Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Dirty Dozen, with Alex Boyd

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Alex Boyd

Alex Boyd, who won the Gerald Lampert Award for his first collection of poetry, returns with a new, not-to-be-missed book of poems called The Least Important Man (Biblioasis).

Alex's work has frequently appeared in journals, magazines and newspapers, and for five years he ran the popular IV Lounge Reading Series.

Today Alex takes on the Open Book Dirty Dozen, a different kind of interview series that allows writers to share twelve unexpected facts about themselves. Read on to hear from Alex about disastrous table service, sweatpants and the art of the active greeting.

Don't miss the launch for The Least Important Man, happening tonight, April 12, 2012, at the Dora Keogh in Toronto! Click here for event details.

  1. I’d pay about a thousand dollars to somehow have a pint of beer with George Orwell, as he’s my favourite writer (particularly for his somewhat lesser known work, like Down and Out in Paris and London, and his essays).
  2. I’ve always wanted a nickname, and I’ve never had one. I tried to manufacture one for myself in high school, but this was fairly poorly planned, as it was “Elvis,” and I didn’t turn out to be the biggest fan of his music.
  3. Briefly, I was the world’s worst waiter, dropping a drink in a man’s lap and a piece of layered cream cake into a woman’s purse. They were both very nice about it, and I recall the woman using a napkin to clean her keys.
  4. I’ve read every Sherlock Holmes story and novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and own at least three editions of The Hound of the Baskervilles, as well as at least three film versions of The Hound. This does not satisfy me and I will certainly be buying both more movie and book editions of the story.
  5. I worked for the first Chapters that opened in downtown Toronto, regularly reassuring people they could buy the books, and that they weren’t in a library.
  6. I think it should be illegal to have something written across the back of your sweatpants, but this is just one of the many ways I’m not particularly well suited to modern life.
  7. It’s my feeling that increasingly self-centered behavior is an untreated modern epidemic. I don’t think mobile phones, iPods and online social networks cause this, but they certainly seem to prop open the door.
  8. My favourite film is The Bicycle Thief (1948) because it’s just so damn beautiful and sad.
  9. I’m a huge fan of old black-and-white films because, like listening to music on vinyl, I think certain imperfections and an awareness of the experience can be a delightful part of the experience.
  10. I think we should replace “Have a great day” with “Make it a great day” just to be less passive about it. While I’m on the subject, I think we shouldn’t use “How are you?” as a greeting, in favour of using it when you really want to know the answer.
  11. One of the more useful things anyone ever said to me is that comments and criticisms are like packages left on your doorstep, and there’s no need to necessarily take them inside (yourself).
  12. Of the fifty poems in The Least Important Man, I’m quietly proudest of the ones that are a bit more plainly Canadian, like “The Echo of Isaac Brock.”


Alex Boyd writes poems, fiction, reviews and essays, and has published work in magazines and newspapers such as the Globe and Mail, Quill & Quire, and on websites such as Nthposition. His first book of poems Making Bones Walk (Luna Publications, 2007) won the Gerald Lampert Award. He edits the online poetry journal Northern Poetry Review, and recently helped establish Best Canadian Essays, co-editing the first two editions of selections from Canadian magazines. His new book is The Least Important Man.

For more information about The Least Important Man please visit the Biblioasis website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

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