years and their two children.

Related reading:Brother Grim” by Mark Medley (The Walrus, July/August 2011)


Joseph MacKinnon: Idaho Winter is a provocative read. The characters on its pages seem to exhibit an extra-literary volition and self-awareness. Could you tell us a little bit about the novel?

Tony Burgess: I hope people don’t read it as a book about being in a book, but rather a book where characters are encountering the same obstacles that we all do. As for what it’s about and what actually happens, I am not certain.

Joseph MacKinnon: How did you react to your Trillium nomination for Idaho Winter?

Tony Burgess: I was thrilled, of course. And a bit curious as to how this could happen. Then I laughed at an irony — this is my only book not set in an Ontario town.

Joseph MacKinnon: You’ve said before, “I’m obviously not anything like an A-list writer, nor somebody who’s going to get on Canada Reads.” Do you think this nomination is the CanLit scene’s way of proving you wrong?

Tony Burgess: The problem with answering questions like “How come you don’t win more at what you do?” is that they are not sensibly answerable. They make me feel like I just grabbed some kind of bait. I have always felt that in order to see my books as contributing to Canadian literature you would have to interpret them in some specific way, so the contribution isn’t apparent. Some people like my books very much and some people really don’t. I’m quite comfortable with that. I think that I misread this question — it’s not really about popularity after all, is it? It’s about a literary argument some people had behind closed doors — and that’s for the best, I think. (more…)

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The Trillium 25 Interview: David Bezmozgis

A Q&A with the author of The Free World
David BezmozgisDavid Franco
The Free WorldHarperCollins CanadaThe Walrus Foundation joins the Ontario Media Development Corporation in celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Trillium Book Award, Ontario’s leading literary prize. At walrusmagazine.com/trillium, we’ve grouped the finalists for the 2012 Trillium Book Award and the Trillium Book Award for Poetry alongside a select collection of past winners and Walrus contributors, including Margaret Atwood, Austin Clarke, Thomas King, and Karen Solie. Here on The Walrus Blog, we are publishing a series of written interviews with this year’s English-language contenders.

Born: Riga, Latvia

Resides: Toronto, Ontario

Trillium Book Award-nominated work: The Free World (2011)

Selected additional works: L.A. Mohel (film, 1999); The Diamond Nose (film, 2000); Genuine Article: The First Trial (film, 2003); Natasha and Other Stories (2004); Victoria Day (film, 2009)

Biography: David Bezmogzgis moved to Canada at the age of six. After studying English literature at McGill University and fine arts at the Southern California School of Cinema-Television, he created his first documentary in 1999, entitled L.A. Mohel, capturing the busy lives of three mohels (Jewish ritual circumcisers) in Los Angeles. His debut short story collection, Natasha and Other Stories, won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book and was nominated for a Governor General’s Award. Later, while a screenwriting fellow at Sundance Labs, he developed the feature film Victoria Day, about two teenagers relishing in the summer of 1988 while idolizing the music and culture of the ’60s; in 2010, it was nominated for a Genie Award for Best Original Screenplay. Two summers ago, Bezmozgis made The New Yorker’s watch list of 20 under 40; he is currently a fellow at the Harvard/Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The Free World was a New York Times Notable Book for 2011 and a Globe and Mail Best Books selection for 2011.


Joseph MacKinnon: Notwithstanding the praise The Free World has received from the Globe and Mail and the New York Times, has the validation of the Trillium nomination in particular changed your self-perception as a writer?

David Bezmozgis: Not my self-perception as a writer — because only the act of writing affects that — but some sense of being included in the company of writers who have been associated with the Trillium Award over the past twenty-five years. It is impressive company.

Joseph MacKinnon: You’ve received praise for your filmmaking, but has the reception for this novel struck a different chord?

David Bezmozgis: This novel is more complex and ambitious than my previous work — film or prose. It was more of a challenge for me to write, and in some ways, more of a challenge for readers to read. It is historical and covers several decades; it is told from multiple points of view; it has a sprawling cast of characters, all with (to a non-Russian reader) difficult foreign-sounding names; and the central event it describes (the experience of Soviet Jews in Rome) is an obscure moment in history. I had, of course, intended the book to be accessible and enjoyable in spite of these superficial obstacles. But life has taught me to respect the power of superficial obstacles, and so whenever the book is recognized or appreciated I am particularly grateful. (more…)

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The Trillium 25 Interview: Ken Babstock

A Q&A with the author of Methodist Hatchet
Ken BabstockCarolin Seeliger
Methodist HatchetHouse of Anansi Press

The Walrus Foundation joins the Ontario Media Development Corporation in celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Trillium Book Award, Ontario’s leading literary prize. At walrusmagazine.com/trillium, we’ve grouped the finalists for the 2012 Trillium Book Award and the Trillium Book Award for Poetry alongside a select collection of past winners and Walrus contributors, including Margaret Atwood, Austin Clarke, Thomas King, and Karen Solie.

Here on The Walrus Blog, we’ll be publishing a series of written interviews with this year’s English-language contenders. First up: Ken Babstock, nominated for his book Methodist Hatchet. His poem “Hoffos at MOCCA, Hester at ACCA” appears in the June 2012 issue of the magazine.


Born: Burin, Newfoundland

Resides: Toronto, Ontario

Trillium Book Award–nominated work: Methodist Hatchet (2011)

Trillium Book Award for Poetry–winning work: Airstream Land Yacht (2006)

Selected additional works: Mean (1999), Days Into Flatspin (2001), Methodist Hatchet (2011)

Poetry for The Walrus:Caledonia” (April 2007); “Hoffos at MOCCA, Hester at ACCA” (June 2012)

Related Reading:Review: Ken Babstock’s Methodist Hatchet” by Nick Mount (May 2011)

Biography: Ken Babstock is the son of a United Church clergyman and a nurse. A childhood move to the Ottawa Valley, he has said, “robbed” him of his Newfoundland accent. He’s also confessed to becoming interested in poetry as a means to distance himself from the religious language of his youth. He dropped out of Montreal’s Concordia University at age nineteen, then spent the next twelve years working in factories, forestry, and construction. In 1997, his poems “The Interior” and “What We Didn’t Tell the Medic” won gold for poetry at the National Magazine Awards. Two years later, he published his first collection, Mean, for which he received the Milton Acorn People’s Poetry Award and the Atlantic Poetry Prize. Babstock has since been short listed for the Griffin Poetry Prize, and was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry. He is a former member of the poetry faculty at the Banff Centre for the Arts and a former poetry editor of House of Anansi Press.


Joseph MacKinnon: Methodist Hatchet has made a big splash in the Canadian poetry world, where some have compared you to W.H. Auden. Can you tell us about the collection?

Ken Babstock: It’s a collection of separate poems which seem to want to have little to do with one another. What I mean is, there’s an undercurrent of severe disbelief or negative valuation swirling around each discrete poem. I’ve tried to bind poems together by virtue of each one’s will to be divided against itself. Like pushing the wrong end of two magnets together. (more…)

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Off Track

Nora Young’s The Virtual Self, reviewed
The Virtual SelfMcClelland & Stewart

In step with her WiFi-connected pedometer, the modern “self-tracker” cradles her iPhone as she punches into an online database her mood on a five-point scale, her heart rate, and the calories she consumed for breakfast, then tweets out a GPS-tagged photo of the blue jay crossing her morning jog. The sum of all this updates her metaphorical “Data Map,” a “digital, statistical version of [her] real, physical self.”

As personal tracking tools come ever easier to our fingertips, our digital lives become increasingly complex and minutely detailed. Rather than dismissing self-tracking as the latest manifestation of an increasingly self-obsessed culture, in her new book, The Virtual Self: How Our Digital Lives Are Altering the World Around Us, Nora Young argues that when “used properly”, the practice gives us the “chance to truly listen to the body, and to reground ourselves in the here and now.”

Young, who hosts Spark, the CBC Radio show that links technology and culture, waded through countless online services to log bodily functions, relationships, mental states, and habits — like RescueTime, an analytics service, popular with employers, that tracks a computer’s every working minute. Recording our daily activities forces self-awareness, she argues, inviting behaviour change with a rewarding “gold star” approach. Our basic captured data creates “a digital picture of ourselves”, she continues, resulting in a Data Map that is a “strong depiction of who we are.” (Recognizing this representational power, personal Timelines on Facebook — a visualization tool recently discussed by Ivor Tossell in The Walrus — serve, Young writes, as “repositories for people’s digital lives.”) (more…)

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Book of a Nation

Why Roger Caron’s Go-Boy! still matters

The first copy of Go-Boy! I saw was a well-loved book, likely stolen from a library with its cellophane cover. It was in an apartment in Ville-Emard, an urban wasteland beneath Montreal’s Turcot overpasses. An ignored and forgotten place of concrete nothingness, empty lots, and crumbling factories. A neighbourhood of new immigrants and the dying sounds of working-class Quebecois French. Neither of the two boys who gave me Go-Boy! — by Roger Caron, who passed away earlier this month — had made it to high school. One had been to juvie, and the other saw the inside of a drunk tank more often than most. It was surprising that a prized possession of theirs would be a Governor General’s Award–winning book, because yes, Go-Boy! made it that far. I think I know why.

As a young deliquent, Roger Caron imagined himself as Dillinger every time he was carted away by the law. He grew up to become one of Canada’s most infamous bank robbers and escape artists. Caron’s infamy exploded in 1978, when he received the GG for non-fiction for Go-Boy! It was a book so widely hailed that judges and criminology students later kept it on hand, and so widely selling that it made him “one of the most financially successful writers in the country.” (In the early 1990s, Caron estimated his earnings at $250,000. This was all before the threat of Paul Bernardo earning money from the telling of his offenses provoked a surge in proceeds-of-crime legislation at the federal and provincial levels.) (more…)

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Something to Remember

On scene at the Trillium Winner Author Readings
Trillium Award 25The Trillium Book Award celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary this year

The Trillium Book Award for Poetry, according to Karen Solie, who won in 2010 for her collection Pigeon, gives poets something to “hang on to and remember, when in the throes of all that self doubt.” The Ontario Media Development Corporation created the annual award specifically for new and emerging poets ten years ago. Last week in Toronto, the Trillium Winner Author Readings reiterated the province’s appreciation for its literary artists.

People started trickling in to the Gladstone Hotel’s ballroom after 6 pm; soon, the place was bustling with past winners and their fans, friends, family, and publishers. Inside, bordered by exposed brick walls and velvet drapery, winning poets Jeramy Dodds (Crabwise to the Hounds, 2008), Maureen Scott Harris (Drowning Lessons, 2004), Jeff Latosik (Tiny, Frantic, Stronger, 2010), Adam Sol (Crowd of Sounds, 2003), and Solie (Pigeon, 2009) read excerpts from their award-winning books, as well as new poetry. (more…)

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