Twenty - forty minute interviews with accomplished authors, publishers, biblio people, conducted by an excitable bibliophile.
1. jack_rabinovitch_800928_01.mp3 (played 23 times)
2. David_Godine.mp3 (played 28 times)
3. Mark_Samuels_Lasner_800406_01.mp3 (played 24 times)
4. David_Staines_031608-095233.mp3 (played 29 times)
5. Bob_Fleck_1_800130_01.mp3 (played 25 times)
6. Richard_Holloway.mp3 (played 17 times)
7. Adam_Thorpe.mp3 (played 24 times)
8. Nicholson_Baker1.mp3 (played 30 times)
9. A.L._Kennedy_1.mp3 (played 26 times)
10. Marie_Korey_History_of_the_Book1.mp3 (played 25 times)
11. Kevin_Gilmartin_William_Hazlitt.mp3 (played 25 times)
12. Richard_Coxford_Fine_Press_Collecting.mp3 (played 31 times)
13. Richard_Landon_111307-094033.mp3 (played 26 times)
14. Patry_1_110307-155123.mp3 (played 32 times)
15. Cory_Doctorow.mp3 (played 30 times)
16. kate_Pullinger_GG121607-170335.mp3 (played 20 times)
17. Yann_Martel_810301_01.mp3 (played 22 times)
18. Larry_Thompson.mp3 (played 20 times)
19. Tom_Doherty_801120_01.mp3 (played 21 times)
20. Hartwells_SF_editors.mp3 (played 27 times)
21. Rocky_Stinehour_801116_01.mp3 (played 29 times)
22. the_janus_press_801115_02.mp3 (played 29 times)
23. Galway_Kinnell.mp3 (played 30 times)
24. Jerry_Fielder_KARSH.mp3 (played 35 times)
25. Brad_MacKay.mp3 (played 26 times)
26. David_Mitchell.mp3 (played 18 times)
27. Joshua_Heller_Boost.mp3 (played 25 times)
28. John_Bidwell_Morgan.mp3 (played 28 times)
29. Khoury_Lear_Hamlet_800910_01.mp3 (played 33 times)
30. Denise_Mina.mp3 (played 26 times)
31. Terry_Griggs.mp3 (played 23 times)
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33. Donald_Antrim_09.mp3 (played 19 times)
34. Robert_Bringhurst.mp3 (played 23 times)
35. A.B_Yehoshua.mp3 (played 24 times)
36. M.G._Vassanji.mp3 (played 26 times)
37. Zoe_Heller.mp3 (played 26 times)
38. Nino_Ricci_on_Trudeau.mp3 (played 23 times)
39. Margaret_MacMilllan.mp3 (played 30 times)
40. Meir_Shalev.mp3 (played 32 times)
David Southward on Lionel Trilling, Literary Criticism, Culture and Politics
Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS
Lionel Trilling (1905 – 1975) is one of the best known U.S. critics of the twentieth century. A Professor of Literature and Criticism at Columbia University from 1931 - 1975, his teachings focused primarily on the relationships between literature, culture and politics. His first and best known collection of essays, The Liberal Imagination, was published in 1950.
I met with David Southward, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, recently in Gatineau, Quebec at the ACTC Annual Conference to discuss Trilling and his approach to literary criticism.
Prof. Edwin Conner on Longinus and the Sublime
"Longinus" is the name given to the unknown literary critic/author who wrote On the Sublime an essay written around 100 CE that examines the work of more than 50 ancient authors. In the essay - of which only an extended fragment remains - Longinus talks of the sublime as a state that reaches "beyond the realm of the human condition into greater mystery." How do authors produce this state in themselves, in their work, in their readers? How do we know it when we see it? Longinus gives us his take on the topic.
Prof Edwin Conner presented a paper on Longinus at the Association for Core Texts and Courses (ACTC) Conference held recently in Ottawa. I talk to him here about Longinus's criteria for judging whether or not a work is sublime.
Interview with Quantum Theatre founder Karla Boos on Dream of Autumn a play by Jon Fosse
Quantum Theatre was founded in Pittsburgh in 1990 by Karla Boos. Her goal was to create a company that incorporated world culture and international trends. Quantum has been a nurturing home for Boos' evolution as an artist and for the hundreds of collaborators that have created Quantum's work. These artists draw upon the resources of image, world languages, mixed media, and the power of non-traditional performance sites. Unique to the region, Quantum's productions are staged in places that aren't theatres. They have become a reflection of Pittsburgh itself, expressing the varying character of the city in places varied as grand museums and the least likely abandoned industrial sites.
Boos often directs, acts and writes for the company. She recently directed The Golden Dragon, and adapted Graham Greene's The End of the Affair for the stage. She played a lead role in the play I recently saw called Dream of Autumn by world renowned Norwegian playwright Jon Fosse. I met her after an intense performance to talk about Quantum, Fosse and the play.
Interview with Emilio Gil on the History of Modern Spanish Book Design
Emilio Gil is a graphic designer and founder of Tau Design a firm that pioneered design services, institutional communications, and the creation and development of visual corporate identity programmes in Spain. He trained at the SVA (School of Visual Arts) in New York under professors Milton Glaser, James McMullan and Ed Benguiat, and studied curating at Central St. Martins in London.
For his 1995 book ‘Un toro negro y enorme’ (An enormous black bull) Gil won the Laus de Oro award for Editorial Design, the Donside award in Great Britain, and the Certificate of Excellence from the Type Directors Club of New York.
He teaches in the Santillana Training Publishing Master’s program and is a professor at the University of Salamanca, the University Carlos III and at the University Europea, all in Madrid. In addition to having curated several important exhibitions on the history of graphic design in Spain, he is author of Pioneers of Graphic Design in Spain (Index Book, 2007. Edition in the USA, Mark Batty Publisher), and co-author of The Beauty of Things (Gustavo Gili, 2007). He has been president since June 2009 of AEPD (Spanish Association of Design Professionals).
I met with Emilio in his offices in Madrid several months ago to discuss some of the great Spanish modern book designers, including Manolo Prieto and Daniel Gil .
Curator Lucy Mulroney on the Grove Press
Strange Victories: Grove Press, 1951-1985 is a major exhibition about the Grove Press currently on at the Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library in Syracuse.
Grove was founded by Barney Rosset in 1951 and is one of the great twentieth-century avant-garde publishing houses. It's credited with having introduced many important international authors to American readers during the postwar period.
The exhibition traces the history of the Press from its involvement in national censorship trials, to publication of politically-engaged works such as The Wretched of the Earth, Red Star over China, and The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and the scandalous and very profitable, “Victorian Library.” Grove not only challenged social mores, and equality rights and freedom of expression laws, it also "aggressively deployed savvy marketing strategies, became embroiled in labor union battles, floundered in its own success, and offended the sensibilities of not only “squares,” but feminists, Marxists, academics, and many others. Strange Victories tells the complicated story of Grove’s many literary and political achievements, whose profound influence on American culture endures today."
I met recently with co-curator Lucy Mulroney to talk about Grove Press and the exhibition.
Interview with Australian Poet Mark Tredinnick
Mark Tredinnick, winner of the Montreal Poetry Prize (2011) and the Cardiff Poetry Prize (2012), is the author of The Blue Plateau, Fire Diary, and nine other acclaimed works of poetry and prose. He lives in the highlands southwest of Sydney, Australia.
Tredinnick is “one of our great poets of place—not just of geographic place, but of the spiritual and moral landscapes as well,” according to Judith Beveridge. Of “Walking Underwater”, which won the Montreal Prize in 2011, Andrew Motion wrote: “This is a bold, big-thinking poem, in which ancient themes (especially the theme of our human relationship with landscape) are re-cast and re-kindled. It well deserves its eminence as a prize winner.”
I met recently with Mark in Ottawa after his appearance at Versefest to talk about, among other things, Japanese water-colours, light, falling water, geography, rain, longing, rhythm, speech, connection, sense making, the shadows that words cast, language as being, the weather, lipstick and pigs.
Producer Maurice Podbrey on Waiting for the Barbarians - The Play
Waiting for the Barbarians is a novel written by the South African-born Nobel laureate J. M. Coetzee. Published in 1980 it won the James Tait Black Memorial and Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prizes for fiction. The book's title comes from a poem by Greek-Egyptian poet Constantine P. Cavafy. American composer Philip Glass wrote an opera based on the book which premiered in 2005.
In August 2012, the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town presented Alexandre Marine's stage adaptation of the novel. The production ran in Montreal at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts throughout January and February, 2013. I met with the play's Canadian-South African producer Maurice Podbrey at his home in Montreal to talk about the play, the novel, Coetzee, South Africa, Barbarians and the challenges of adapting books for the stage.
Michael Lista on Ethics and Honesty in Poetry Reviews
I met with Canadian poet/critic Michael Lista several months ago to discuss the state of poetry reviewing in Canada, the need for honesty in criticism, and his take on poet/philosopher Jan Zwicky's essay “The Ethics of the Negative Review,” in which she defends her practice, while review editor in the 1990s of The Fiddlehead literary journal, of not publishing negative reviews.
Buckle up and enjoy the ride:
Robert Fowler on al-Qaeda, Mali, Newtown and Terrorism
Robert Fowler has had a distinguished career as a Canadian diplomat and public servant. From 1989 - 1995 he was deputy minister of National Defence; from 1995 - 2000, Canada's ambassador to the United Nations, and, following that, ambassador to Italy from 2000-2006. Over the years he has served as foreign policy advisor to three Prime Ministers, and as Personal Representative for Africa.
On Dec. 15, 2008, when he was in Niger as special envoy to the United Nation responsible for reconciling rebel and government forces, Fowler and his assistant Louis Guay, were kidnapped and held captive for 130 days by regional members of al-Qaeda. He tells the story of this ordeal in his book A Season in Hell.
Please listen here as we talk about it and, among other things, Coleridge's 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner', sanity, religious fanaticism, mental illness, the Newtown massacre, and the clear and present threat posed to Mali, and Africa, by al-Qaeda.
Corey Redekop on his novel Husk, and zombies
Corey Redekop has been many things: "actor, waiter, disc jockey, cameraman, editor, lawyer (almost), and now the fabled trifecta of publicist/librarian/author. His debut novel, Shelf Monkey, is either a work of insane genius or an intolerable left-wing screed, depending on which review you read. Stunningly handsome, supremely talented, superbly gifted at hyperbole, Corey abides in Fredericton, New Brunswick."
We climb up on the autopsy table to dissect his latest novel Husk (" The Sopranos of zombie novels"), and in so doing talk about Sheldon, a zombie with a brain, and what happens to him after he wakes up on - yes - an autopsy table, with his heart and guts spilling out all over the floor.
Laurie Lewis on Book Design and the University of Toronto Press
Laurie Lewis began her publishing career in New York City with Doubleday in the early 60s, acting as liaison between the book design and printing departments. In 1963 she moved to Toronto and joined the University of Toronto Press. When Allan Fleming came on board as Chief Designer in 1968 the new Design Unit was formed and Lewis became Fleming’s assistant. The department produced many important books, winning numerous awards both nationally and internationally.
For her outstanding service over they years to the design community, Lewis was made a Fellow of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada in 1975, proposed by Allan Fleming and Leslie Smart. She was vice-president of the Ontario Chapter from 1975 to 1977 and continued to support and contribute to the organization for many subsequent years and encouraged graphic design internationally through workshops in publication design in the third world, particularly in South East Asia and in South America, through volunteer assignments with the Canadian International Development Agency
Lewis introduced computers to the design office at University of Toronto in 1984, with the original Macintosh 512K. In 1991 she took early retirement in order to pursue interests in writing and small publishing. She is the founder and director of The Artful Codger Press, established to encourage the publication of memoirs and life writings.
After retirement from her international volunteer work Laurie began what she calls "another life." She became editor of Vista, the publication of the Seniors Association in Kingston, and began a new career as a writer. In 2011, at the age of 80, her first memoir, Little Comrades, was published by Porcupine’s Quill, and was selected by The Globe and Mail as one of the Top 100 Books of the Year 2011. As of this writing, her next book, Love, and all that jazz is scheduled for publication in 2013.
I caught up with Laurie Lewis recently at her home in Kingston, Ontario where we talked about her impressive career, her colleagues, and some of the more collectible books that she has had a hand in designing. Please listen here.
Ross King on his GG winning Leonardo and the Last Supper
According to his website, Ross King is "the bestselling author of six books on Italian, French and Canadian art and history. He has also published two historical novels, Domino (1995) and Ex-Libris (1998), and edited a collection of Leonardo da Vinci's fables, jokes and riddles. Translated into more than a dozen languages, his books have been nominated for a National Book Critics' Circle Award, the Charles Taylor Prize, and the National Award for Arts Writing. He has won both the Governor General's Award in Canada (for The Judgment of Paris) and the BookSense Non-Fiction Book of the Year in the United States (for Brunelleschi's Dome). His latest book, Leonardo and The Last Supper, has been described as 'gripping' (New York Times), 'fascinating' (Financial Times), 'engaging' (The Guardian), 'enthralling' (Daily Mail), 'absorbing' (Kirkus), 'engrossing' (Booklist), and 'extraordinary' (Irish Times). It too won a Governor General's Award, this one for 2012. We met recently in Ottawa to talk about the book and the prize. Please listen here.
Julie Bruck on her GG Award winning poetry collection Monkey Ranch
Julie Bruck is the author of three collections of poems from Brick Books, MONKEY RANCH (2012),
Image: Donald Roller Wilson
THE END OF TRAVEL (1999), and THE WOMAN DOWNSTAIRS (1993). Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Ms, Ploughshares, The Walrus, The Malahat Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Maisonneuve, Literary Mama, and elsewhere, and her poems have been widely anthologized.
Montreal-born and raised, Julie has taught at several colleges and universities in Canada, and has been a resident faculty member at The Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire. Since 2005, she has taught poetry workshops for The Writing Salon in San Francisco’s Mission district, and tutored students at The University of San Francisco.
Awards and fellowships include The A.M. Klein Award for Poetry, two Pushcart Prize nominations, two Gold Canadian National Magazine Awards and, for Monkey Ranch, Canada’s 2012 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry, which we here talk about.
Linda Spalding on her GG Award winning novel The Purchase
Born in Topeka, Kansas, Linda Spalding (née Dickinson) is a Canadian writer and editor who has, over the years, worked as a professor of English and writing at numerous universities. She currently lives in Toronto, is an editor with Brick magazine, and is married to novelist Michael Ondaatje.
Spalding's novel The Purchase has just won the 2012 Governor-General’s Literary Award for English Fiction. We met in Ottawa recently to talk about it. Please listen here: