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The Dirty Dozen, with Debbie Ridpath Ohi

After the success of I'm Bored, the hilarious picture book written by comedian Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi, kids and parents alike were eager for more. The wait is over with Naked! (Simon & Schuster Canada), Black and Ohi's second collaboration.

Debbie has also illustrated covers for Simon & Schuster's recently reissued Judy Blume collection. You can check out the fantastic covers here.

Trash

  I have entered middle age.
  I am overweight, and I live with a little dog and two cats. I have been alone for more than seven years.
  I keep a journal, as Jenny Craig suggests, about what I eat and how I feel about the things I eat: it is emotionally exhausting.
  The entries include the following sad arcana:
  —The delicious white border of a bad steak, what the sea leaves when it drags its waves back.
  —Fat, as yellow as custard, but sweeter than that. I touch and caramelize my glowing flesh.
  —The livid red marks that jag like lightning below my stomach are a fire I cannot extinguish.
  I have let myself go….

The Proust Questionnaire, with Shawn Micallef

Shawn Micallef is as much a part of Toronto as standing in line for an hour on Sunday morning to get the perfect eggs Benedict. As senior editor and co-owner of Spacing magazine and a columnist for The Toronto Star, Shawn's writing on public space, Toronto history and cultural politics is an essential part of the Toronto conversation.

Words & Pictures Interview with Kathleen O'Connell, Translator & Academic

On July 3, TIFF Cinematheque launched The Sun And The Moon: The Films Of Satyajit Ray, their retrospective of beloved Bengali filmmaker and writer Satyajit Ray's work.

On July 11, Canadian academic Kathleen O'Connell introduced Ray's film Charulata and spoke on the influence of Bengali Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore on Ray's work.

Today we speak with Kathleen, who has translated Ray's work into English and who teaches courses at the University of Toronto on both Tagore and Ray. Kathleen tells us about Ray's writing style, her translation experiences and where to start in appreciating Ray's work.

The TIFF Satyajit Ray series is ongoing until August 17.

Video of the Week: Anansi Authors on Their Earliest Inspirations

House of Anansi Press is home to some of Canada's finest writers, so when they decided to ask their authors about who or what first inspired them to write, we were listening.

Check out this great video from Anansi to hear from the likes of Carrie Synder, Elizabeth Renzetti, Nadia Bozak and more on their early influences!

This video is part of the #ReadWomen2014 campaign to promote fantastic books by female authors.

Craving a talent not my own

Those who work in London are all either going down with flu, recovering from flu or in the grip of flu—even though most of the people going down with flu, recovering from flu or in the grip of flu don’t have flu at all. What they’re actually suffering from is verbal inflation because no one says they have a cold any more, it’s always flu. If people have a cold they say they have flu; if they say they have a cold it means there’s nothing wrong with them. Flu and cold are becoming interchangeable. We say flu when we mean cold but we say flu when we mean flu because no one wants to say they have pneumonia when all they’ve got is flu because if you say you have pneumonia people might think you have AIDS.

The Great Canadian Writer's Craft Interview: Tim Prior

This spring, students from Malvern Collegiate Institute's Writer's Craft class conducted interviews with Canadian poets as part of a class project. The interviews will be posted on The Great Canadian Writer's Craft page on Open Book throughout June and July. In this interview, poet Tim Prior speaks with student Fox Mitchell.

Hey Mr. Prior,

Nice meeting you, in a way. I’m very glad that I could interview you. I think your poetry is great. It provokes a lot of deep, sharp imagery when I read it. So, I’m Fox Mitchell. A high school student. That’s really it. So far. Here we go.

Grounds for Communion

  People in grief think a great deal about self-pity. We worry it, dread it, scourge our thinking for signs of it. We fear that our actions will reveal the conditions tellingly described as “dwelling on it.” We understand the aversion most of us have to “dwelling on it.” Visible mourning reminds us of death, which is construed as unnatural, a failure to manage the situation…. We remind ourselves repeatedly that our own loss is nothing compared to the loss experienced (or, the even worse thought, not experienced) by he or she who died; this attempt at corrective thinking serves only to plunge us deeper into the self-regarding deep.

The WAR Series: Writers as Readers, with David James Brock

Playwright and librettist David James Brock has branched out into poetry with his much-lauded debut collection, Everyone is CO2 (Wolsak & Wynn).

The poems have been described as "never resting", "fun to read" and a "combination of smart, snappy phrasing and interesting, offbeat subject matter". The collection ranges widely, touching on subject matter as diverse as the epic of Gilgamesh and Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys.

The Great Canadian Writer's Craft Interview: Larissa Lai

This spring, students from Malvern Collegiate Institute's Writer's Craft class conducted interviews with Canadian poets as part of a class project. The interviews will be posted on The Great Canadian Writer's Craft page on Open Book throughout June and July. In this interview, poet Larissa Lai speaks with students Kristina Hopp and Savanna Spurrell.

Hello Larissa Lai,

Video of the Week

Video of the Week: Anansi Authors on Their Earliest Inspirations

House of Anansi Press is home to some of Canada's finest writers, so when they decided to ask their authors about who or what first inspired them to write, we were listening.

Check out this great video from Anansi to hear from the likes of Carrie Synder, Elizabeth Renzetti, Nadia Bozak and more on their early influences!

This video is part of the #ReadWomen2014 campaign to promote fantastic books by female authors.

Writer In Residence

July 1, 2014 - August 1, 2014

Brecken Hancock »

Brecken Hancock's poetry, essays, interviews and reviews have appeared in Event, CV2, Grain, The Fiddlehead and Studies in Canadian Literature. She is Reviews Editor for Arc Poetry Magazine and Interviews Editor for Canadian Women in the Literary Arts. Her first book of poems, Broom Broom, was published by Coach House Books in 2014. She lives in Ottawa. Visit www.breckenhancock.com for more information.

Send your questions and comments for Brecken to writer@openbooktoronto.com

Whazamo

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