Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Alessandro Porco

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Alessandro Porco is the author of two collections of poetry, Augustine in Carthage (2008) and The Jill Kelly Poems (2005), both published by ECW Press. He’s the editor of Population Me: Essays on David McGimpsey. He grew up in Malton and Brampton, but presently lives in Buffalo, New York, where he’s completing his dissertation. You can see him this month at the Summer Literary Seminars in Montreal, where he will be reading poetry as well as participating in a panel on Anglo-Quebec poetry after 1976.

Send your questions and comments for Alessandro to

Ten Questions with Alessandro Porco

Open Book: Toronto:

Tell us about your latest book.

Alessandro Porco:

Most recently, I edited a collection of essays on Montreal writer David McGimpsey. Population Me: Essays on David McGimpsey is published by Palimpsest Press (2010). It includes a critical introduction (which I authored) as well as nine essays by a variety of scholars and poets. The essays examine how issues of nationalism, class, aesthetics, humor, literary history, and even love play out in McGimpsey’s work. An extended interview with McGimpsey concludes the book.

Recent Writer In Residence Posts

Beach Reading with Elizabeth Bachinsky

These last few weeks, I’ve been sitting in my Tommy Bahamma chair on the beach in Wilmington, North Carolina, reading through Elizabeth Bachinsky’s The Hottest Summer in Recorded History (Nightwood, 2013). It’s hot today: 88° degrees, clear blue skies. The surfers are doing their thing near Johnny Mercer’s Pier. School’s officially out now, so the beach is more lively— but still manageable. I smell hotdogs grilling somewhere nearby. I’m enjoying the late morning sunshine with my friend Megan, who is getting her tan on. She loves A.R. Ammons’s poetry, having grown up in his hometown of Whiteville (pronounced something like Hu-Why-It-Val).

Sandy Pool's Radiant Lyre

Tonight at 7pm, finalists for the 2013 Trillium Book Awards will be reading from their nominated works at the Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street). One of the evening’s readers is Sandy Pool, author of the wonderful— albeit terrifying— Undark: An Oratorio, nominated in the category of English-language poetry.

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Pivot Reading Series with Tamara Faith Berger, Alessandro Porco and Moez Surani


Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - 8:00pm


The Press Club
850 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON
M6J 1V5


Join authors Tamara Faith Berger, Alessandro Porco and Moez Surani for readings from their latest works at the Pivot Reading Series!

For more information, visit


The Press Club
850 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON M6J 1V5 43° 40' 24.8988" N, 79° 23' 36.8124" W

BookThug Book Launch


Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - 7:30pm


268 Augusta Ave
Toronto, ON
M5T 2L9


Don't miss the BookThug BookLaunch at The Supermarket. Doors open at 7:30 PM.

New books will be released by Jake Kennedy, Alessandro Porco, Aisha Sasha John, Richard Krueger, Gary Barwin & Gregory Betts, Phil Hall, Erín Moure, Niels Frank - Roger Greenwald trans as well as Stephen Cain & our very own, Clelia Scala.

There will also be a surprise guest who you will not want to miss (because later people will tell you who it was and you'll wish you'd been there. Regret is no way to start launch season).


- Apollinaire's Speech to the War Medic by Jake Kennedy
- I Can Say Interpellation by Stephen Cain with Illustrations by Clelia Scala
- Killdeer: Essay Poems by Phil Hall


268 Augusta Ave
Toronto, ON M5T 2L9 43° 39' 14.4" N, 79° 23' 50.28" W

The Art of Infidelity: An Interview with Mike Spry

The Art of Infidelity: An Interview with Mike Spry

Mike Spry is the author of JACK, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Quebec Writers' Federation A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry, and he was longlisted for the 2010 Journey Prize. He lives in Montreal where he is the Programs Director for Summer Literary Seminars, one of the world's largest international literary programs (St. Petersburg, Montreal, Vilnius, and Nairobi-Lamu).

I had the pleasure of asking Spry questions about his new book of short fiction. Our conversation follows below. After the interview, you will find information about Spry's forthcoming book-launch events. Enjoy!


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Okay, so today I’m going to introduce Open Book: Toronto readers to early chapbook publications from poet Daniel f. Bradley. These handmade volumes, published between 1990-1994, are the only source for Bradley’s early work. (Some of his later work is collected in A Boy’s First Book of Chlamydia [BookThug, 2005]) and I’ll talk about that in a later post.)

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But there’s no reason the Q.E.W. should only accommodate one-way travel.

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During my run as Writer-in-Residence this month, I plan on occassionally including interviews with Canadian authors. The people at ECW kindly provided a copy of George Murray’s forthcoming Glimpse: Selected Aphorisms — you can find it linked in my “Recommended Readings.” I had the pleasure of interviewing Murray about the book.

From the Archive [1]: "Fucking" Eh!

Kids say the darndest things, and Canadian poetry happens in the darndest places.

For example, in the early 1940s, a librarian named Helen Collins started a community writing workshop in Cleveland. The Free Lance Workshop soon extended into a literary journal, also called Free Lance. Included in the Free Lance Workshop was a poet named Russell Atkins, a black avant-garde poet and theorist who, by the 1950s, would play a significant role in editing the magazine and establishing its particular aesthetic vision. A great scholar — and poet in his own right — Aldon Nielsen talks at length about Atkins and outlines this zine history in his wonderful study Black Chant.

T=I=D=Y Language

Floors of Enduring Beauty

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.