Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

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Something Totally New: Stephen Thomas in Conversation

 

The Proust Questionnaire, with Joyce Grant

Young readers first met Gabby back in 2012 in Joyce Grant's award-winning picture book, Gabby. The little redhead returns in her third adventure, Gabby Wonder Girl (Fitzhenry & Whiteside), wielding her magic letter book with the help of her heroic sidekick, Super Roy. Togethr Gabby and Roy set out to solve the mysterious of a strange photo they find in Gabby's backyard. With Jan Dolby's vibrant illustrations, this newest addition to the Gabby series is great fun for word lovers.

We're pleased to welcome Joyce to Open Book today to take our version of the Proust Quesitonnaire, where we get to know authors on a personal level.

Tearing Down The Walls: Jacqueline Valencia on The Toronto Poetry Talks

Jacqueline Valencia, a Toronto poet and critic, has been organizing the Toronto Poetry Talks on Racism and Sexism in poetry for about a year.

The In Character Interview with James Leck

For 16-year old Charlie Harker, the news that his summer vacation will be spent helping his mom renovate an old inn in the middle of nowhere is about as bad as it gets. But that was before Charlie had to deal with Miles Van Helsing, his irritating new neighbour, who just might be completely insane. After all, there isn't really otherworldly happenings going on in the tiny town of Rolling Hills... is there?

So begins James Leck's After Dark (Kids Can Press), a young adult novel that is as funny as it is suspenseful. Prankster Charlie is a great character to carry the action of this clever tale of things that go bump in the night.

The Dirty Dozen, with Jeanette Lynes

Mixing the traditions of British romanticism with postmodern innovative is no small task, but it's one that Jeanette Lynes tackles with flare and wit in Bedlam Cowslip: The John Clare Poems (Wolsak & Wynn). Taking inspiration from the titular Romantic-era poet, Jeanette fuses Clare's pastoral world with a deep exploration of the 19th century poet's fascinating life, creating a poetic biography that is a pleasure to read.

The Lucky Seven Interview, with Shawn Selway

It's difficult to imagine the feeling of being taken from the people you know and love and isolated in a strange and unknown place. Such was the case with the evacuation of over 1,000 Cree and Inuit tuberculosis patients from the Eastern Arctic to Hamilton, Ontario between 1950 and 1965.

Kid Lit Can, with Susan Hughes: Sex, and drugs, and rock and roll: Writing edgy YA (Part 1)

By Susan Hughes

Drugs, gambling, sexual harassment, suicide, sexual abuse, physical abuse, cutting, death, sex, drugs, body image issues, bullying, STDs, abduction...between them, YA authors C.K. Kelly Martin, Don Aker and Cheryl Rainfield have touched on all these difficult themes.

Why do they do it? How far can they go when writing for teens? Do they ever have to hold back? What’s the most challenging part about writing for teens? And what tips will they share?

I’m so pleased that these three popular YA authors have agreed to answer all these questions and more in today’s and next month’s article. Read on!

Video of the Week: Open Book/RBC Taylor Prize Video Series with David Halton

Open Book is thrilled to partner with the RBC Taylor Prize to present an exclusive series of videos with the incredible 2016 finalists.

Our first video features David Halton, author of Dispatches from the Front: The Life of Matthew Halton, Canada's Voice at War, which tells the story of his father, widely considered to be Canada's all-time finest war correspondent.

David speaks about finding readership, his father's (dramatic!) dinner with Ernest Hemingway and tells us about his reaction to being nominated for the RBC Taylor Prize, as well as much more.

It Began With Degrassi-Themed Walkie-Talkies: Part One of Desert Pets Press in Conversation

Desert Pets Press is a brand new chapbook press that launched their first season in Fall 2015.

Video of the Week

Video of the Week: Open Book/RBC Taylor Prize Video Series with David Halton

Open Book is thrilled to partner with the RBC Taylor Prize to present an exclusive series of videos with the incredible 2016 finalists.

Our first video features David Halton, author of Dispatches from the Front: The Life of Matthew Halton, Canada's Voice at War, which tells the story of his father, widely considered to be Canada's all-time finest war correspondent.

David speaks about finding readership, his father's (dramatic!) dinner with Ernest Hemingway and tells us about his reaction to being nominated for the RBC Taylor Prize, as well as much more.

The RBC Taylor Prize rewards the finest non-fiction writing in Canada. The 2016 winner of the $25,000 prize will be announced on March 7.

Stay tuned to Open Book to hear from all of the nominated authors on Open Book in the coming weeks: Ian Brown, Camilla Gibb, Wab Kinew and Rosemary Sullivan!

Open Book thanks the RBC Taylor Prize for the creation of this video series

Writer In Residence

February 1, 2016 to March 1, 2016

Jess Taylor »

Jess Taylor is a Toronto writer and poet. She founded The Emerging Writers Reading Series in 2012 and is the fiction editor of Little Brother Magazine. She's released two chapbooks of poetry, And Then Everyone: Poems of the West End (Picture Window Press, 2014) and Never Stop (Anstruther Press, 2014). This October, her first collection of short stories, Pauls, was published by BookThug. The title story from the collection, "Paul," received the 2013 Gold Fiction National Magazine Award. Jess is currently at work on a second collection, a novel, and a continuation of her life poem, Never Stop.

You can contact Jess throughout the month of February at writer@openbooktoronto.com

Random reads

The Saning

The Saning

(Sono Nis Press, 1999)
"The Saning is her deepest, most startling book yet, a fabulous swirl of imagery borrowed from fairy tales, world religions, surreal dreams, atlases, newspapers and magic spells. Whether she is writing about the ravages of war and poverty, or the mirages of happy love lives, she strides heart-first into each poem, boldly stirring up trouble and compassion. I love her recklessness, the way she welcomes the world with a wide embrace." - Barry Dempster
From The Saning:

Silver Foil

A match strikes in the dark and another silver paper floats to the ground in cities where lost children lie in the same direction as snow. A woman who gathers them up every morning and sells them to tourists says they are sacred relics.

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