25th Trillium Award

The Festival Series: Five Questions with Daniel Allen Cox

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Daniel Allen Cox [Photo Credit: Dallas Curow]

Another wonderful season of literary festivals is on the way and what better way to celebrate than with a series about festivals.

Open Book speaks with Daniel Allen Cox, the author of Basement of Wolves. He attended the Ottawa Writers Festival last April and shares with us his thoughts on festivals.

Open Book:

Tell us about the first literary festival you attended.

Daniel Allen Cox:

The first literary festival I ever attended was the Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival in Montreal years ago. I remember a writer reading in Italian, and someone standing beside them translating simultaneously into English. Magical stuff. The first festival I ever participated in was the Ottawa Writers Festival for my novella Tattoo This Madness In. Dusty Owl Press baked two Smurf cakes for the occasion. Every experience I?ve had at festivals has been surreal.


What was your favourite moment at the Ottawa Writers Festival?


Signing a copy of Basement of Wolves destined for Afghanistan. For a writer against war, it was a moment loaded with meaning. And a reminder that even on busy days, there is always time to think about peace.


Why do you think literary festivals are important?


They make unlikely partnerships happen ? bringing far-flung writers to local audiences, assembling panelists who might not realize what they have in common. It?s great for writers to perform material for large and diverse audiences, because of the stunning amount and variety of feedback we get. It?s very useful.


When it?s time to take the stage, what do you like most about being in the spotlight?


I like the chance to be spontaneous. And I like the eye contact with the audience. Absolutely adore it. I also like to observe the interaction between my voice, my stutter, the microphone and the acoustics of the space. It?s a learning experience.


Will you be attending any other festivals this year?


Yes, I?ll be reading at Proud Voices in connection with Toronto Pride Week this year, held at the revived community space Glad Day Bookshop. It?s a great line-up, and I?m excited. I?ll be reading from my latest novel, as well as debuting new material.

Daniel Allen Cox is the author of the novels Basement of Wolves, Shuck, and Krakow Melt, and the novella Tattoo This Madness In. His work has been shortlisted for the ReLit Awards, the Lambda Literary Awards and the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction. Daniel lives in Montreal, where he is working on a screenwriting project and a new book, and serves on the Quebec Writers? Federation Board of Directors. More information about the author is available on his website.

Visit the Open Book Archives for more Festival Series interviews.

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