Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Andrew Faulkner

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Andrew Faulkner co-curates The Emergency Response Unit, a chapbook press. His poems have been published in The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2011, and his chapbook Useful Knots and How to Tie Them was shortlisted for the bpNichol Chapbook Award. His first book, Need Machine, was published by Coach House Books in April 2013. He lives in Toronto.

Please send your questions and comments for Andrew to

The WAR Series: Writers as Readers, with Andrew Faulkner

Andrew Faulkner (Need Machine, Coach House Books 2013) participates in Open Book's WAR Series: Writers As Readers. The series gives writers an opportunity to talk about the books that shaped them, from first loves to new favourites. Andrew is Open Book: Toronto's June 2013 Writer in Residence. __________________________________________________________

The WAR Series, Writers as Readers

The first book I remember reading on my own: Goblins in the Castle. Granny Pinchbottom FTW! A book that made me cry:

Need Machine

By Andrew Faulkner

From the publisher's website:

Need Machine clamours through the brain like an unruly marching band. Both caustic and thoughtful, these poems offer a topography of modern life writ large in twitchy, neon splendor, in a voice as sure as a surgeon and as trustworthy as a rumour. Honest, irreverent and sharply indifferent, this book will hogtie you with awe.


Read more about Need Machine at the Coach House Books website.

Recent Writer In Residence Posts

Magazines! An interview with Emily Keeler, Jeremy Hanson-Finger and Tyler Willis

It’s my last few hours as Open Book’s Writer in Residence and I’m going out with a bang. This is an interview with three Toronto-based magazine publishers about being Toronto-based magazine publishers. There are few folks who are doing more exciting ‘zine work, and I can think of no better way to show myself to the door than by posting this interview.

Here’s the cast in order of appearance:

Emily M. Keeler is a writer and the editor of Little Brother Magazine.

Magazines! An interview with Emily Keeler, Jeremy Hanson-Finger and Tyler Willis (Part 2)

This is the second part in an interview with Emily Keeler, Jeremy Hanson-Finger and Tyler Willis. You can find the first part here.

Licking Stamps: The Ann Shin Edition

Friends, it’s been a week full of hudging and drudging. But labour no more! Instead of making a few last widgets for the week, let’s mail it and read a poem, shall we?

Posts I Won't Write

I’ve been planning out my last week here as Open Book’s writer in residence, and while I’m excited to mail it in tomorrow, and post an interview with some Toronto magazine publishers on Saturday (and how could I leave without saying goodbye on Sunday?), my eyes are beginning to spontaneously issue a little liquid at the thought of some of the posts I’ll never end up writing. Here’s the highlight reel of what I haven’t done:

Glad Day: An Interview with Marcus McCann

This is the start of my last week as Open Book's Writer in Residence. But much more excitingly, we're also in the middle of Pride Week, which gives me an excuse to post about Glad Day Bookshop, the world's oldest LGBTQ bookstore.

In the spirit of 'shut up and let the smart people talk,' I've sent some questions to Marcus McCann about the store. Marcus is a poet and a former editor of Xtra. His latest book is The Hard Return (Insomniac, 2012).

Interview time!

Licking Stamps: The Laurie D Graham Edition

It has been a long week and I’ve done lots of talking. I talked to Spencer Gordon about toilets and literature, I talked to Cameron Anstee, Mat Laporte and Bardia Sinaee about chapbooks. But there is still a bit of talking left to be done!

Chapbooks! An Interview with Cameron Anstee, Mat Laporte and Bardia Sinaee

One of the great pleasures of my brief tenure at Open Book is that I’m afforded the opportunity to talk to some brilliant people. I recently interviewed three chapbook publishers about, uh, being chapbook publishers. But if I’m allowed to editorialize on my own posts, their answers are fucking amazing. Here are the folks you’ll be hearing from below:

Cameron Anstee lives and writes in Ottawa ON where he runs Apt. 9 Press and is pursuing a PhD in English Literature at the University of Ottawa (studying bookselling and the small press in Canada post-WWII).

Chapbooks! An Interview with Cameron Anstee, Mat Laporte and Bardia Sinaee (part 2)

This is the second part in an interview the Cameron Anstee, Mat Laporte and Bardia Sinaee. You can find the first part here.

Three Free Ideas

If there is one thing yesterday’s interview with Spencer Gordon taught us it’s that new thinking has the potential to be reinvigorating at both the individual and community level. I have some thoughts on how to make the book world a better, more efficient, and more enjoyable place to be. But implementing these projects will take elbow grease that I am simply unable to spare, so I offer you these three ideas for free.

Friends, these are a gold mine—so do not forget me when you collect your Orders of Canada, your Nobel Prizes, and your oversized cheques from various granting bodies after bringing one of these ideas to fruition.

Book Award Fantasy League

Smelling the Smells of the People: An Interview with Spencer Gordon

I recently had the pleasure of conducting an interview with Spencer Gordon, discussing important topics such as where he writes and how he pulled himself out of an early funk to complete a collection of short stories.

Notes from the Front: Griffin Poetry Prize 2013

Your correspondent, while faithful, is also rather tardy in filing his dispatches from the front. Let’s just say it’s not an accident that I don’t work as a journalist. Here are some belated notes regarding the Griffin Poetry Prize, which was awarded last Thursday to David McFadden and Ghassan Zaqtan (trans. Fady Joudah).

Licking Stamps: The Adrienne Barrett edition

It is Friday and it is sunny out and there are patios that demand our presence, which is say it’s time for me to mail it in again!

This week I’ll be spending a few words on The house is still standing, Adrienne Barrett’s first collection of poems. And I even managed to wrangle someone to do some of the stamp-licking for me! Katia Grubisic edited The house is still standing and I asked her to talk a bit about her editorial relationship with Adrienne while working on the book. Here's Katia:

You Can’t Spell “Griffin Poetry Prize” Without “International”

It seems to me that the focus of literary prizes tends to be on the money lavished on writers — look how rich we’re making authors! — or on speaking of compromise candidates in absolute sentences – this is the best book (the jurors could all agree they didn’t dislike).

There is also the claim, most often deployed by the Gillers, of how popular books become after they are shortlisted (a sort of literary Buffett effect).* But in the rush to crown King/Queen Book For The Year or to sell skidloads of titles, what seems so oddly minimized at times is that literary shortlists are simply presenting books that juries think we should read.

Shadow juries

We are now entering the heart of literary award season — the League of Canadian Poets just announced the winners of its set of awards, the Griffin Poetry Prize will be awarded this week and the Trilliums next week — which means we’re also entering the season of complaining about literary awards.

The general arc of complaints tend to go something like this: “That person shouldn’t have won because his/her book is [adjective]. This book should have won instead because it’s much more [different adjective].”

These reactions aren’t surprising, and we cannot reasonably expect a three-person jury’s choice to line up with our own aesthetic most (or even some) of the time.

Licking Stamps

It is Friday and like the city, I am under a very particular and dreary weather. Among other things, my throat is rather scratchy so today I'm going to mail it in and let others do the talking for me.

First, are you 23 or under? Do you want to write poems? If so, you need to read Kent Johnson's "33 Rules of Poetry for Poets 23 and Under". It is also worth reading for those of you who have at one time been 23 or under and/or have wanted at some point to write poems.

Readings Can Be Fun (But Actually)

It’s already come to this! Only the second post in my tenure as Open Book: Toronto’s Writer in Residence and I’m already writing about things I’m doing. So, to get it out of the way: I’m reading at Pivot at the Press Club tomorrow evening.

This is notable in that it is the first reading I will give in which I’m determined to have Fun.*

*I generally have a sweaty-palmed approach to reading. The first time I read a poem out loud I was pulled aside by a few audience members afterwards and they kindly (and correctly) suggested that I needed to get better because I was, basically, the worst ever. I like to think that I’ve gotten better since then.

Oh Hi There!

Hello, dear Open Book readers!

My name’s Andrew Faulkner. You might remember me from that time I almost recycled a Troy McLure joke in the first paragraph of my introductory post. I co-curate the chapbook press The Emergency Response Unit and Coach House Books recently published Need Machine, my first book of poetry. More than you could ever want to know about me can be found in two Open Book interviews.

Pivot Readings with Charmaine Cadeau, Andrew Faulkner, Michael Lista and Ayelet Tsabari


Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 8:00pm


The Press Club
850 Dundas St. W.
Toronto, ON
M6J 1V5


Don't miss this edition of Pivot Readings with Charmaine Cadeau, Andrew Faulkner, Michael Lista and Ayelet Tsabari.

For more information about the reading series, please click here.


The Press Club
850 Dundas St. W.
Toronto, ON M6J 1V5 43° 39' 5.4612" N, 79° 24' 37.1556" W
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.

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