Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Victoria Sedova

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Victoria Sedova is an accomplished author and literary translator. Her published works include one poetry collection, three academic books, three translated books and numerous articles and educational materials for schools, colleges and universities. Her short stories and poetry have appeared in a variety of regional, national and international publications. She was born in Russia, grew up in Ukraine and moved to Canada with her family in 1990s. Her latest poetry collection, The Bay of Lost Love, was published by BookLand Press in 2012. She is a member of the Literary Translators' Association of Canada and the Writers' Union of Canada.

Please send your questions and comments for Victoria Sedova to writer@openbooktoronto.com

Five Things Literary: Toronto, with Victoria Sedova

In our Five Things Literary series, we bring you into the literary life of individual authors and the communities that nurture and inspire them. Victoria Sedova, Open Book's September 2013 Writer in Residence takes us on a literary tour of the Toronto.

The Bay of Lost Love

By Victoria Sedova

From the publisher's website:

This poetry collection guides us through a sensational journey of love. The poems and images ignite our imagination, connect us to our current, past and future feelings, and touch that special spark inside us. Throughout the book we linger in pain and strife trying to find a remedy for our troubled souls. In the realm of love, the power of words is far better for conveying exactly what we are feeling, whether we want to seduce, plead, flatter or convince, proclaim the depth of our devotion, or even reveal a broken heart. We become bitter as we harden our hearts, lose trust, feel betrayed and blame everyone around us for the emptiness that engulfs us.

Recent Writer In Residence Posts

TRANSLATING CANADIAN LITERATURE: AN INTERVIEW WITH FRASER SUTHERLAND

In this interview, I am talking with Fraser Sutherland from Toronto about his experience with translation projects. He is the author of 17 books, several of them have been translated to French, Italian, Serbian, Turkish, and Ukrainian.

VICTORIA SEDOVA. Throughout your writing career you’ve had several books translated from English to various languages. How do you feel about having your work presented to readers across the world with different cultures and different languages?

BOOKLORE STORE FROM ORANGEVILLE WINS 2013 BOOKSELLER OF THE YEAR LIBRIS AWARD

I was in Orangeville earlier this week visiting my friends and as always stopped by BookLore Store (www.booklore.ca), which is one of my favourite independent bookstores. I’ve been to the store many times and was always impressed by its excellent selection of books and very knowledgeable staff. The bookstore is located in the heart of Orangeville and has been in business for over 20 years. The store is also well-known for their “One Book One Country” book club. I was pleased to find out that BookLore won the 2013 Bookseller of the Year Libris Award. In this video, store owner Nancy Frater reflects on what winning this prestigious award means to her.

SCOTIABANK GILLER LIGHT BASH AT CBC HEADQUARTERS

This year the Scotiabank Giller Light Bash will take place on November 5 at CBC headquarters in Studio 40. It will be hosted by Kevin Sylvester, a writer and news broadcaster, who is most known for his book series "Neil Flambé Capers.” The event is sponsored by Kobo, Penguin Random House, Walrus Magazine, and Steam Whistle Brewery among others. This is an amazing literary event and a chance to meet best Canadian authors and even win an autographed set of the Giller Prize shortlisted books. I will make sure to attend.

The short list will be announced on October 8 and the long list looks very impressive:

- Dennis Bock for “Going Home Again”
- Joseph Boyden “The Orenda”
- Lynn Coady for “Hellgoing”
- Craig Davidson for “Cataract City”

AUTOMATED POETRY PROJECT AT WORD VANCOUVER LITERARY FESTIVAL

As a poet, I am always looking for new ways to promote poetry and this week’s WORD Vancouver literary festival (www.wordvancouver.ca) is doing something completely out-of-the-box launching their first Automated Poetry Project. During the festival, WORD Vancouver will transform ordinary bubblegum vending machines into poetry dispensers. Selected poems choosen form many Canadian poetry books will be placed in vending machine’s bubble balls and dispensed for a toonie each. All funds raised from this project will be used to promote poetry at the WORD Vancouver festival. In this video, Taryn Boyd from the Literary Press Group of Canada and WORD Vancouver festival's board member discusses the Automated Poetry Project.

TRANSLATING CANADIAN LITERATURE: AN INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTINA KILBOURNE

In this interview, I am talking with Christina Kilbourne from Bracebridge, ON about her experience with translation projects. She is the author of five books, several of them have been translated into Ukrainian, Slovenian, and Portuguese.

VICTORIA SEDOVA. One of your previously published books has been recently translated into Ukrainian and launched in Ukraine. Please share your experience about this translation project.

TOMORROW IS THE WORD ON THE STREET

Tomorrow is one of my most anticipated literary events of the year – The Word on the Street (www.thewordonthestreet.ca). For me it equals the Stanley Cup Final and the Super Bowl. I hope the weather will cooperate tomorrow and it won’t be raining all day as it was today. The Word on the Street is the place to be for the most exciting books and literary news of the year. It is also the place for authors and book lovers to gather, meet old friends, make new friends, chat with many prominent authors, talk to book publishers, buy a few great books, and have a lot of fun. There is something for everyone and it makes the Word on the Street a truly unique and exciting event! I will post my Word on the Street report tomorrow. I am sure there will be a lot to talk about!

NEW TECHNOLOGY AT THE METRO TORONTO CONVENTION CENTRE

The Metro Toronto Convention Centre (www.mtccc.com) recently implemented advanced digital technology that allows to conduct virtual trade shows in addition to the traditional exhibits. It is one of only two expo centres in North America offering trade shows that are able to broadcast show content in real time via internet to computers, tablets, and other devices. Perhaps one day BookExpo Canada will return to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and publishers and authors will be able to take advantage to this new technology. Or maybe we will see this technology in action during 2014 Ontario Library Expo.

UKRAINIAN INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR

The Ukrainian International Book Fair wrapped up yesterday after a week of book readings, award presentations, book launches, authors’ interviews, and many other exciting literary events. I have to say that this book fair does not really compare in size or attendance to the Frankfurt Book Fair or the London Book Fair, but is it the largest annual book fair in Ukraine and therefore people like myself, who make a living by translating literature from English to Ukrainian and Russian, really pay attention to this important annual event. I was particularly interested in the Translit Festival during the fair, which is the largest event in Ukraine promoting literary translations from and to Ukrainian.

MY TRIP TO THE EDEN MILLS WRITERS' FESTIVAL

I've just returned from an exciting trip to visit the Eden Mills Writers' Festival in Guelph. I believe today was the festival’s 25th anniversary. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many people were actually there and how engaging and enthusiastic the crowd was. As an author, I am always happy to see so many people of all ages and different backgrounds showing strong interest in books and literature in general. Who said the book publishing industry in Canada was in crisis? It did not appear to be that way at all at the Eden Mills Writers' Festival today.

TODAY IS FRIDAY THE 13TH

Today is Friday the 13th and the fear of this unlucky day crawls into our minds whether we choose to accept it or not. Any month that begins on a Sunday will contain a Friday the 13th, and there is at least one Friday the 13th in every calendar year. While in 21st century it may seem like an outdated concept to fear this particular day, the superstition still exists. You may have noticed that many hospitals don’t have room 13, many buildings don’t have 13th floor, many airports don’t have gate 13, and fewer people are willing to get married on the 13th.

BOOKSELLING IS A DIFFICULT BUSINESS

I have the highest respect for small independent bookstore owners. Bookselling is a difficult business to be in and many prominent independent bookstores disappeared facing fierce competition from discount internet booksellers and large store chains. Some of my favourite bookstores that went out of business are Nicholas Hoare in Toronto and Collected Works in Ottawa. I am sure they will be missed by many avid readers and book lovers.

Some of independent bookstores really go above and beyond in terms of creativity and dedication to their customers. One of my favourite independent bookstores, Type Books, which has two locations in downtown Toronto, created an absolutely fantastic video trailer to promote the store.

CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY IN CANADA

Canadian publishing industry went through significant transformation during the last few years and the process is still unfolding. Should Canadian authors worry? Let’s take a look at the facts. McArthur & Company publishing closed just a few months ago after almost 15 years in business. Thomas Allen Publishers was acquired by Dundurn in August. Key Porter had to shut down its doors about a year ago due to financial issues. Douglas & McIntyre had to file for bankruptcy after almost 40 years in business and was eventually sold to Harbour Publishing. The most troubling is of course sale of Canadian publishing legend, McClelland & Stewart, to Random House of Canada, which is owned by Bertelsmann from Germany. And last but not least, the mega-merger of Random House and Penguin.

BOOK LAUNCH

Christina Kilbourne, a fellow writer from Muskoka, will launch her latest novel “The Flickering Light” on September 22, from 2 to 4 pm at Arts at the Albion, 100 Muskoka Road North, Gravenhurst, Ontario P1P 1S4. For additional information about the event please visit www.artsatthealbion.com or www.christinakilbourne.com.

MOSCOW INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR

The 26th Moscow International Book Fair opened this week in Russia featuring exhibitors and visitors from over 60 countries around the world. Participants include Russian and international publishers, book distributors, literary agents, translators, book printers, and librarians. The fair was established in 1977 and become one of the largest annual book fairs in Europe but virtually unknown to publishers in Canada. As a literary translator who mainly translates from English to Russian and Ukrainian, I visit the Moscow International Book Fair whenever I can but never see any Canadian publishers there or literary agents selling rights to Canadian books.

BOOK VIDEO TRAILER FOR “ONE WAY TICKET” BY DAVID TUCKER

BoookLand Press (Markham, Ontario) recently published "One Way Ticket" - a collection of short stories by David Tucker. Here is a book video trailer for "One Way Ticket."

LABOUR DAY WEEKEND

This year I spent Labour Day weekend with my family at the CNE. We used to go there all the time but missed it last two years for a variety of reasons. As always there was so much to do and so much to see at the CNE. Whether you are interested in arts and crafts, rides and games, exotic food, acrobatic shows, animals or music – it was all there scattered throughout the CNE grounds.

The Sand Sculpture competition impressed me the most. It was absolutely remarkable to see how the artists were able to make such creative, very detailed, and gigantic sculptures using just sand and water. Very talented sculptors from several countries participated in this competition, including Canada, US, Italy, Netherlands, and Russia.

SEPTEMBER THOUGHTS

September happens to be one of my most favourite times of the year and certainly perfect timing for me to blog for Open Book Toronto. I am very excited about this opportunity and look forward to sharing my thoughts and observations in my WIR blog.

By some reason I usually write the best of my poetry right after the end of the summer. Watching leaves turning red and summer slowly fading away bring a lot of inspiration to me, especially when I write about love, relationships, dreams, and hopes. I wonder if any other writers feel the same way? Is poetry writing a “seasonal” thing or is it just me?

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.