Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

James Lindsay

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James Lindsay has been a bookseller for more than a decade. He is also co-owner of Pleasence Records in Toronto, a record label specializing in post-punk, odd-pop and avant-garde sound pieces.He is the author of the poetry collection Our Inland Sea (Wolsak & Wynn).

You can write to James throughout April at writer@openbooktoronto.com

Poets in Profile: James Lindsay

Toronto book lovers already know James Lindsay as one of the friendly faces behind the counter at indie darling TYPE Books on Queen West, but his own acclaimed poetry has also been appearing in journals and magazines across the country. Now readers can experience James' work in his first full length collection (with one of our favourite titles of the season!), Our Inland Sea (Wolsak & Wynn). The buzz is spreading rapidly, with reviewers and fellow poets praising James' work (Jacob McArthur Mooney endorsed the collection with a critique no less than "James Lindsay can do everything").

Our Inland Sea

By James Lindsay

From Wolsak & Wynn:

Step Right Up to Our Inland Sea!

  • Watch in amazement as a funnel cloud picks a fight with a Ferris wheel!
  • Learn the secrets of wrangling yeti and shooting sasquatch!
  • Experience thrills and chills as you visit the ghost towns of Ontario and China!
  • Marvel at the Coney Island Aquarium and the reclaimed Gold Rush Hotel!

With fantastical imagery and attention to detail, these poems pull you into a funhouse world where a prime minister walks you to school and Gordon Lish takes over a poem. You will encounter animals in uniform and realize the Snowpocalypse is not what you think. Read on, and discover all these astonishing phenomena…and many more!

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James Lindsay: What is it about a book of poetry that draws you to write about it? And how do you start? What's your entry point to writing about poetry?

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James Lindsay: What kind of music do you listen to when you write and do you think it affects your writing?

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Music to Work to

I enjoy having a soundtrack while I write, music stimulates me when I lose concentration, but it can’t be anything with lyrics. Songs are too distracting. I think there’s a part of my mind that innately recognizes that words are being uttered and wants to try to make sense of them. As if I was being spoken to, I need to process the communication and think of a response so as to not be rude. So when I write the music I listen to tends to be on the instrumental and ambient side: background music I don’t have to fully commit to, that I can easily stop paying attention to but then settle right back in with when the writing pauses. In no way is this statement against the quality of this music.

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Please note the views and opinions expressed by writers in the Open Book writer-in-residence program are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect those of Open Book, its staff or contributors
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An Introduction and Disclaimer

Outside of a brief stint at Simon Fraser University’s The Writers’ Studio program, I have no post-secondary education. My experience with books has been primarily shaped as a bookseller, a job I’ve had for over a decade now. First as a volunteer at an anarchist bookstore in Vancouver that burned down; then at the now closed Book City in the Annex; and, most recently, at Type Books on Queen Street, which I hope nothing bad happens to.

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.