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The WAR Series: Writers as Readers, with Alisha Piercy

Irreverent, wonderfully weird and decidedly fresh, Alisha Piercy's Bunny and Shark (BookThug) is a novel that will pull readers with the certainty of a circling shark. The story follows the fate of Bunny, an ex-Playboy, well, bunny, who is pushed off a cliff into the ocean by her husband. If you're intrigued, you can even read an excerpt from Bunny and Shark here on Open Book: Toronto

Wattpad and IFOA Team Up to Launch First-ever Online Festival

From our friends at Wattpad:

Wattpad, the world's largest community of readers and writers, has partnered with the International Festival of Authors (IFOA) to launch the event's first Online Festival. The Online Festival will run from October 1 through October 22, before the official kickoff of the IFOA in Toronto, which runs October 23 to November 2, 2014.

Eppur si muove/and yet it moves

Eppur si muove. And yet it moves. This is what Galileo supposedly said, speaking of the earth, upon being found guilty of heresy in 1633 for promoting the Copernican model of heliocentricity. In its move away from the sun, the earth has turned a full thirty rotations since I began posting here at Open Book. The earth’s speed at the equator is 1,100 miles per hour. I’m mystified by how we can’t really sense this, as the earth moves, with the seasons, towards and away from the sun. Always there is movement and here we are, continually hurtling forward with the face of the earth, whether we do feel it or not. None of us are suspended and motionless, and we are not at the centre of the universe.

Video of the Week: Book Trailer for Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*ck (contains language that may be offensive to some)

Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*ck (House of Anansi Press) is not quite the average cookbook. The titular website was founded with the aim to get people to eat some goshdarn vegetables (their phrasing may have been slightly different) and became a massively popular online destination, counting no less than Gwyneth Paltrow as a fan.

A budget-friendly, unpretentious (if expletive-laden) approach to eating healthy, delicious food Thug Kitchen is for everyone who wants to kick their kitchen game up a notch without the expense and the eye-roll factor of traditional cookbooks.

Poets in Profile: Michael Kenyon

This fall, poet Michael Kenyon has published his fourth book with Brick Books, Astatine. The title refers to a radioactive element with a second-long half-life, but in the collection, Astatine becomes a character, a mercurial Italian girl whose inconstancy takes its cue from the fleeting nature of her namesake. She haunts the poems' narrator, questioning and comforting, taunting and enlightening. The narrator is forced to confront the brief nature of life, and in doing so, to explore its incandescent joys.

On Janus

Sonnet IV

New yeare forth looking out of Janus gate,
Doth seeme to promise hope of new delight:
And bidding th’old Adieu, his passed date
Bids all old thoughts to die in dumpish spright
And calling forth out of sad Winters night,
Fresh love, that long hath slept in cheerlesse bower:
Wils him awake, and soone about him dight
His wanton wings and darts of deadly power.
For lusty spring now in his timely howre,
Is ready to come forth him to receive:
And warnes the Earth with divers colord flowre,
To decke hir selfe, and her faire mantle weave.
Then you faire flowre, in whom fresh youth doth raine,
Prepare your selfe new love to entertaine.

—Edmund Spenser

*

The Word on the Street and the Weather

On the morning of the 25th annual Word on the Street festival (WOTS) in Toronto, I awoke at 7 a.m. to the dispiriting sound of torrential rain. I snuggled under the covers with the Sunday paper and guiltily wished I hadn't made a commitment to go and stand in a tent for most of the day. I wished the rain would stop. I wished I owned a pair of wellies. At 8 a.m., the rain was still hammering down. At 9 a.m., thunder had joined the rain. By 9:30 a.m. I’d realized it was also humid.

The Dirty Dozen, with Malka Marom

A lot happened in Yorkville in the 1960s, but one of the most important events for music lovers was the meeting of two women in a coffee shop. When singer, musician and broadcast journalist Malka Marom met musical icon Joni Mitchell, a forty-year friendship and a great journalistic pairing was launched. Marom first interviewed Mitchell for CBC Radio in 1973, and has done so many times since then, with their most recent broadcast conversation taking place in 2012. With unparalleled access to Mitchell and her creative process, Marom has created Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words (ECW Press).

On pseudonyms: Q&A with Writer "X"

On pseudonyms a.k.a. aliases a.k.a. handles a.k.a. avatars a.k.a. monikers a.k.a. sobriquets ak.a. epithets a.k.a. pen names a.k.a. nicknames a.k.a. noms de guerres, a.k.a. anon.:

Q&A with Writer “X”, on writing under “Sweet Baboo”

Sandra Ridley: What drew you to using a pseudonym for your work? What are the benefits and/or disadvantages for you? Do you see yourself as being part of, or extending, or arguing with a particular tradition of writing under a pseudonym?

On pseudonyms: Q&A With Amanda Earl

On pseudonyms a.k.a. aliases a.k.a. handles a.k.a. avatars a.k.a. monikers a.k.a. sobriquets ak.a. epithets a.k.a. pen names a.k.a. nicknames a.k.a. noms de guerres a.k.a. anon.:

Q&A with Amanda Earl, on writing with a variety of aliases

Sandra Ridley: What drew you to using a pseudonym for your work?

Amanda Earl: I have more than one pseudonym. And some of them are group pseudonyms. How it starts for me is that I get an idea for a character, a separate voice I want to try out. Rather than a pseudonym, I think what I create is a heteronym, a whole character. I imagine their personality traits, their environment, their history.

Highlighted Content

Open Book Literary Salon: Writing & Place

Open Book Literary Salon 2014: Writing & Place

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 — 7:30p.m.
Harbourfront Centre, Brigantine Room, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto

FREE EVENT! Presented by Open Book and IFOA. Please RSVP on Facebook to confirm space or email grace@openbooktoronto.com. Cash bar.

Where you're from, where you've been and the places that move you. For writers, place is more than just geography — it's inspiration, character, politics and history.

Video of the Week

Video of the Week: Book Trailer for Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*ck (contains language that may be offensive to some)

Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*ck (House of Anansi Press) is not quite the average cookbook. The titular website was founded with the aim to get people to eat some goshdarn vegetables (their phrasing may have been slightly different) and became a massively popular online destination, counting no less than Gwyneth Paltrow as a fan.

A budget-friendly, unpretentious (if expletive-laden) approach to eating healthy, delicious food Thug Kitchen is for everyone who wants to kick their kitchen game up a notch without the expense and the eye-roll factor of traditional cookbooks.

Check out the trailer if you're ready for some hilarity, tasty eats and plenty of curse words (pro tip: don't listen to this at work unless your office is pretty f*cking relaxed).

Writer In Residence

September 1 to October 1, 2014

Sandra Ridley »

Sandra Ridley’s first full-length collection of poetry, Fallout, won the 2010 Saskatchewan Book Award for publishing, the Alfred G. Bailey prize, and was a finalist for the Ottawa Book Award. Her second book, Post-Apothecary, was short-listed for the 2012 ReLit and Archibald Lampman Awards. Also in 2012, Ridley won the international festival Of Authors’ Battle of the Bards and was featured in The University of Toronto’s Influency Salon. Twice a finalist for the Robert Kroetsch Award for innovative poetry, Ridley is the author of two chapbooks: Rest Cure, and Lift, for which she was co-recipient of the bpNichol Chapbook Award. Her latest book is The Counting House (BookThug 2013). She lives in Ottawa.

You can contact Sandra throughout the month of September with questions and comments at writer@openbooktoronto.com.

Whazamo

Random reads

Becoming Human

Becoming Human

(House of Anansi Press, 1998)
This is a reprint of Jean Vanier’s inspirational Massey lectures, a blueprint for inclusive society. The founder of L’Arche, integrated communities for special needs people with developmental disabilities, takes his audience step by step through the process from exclusion to inclusion of the often marginalized. Everyone benefits in an inclusive society where the disadvantaged give off their special light. Based on the Christian principle that we are as strong as the weakest link, these communities focus on the amazing strength of those who are loved. This book always bears re-reading, especially in times where the virtue of competition needs to be questioned.

University of Guelph Creative Writing

Humber Scapa

Kingston Writer's Festival

Humber Literary Review

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