Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015


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Here is the second and possibly last of the alleged weekly interviews with writers about whom I know nothing. Turns out, bi-weekly, or bi-monthly; I can never get those two straight.


1) Who are you?

I am a kevin. Usually a full kevin mcpherson eckhoff. And occasionally even a faux jaroslaw.

2) What do you do?

Yes. I do whats. And I do a lot of hows. Days equal unteaching English. Dusks equal unediting journals. Nights equal unwriting a novel. Dawns equal unemailing friends. Weekends equal drive-in movies & community-strength-building exercises of unpoetry readings & yordwark & book-thing-makings & floating down the Shuswap River & cooking spaghet & curating guerilla art galleries on mountain lookouts & sleeping in hammocks.

3) Jake called you "the Greek goddess of retributive justice." What do you think he was talking about?

What a little banshee of joy-terror… Bestfriend is such a wonder-monger! Okay, so every coupla months, bf and I get to travel to a city place together and once in a while we might see an important + serious city poet order a Roy Rogers without even asking or using the server’s name; this hypothetical poet then silently + flawlessly pays for said beverage with an electronic banking plastic device, dispassionately receives said beverage in-hand, and proceeds to raise said beverage to lips for sipping purposes whilst walking away. Being the server of this poet means being the reader of this poet’s poetry. And while the exchange is efficient, it is not fair. I suppose that in a surmiserly way I may be inspired, in select instances, to advise the server-victim never to purchase that poet’s books (to which the barista would respond, “Poetry?”). In other instances, I would consider composing a vengeful tweet of shame featuring the name of our hypothetical poet. As for the Greek part, many people say I resemble a dainty Hephaestus.

4) Where do you live? Do you like it?

Nope. I pretty much love it. Armstrong is the beautiful most weeks. Hiking trails, goat farms, Caravan Farm Theatre, thrift stores, the Brown Derby diner, 32°C summers, no poets for kilometres, the Interior Provincial Exhibition every September. Plus, both my dog and life partner live here in the selfsame 90-year-old house spoiled by a huge gardeny yard, so that works out well.

5) Let's imagine that someone has plunged a sword in my side. What should I do?

Do you know how to use Google? If not, start screaming. That’s my key strategy for combating lacerations. Alternately, you might just go ahead and forgive the plunger—that is, that someone.

6) Tell me about something on the internet that you love.

Pasha, “love” is a strong word. And the internet is a weak sentiment. I cherish Sina’s Lemonhound and I relish gmb’s ebbflux and I anguish BJD’s the Composites, but here’s the some-one-thing on the internet that makes my blood-heart swell with redness:
Okay, actually, now it’s this: And now:

7) Do you have a nemesis? If so, tell me about her/him.

From 1994 to 1998, my nemesis was named Chris Stickney. He dated a girl I crushed pretty badly and he sang in a band, Stutterfly, despised by my band, Shriven. I’m pretty sure he’s still a dork, but mostly he’s inconsequential to my now-life. My present nemesis is probably reading; it defeats my face every time.

8) Are you a "loner" or a "people person"?

By nature, I’m a peopler. By nurture, I’m a one-on-oner.

9) Tell me about a dream you had recently.

Let’s pretend that I awoke last Wednesday with a brain-shadow of this narrative: I had spent the night as a powerless, gadget-less superhero riding the subway with Bill Murray. Everything was primary colours. The train was running very fast. I could only speak in vowels. Bill was quiet, sympathetic. The lights dimmed for a moment, and when they reilluminated we were flying, but Bill was now a baby and we were alone on the train-plain. I tried reading the next stop. Something smelt terrible, like silage. The director stepped into the scene and stopped the filming. It was my aunt. I couldn’t find my script. I tried to body-fly away from the movie set; at best, I could barely moon-hop. Security started chasing me around fake buildings until I get bored and wake-up. That’s exactly the kinda of dream I’m used to.

10) If I were to pay you for this interview, what do you think would be a fair rate?

Well. Uhm, could we split whatever you’re getting, 50/55? Or how about we buy each other a Roy Rogers one day at a pub, in realtime, face-to-farce? Pleasy.

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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Pasha Malla

Pasha Malla’s first collection of short stories, The Withdrawal Method, a Globe and Mail and National Post book of the year, won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award and the Trillum Book Award and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize and longlisted for the Giller Prize. His latest book, People Park, is forthcoming from Anansi in July 2012.

Go to Pasha Malla’s Author Page