Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

March Highlights from OBT

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Dear Readers,

Open Book: Toronto welcomes Paul Vermeersch, our March Writer in Residence. Paul is the author of The Reinvention of the Human Hand (McClelland & Stewart, 2010) and three other collections of poetry. He is also the editor of The I.V. Lounge Reader (Insomniac Press) and The Al Purdy A-frame Anthology (Harbour Publishing). Visit Paul's WIR page to read his blog, his Ten Questions with Open Book and his reading recommendations. Send your questions and comments for Paul to or post them below his blog entries.

Win a copy of Paul Vermeersch's latest book, The Reinvention of the Human Hand, in our March Book Giveaway. To enter your name in the draw, send an email to with the title of one of Paul's Reading Recommendations listed on his WIR page. The contest closes on March 31st.

Congratulations to e-news subscriber Janet Beck, winner of Open Book's February Kindle Contest.

Toronto: a city so pretty they named a cocktail after it. Kat Gligorijevic shows you how to mix the Toronto Cocktail in the latest and last installment of our Cooking in the Edible City video series. We partnered with Coach House Books to bring you a trio of videos of contributors to The Edible City: Toronto's Food from Farm to Fork preparing their culinary specialties. The videos were shot on location at Dish Cooking Studio and produced by Vepo Studios.

Other Edible City videos:
Making Roti with Rea McNamara and her cousin, Kiel Brathwaite.
Apple-Cornbread-Sausage Stuffing with Kathryn Borel Jr.

Open Book's newest regular contributor, Melanie Janisse (Orioles in the Oranges, Guernica Editions), writes about renovations, acupuncture, a trip to the Parliament Branch of the Toronto Public Library and Martha Baillie's latest book, The Incident Report (Pedlar Press). Read the article here.

Nathaniel G. Moore interviews Andrew Kaufman about his books, The Waterproof Bible (Random House Canada) and All My Friends Are Superheroes (Coach House Books).

For our Ten Questions interview series, authors answer questions about reading and writing and offer advice for writers who are trying to get published:
J.A. Wainwright (Blazing Figures: The Life of Robert Markle, Wilfrid Laurier University Press): "Write first, then keep writing. Getting published is the result of excellence colliding with chance."
Jean-Marc Desgent (Twentieth Centuries, Guernica): "Write truthfully."
Beverley Abramson (Off We Go! , Tundra Books): "Do not be discouraged by rejection. Rejection is an inevitable and integral part of the process."
Shaista Justin (Winter, the Unwelcome Visitor, TSAR): "The question is not what you should do to get published, but rather, how does one become an excellent writer?"
Jim Smith (Back Off! Assassin, Mansfield Press): "Keep writing. Make it new. Read widely. Develop obsessive interests. Start a small mag or a press."
Anne Villeneuve (The Red Scarf, Tundra Books): "Don’t hesitate to present your work to many different publishing houses. You never know which one could be interested in your project."

Gregory Betts takes us to a conference in Banff in the latest stop on his book tour, where he read with fellow poet Gary Barwin: "Nobody seemed to object to our version of sound poetry, despite the fact that we did not wear our gorilla masks."

Shaun Smith's latest Sunday Sundries column provides a roundup of e-book news and directs us to a gallery of classic comic covers that feature apes. There seems to be a theme here...

...except there's no mention apes in CTON's latest Rodeo Magic webcomic, but it is nonetheless brilliant, making many of us envy the life of a children's book illustrator.

Our latest poll has paper books in a slight lead over the Kindle and the iPad. Do you have a question that you think the literary community needs to address? Send your poll suggestions to You can look at all of our past polls here.

Our February Top Tens are in. See what books Toronto readers picked up from four of Toronto's independent bookstores: Bakka-Phoenix, Ben McNally Books, The Book Mark and Toronto Women's Bookstore.

Toronto and area event highlights for the next two weeks:

  • Reading by Jill Edmondson (Blood and Groom: A Sasha Jackson Mystery, Dundurn Press) at Another Story Bookshop, 315 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto. Friday, March 5 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Nitin Deckha (Shopping for Sabzi, TSAR) will be at York University's Canadian Writers in Person series at York University, Accolade West Building, Room 206, Toronto. Tuesday, March 9 at 6:00 p.m.
  • David Derry, a.rawlings and Zachariah Wells will be reading at the Pivot Reading Series at the Press Club, 850 Dundas Street West, Toronto. Wednesday, March 10 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Launch for Blazing Figures: A Life of Robert Markle (WLU Press) by J.A. Wainwright at Ben McNally Books, 366 Bay Street, Toronto. Thursday, March 11 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Workshop: The Insider's Guide to Getting Published led by Cynthia Good and Jennifer Murray at Toronto Public Library - Northern District Branch, 40 Orchard View Blvd., Toronto. March 11, 18 and 25 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • The Small Print Tot Studio Presents: A March Break Art Adventure with Laurel Crouza, Matt James and Patricia Storms at the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West, Toronto. Wednesday, March 17 at 9:30 a.m.

For details and more event listings, go to Open Book's events page.

Questions? Comments? Send them to

All the best,
Open Book

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