Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Love and poetry

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Love and poetry

Last year, Brick Books marked 40 years as Canada’s most influential poetry publisher by asking dozens of poets, novelists, booksellers, musicians and other folks to write short tributes to a favourite Canadian poet, whether they’ve been published by Brick or not. The response was big enough that Brick has kept the project into 2016 and beyond.

Kitty Lewis, Brick's indefatigable publisher, was kind enough to ask me to contribute, and didn’t even mind when I said the poet I wanted to write about happened to be one with whom I share a home.

Here’s a bit of my tribute:

Meaghan Strimas gave me a copy of her first collection, Junkman’s Daughter, years ago, while I was in the middle of falling in love with her. I read the whole thing in the bath, anxious about what I would say if the poems were too dense or impenetrable for my prosey brain, and just as anxious about what I’d say if the poems were bad. Meaghan herself had partly disowned the book as unworthy even as she gave it to me.

All that anxiety turned very quickly into relief, then delight, then… jealousy. By the end of the book, and the bath, I was mad at myself for not being able to achieve in a pile of glomping, overstuffed chapters what she was able to do in a dozen smart lines.

To read the whole thing, please go here.

To see all of the tributes, go here. (If you’re interested in contributing, get in touch with Kitty Lewis - the more the merrier.)

And by the way, Meaghan Strimas has a great new collection, Yes or Nope, coming this fall from Mansfield Press. You can read a couple of poems from the book over at Canadian Notes & Queries.

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.

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Nathan Whitlock

Nathan Whitlock’s award-winning fiction and non-fiction has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, Toronto Life, Report on Business, Flare, Fashion, Geist, Maisonneuve, and Best Canadian Essays, and he has appeared on radio and television discussing books and culture. He is a contributing editor for Quill & Quire. He lives in Toronto with his wife and children.

You can write to Nathan throughout the month of July at

Go to Nathan Whitlock’s Author Page