25th Trillium Award

Toronto Features

Open Book News

An Interview with Joanna Lilley

In August 2013, Joanna Lilley, a poet living in the Yukon, talked about the motivation and influences that inform her poetry with writer and editor Lily Gontard.

A Profile of N.W. Lea

Ottawa poet N.W. Lea (formerly known as Nicholas Lea) was born in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and grew up, in part, on his grandparent?s farm in northern Stormont County, Ontario, mere miles away from the McLennan family homestead.


Starting Out
With Alan Bradley, Jennifer Dance, P.S. Duffy, Anna Hope, Mary-Rose MacColl, Jennifer Vanderbes, Audrey Thomas and Eric Walters.

Poets in Profile, with Vanessa Shields

Windsor-based poet Vanessa Shields' first book of poetry, I Am That Woman, was recently published by Black Moss Press.

Write Across Ontario: Fader by Jaimie-Ann Adams

Every Tuesday in January, the Open Book Magazine has featured one of the four winning stories in Open Book: Ontario and IFOA Ontario's

Call for Submissions: The Mississauga Poem Project

From our friends at the Art Gallery of Mississauga:
Tell us your Mississauga... in verse!

At the Desk: Don Gutteridge

For each book we readers eagerly open, there's a writer who's spent countless hours researching, organizing, writing and rewriting. The place where all this happens is unique to every writer, and we love nothing more than to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the site where it all happens!

Write Across Ontario: The Blue Light by Alana Dunlop

Every Tuesday in January, the Open Book Magazine will feature one of the four winning stories in Open Book: Ontario and IFOA Ontario's

Write Across Ontario: Negatives By June by Rhianyth Warwick

Every Tuesday in January, the Open Book Magazine will feature one of the four winning stories in Open Book: Ontario and IFOA Ontario's

Call for Submissions: The Inspired Heart Anthologies

From the editor of the Inspired Heart anthologies:
The Inspired Heart, Edition 3

Poets in Profile, with Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang

Award-winning writer Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang?s most recent book, Status Update (Oolichan Books), is a collection of poems written in response to real Facebook status updates.

Write Across Ontario: Madison Smart and the Broad Street Baker by Meghan Butcher

Every Tuesday in January, Open Book will feature one of the four winning stories in Open Book: Ontario and IFOA Ontario's

Does Marital Bliss Equal Creative Harmony?

Shaun and Christina Patterson are artists who have taken on the greatest creative challenge of all: artistic collaboration with your romantic partner. Together they have founded Big Fox Creative, and under this umbrella they write and illustrate children's books, design one-of-a-kind wedding cake toppers, develop video games — and of course, sneak in a smooch whenever time (and patience) permits. Their latest project is the children's book Fairies on My Island (Acorn Press).

As we head into the season when many of us are spending more time than usual with our loved ones, Shaun lets us in on a few secrets about how to make a creative union work.

New Issue of Hamilton Arts & Letters Magazine Available!

Hamilton Arts & Letters Magazine has released "CHANCE," issue six.2, hot on the heels of their stellar fifth anniversary issue.

The WAR Series (Writers as Readers), with Melissa Hardy

The WAR Series (Writers As Readers) gives writers an opportunity to talk about the books that shaped them, from first loves to new favourites.

Melissa Hardy's new novel, Surface Rights, was published last month with Dundurn Press. A darkly humorous novel about loss, family and determination, Surface Rights is the story of a woman who thinks she has lost everything — until she discovers she has something left to fight for.

Melissa's WAR Series interview could actually be a list of essential reading for any book lover or writer, so if you're looking for books to add to your stack of holiday reading (or your wish list), you couldn't find a better selection.

On Writing, with Fred Dawkins

A new year is approaching — and many of us will be planning for new jobs, new writing projects, new approaches to our lives. One book that will help inspire and inform many New Year's resolutions is the just-released Everyday Entrepreneur: Making it Happen (Dundurn Press), by Fred Dawkins. Fred is co-founder of The Olde Hide House and has made many other entrepreneurial leaps in his long and successful career. His latest, of course, is as a writer. In today's On Writing interview, Fred explains how he brought 40 years of experience together into one fascinating book — one that, according to Terry Fallis, has such a great narrative that "you may not realize how much you?re learning until you?ve turned that last page.?

Waiting for the Story: Shane Neilson, on Writing Will

Shane Neilson is best known for his poetry and criticism, but for many years he has had a collection of short stories brewing. Will, published this fall with Enfield & Wizenty, covers expansive territory, drawing from trials in his own personal life, his professional experience as a medical doctor and, of course, wide-ranging reading. Cultural figures from Vladimir Nabokov to Michael Jackson to Alden Nowlan make appearances, as does the iconic World War I poet John McCrae.

Today, Shane tells us about the long road he travelled with this manuscript, and why it was important for him to write — and wait — with patience.

Find out about the book that changed Shane's life in his previous feature, "On Forgiveness: Reading Nowlan's The Wanton Troopers"

Poets in Profile, with Vivian Hansen

Vivian Hansen is a poet and the co-founder of the Calgary Women's Writing Project. She teaches writers' workshops and is a dedicated participant in the vibrant writing community surrounding her. Her new book, A Bitter Mood of Clouds (Frontenac House), is a moving and evocative long poem that follows the life of Anne/Arne, a hermaphrodite born in Denmark who travels to Alberta where a new life may begin.

In today's Poets in Profile interview Vivian reveals the tragic moment that revealed poetry to her, and shares some of the poems that keep her singing.

Writing Fatherhood, Part Four

by rob mclennan

Read Writing Fatherhood, Part One, Part Two and Part Three.

The Key of N

Dividends, bewildered powers. Stretch-marks, nursery. Secondary heart-beat. Listen: blood pools, pulse, the powdered structure. Spilling forth. Grammatic, slowness. Slowness of the ground, the passage, seasons? fall. Belonging to. Fragments, disappear. The sun sometimes divides, a music. Pressure points. Take pleasure in, a run-on, run-off. Sentenced. Is the theme of voice. Montage, a vessel. What, you hold her. Listen, pulse. Attention, all. As if to recognize.

Over the first two weeks of November, I composed poems for my second daughter, uncertain if she was days or even hours from emerging. Perhaps the waiting, and the unknown, is the worst part of all. Apart from the pain, Christine reminds. Over the years, one of my favourite book dedications has been from George Bowering?s In The Flesh (McClelland & Stewart, 1974) that reads: ?dedicated to Thea Claire, who arrived just then.? The photo on the back cover includes author and newborn daughter, as Thea chews contentedly on her fist.

Just how do male writers write about their offspring? The male perspective as parent and caregiver couldn?t be more interwoven with confusion, contradiction and mixed signals. Still, the deeper I delve into our bookshelves, the more examples I discover. Winnipeg poet Dennis Cooley, father of two now-grown daughters, includes the poem ?megan? in the ?New Poems? section of his sunfall: new and selected poems 1980-1996 (Anansi, 1996). The piece gives the impression of a newborn still in the hospital under a health scare, as he writes ?the moon / is eating you yellow as the jaundice / you were born into Christmas,? and further lines such as ?lie now inside your fear,? and ?we both know there is nothing i can do / cannot scare off the wolves this night / which always before you have turned / to anger now you lie quiet / at the ends of my frightened love[.]? Cooley writes:

you on the end of our lives
something is in & they will enter
the thin membrane of your breath
your life that lifts from our throats
wanting you to float there forever
moving as moons should move
    bright & perennial as the night which turns
                  into a second fullness
        stuck on the sky?s high ceiling
                        our silent calling

On Writing, with Steve Burrows

Steve Burrows has travelled the world to pursue his twin passions of birdwatching and journalism. Now that he's settled in Oshawa, he's preparing for the release of his debut novel, the murder mystery A Siege of Bitterns (Dundurn Press). Inspector Domenic Jejeune is the Canadian detective abroad at the heart of this new series — an enigmatic man, his skill as a detective is matched by his love of birdwatching, and the two pursuits don't always align. In today's On Writing interview, Steve introduces us to JeJeune and explains how birders and writers are driven by a similar quest, one that must be guided by a particular set of goals and rules. Watch for the publication of A Siege of Bitterns this coming spring.

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