Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Zoe T. Leroy Chats with Jacob McArthur Mooney, poet and founder of the Facebook Review

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Zoe T. Leroy Chats with Jacob McArthur Mooney, poet and founder of the Facebook Review

ZW: Why a literary journal on Facebook? How did you come up with the idea?

1. It was one of those things that I thought up and then assumed had to already exist somewhere, because Facebook is such an immense environment. As it turns out, FB is vast but also surprisingly empty. It's not really seen as something that could contain its own culture, merely reflect the culture happening beyond it. That was the assumption I wanted to challenge.

ZW: Did you anticipate it becoming this popular?

2. Is it popular? It's a big world and we're just a little island. I thought it would grow a little slower than this, but I never doubted that there were people "out there" looking for something a little meatier from their resident timewaster.

ZW: What are you hoping to accomplish?

3. To put good stuff out there, and to put out a great diversity of it. But from my position that's kind of secondary as I'm not going to be in control of content anymore once the editorial train kicks in. I think, more than anything, that Facebook can be a meeting ground for writers at all level of the "quantifiable success/fame" spectrum; as it is home to both kids posting their first poems for friends to read and established authors using it as a marketing vehicle. I think that the casual atmosphere on FB can get those people talking to each other in ways they'd never do in The Real World because that established author isn't usually interested in "amateur" poetry and that kid would never be caught dead at a public reading.

ZW: How are submissions thus far?

4. Really good. And there's a lot of them. We have a pretty amazing list of contributors already locked up, including a nationally-recognizable comedian, a world-reknown sex expert, a couple of poets who people will know, and then, at the same time, lots of people you've never heard of who will hopefully impress you as much as they have me.

ZW: Tell me a bit about yourself and your forthcoming book of poetry.

5. Uh oh. Let's see, I'm a Nova Scotian by birth currently attending grad school in Toronto. I'm 24. That makes me a boar. My other editing gig is as the poetry ed. at the deliciously troublemaking I'm very proud to have my first book of poetry on the horizon and even prouder to have it be published by the people at McClelland & Stewart. It's called "The New Layman's Almanac" and will be out in March. Start saving your pennies.

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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Zoe Whittall

Zoe Whittall is the author of the novel Bottle Rocket Hearts (Cormorant, 2007) and two volumes of poetry, The Emily Valentine Poems (Snare, 2006) and The Best Ten Minutes of Your Life (McGilligan, 2001).

Go to Zoe Whittall’s Author Page