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A Story that No One Owns

  I’m sure my point is only too plain… Lizzie is not dead, etc.—but there is a “mixture of fact & fiction,” and you have changed her letters. That is “infinite mischief,” I think…. One can use one’s life as material—one does, anyway—but these letters—aren’t you violating a trust? IF you were given permission—IF you hadn’t changed them… etc. But art just isn’t worth that much…. It’s not being “gentle” to use personal, tragic, anguished letters that way—it’s cruel.

The Great Canadian Writer's Craft Interview: George Murray

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 George Murray speaks with students Hannah Casey and Rachel London-Wallace.

Hi George, our names are Hannah and Rachel and we are ecstatic to have the opportunity to interview you; you were both of our top choices for this project. We hope you enjoy our selected questions. Thank you for taking the time, cheers.

His gravity

We shun those who bear the mark of death, and this is a form of baseness to which even I succumbed. Quite deliberately, out of a base instinct for self-preservation, I shunned my friend in the last months of his life, and for this I cannot forgive myself. Seen from across the street, he was like someone to whom the world had long since given notice to quit but who was compelled to stay in it, no longer belonging to it but unable to leave it…. I do not know whether it was because I was afraid of someone who was the embodiment of death or because I felt I had to spare him an encounter with someone who was not yet destined to go the same way. It was probably both. Watching him, I felt ashamed…. I am not a good character. I am quite simply not a good person.

The Great Canadian Writer's Craft Interview: Shannon Maguire

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 Shannon Maguire speaks with student Erin Hanley.

Tending toward liquid

Habit makes time relative for us. At twenty, the faces surrounding us have no history except in the present of the gaze we turn toward them. So, young adults, old people, and children seem forever framed in a “just as I see you” that makes them impervious to change. Later, one discovers that faces and bodies are material for transformation. One guesses then that time’s function is to pass very much alive like a current of heat and thought through the bodies gifted with this canny intelligence from which we learn to endow ourselves over the course of the years so as to repress elegantly the idea of death like the very last dregs.
  —Nicole Brossard, Intimate Journal, Trans. Barbara Godard

The Great Canadian Writer's Craft Interview: Christine Leclerc

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 Christine Leclerc speaks with students Adam Ammirato and Sam Alkins .

Our lives of no interest: The compulsion to confess

In middle age there is a mystery, there is mystification. The most I can make out of this hour is a kind of loneliness. Even the beauty of the visible world seems to crumble, yes even love. I feel that there has been some miscarriage, some wrong turn, but I do not know when it took place and I have no hope of finding it.
  
—John Cheever, The Journals of John Cheever

The Great Canadian Writer's Craft Interview: Paul Dutton

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 posted on The Great Canadian Writer's Craft page on Open Book throughout June and July. In this interview, poet Paul Dutton speaks with students Spencer Leefe and Emily Booth.

Hello Mr. Dutton,

A month in the life of the launching author

Today marks one month since May 31, the official publication date of my new novel The Oakdale Dinner Club, and one month since I started my residency here at Open Book Toronto.

Within the month of June, I:

- wrote and posted 16 blog posts (whew!), some instructional, some confessional, and some about what to eat, because food is important
- went to my first speaking engagement on behalf of the book, where I made jokes to a receptive audience and also sold some books
- held a successful book launch party, with shots and country line dancing, yeehaw

The Great Canadian Writer's Craft Interview: Sarah Dowling

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 posted on The Great Canadian Writer's Craft page on Open Book throughout June and July. In this interview, poet Sarah Dowling speaks with students Kate and Solanaa.

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