Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Jess Taylor

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Jess Taylor is a Toronto writer and poet. She founded The Emerging Writers Reading Series in 2012 and is the fiction editor of Little Brother Magazine. She's released two chapbooks of poetry, And Then Everyone: Poems of the West End (Picture Window Press, 2014) and Never Stop (Anstruther Press, 2014). This October, her first collection of short stories, Pauls, was published by BookThug. The title story from the collection, "Paul," received the 2013 Gold Fiction National Magazine Award. Jess is currently at work on a second collection, a novel, and a continuation of her life poem, Never Stop.

You can contact Jess throughout the month of February at

The Proust Questionnaire, with Jess Taylor

Don't miss the chance to get to know our fantastic February 2016 writer-in-residence, Jess Taylor. She recently completed our Proust Questionnaire, so we got a peek into her personality and got all the more excited about having her as our next WIR!


By Jess Taylor

From BookThug: Paul is not always the same Paul, but could very well be a similar Paul, another Paul in a long line of Pauls. Paul runs through forests, drinks in student housing, flirts with girls, at times is a girl, loves men, makes friends, jumps from buildings, hurts people, gets hurt, climbs up towards the sky, waits for a sunrise, and all those human things.

Recent Writer In Residence Posts

Job Shadowing: Writer, Editor, and Artist Malcolm Sutton in Conversation about his Novel and Many Types of Work

I first met Malcolm Sutton as the fiction editor at BookThug. We worked closely on my book of short stories, and I admired how much Malcolm strove to understand my worldview and the thinking that went into the book. He also designs the majority of BookThug’s fiction covers, and first became involved with them as a book designer.

Why Some of the Best Writers I Know Aren't Publishing

Some of the best writers I know are relatively unpublished. They might have a story out here or there, or maybe write professionally in another genre, but they aren’t actively trying to pursue a publisher for a longer work. We all talk a lot about publishing -- it’s this thing that hangs over all writers, as either a goal, a reminder of our failures, perhaps a reminder of our successes, or an oppressive system we are trying to opt out of.


Writing Hangovers Are Denim on Denim: Part 2 of Four New Writers to Watch

I posted the first half of my interview with four exciting writers-to-watch, Noor Naga, Sofia Mostaghimi, Kristel Jax, and Faith Arkorful, earlier today. We talked about writing into dark places, what their subject matter is, when these emerging writers first started to get serious about their writing, and life rage.

Tiny Rooms of One's Own: Part 1 of Four New Writers to Watch - Faith Arkorful, Sofia Mostaghimi, Noor Naga, and Kristel Jax.

As I developed my writing over the years, I had many teachers and people in the community support my work and offer me encouragement. It’s always been important for me to give back and encourage talent in emerging writers as I see it. It’s why I started the Emerging Writers Reading Series, and it will always be part of my writing life -- giving back support to those who gave it to me and to those that need it.

Recognizing Something Human: Part Two of Andrew F. Sullivan in Conversation

Yesterday I posted the beginnings of my G-Chat conversation with Andrew F. Sullivan.

Read Around The World: Part Two of The Extravagant JT Reading Program That Will Never Be Started or Finished

In my last post, I discussed why I think we all (or at least me in particular) live, read, and write: to develop mutual understanding with other people.

Why Writers Should Be Reading Works in Translation or Part 1 of The Extravagant JT Reading Plan Never to Be Started or Completed


Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about reading because I’ve rekindled that love. I go through phases with reading, as I guess most of do, usually dependent on how engrossed I am in my own projects. Lately, I’ve started to wonder about those reading cycles because I’ve been thinking more about my ethical responsibility to read as a writer.


Telling a Story That Works: Part Two of Stephen Thomas in Conversation

Yesterday I posted Part One of my interview with Stephen Thomas about his book, The Jokes, out this March with BookThug. The Jokes is technically a book of short stories, but to call it a book of short stories simplifies the complexities of its form. Stephen and I talked more about the form yesterday, going into depth about the writing process and my response while reading. Today we get more into the content of The Jokes and where the concept began.

Tearing Down The Walls: Jacqueline Valencia on The Toronto Poetry Talks

Jacqueline Valencia, a Toronto poet and critic, has been organizing the Toronto Poetry Talks on Racism and Sexism in poetry for about a year.

It Began With Degrassi-Themed Walkie-Talkies: Part One of Desert Pets Press in Conversation

Desert Pets Press is a brand new chapbook press that launched their first season in Fall 2015.

Well, hi.

Well, hi. How’s it going? What you up to? Are you having a good evening?

I’m talking to you from Open Book: Toronto as the Writer-In-Residence for the month of February. I’ll be taking you through the month of love with some interviews, a few ideas that I’m turning over, and my ambitious reading program that will probably never be started or completed.

Video of the Week: BookThug interview series with Jess Taylor, our February writer-in-residence

We're excited to announce that Jess Taylor, whose debut short story collection Pauls (BookThug) has been getting rave reviews, will join us at Open Book as our writer-in-residence for February 2016!

If you aren't familiar with Jess and her work, check out this video, courtesy of BookThug. Jess talks about the world in which Pauls takes place and about addressing violence and power dynamics in her stories.

Stay tuned to hear more from Jess in February!

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.