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Writers on TV feature interview: kevin mcpherson eckhoff

Poetry about television isn’t something you see done often, but kevin mcpherson eckhoff pulled it off in his chapbook “Game Show Reversed” (Bookthug).

As the title suggests, the long poem is a transcription of an early episode of Wheel of Fortune flipped on its head, so the reader starts at the end with the credits (can’t you see them in your head already?) and announces the winner before you even meet her. (Spoiler: it’s Lynda!)

I asked Kevin to tell me a bit about the chapbook and his gameshow-watching habits. Check out their biography his latest collection out from Bookthug this spring.

On Writing, with Mike Steeves

Mike Steeves's Giving Up (BookThug) is a novel in three parts that takes place over the course of a single night. Mary and James are a couple struggling with the intersection of ambition, expectation and disappointment. As the hours slip by in their unnamed city, two small but ultimately significant events happen that will have a ripple effect on Mary and James' relationship and individual identities.

To celebrate the publication of Giving Up, Mike's first novel, we are thrilled to speak to him today on Open Book.

Writers on TV survey: A.G. Pasquella

Our next survey respondent is the writer, publisher and super-funny human A.G. Pasquella.

Name: A.G. Pasquella

Recent work: The This & The That

How much time do you spend watching TV in a week?
Between 7-10 hours… oh God! I’m wasting my life!

How much time do you spend watching TV in a week when the new Downton Abbey/Game of Thrones/etc comes out?

Agents on TV: Samantha Haywood

To get a different perspective on the ways in which books and television intersect, I asked some agents to give us some insights. First up is Transatlantic Agency’s Samantha Haywood.

What is the market like for TV adaptations (vs. film) of books these days? Is it growing?

Dundurn Press' Kirk Howard wins 2015 Janice E. Handford Award

Yesterday evening, the Ontario Book Publishers Organization honoured Kirk Howard, founder and president of Dundurn Press, with the Janice E. Handford Award.

The award recognizes "an individual who has advanced the cause of small and literary Canadian publishing” and has been a spotlight on some of the industry's most influential individuals, many of whom contributed to the original creation of a homegrown publishing industry in the 1960s and 1970s.

Graphic Novel (on TV) Month: The Book vs The Film, Part 2

Last week I looked at how shifting formats from graphic novel to film changed the subtext of Ghost World and Persepolis. This week I’m taking on two British comics that have been made into films: Tank Girl and Kick-Ass.

Title: Tank Girl

The Dirty Dozen, with Susan Glickman

Multi-genre author Susan Glickman seems to move effortlessly between fiction, poetry, writing for young readers and non-fiction. Just when it seems like she's tackled every genre, she shows readers she's got even more skills in reserve, publishing a mystery novel this spring: Safe as Houses (Cormorant Books).

Safe as Houses tells the story of a murder in Toronto's tony Hillcrest Village. When Liz and Maxime, two local residents, find themselves on the case, it seems at first like an intellectual exercise, a puzzle to be solved. But the real danger and violence of the situation becomes all too apparent, and Liz and Maxime finds themselves in uncharted territory.

On Writing, with John Lorinc

If you live in Toronto, you know what The Ward is, even if you've never heard it referred to that way. The area between College and Queen Streets, bordered by Yonge Street and University Avenue, is now a vibrant neighbourhood containing Toronto's City Hall, Nathan Phillips Square, the Eaton Centre and many more landmark attractions. But in the 19th and early 20th centuries, it was filled with recent immigrants living in dubious rooming houses, considered a slum by the city and referred to simply as "The Ward". The area was bulldozed in the 1950s, transforming it into the squeaky clean urban neighbourhood it has since become. But what happened to all those people, new to Canada and living tough, hard scrabble lives?

Writers on TV Survey: Emily M. Keeler

Next up in our ongoing series of asking-writers-what-they-watch is National Post Books Editor Emily M. Keeler.

Name: Emily M. Keeler

Recent work:

How much time do you spend watching TV in a week? Most weeks, maybe an couple hours or so. 

Writers on TV feature interview: Andy Burns

As soon as I decided I wanted to interview writers about TV, I knew I wanted to talk to Andy Burns. I recently read his engrossing examination of Wrapped In Plastic: Twin Peaks from ECW Press. Andy was nice enough to chat with me over email about David Lynch’s freaky fabulous show, and other related distractions.

Video of the Week

Video of the Week: BookThug interview series speaks with Jimmy McInnes

Innovative indie press BookThug is known for their boundary-pushing prose and poetry publications and their dedication to the small press scene in Canada. But husband and wife publishing team Jay and Hazel Millar somehow make time to post regular video interviews with their authors as well. Be sure to check out their whole BookThug Interview series on YouTube if you're looking to hear from some of the most creative writers working in Canada.

Today we're featuring one of BookThug's most recent interviews, with Jimmy McInnes, whose A More Perfect [ is part of BookThug's Spring 2015 poetry line (the video answers one important question immediately - the [ in the title is silent).

This is an in-depth interview with a talented writer — don't miss it and all of BookThug's great video interviews! Stay tuned to Open Book for links to more terrific BookThug interviews, and you can also check out Jimmy's responses to our Poets in Profile interview series!

Writer In Residence

May 1, 2015-June 1, 2015

Carey Toane »

Carey Toane is a librarian, journalist and poet. Her first collection of poems, The Crystal Palace, was published in 2011 by Mansfield Press. She lives in Toronto, where she is currently working on a collection of poems inspired by and dedicated to Twin Peaks. Follow her on Twitter here.

You can contact Carey throughout the month of May at


Random reads

Unholy Ground: A Matt Minogue Mystery

Unholy Ground: A Matt Minogue Mystery

(McArthur & Company, 2002)
From the publisher's website: When Arthur Combs is found murdered, the life choked out of him by a rope around his neck and a knee between his shoulder-blades, the method is obvious. The motive is far less evident. As an English expatriate retiree in Dublin, the decrepit seventy-three year old Combs lived a solitary existence with few friends, but no enemies. Or so it seems when Sergeant Minogue is assigned to the Combs case....

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