Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Jacob McArthur Mooney

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Jacob McArthur Mooney is the author of the acclaimed collection of poems The New Layman’s Almanac (McClelland & Stewart, 2008) as well as an upcoming second collection from the same publisher. You can see him this month at Toronto’s Word on the Street and again in October as part of the International Festival of Authors.

Ten Questions with Jacob McArthur Mooney

Open Book: Toronto:

What was your first publication and where was it published?

Jacob McArthur Mooney:

Like most of the ones that followed it, it was from an online journal. The journal’s name is Zygote in My Coffee, and it was also their first issue. As with any good online journal, it died a hero’s death a few months back, only to be resurrected and ordered back into the good fight under new leadership.

OBT:

Describe a recent Canadian cultural experience that influenced your writing.

The New Layman's Almanac

By Jacob McArthur Mooney

Deft and dazzling, brash and boyish, Jacob McArthur Mooney makes his debut on the poetry scene with a rare combination of verbal pyrotechnics and honest emotion. Using manic word-charm and an open heart, Mooney invents a prosody for the twenty-first century. With a passionate wisdom about the frustrations of how humans connect, these poems surprise us with protean language and satisfy us with wry, earthy sense.


For more information about The New Layman's Almanac, please visit the McClelland & Stewart website.

Recent Writer In Residence Posts

Pivot Reading Series with Jessica Moore

When

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 8:00pm

Where

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

Details

Don’t miss Jessica Moore reading from her first poetry collection, Everything, now, as part of the Pivot Reading Series. She will be joined by Ken Babstock, Andrew Borkowski and Stan Rogal. Jacob McArthur Mooney will host.

Please check out our interview with Jessica and this clip of her reading.

Location

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

Launch for Best Canadian Poetry

When

Monday, October 15, 2012 - 8:00pm

Where

Revival Bar
783 College Street
Toronto, ON
M6G 1C5

Details

Tightrope Books proudly presents BCP 2012! Please join them to celebrate! Hosted by Molly Peacock and Best Canadian Poetry 2012 in English editor Carmine Starnino, the night promises to look back at the past five editions, and forward to the future with readings from past editors and contributors, and this year's team of excellent poets. Readers include: Michael Lista, Dani Couture, Nyla Matuk, Jim Johnstone and Jacob Mooney and more!

Location

Revival Bar
783 College Street
Toronto, ON M6G 1C5 43° 39' 17.334" N, 79° 25' 12.0396" W

Pivot Readings at the Press Club: Featuring Kristen den Hartog, Evan Jones, Katrina Onstad, and Paul Vermeersch

When

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 8:00pm

Where

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

Details

Every other Wednesday at the Press Club in Toronto, Pivot Readings presents the writers breathing life into Canadian literary culture. Established and emerging, time-tested and fresh; this is what's happening in literature, right now.

Our next reading is hosted by Jacob McArthur Mooney and features Kristen den Hartog, Evan Jones, Katrina Onstad, and Paul Vermeersch.

Location

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

Poetry NOW: 3rd annual Battle of the Bards

When

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - 7:30pm

Where

Brigantine Rm - York Quay Ctr
235 Queens Quay West
Toronto, ON
M5J 2G8

Details

This popular poetry competition returns in 2011 to feature 20 of Canada’s upcoming and established poets. One poet will receive an automatic invitation to read at the 32nd annual International Festival of Authors, AND an ad for their book in NOW!

Poetry NOW is presented in partnership with NOW Magazine.

Authors at Harbourfront Centre is inviting submissions for Poetry NOW: 3rd annual Battle of the Bards. However, with a special event comes some special rules. Last day to submit is Monday, February 28 at noon.

Even if you’ve submitted/presented work here before, please see this website for full details and tickets: http://www.readings.org/?q=wee....

Location

Brigantine Rm - York Quay Ctr
235 Queens Quay West
Toronto, ON M5J 2G8 43° 38' 35.52" N, 79° 22' 50.16" W

Last Post: Good Things in October

Whereas today is the last day of September, it also marks the end of our time together. Sad, I know. All good things and whatnot. I thought we’d take it easy, wind it down a bit, with a preview of what has me excited about the coming weeks.

Emptiness is Something: Mike Spry’s "JACK"

If a young poet is, in part, the product of his or her collected mentors (sometimes they are, sometimes they aren’t), then a lot can be said about the world of Mike Spry’s debut collection JACK by namedropping first his editor (David McGimpsey) and his “publisher…and friend” (Jon Paul Fiorentino, of Snare Books). Here are two poets locked in career-long struggles to wrestle free some truth from their study of the ephemera of popular experience, and Spry clearly aspires to stand beside them. His first collection, JACK, arrives from a pointedly off-kilter world of hard-drinking road trips and (sometimes affected) ennui. His characters would like you to know that when they get drunk, they get drunk on Labatt 50.

Death of an Honorarium: What I Bought Today at Word on the Street

Word on the Street Toronto came and went again today and, though I can’t be sure, it seemed like an oversized crowd compared to past editions. There was a steady torrent of bodies filtering past the endless row of market booths and enough listeners at every tent for it to feel like a full room. When I arrived, my official 2009 Word on the Street bag contained only my reading copy of The New Layman’s Almanac and some loose papers, but when I left that bag was full, and riding along inside the larger bag (see item 8) I got as an upgrade. Here’s a full accounting of what I purchased, took, or had thrust into my willing, greedy hands. A rough chronological order is attempted throughout.

**

1. One copy (signed) of The Last Shot by Leon Rooke

Theme and Production: Guriel, Lista, Wells, et al.

Some of the more observant among you have discovered in recent weeks that I’m something of a hack. As a hack, I can really only allow myself to use the same half-dozen blogs and news sites when doing research on potential blog topics. Enter pan-Canadian poet Zachariah Wells and his blog Career-Limiting Moves which hosts both a link to an interview with poet Jason Guriel, and a really interesting tete-a-tete thereafter between Wells and the young poet Michael Lista.

How to Run a Reading Series (Episode 2: Johan Hultqvist of Free Speech)

In the first incarnation of this series, we talked to Carey Toane of Pivot at the Press Club, which serves as something of a throwback to the simplicity of the kitchen party, the salon, and other traditions in which artists have gathered on common ground to share their work. Our next host has created something that exists in an opposite corner of the room, wherein the programming is varied, the light-hearted tone closer to that of a cabaret, but the feeling of shared community strengthened by the diversity of form brought to the table. The Free Speech reading series takes place in a miniscule room on the second floor of a coffee shop, Tinto, midway down my favourite street in the city, Roncesvalles Avenue.

The Number of Ovaries Represented on the Giller Long List is of Zero Importance to Anything

It is in the nature of the contemporary publishing industry to publicly recognize preferences. This is done in massive, transnational ways (advances, bestseller lists, etc) and also in more intimate ways. In one of the most extreme examples of the latter, there is an annual tradition in this country wherein a hundred books are mailed to the home or office of three people who may or may not be complete strangers. Those three people meet up several months later, underslept and twitching from the eyestrain, and develop a communal list of their favourites from within the 100.

How to Run a Reading Series (Episode 1: Carey Toane of “Pivot at the Press Club”)

This is part one of an expected three part series on what I consider the most heroic, underappreciated, necessary, and gruelling gigs in the entire world of literary volunteerism. I’m talking about the one-man-bands behind this city’s vibrant battery of community-led reading series. As writers and book fans in Toronto, we are well and truly overwhelmed by the diversity of series and salons available. There is quite literally one happening every night. There’s one happening right now as I type this, and one happening even now, as you read it.

The House is Empty so I Wouldn’t Want to Live There

The basis of this post is this response from Steven Galloway to this Barbara Kay article concerning the new book by Lisa Moore. I’d like to thank the National Post for hosting both opinions, thus proving again that no matter how many T-shirts say otherwise, they are becoming a welcoming home for plural discourse, especially on literary matters. I’ve previously written about the Kay article (or, more precisely, about the comments posted by readers following the Kay article) two posts ago. Okay. Caught up? Good. Let’s go…

A Managed Conception: Jim Johnstone’s The Velocity of Escape

In the last poetry review posted on this website, we all took a look at Nic Labriola’s Naming the Mannequins, a first book that came as a surprise, written as it was by an unknown author and published with very little prelude by way of either publication or notoriety. The book we’ll look at today, Jim Johnstone’s The Velocity of Escape, arrives from the opposite direction.

How to Arrange Your Bookshelf for Productivity and Laughter

I live in a house with three poets. While my baggage of books has been culled through the years by countless inter-provincial relocations, the other two members of the household moved in with a staggering amount of accumulated literature. We set up a makeshift triage library where we figured out exactly what titles were held in duplicate (or triplicate), and placed the extras in a cool, dry place. This left a pile of tomes to be sorted that was taller, wider, and heavier than the couch we positioned along the room’s far wall. The conversations we’ve had both amongst ourselves and with guests inform the following guide to how to organize the evidence of your compulsive book obsession.

Step 1: Shelving Patterns

Don’t let it Make you Thoughtful: Two Letters to Internet Strangers

The following concerns this National Post article by the usually well-considered Barbara Kay. It’s sort of a follow-up article derived from a flippant comment Kay made about Lisa Moore’s new novel February. The buzz in said comment came from Kay’s assertion that February was “unreadably Canadian”, an assertion she later admitted to proving by not actually reading it.

It’s Nighttime Survival for Men: Nic Labriola’s “Naming the Mannequins”

No one knows who Nic Labriola is. This Toronto writer was only recently shipped to our poetry clubhouse from the neighbouring community of drama, and his first book arrived this year from Insomniac Press as a complete surprise. Its author has stayed away from the usual tours of duty through open-mic nights, pass-the-hat reading venues, and other opportunities whereby a young person could introduce himself and his ideas to the Toronto Poetry Cult.

What the Kids are Learning (#2 of 2)

A couple days ago we took a look through the options available to new students at the University of Toronto. We imagined hypothetical students with an interest in both the poetical vein in literature, and the Canadian one. The results were something of a mixed bag for an institution that literally borders a street named after a Canadian poet. Today we move uptown to the suburban environment of York University. I came in with some high hopes for York, it’s the kind of place where, in the first tentative weeks of September, you can hear things like, “My name’s Doug, not ‘Professor’”, where students of mixed levels can share a cheap beer or seven, and where a person might be treated to the odd requisite text they’ll enjoy.

What the Kids are Learning (#1 of 2)

It’s the first week of September. The air is tightening up, assholes in CNE-sponsored fighter planes are buzzing my apartment in Parkdale at 8:30 in the morning, the city is as it wishes to be. And that great fall ritual of going back to school kicks into its frantic final movement. I took some time out from quietly hoping for a two-plane collision this morning to take a look at what a poetry-minded young adult could get him or herself into at Toronto’s two largest institutions of higher learning. Let’s review what the reading lists have to offer:

University of Toronto:

The Annual Literary Auxiliary’s Open House and Bake Sale

The end of September is going to bring us the 20th incarnation of the Word on the Street Festival. In the quick-rise, quicker-fall world of organized literary events, twenty is a real accomplishment. While this is no kind of grassroots effort (it’s essentially a coproduction between the Books and Periodical Council and the Government of Canada), twenty festivals is inarguable. Twenty festivals means you were a good idea in the first place.

Intro: First Morning Alone without Pages Books

Good morning, Toronto. My name is Jake and this is my guest blog for the pea green month of September.

I want to try and fold my personal WiR introduction into an anecdote about Pages Books, which, as of this morning, no longer exists at the corner of Queen and John Streets.

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.