Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

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Poets in Profile: Sean Braune

Poet and academic Sean Braune brings readers immediately into his new chapbook, the vitamins of an alphabet (above/ground press) with not even a capital letter to slow the entry. This energy and immediacy continues through the chapbook as Braune explores sound and shape, digging into the very foundation of language.

We welcome Sean to Open Book today as part of one of our longest-running series, Poets in Profile, where we talk to poets about their process, influences, and writing life.

Women's Covers and Male Privilege

The default look for works of literary fiction, especially those written by women, was once this: “A stock image of a woman with her back to the camera, gazing over a shoreline.”

(Or a tree. Or a field. Or a blurred-out countryside.)

That’s how designer Jennifer Heuer describes the covers she often gets asked to create, despite the fact that her strengths as a designer lie in creating striking, memorable images using type and illustration. In an essay for Literary Hub, Heuer writes about the fraught gender politics that surround cover design:

The Lucky Seven Interview, with Margaret Christakos

In Her Paraphernalia: On Motherlines, Sex/Blood/Loss & Selfies (BookThug) Margaret Christakos blends multiple genres to tackle the big subjects — family, sex, parenthood, divorce, and more. The book, written in ten sections, comes together as a love letter to Christakos' own mother and daughter, encompassing the contradictory, powerful, and sometimes bizarre experiences of life as a woman. Her Paraphernalia has been called "an honest, beautifully written read about love, loss, familial relationships and everything in between".

Service Industry Hell (Part 4): T-Shirts Wet and Dry

A lot of the inspiration for my new book, Congratulations On Everything, came from the things I saw while working in bars, restaurants, and hotels, and from the experiences of friends who did the same. Recently, I asked people* on Facebook and Twitter to send me their wildest stories of working in the service industry trenches - in part to show that, however cringey things get in the book, the reality is worse. But also because I find these inherently fun to read.

*to whom I promised anonymity, in order to protect the relatively innocent

#WritingTips Mondays: Stephen King on Writing for Yourself First

Of all the books of writing advice floating around out there, Stephen King's On Writing is one of the best loved by writers both emerging and established. While King is best known for his horror novels, he writes in a number of genres and his advice is applicable across the board.

Business Insider has collected some of King's best tips. We're highlighting them for this week's #WritingTips Monday, including his advice to write for yourself first. "I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever," he says. Check out the full list to get inspired to write this week!

A Defence of Plagiarism That I Totally Stole from Kenneth Goldsmith

Avant-garde poet and literary provocateur Kenneth Goldsmith has dedicated himself to what he calls “uncreative writing” – that is, creating art out of found texts he copies out whole. His book Day, for example, consists of every word printed in the September 1, 2000, edition of The New York Times, the classifieds and stock pages included.

“I want the blur in there,” an Interview with Hoa Nguyen.

by James Lindsay

The Proust Questionnaire, with Robin Leblanc

If there's one public service that is guaranteed to earn a ticket to the Canadian section of heaven, it's promoting good beer. So clearly Robin Leblanc and Jordan St. John are doing the beer gods' work with their new book, The Ontario Craft Beer Guide (Dundurn Press).

Work Lit

Many of the reviews I’ve received for my books so far have made some reference to the idea that I tend to write about people who work for a living. I’m not complaining – honestly, I’m delighted that enough such reviews exist to be able to spot a trend, and complaining is verboten, anyway – but it does sometimes feel as though I am being singled out for having discovered an exotic tribe, a strange subculture of people whose life rhythms are dictated by work schedules and the arrival of paycheques.

Writers on Donald Trump

Some literary smarm and alarm to mark the occasion of the wildest, most Godwin's Law-baiting political nominating convention ever.


“Trump is a pugnacious idiot with no real understanding of how government works.” – Stephen King


“Just yesterday I was wondering if Trump studied Rob Ford as example of narcissistic clown getting away with stuff. But now the joke's over.” – Andrew Pyper


Today in Toronto

Writer In Residence

July 1, 2016-August 1, 2016

Nathan Whitlock »

Nathan Whitlock’s award-winning fiction and non-fiction has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, Toronto Life, Report on Business, Flare, Fashion, Geist, Maisonneuve, and Best Canadian Essays, and he has appeared on radio and television discussing books and culture. He is a contributing editor for Quill & Quire. He lives in Toronto with his wife and children.

You can write to Nathan throughout the month of July at

JF Robitaille: Minor Dedications


Random reads



(Annick Press)
What a great concept for a kids book.

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