Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Whazamo!, Amy Lavender Harris, Interviews, Features and More

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Fresh & Local: Your connection to Toronto's vibrant literary scene

Dear Readers,

May updates from Open Book: Toronto and a look forward to June.

Throughout May, we celebrated Graphic Novel Month on Open Book with Whazamo!, a page chock-full of profiles, interviews, news and amazing comics, many of them exclusive to Open Book. When you browse the page, make sure to watch "The Art of Story," an exciting new video by our Whazamo! writer in residence, Ian Daffern, in which he speaks with artists Kalman Andrasofszky, Charlene Chua, Agnes Garbowska and John Lang about the books that inspired them to become artists.

"Think of every shortlist and festival program as a review of sorts, because if that's the case the reviews on offer in Toronto this June are more numerous than ever." In "Luminato and Illuminating the Review," Becky Toyne writes about literary awards, festivals and book reviews.

"Nothing about my history dictated that I would become involved in re-branding one of the most tenacious and longstanding presses in Toronto — especially the one that publishes me, but I couldn't resist the ideas forming in my head." In "Dancing Seahorses," Melanie Janisse discusses her new career as a book-cover designer for Guernica Editions.

"For every bookish event I go to, and that's plenty, I get the sense that there is an unspoken silo that goes up along genre lines, and that the world of sports, and the literature that it spews, are not really considered integral reads by the literati, though I have no clue as to why." Read the latest from Dalton Higgins, "Forget CanLit, SportsLit Is Where It's At."

"I continued to assault the keyboard with rapid fire queries, like a Dr Pepper-strung-out-high-school-arcade pimp...." Nathaniel G. Moore interviews Zsuzsi Gartner about her new book, Better Living through Plastic Explosives, in his continued exploration of the state of short fiction in Canada.

Each week, we learn from Shaun Smith's Sunday Sundries. For instance, this week we learned about a poem that was lost, how one bad letter can spoil a typeface, about the latest trend in publishing and that some Joyceans have a lot of time on their hands.

"A Writer is responsible for not giving up her vision, no matter how stubborn the world is." Poet, novelist and children's author Susan Glickman responds to George Murray's Questionless Books Interview.

Our May writer in residence, Amy Lavender Harris, has been posting about a variety of intriguing topics. One post in particular inspired readers to engage in a healthy debate about whether we are "Authors of our own Misfortune" when it comes to independent bookstores. Sign in and have your say, and make sure you check out all of Amy's engaging and thought-provoking blog entries.

Our recent interviews are with a stellar group of authors illustrators and cartoonists: Rebecca Kraatz, Megan Speers, Ludmila Zeman, Anthony Del Col & Conor McCreery, Emma Ruby-Sachs, Chris Kuzma, Stephen Cain, Diego Bergia, Tin Can Forest and Natalee Caple.

Think we're slowing down for the summer? Not so! Stop by Open Book in June for a series of interviews with the Trillium Book Award/Prix Trillium finalists; blogging by our June Writer in Residence, Jessica Westhead; a daily blog from a group of poetry-minded high school students; exciting contests; author and illustrator interviews, new features; our 2011 Summer Magazine featuring Stephen Cain, Nathaniel G. Moore, Chris Butcher, Alex Jensen and a gorgeous Spotlight feature on Ontario poets; a summer reading guide and more.

Planning your June schedule? Don't forget to make time for some of the fabulous literary events happening in and around Toronto. Check Open Book's Events page to see what's on. Do you have an event that you'd like posted? Please send it to Rebecca Lohse at

We'd love to hear from you. Please send your questions and comments to

All the best,
Open Book

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JF Robitaille: Minor Dedications


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