Trillium Book Award Author Readings June 16

Kingston WritersFest Interview Series: Sarah Tsiang

Share |

Today we speak with Sarah Tsiang, author of Sweet Devilry (Oochilan Books) for our Kingston WritersFest interview series.

Kingston WritersFest is one of Ontario's most popular literary events, drawing guest authors from around the world as well as from the dynamic and well-established Kingston literary community.

Visit Open Book: Ontario throughout the month for more interviews with KWF authors!

Open Book:

Have you been to or lived in Kingston before? If so, what are some of your favourite spots? If not, what are you most looking forward to about visiting?

Sarah Tsiang:

I?ve lived in Kingston for the last 5 years, and I?ve fallen head over heels in love with it. Some of my favorite spots include the Cataraqui river, which is just down the street from me. Skeleton park, which earns its name by virtue of being a cemetery-turned-park. It also makes for the best Halloween party location, when all the little ghouls from the neighbourhood congregate for a Halloween parade. Other than that, there?s Grasscreek park (a free, sandy beach and home to the Sheep Dog trials) and the whole of Princess St., which boasts the best independent book store, toy store and games store.


Tell us about what you?ll be reading at this year?s festival.


I?ll be reading from both my poetry and my children?s work. My book of poetry, Sweet Devilry, (Oolichan Books) covers a pretty wide range, from new motherhood to meditations on death of my father. Though it?s mostly lyrical poetry, I also have some narrative and prose poems tucked in there. My other new book, Dogs Don?t Eat Jam and Other Things Big Kids Know, (Annick Press) will be launched at the writer?s fest. It?s a picture book about the excitement of welcoming a new member of the family from the perspective of the newly minted older sister. We sometimes forget how much kids have accomplished at the tender age of four, and this book celebrates their many accomplishments and accumulated wisdom.


What are some of your favourite memories from past readings, from this event or others?


I love reading to children. They never give you that frowny-concentrating face. One of my favorite readings was at Rideau Public School where the kids asked that I read some of my poetry as well. Afterwards, one child sighed deeply and said ?Are you famous?? That?s all the fame I?ll ever need.


What?s the best advice about public readings you have ever received?


Don?t use poetry-voice.


Tell us about one or two of the best Canadian books you?ve read recently.


I?m in the process of reading Outskirts by Sue Goyette. It?s one of those books that gives me a floppy feeling in my soul. A delicious ache.

Lisa Moore?s February is a book that I keep coming back to. It?s such an intimate portrait of grief (complete with humour) that I find her characters pop into my head in my day-to-day life. It?s a book I can?t leave alone.


What are you most looking forward to about this year?s Kingston WritersFest?


I?m looking forward to meeting some of my favorite authors in person, like Lorna Crozier and going to all of the amazing events. It?s lovely to think of spending all that time surrounding by people who love books as much as I do. And, of course, I?m looking forward to my book launch and the delicious goodies we?ll be serving there!

Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang is is the author of Flock of Shoes (Annick Press, 2010) and The Mermaid and Other Fairy Tales (Leaf Press, 2010). She has two forthcoming books for children and her work has been sold and translated internationally. She has published poetry extensively in Canadian journals, and has appeared in several anthologies. She is currently completing UBC?s MFA program, and works as a mentor to aspiring writers through UBC?s Booming Ground and Queen?s University?s Enrichment Studies Department. Yi-Mei lives in Kingston with her husband and young daughter. She drew from her own experiences as a mother in the creation of the poems in Sweet Devilry.

For more information about Sweet Devilry please visit the Oochilan website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Advanced Search