Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Questionless Books Interview: Writer, Editor, and Translator Katia Grubisic

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The Questionless Books Interview: Writer, Editor, and Translator Katia Grubisic

In The Questionless Books Interview, I get a whole bunch of books people (from authors to editors to publishers to sales / publicity / production people, booksellers, designers, librarians, readers, etc) to "answer" a series of unspoken "questions". The results highlight a delightful mix of the opportunities and challenges facing our sector: from doom and gloom to sunshine and rainbows, and every irony in between.

Katia Grubisic is a writer, editor and translator. She guest-edited the acclaimed Montreal issue of The New Quarterly and the journal’s non-fiction supplement, and is the editor of Arc Poetry Magazine. Since 2008, she has also been the coordinator of the renowned Atwater Poetry Project reading series. Her collection What if red ran out won the Gerald Lampert award for best first book.

Katia's Links:


I am five seven.

I am known to create, rehabilitate, enable and translate various units of language for assorted purposes.

I do this in ink or in serifed fonts.

I do this because, as Dolly Parton I think once said, find out who you are and do the shit out of it.

I do this when I get to.

The way I do this is with great difficulty and great privilege.

At his/her core, a Writer is quiet in his noisy head.

As opposed to an Author, who is out the door.

A Writer is responsible for keeping her ass in her chair.

As opposed to an Author, who is responsible for being able to balance a wine glass and a cocktail plate, thus leaving not many hands to hold a pen, but is perhaps trailed by an assistant / intern / minion to hold said pen.

At its core, Publishing is best done less than writing.

As opposed to Editing, which is always necessary, no matter the size of the ego; which is up to the writer to take or leave selectively and intelligently; and which should ideally be a long and messy intimacy.

A Publisher should always hire staff who read.

As opposed to an Editor, who should operate with utter honesty and a patience that resembles compassion.

A Manuscript that’s ready to be read by others is the thing with feathers.

As opposed to a Book that’s ready to be ready by others, which is able to fly, at least a short ways, under its own steam.

A Manuscript should always have been wanted.

As opposed to a Book, which should always be an object of discoveries.

At its core, Bookselling is more books than selling.

As opposed to Book Marketing, which is the job of the salaried publicist, and not of the guy with his ass in his chair.

The smallest unit of narrative is the sigh.

The biggest reason to anticipate the future is to find out.

The biggest reason to be scared of the future is running out of time to get it right.

In the future we will all be not so very different.

At his/her core, a Reader is looking.

However, the ideal Reader is looking for you.

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.

Related item from our archives

George Murray

George Murray’s six books of poetry include The Rush to Here and The Hunter. His most recent books, Whiteout and Glimpse: Selected Aphorisms, are published by ECW Press. He is the editor of the popular literary website

Go to George Murray’s Author Page