The Biblio File hosted by Nigel Beale

The Biblio File hosted by Nigel Beale

www.thebibliofile.ca
Interviews with authors and others connected to the book


Leslie Hurtig & Jan Walter on Patriotic Canadian Publisher & Bookseller Mel Hurtig
Oct 14 • 61 min
Leslie Hurtig was born into a house of books and has had a long, successful career in Canada’s book industry. She has worked for some of Canada’s best bookstores, acted as a sales representative and publicist for some of North America’s great…
Famed Cardiologist Bruce Fye on Collecting Medical History Books
Oct 10 • 91 min
Bruce Fye is an American retired cardiologist, medical historian, writer, bibliophile and philanthropist. He is emeritus professor of medicine and the history of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, and was the…
Christopher Lyons on Sir William Osler, Book Collector
Oct 5 • 61 min
Christopher Lyons, is the head librarian of rare books and special collections at McGill University’s McLennan Library. He was formerly in charge of McGill’s Osler Library which holds the collection of it’s founder, Sir William…
Bruce & Vicki Heyman on Justin Trudeau, the Arts, and the Canada-U.S. Relationship
Oct 3 • 64 min
Ambassador Bruce Heyman is an American businessman and served as United States Ambassador to Canada under Barack Obama from 2014 until 2017. He appears regularly on CBC, Fox Business, Bloomberg, CTV, CNBC, and other media outlets as an…
John Ivison on his new biography and whether or not Canadians can trust Justin Trudeau
Sep 30 • 65 min
John Ivison is a Scottish Canadian journalist who is Ottawa Bureau Chief for the National Post. Raised in Dumfries, Scotland, he worked as a reporter for The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh and as…
Reni Eddo-Lodge on Structural Racism
Sep 30 • 47 min
Reni Eddo-Lodge, is a London based, award winning author and journalist. Her writing focuses on feminism and exposing structural racism. She’s the author of the Jhalak Prize winning, bestselling Why I’m No Longer Talking to White…
Bob Rae on What’s Happened to Politics
Sep 29 • 65 min
Bob Rae is senior counsel with the law firm Olthuis, Kleer Townshend and teaches public policy and governance at the University of Toronto. He was the Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre and was the interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada…
Ricardo Cayuela on Books & Reading, Publishing & Bookstores in Mexico
Sep 26 • 48 min
Ricardo Cayuela is a writer, essayist, and founding editor of Letras Libres (“The New Yorker of Mexico”). In 2013 he was appointed Director General of Publications by the Mexican government. Today he is the president of Random…
Jody Wilson Raybould on Justin Trudeau, telling the truth and keeping promises
Sep 22 • 59 min
Jody Wilson-Raybould, also known by her initials JWR and by her Kwak’wala name Puglaas, is a Canadian politician and the Independent Member of Parliament for the riding of Vancouver…
Cory Doctorow on Copyright and Writing Science Fiction
Sep 2 • 50 min
Cory Doctorow is an activist, science fiction author and co-editor of the blog Boing Boing. He is also a special advisor to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He favours liberalising copyright laws and is a proponent of the Creative Commons…
Claudia Pineiro on crime fiction, and the difference between writing novels and screenplays
Aug 26 • 45 min
Claudia Piñeiro is an Argentine novelist and television scriptwriter best known for writing literary crime novels, most of which are best sellers in Latin America. She was born in Buenos Aires and has won…
Alberto Manguel on Packing My Library and the Idiocy of Honesty in Politics
Aug 16 • 73 min
Literature, Jody Wilson Raybould and Canadian Politics
David Moscrop on how to make wise voting decisions during political elections
Aug 10 • 66 min
David Moscrop is a political theorist and SSHRC postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Communication at the University of Ottawa. He studies democratic deliberation, political decision-making, and digital media, and is a contributing columnist for…
Mark Abley on why poet Duncan Campbell Scott’s reputation is in tatters
Aug 4 • 65 min
Although E.K. Brown, a highly admired literary critic, once called poet and bureaucrat Duncan Campbell Scott “one of the chief masters of Canadian literature,” Scott’s reputation today lies in tatters. Mark Abley in his fascinating…
Charles Foran on Mordecai Richler
Jul 28 • 35 min
From the Biblio File archives
Top Literary Things to do in Buenos Aires
Jul 22 • 37 min
Kit Maude is a Spanish-to-English translator. He received a bachelor’s degree in Comparative American Studies from the University of Warwick. In 2009 he moved to Buenos Aires where he currently lives. His translations have been featured…
Sharp talk from Jonathan Rose on the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing
Jul 19 • 31 min
Jonathan Rose is the William R. Kenan Professor of History at Drew University in Madison, NJ. His fields of study are British history, intellectual history and the history of the book (in which he happens to be a giant). His books include The…
Ana Maria Cabanellas on the Pleasures and Perils of Publishing in Argentina
Jul 15 • 79 min
Ana María Cabanellas began her career as a lawyer, after which she joined the family-owned publishing company Editorial Heliasta as a partner. In 1979, she became President of Editorial Claridad which specializes in legal dictionaries, as well…
Liliana Heker on writing under a repressive regime
Jul 7 • 57 min
Series: Biblio File in Buenos Aires Liliana Heker was born in 1943 in Buenos Aires. Her writing career began at age 17 thanks to a letter she wrote Abelardo Castillo requesting a job at a magazine he edited. During Argentina’s so…
Guillermo Martinez, acclaimed Argentinian novelist and short story writer, on Mathematics, Borges and Writing
Jul 1 • 48 min
Series: Biblio File in Buenos Aires Guillermo Martínez is an Argentine novelist, detective fiction and short story writer. He earned a PhD in mathematical logic from the University of Buenos Aires, after which he worked for two years…
Canadian Book Designer Tania Craan on her Career, Freelancing and Some Favourite Titles
Jun 23 • 60 min
Tania Craan’s career as an art director and designer spans more than three decades. For the past 25 years, she has run her freelance graphic design studio. She started her career working as a designer at Penguin Books Canada and then went on to…
Irish Novelist Eimear McBride on her work and getting it published
Jun 16 • 39 min
Eimear McBride is an Irish novelist whose debut novel, A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing, won the inaugural Goldsmiths Prize in 2013 and the 2014 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. She wrote the book in six months,…
Sandra Campbell on Lorne Pierce, one of Canada’s greatest publishers
Jun 9 • 65 min
Sandra Campbell, a graduate of Carleton and Ottawa Universities, specializes in Canadian and Caribbean (Bermuda) women’s writing, in particular for the period 1880-1940. She has a particular interest in women’s autobiography as well as gender, and…
David Robinson on copyright, book publishing and fair dealing in Canada
Jun 3 • 37 min
David Robinson is executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers. He has been with CAUT since 1999, when he was first hired as director of communications. Prior to joining CAUT, Robinson was the senior economist with the…
Interview with Ken Lopez on Vietnam, Book Collecting and Author Archives
May 27 • 68 min
Ken Lopez is a renowned antiquarian bookseller who deals in rare books, specializing in modern literary first editions. He regularly issues catalogs of Modern Literature and less regularly issues catalogs of Native American Literature, the Literature…
Barry Moser, renowned print maker, book illustrator/Designer on his books
May 20 • 90 min
In 1967 Barry Moser moved from Tennessee to New England to teach at The Williston Academy in Easthampton, Massachusetts. He was soon introduced to Leonard Baskin with whom he studied at Baskin’s Gehenna Press. In the spring of 1969 Moser was…
Carey Cranston on the American Writers Museum in Chicago
May 11 • 44 min
Carey Cranston took on the role of President of the American Writers Museum in September of 2016. Prior to that Carey served for 12 years as President of Fox College, a private career college in Chicago, and prior to that he was a Vice President…
David McKnight on Collecting Canadian Little Magazines and Small Presses
May 7 • 93 min
David McKnight is an accomplished librarian and book collector, “imbued with remarkable passion and resolve.” As Director of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML), at the University of Pennsylvania David is responsible for insuring stewardship,…
Levi Stahl on marketing books and how authors can best use social media
Apr 29 • 61 min
Levi Stahl is the marketing director of the University of Chicago Press and the editor of The Getaway Car: A Donald E. Westlake Nonfiction Miscellany. We met in Chicago to discuss the role of the book marketer, getting books out into…
Wayson Choy on his novel All That Matters and the Immigrant Experience in Canada
Apr 29 • 46 min
Wayson Choy was born in Vancouver in 1939. He spent his childhood in the city’s Chinatown and subsequently attended the University of British Columbia where he studied creative writing. He moved to Toronto in 1962, and taught…
James Pollock on Honest Reviewing, Anthologies and the Power of Poetry
Apr 22 • 107 min
James Pollock is the author of Sailing to Babylon, which was a finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award in Poetry, and You Are Here: Essays on the Art of Poetry in Canada,…
Eric Lorberer on Rain Taxi, Literary Events and Literary Calendars
Apr 18 • 26 min
As the editor of Rain Taxi Review of Books, Eric Lorberer is responsible for the voice and style that has brought the magazine widespread acclaim. He is also the director of the Twin Cities Book Festival, has served as a panelist for the…
Eric Ormsby on his book of essays Fine Incisions, Book Reviewing and Tolstoy
Apr 11 • 73 min
Eric Ormsby is a poet, a writer, and a man of letters. He was a longtime resident of Montreal, where he was the Director of University Libraries and subsequently a professor of Islamic thought at McGill University Institute of Islamic…
Will Rueter on Thomas James Cobden-Sanderson
Apr 8 • 53 min
Will Rueter is the proprietor of the Aliquando Press which was founded in 1962 “to enable its proprietor to learn the basics of printing and binding books by hand.” To date the Press has produced 109 books. It is located in Dundas, Ontario. Thomas…
Steven Temple on finding lost Canadian literature, and more
Apr 2 • 69 min
Steven Temple is an antiquarian bookseller who, after operating shops on Queen Street in Toronto for forty years, moved to Welland, Ontario in 2014 where he now does business out of his home. He continues to specialize in literary books, especially…
James King on one of Canada’s greatest publishers, Jack McClelland
Mar 25 • 56 min
James King is the author of six novels and nine biographies, including books on David Milne, Margaret Laurence, Jack McClelland, and Lawren Harris. His biography of Herbert Read, The Last Modern, was nominated for the Governor General’s…
Ken Rockburn on interviewing authors
Mar 23 • 19 min
Darrel J. McLeod on his memoir Mamaskatch, residential schools and unconditional love
Mar 17 • 65 min
Darrel J. McLeod is Cree from treaty eight territory in Northern Alberta. Before deciding to pursue writing in his retirement, he was a chief negotiator of land claims for the federal government and executive director of education and…
Marvin Post, Used/Antiquarian bookseller, on the reasons for his success
Mar 11 • 72 min
Marvin Post is the owner of Attic Books in London, Ontario - one of the largest, most successful used/antiquarian bookstores in Canada. I met with Marvin to discuss the reasons behind his success. Among other things we talk about buying lots of…
Novelist Sarah Henstra on university life, sex, #metoo, feminism and Greek myths
Mar 1 • 43 min
Topics explored in her GG Award winning novel The Red Word
Novelist Heather O’Neill on Fathers, #metoo, Class, Beauty and Roses
Feb 25 • 69 min
HEATHER O’NEILL is a novelist, short-story writer and essayist. Her work, which includes Lullabies for Little Criminals, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night and Daydreams of Angels, has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s…
Prof. Katharine Streip on The Odyssey, Quentin Tarantino, and the Wine Blue Sea
Feb 18 • 64 min
Katharine Streip received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. She has published essays on Marcel Proust, Jean Rhys, Philip Roth, and William S. Burroughs. Her research interests include comedy, the novel,…
Sophie Schneideman on Fine and Private Press Books
Feb 11 • 48 min
Sophie Schneideman has been an international rare book and print dealer for over 28 years, serving a long apprenticeship at Maggs Bros, an eminent book firm in Mayfair, and dealing as Sophie Schneideman Rare Books since 2007. She specializes in…
Henry Hitchings on the world in Bookshops
Feb 4 • 36 min
Henry Hitchings is an author, reviewer and critic, specializing in narrative non-fiction, with a particular emphasis on language and cultural history. His second book, The Secret Life of Words: How English Became English, won the…
Canada Council on changes to its literary book publishing grant program
Feb 1 • 43 min
I met with members of the Canada Council’s Supporting Artistic Practice Program team last month to discuss changes made in 2017 to the literary book publishing grant program. Among other things we talk about the fact that programs are designed to…
Nigel Roby on The Bookseller and hot publishing and book-selling topics
Jan 28 • 45 min
The Bookseller is a British magazine reporting news on the publishing industry. In 2010 it was acquired from Nielsen by its then Managing Director, Nigel Roby, who is now Chief Executive, Owner and Publisher of the new, expanded entity. I…
James Daunt on the Turnaround at Waterstones
Jan 14 • 79 min
Master bookseller on the art of bookselling
Stephen Page, CEO at Faber in dialogue with founder Geoffrey
Jan 7 • 70 min
Stephen Page is the Chief Executive Officer at Faber & Faber. We met at his offices in Bloomsbury, London, and invited Geoffrey Faber into the room. The three of us talk, among other things, about publishers being a race apart, comets, the…
Will Atkinson on book publishing, the role of Sales and Marketing, and Fluff
Jan 2 • 70 min
Will Atkinson is Managing Director of Atlantic Books, U.K. Prior to this he was, for many years, with Faber & Faber, serving as Director of Sales & Marketing from 2006 to 2014. During this time he spearheaded the Independent Alliance, a very…
Hannah Knowles on the role of the commissioning editor
Dec 24, 2018 • 47 min
Hannah Knowles, Senior Commissioning Editor at Canongate Books in London, tells me what she does. I question her with the help of Geoffrey Faber. We talk, among others things, about track records, The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump, books with…
Richard Charkin on the challenges facing publishing, Mother Elephants and Codfish
Dec 17, 2018 • 68 min
Richard Charkin is a British publishing executive who has worked in the publishing business since 1972. He has held executive positions at Pergamon Press, Oxford University Press, Reed International/Reed Elsevier and…
Anne Fadiman on her father Clifton and The Lifetime Reading Plan
Dec 10, 2018 • 47 min
Throughout my twenties I harboured a strong desire to read the Great Books, but it wasn’t until I’d finished university and come across Clifton Fadiman’s Lifetime Reading Plan at the now defunct Book Den in Ottawa on MacLaren street, that I started to…
David Frum on Trumpocracy and Trump: The Novel
Dec 3, 2018 • 67 min
The role of the political book
Stephen Greenblatt on his book Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics
Dec 1, 2018 • 29 min
Stephen Greenblatt is Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. He is the author of thirteen books, including The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve; The Swerve: How the World Became Modern; Shakespeare’s Freedom;…
Beowulf Sheehan on photographing authors
Nov 26, 2018 • 55 min
“Beowulf Sheehan studied photography at New York University and the International Center of Photography. His childhood love of stories in books and music grew into an adulthood love of storytellers in the arts, entertainment, and…
Librarian John Shoesmith on Canadian Fine Presses
Nov 19, 2018 • 51 min
John Shoesmith is Outreach Librarian at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library in Toronto, and curator of the 2013 exhibition Death Greatly Exaggerated: Canada’s Thriving Small and Fine Press which explored examples of the fine book-making craft in…
Michael Torosian on his Lumiere Press
Nov 12, 2018 • 55 min
Lumiere Press is the private press of Michael Torosian. In the fine press tradition, the books are composed in lead, hand printed and hand bound. The press is devoted exclusively to photography, and each book aspires in its concept, graphic design,…
Michael Lista on Canadian Poetry, the Saudi Arms Deal, MacBeth and Men Crying
Nov 5, 2018 • 92 min
Michael Lista is an investigative journalist, essayist and poet in Toronto. He has worked as a book columnist for The National Post, and as the poetry editor of The Walrus. He is the author of three books: the poetry…
Elaine Dewar on how Canada’s best publisher, and its backlist fell into foreign hands
Oct 29, 2018 • 59 min
Elaine Dewar – author, journalist, television story editor—has been propelled since childhood by insatiable curiosity and the joy of storytelling. Her journalism has been honored by nine National Magazine awards, including the prestigious…
Peggy Fox, former president and publisher of New Directions
Oct 22, 2018 • 62 min
Peggy L. Fox is the former president and publisher of New Directions, was Tennessee Williams’s last editor, and is James Laughlin’s literary coexecutor. She lives in Athens, New York, where we met to talk about, among other things, her career…
Richard Minsky on his Book Art and Scholarship
Oct 16, 2018 • 56 min
Richard Minsky is an American scholar of bookbinding and a book artist. He is the founder of the Center for Book Arts in New York City. We met in his studio in Hudson, NY to talk, among other things,…
Michel Tremblay on his play Hosanna, Quebec and Separation
Oct 8, 2018 • 71 min
Michel Tremblay was born in Montreal in 1942. He studied graphic arts and became a linotypist like his father and brother. He wrote his first play Le Train in 1959 and with it won the 1964 Radio Canada Young Author’s Competition. But it was his second…
Patrick deWitt on his novel The Sisters Brothers
Oct 5, 2018 • 26 min
Patrick deWitt was born on Vancouver Island in 1975. He has also lived in California, Washington, and Oregon, where he currently lives with his wife and son. He is the author of two novels, Ablutions and The Sisters Brothers, which won Canada’s…
Anna Porter on her Career in Canadian Publishing
Oct 1, 2018 • 44 min
This from Simon and Schuster: “Anna Porter was born in Budapest, Hungary, during the Second World War and escaped with her mother at the end of the 1956 revolution to New Zealand, where she graduated with an MA from Christchurch University. Like so…
Ian S. MacNiven on James Laughlin, Founder and Publisher of New Directions
Sep 24, 2018 • 89 min
Ian S. MacNiven’s authorized biography of Lawrence Durrell was a New York Times Notable Book for 1998. He has edited two collections of Durrell’s correspondence (with Richard Aldington and Henry Miller), is the author of numerous articles on literary…
Adrian King Edwards on selling Second-Hand & Antiquarian Books in Montreal
Sep 17, 2018 • 47 min
Adrian King Edwards is the proprietor of The Word Bookstore near McGill University in Montreal; has been for more than 40 years. I met with him at his home to talk books, second-hand versus used, the John Schulman scandal in Pittsburgh, trust,…
Terence Byrnes on Photography and the Author Photograph
Sep 10, 2018 • 70 min
Through his work as a writer, editor, and photographer, Terence Byrnes came to know and to photograph many Montreal-based writers throughout their careers. “For ten years, he photographed them in places where they felt at home, but not always at…
Bill Samuel on the history of Foyles Bookstore
Sep 7, 2018 • 8 min
Bill Samuel is the grandson of the founder of Foyles bookstore and was long-time Vice-Chairman of the company. Samantha J Rayner captures the spirit of the enterprise when she writes “[Foyles] emphasised that trial and error was an integral part of…
Priscila Uppal on Canadian Elegies, and Mourning
Sep 5, 2018 • 47 min
Priscila Uppal, poet, author, and English professor at York University, challenges traditional psychological and anthropological models of mourning in her new book We Are What We Mourn: The Contemporary English-Canadian Elegy, suggesting that…
Robert Lecker on literary agents in Canada, past and present
Sep 3, 2018 • 59 min
Robert Lecker is a Canadian scholar, author, and Greenshields Professor of English at McGill University in Montreal, where he specializes in Canadian literature. He has held a number of prominent positions in the Canadian…
Hugh McGuire on an alternative future for book publishing
Aug 27, 2018 • 50 min
Hugh McGuire has been building tools and communities to bring books onto the open web since about 2005. He’s the founder of LibriVox.org (free public domain audiobooks, made by volunteers from around the…
John Crombie on his Kickshaws Press
Aug 20, 2018 • 63 min
Series: Biblio File in France Kickshaws is a private press founded in Paris in 1979 by John Crombie, and Sheila Bourne who often produces artwork for the books. Together they have hand-printed more than 150 small…
Maylis Besserie on the art of the Author Interview
Aug 13, 2018 • 56 min
Series: Biblio File in France Maylis Besserie is a French radio broadcaster. She works for France Culture, the French national cultural radio station of the Radio France group, where she has produced documentaries…
Krista Halverson on the Shakespeare & Company bookshop in Paris
Aug 7, 2018 • 71 min
Series: Biblio File in France Krista Halverson is director of the newly founded Shakespeare & Company publishing house and editor of the first-ever history of the bookstore, Shakespeare & Company, Paris: A History of the Rag…
Jerry Rothenberg on Editing Poetry Anthologies
Aug 3, 2018 • 39 min
Born in 1931, Jerome Rothenberg is an American poet, translator and anthologist, noted for his work in the fields of ethnopoetics and performance poetry. This from Wikipedia: Technicians of the…
Professor Daniel Medin on Books in Translation
Jul 30, 2018 • 41 min
Series: Biblio File in France A recent fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Berlin) and visiting researcher at the Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherches Centre-Européennes (Sorbonne-Paris IV), Daniel Medin joined the faculty of The…
Stephen Weiner on the rise of the Graphic Novel
Jul 29, 2018 • 25 min
Stephen Weiner is an award winning writer about comics & graphic novels. He has been writing about comics since 1992, and is the most recognized librarian responsible for promoting graphic novel collections in public libraries & bookstores. He…
John Ralston Saul on Extraordinary Canadians and Lafontaine and Baldwin
Jul 27, 2018 • 27 min
John Ralston Saul was elected President of International PEN in October 2009 (his term ended in 2015). His award-winning essays and novels have had an impact on political and economic thought in many countries. Declared a…
Jean Guy Boin on the French Book Publishing Experience
Jul 23, 2018 • 35 min
Series: Biblio File in France Economist Jean-Guy Boin is the former Director General of the International Bureau of French Publishing (www.bief.org), the international promotion organization of French books. He has held various positions in the…
Heloise d’Ormesson on Book Publishing in France
Jul 16, 2018 • 58 min
Series: Biblio File in France Héloïse d’Ormesson is a French publisher who founded a publishing house that bears her name. She studied comparative literature at Yale University in the United States, where she landed her first job…
Pierre Astier and Laure Pecher on Literary Agents in France
Jul 9, 2018 • 57 min
Series: Biblio File in France Pierre Astier and Laure Pecher are co-founders of their own eponymous literary and film agency. Pierre represents mainly French-speaking authors and publishers. After working in the art world for ten years, he…
Ashley Obscura on Metatron, Publishing and the Millennial Mind
Jul 2, 2018 • 55 min
“Ashley Obscura is a Canadian-Mexican writer, publisher and editor. She is the author of the poetry collections Ambient Technology and I Am Here (Metatron, 2014) and four digital poetry projects: LIGHGHT, How to Be A Rainbow, Aura…
Elaine Kalman Naves on Robert Weaver, Godfather of Canadian Literature
Jun 25, 2018 • 50 min
Robert Weaver (1928–2008) was an influential, well-loved Canadian editor and broadcaster. He was born in Niagara Falls and educated at the University of Toronto, and worked at the CBC where he created a series of radio shows that featured then…
Glenn Horowitz on the sale and placement of author archives
Jun 18, 2018 • 51 min
Glenn Horowitz is an agent in the sale and placement of culturally significant archives to research institutions nationwide. Among the many authors, artists, musicians, designers, and photographers he have represented are Norman Mailer, James Salter,…
Jonathan Galassi on FSG and Book Publishing
Jun 11, 2018 • 48 min
Jonathan Galassi is the author of three collections of poetry and a novel, Muse (2015) set in the publishing world. He is also president and publisher of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and an eminent translator of Italian…
Jonas Hassen Khemiri on writing, memory, death, speed and language
Jun 5, 2018 • 58 min
“Jonas Hassen Khemiri is one of the most important writers of his generation in Sweden. When his debut novel, One Eye Red (Ett öga rött) was published in 2003, Khemiri’s eccentric and imaginative prose made a huge splash and reached an…
Daniel Mendelsohn on The Odyssey, Identity, Literary Criticism and Memoir
May 30, 2018 • 64 min
“Daniel Mendelsohn is an internationally bestselling author, critic, essayist, and translator. Born in New York City in 1960, he received degrees in Classics from the University of Virginia and Princeton. After completing his PhD, he moved to New York…
Adam Gopnik on art criticism, love, money and New York
May 25, 2018 • 53 min
Adam Gopnik has been writing for The New Yorker since 1986. He is a three-time winner of the National Magazine Award for Essays and for Criticism and of the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting. In March 2013, Gopnik was awarded the…
Matthew Zapruder on his book Why Poetry
May 18, 2018 • 96 min
Matthew Zapruder is a poet, editor, translator, and professor. He earned a BA in Russian literature at Amherst College, an MA in Slavic languages and literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and an MFA in poetry at the University of…
Anita Engles on the American Bookbinders Museum
May 14, 2018 • 20 min
Anita Engles is the Executive Director of the American Bookbinders Museum based in San Francisco, California. It’s the only museum of its kind in North America celebrating and exploring the culture and tools of bookbinders and bookbinding from its…
Founder Andrew Hoyem on the Arion Press
May 7, 2018 • 43 min
Andrew Hoyem is the creative spirit of the Arion Press. He’s a published poet and exhibited artist who occasionally includes his own writings and drawings in Arion books. The concepts for all Arion publications originate with Hoyem, who chooses…
Bookseller Kris Arnett on Kona Bay Books in Hawaii
May 4, 2018 • 31 min
Kris Arnett is the proprietor of Kona Bay Books which is located in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. She also owns Hilo Bay Books in, you guessed it, Hilo, which is located on the other side of the Big Island of Hawaii. I met…
Dave Bull on Japanese Woodblock Carving and Printing
Apr 30, 2018 • 57 min
David Bull is an ukiyo-e woodblock printer and carver who heads the Mokuhankan ukiyo-e studio in Asakusa, Tokyo. Born in Britain, Bull moved to Canada at age 5 and lived there until 1986 when he relocated with his family to Tokyo…
Sjon on Poetry and Iceland
Apr 25, 2018 • 62 min
Born in Reykjavik in 1962, Sjón is a celebrated Icelandic novelist. He won the Nordic Council’s Literary Prize for his novel ‘The Blue Fox’ (the Nordic countries’ equivalent of the Man Booker Prize) and the novel ‘From The Mouth Of The Whale’ was…
Alice Notley on Poetry
Apr 17, 2018 • 75 min
Alice Notley is an American poet whose work has influenced generations of poets; she is considered a pioneering voice on topics such as motherhood, feminism, disobedience and domestic life. Notley has experimented widely with…
Prof. Eli MacLaren on the Ryerson Press Chap-Books
Apr 9, 2018 • 42 min
Eli MacLaren is an Assistant Professor of English at McGill University in Montreal. Subjects taught include Canadian poetry and fiction; First Nations writers; bibliography and the history of the book. We met to discuss an article he wrote for…
Jason Guriel on Poems, Poetry, Criticism and Critics
Apr 2, 2018 • 47 min
Jason Guriel is a poet and critic whose work has appeared in such publications as Poetry, Slate, Reader’s Digest, The Walrus, Parnassus, Canadian Notes & Queries, The New Criterion, and PN Review. His poetry has been anthologized in The Best…
Poet Gillian Clarke on Welsh poetry, truth, and the importance of creativity in education
Mar 26, 2018 • 15 min
Gillian Clarke is a Welsh poet, playwright, editor, broadcaster, lecturer and translator. Born in Cardiff in 1937 she has written more than ten books of poetry. In 2008 she was appointed the third National Poet of Wales (Ifor ap…
Prof. Nick Mount addresses critics of Arrival The Story of CanLit
Mar 19, 2018 • 62 min
I met with Professor Nick Mount at his University of Toronto offices in “Toronto” to discuss his book Arrival, The Story of CanLit. We talk among other things about the pronunciation of Toronto, the non-Toronto-centricity of his book, Alistair…
Zach Wells on his book of essays Career Limiting Moves
Mar 12, 2018 • 75 min
Zachariah Wells is the author of three collections of poetry (Unsettled, Track & Trace, and Sum), as well as a children’s book Anything But Hank, with Rachel Lebowitz), and a collection of critical essays . He is also the editor of Jailbreaks:…
Ivan Klima on his memoir My Crazy Century
Mar 6, 2018 • 53 min
I met with famed Czech writer/novelist Ivan Klima at his home in Prague to talk about his memoir My Crazy Century. Topics covered include the criminal conspiracy of communism, the impact on his life of the Terazin concentration camp, the thrill…
Guy Baxter on the University of Reading’s Archive of British Publishing and Printing, and Ladybird and Beckett
Mar 1, 2018 • 50 min
Guy Baxter has been University Archivist at University of Reading since 2008. His responsibilities include caring for the Archive of British Publishing and Printing, the archives of the Museum of English Rural Life, and the Beckett Collection. Guy…
John Cole on the history of the Library of Congress
Feb 16, 2018 • 30 min
Historian John Cole started working at the Library of Congress as a young man in 1966. Most of his books since have dealt with this venerable institution. We talk here about it’s influence on American political and cultural life, about Thomas…
Stephan Delbos on Prague and Poetry
Feb 16, 2018 • 50 min
Discussion about Prague and its poetry, past and present
Jean Louis Maitre on Printing and Typographie in Tours, France
Feb 11, 2018 • 23 min
Series: Biblio File in France Better known for its wines, the perfection of its local spoken French, it’s cathedral and chateau, the city of Tours France also has a surprisingly rich historical connection with printing and typography. I was in Tours…
Lauren Elkin on her book Flaneuse
Feb 3, 2018 • 54 min
I interviewed Lauren Elkin about her new book Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London at her apartment in the Belleville neighbourhood of Paris. Stepping off a rather ordinary, noisy street through a large pair of…
Jo Furber on Dylan Thomas and why you should visit Wales
Feb 2, 2018 • 16 min
Yes, the background voices are distracting, but what do you expect, we’re in a Welsh pub for crying out loud! Well, actually we’re upstairs at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea at a bar surrounded by revellers who have just attended a hilarious …
David Esslemont on Thomas Bewick, Wood Engraver
Feb 1, 2018 • 19 min
Wikipedia tells us that “Thomas Bewick (1753 – 1828) was an English engraver and author. Early in his career he took on all kinds of work such as engraving , making the wood blocks for advertisements, and illustrating children’s books. He…
Gaylord Schanilec on his press Midnight Paper Sales
Jan 20, 2018 • 38 min
Gaylord Schanilec is an American wood engraver, printer, designer and illustrator. He is the proprietor of Midnight Paper Sales press. Schanilec has “set the standard for contemporary artist’s books over the last 30 years.” His highly…
David Esslemont on the history of the Gregynog and Solmentes Presses
Jan 16, 2018 • 46 min
David Esslemont is an artist, designer, printmaker and bookbinder. He makes books from scratch, most recently about food, and publishes under his Solmentes Press imprint. He was Artistic Director of the University of…
Margaret Atwood on The Handmaid’s Tale, Alias Grace, Harvard and Kingston
Jan 15, 2018 • 15 min
Literary tourism
Prof. Maggie Hennefeld on Satire in the Age of Trump
Dec 4, 2017 • 47 min
Discusses her article: Laughter in the Age of Trump
Scott Griffin on his memoir My Heart Is Africa
Nov 16, 2017 • 31 min
Chairman of Anansi Press discusses his memoir
Publisher Simon Dardick on Vehicule Press
Apr 28, 2015 • 46 min
Publisher discusses history and collecting
Glenn Dixon on Musical Tourism
Oct 21, 2014 • 19 min
Glenn Dixon has published two books. Pilgrim in the Palace of Words: A journey through the 6000 languages of Earth was published in 2009 to rave reviews. His second, Tripping the World Fantastic: A journey through the music…
Marcello Di Cintio on his Literary Pilgrimage to Iran
Sep 17, 2014 • 11 min
Marcello Di Cintio is a Canadian writer. He won the 2012 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing for his book Walls: Travels Along the Barricades. The award was handed out on March 6, 2013 at the Writers’ Trust of…
Rae Armantrout on Poetry, Place, William Carlos Williams and San Diego
Sep 17, 2014 • 23 min
How to be a literary tourist in California
Michael & Winifred Bixler on Letterpress Printing and Monotype
Jul 15, 2014 • 63 min
The Press & Letterfoundry of Michael & Winifred Bixler is “devoted to the craft of fine letterpress printing and traditional book typography. Our extensive collection of English Monotype matrices allows us to cast from 8- to 72-point, classic…
David Mason on his memoir The Pope’s Bookbinder
Jul 10, 2014 • 35 min
Antiquarian, used bookseller shares anecdotes, philisophies
Matthew Tree on the Best Literary Things to do in Barcelona
Jul 9, 2014 • 26 min
Matthew Tree (born December 30, 1958) is a writer in English and Catalan. He has lived in Barcelona since 1984. Apart from publishing both fiction and non-fiction, he is a contributor to various newspapers and…
George Tremlett on Dylan and Caitlin Thomas
Jul 8, 2014 • 56 min
George Tremlett (born 1939) is an English author, bookshop owner, and former politician. According to his own biography, after leaving King Edward VI School Stratford-upon-Avon, he worked for the Coventry Evening…
Annie Haden on Dylan Thomas, Richard Burton, Swansea and Wales
Jul 7, 2014 • 38 min
Wales celebrated the centenary of famed Welsh poet Dylan Thomas in 2014. Annie Haden is an experienced tourist guide and a specialist in the life of Thomas. With over 20 years experience in the tourism sector, Anne uses an easy…
Andre Alexis accuses David Gilmour of Racism
Jun 5, 2014 • 47 min
A discussion with Nigel Beale about the novella A
Alberto Manguel on his favourite libraries and bookstores
Dec 6, 2013 • 11 min
Alberto Manguel is an Argentine-born writer, translator, and editor, and the author of many books of both non-fiction, including A History of Reading (1996), The Library at Night (2007) and Homer’s Iliad and…
Betsy Sherman on Arrowhead and Herman Melville
Nov 4, 2013 • 15 min
Herman Melville lived at Arrowhead (so named because of arrowheads found nearby during planting season) from 1850–1863, during which time he wrote some of his best known works: Moby-Dick, The Confidence-Man, and The Piazza…
Kelsey Mullen on Edith Wharton and The Mount
Oct 24, 2013 • 21 min
The Mount is a historic site and a cultural center inspired by the passions and achievements of Edith Wharton. Designed and built by Wharton in 1902, the house embodies the principles outlined in her influential book, The Decoration of…
Cameron Anstee on the visual canon of Canadian Book Design
Oct 23, 2013 • 38 min
From 1959-1964, McClelland and Stewart published a run of poetry books written by Irving Layton, designed by Frank Newfeld, edited by Claire Pratt, and often illustrated with photographs by Sam Tata. They turned out to be among Layton’s most…
Bill Reese on book selling and book collecting,
Oct 13, 2013 • 55 min
Cutting old pies in new ways
Walter Bachinski on his Shanty Bay Press
Oct 10, 2013 • 62 min
Shanty Bay Press was established in Shanty Bay, Ontario, in 1996 as a private press devoted to publishing livres d’artistes in which the texts and the illustrations accompanying them would have equal weight in the design of the books. The press is a…
Thomas King on myth and storytelling, Lethbridge and the Alberta Landscape
Oct 5, 2013 • 11 min
I attended the Kingston WritersFest and interviewed some great authors about ‘place’ and its relationship to their work. Here I talk with Thomas King about native myth, possibility in storytelling, his love of the Alberta Landscape - especially that…
Rod Anstee: Anatomy of a Kerouac Collector
Sep 9, 2013 • 72 min
Jack Kerouac is an American icon thanks to his novel On the Road (1957). During the late 1950s, he and fellow members of the Beat generation captured something essential about the American psyche, defining a desire to break away from conformity in…
Alexander Monker on Collecting Canadian Poetry Books
Sep 3, 2013 • 38 min
Alexander Monker is an Ottawa-based collector of Canadian poetry. I met recently with him to talk about his passion for these and other books, and to get some advise on the art of book collecting. We also talk about, among other things, the…
Abigail Rorer on The Lone Oak Press
Aug 28, 2013 • 34 min
Abigail Rorer is a wood engraver, and the proprietor of The Lone Oak Press which publishes limited edition, fine press books using…letterpress & wood engraving. One of Abigail’s most delightful books is Mimpish Squinnies: Reginald…
Literary Tourist visits Shakespeare & Company in the Berkshires
Aug 23, 2013 • 24 min
Founded in 1978, Shakespeare & Company aspires to create “a theatre rooted in the classical ideals of inquiry, balance and harmony; [and] a company that performs as the Elizabethans did — in love with poetry, physical prowess and the mysteries…
Rebecca Romney on Las Vegas, Aldus, Aldine, William Pickering and Collecting Fine Press Books
Aug 12, 2013 • 39 min
When I met with Rebecca Romney she was the Rare Book Expert on Pawn Stars and Manager at the Las Vegas Gallery of Bauman Rare Books. We talked about what she does, why Bauman’s is in town, her blog, Aldine, Aldus the printer, William Pickering’s…
Peter Michel on Books about Gambling
Aug 4, 2013 • 34 min
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas Special Collections Library houses unique, rare, and specialized research material that documents the history, culture and physical environment of the city of Las Vegas, the Southern Nevada region, the gaming…
Richard Minsky on The Art of American Book Covers 1875-1930
Jul 23, 2013 • 19 min
This part was easy. I just clipped and pasted from here. “From ornate floral patterns to cityscapes, the boldest book designs of the Golden Age are gathered here. Readers accustomed to today’s more utilitarian bindings will find breathtaking…
Barbara Slate on Comics, Graphic Novels, Betty, Veronica and Archie
Jul 15, 2013 • 32 min
Barbara Slate is the author of more than 300 comic books and graphic novels. She created, wrote and drew Angel Love for DC Comics, and Yuppies from Hell and Sweet XVI for Marvel. Her first character , Ms Liz, has appeared on millions of greeting…
Stephen Motika on New York’s Poet’s House
Jun 26, 2013 • 25 min
Poets House is a literary center and poetry archive - a collection and meeting place in New York that invites poets and the public to join the living tradition of poetry. Free and open to the public, Poets House’s 50,000-volume poetry library is…
Eric Chase on the Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl
Jun 24, 2013 • 21 min
The Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl has been leading tourists into bars rich in bookish history since 1998. Inside each bar, you take a drink and listen as your actor/tour guide tells of the history of the establishment and of the great authors…
Richard Minsky on Artists Books and Traditional Book Arts
Jun 21, 2013 • 40 min
Richard Minsky is a celebrated American book artist, bookbinder and scholar who at age 13 got his first printing press. In 1968, he graduated cum laude in economics from Brooklyn College, was then awarded a fellowship at Brown University, got…
Edward Rutherfurd on his novel Paris and Literary Tourism
Jun 13, 2013 • 27 min
Place, Process and Literary Tourism
Karl Laderoute on Why Nietzsche Matters
Jun 12, 2013 • 41 min
Without question, Friedrich Nietzsche is the go-to guy for those who want to sound smart at a cocktail party. He’s a philosophical superstar, ’ the grandfather of postmodernism’, an inspiration to thinkers such as Jacques Derrida, Michel…
Prof. Nicholas Margaritis on Literary Critic George Saintsbury
May 26, 2013 • 38 min
George Saintsbury (23 October 1845 – 28 January 1933), though a prolific and influential British literary critic in the late 1800s, is today perhaps best known as the author of a book on wine called Notes on a Cellar-Book (1920). According to…
Prof. David Southward on Lionel Trilling
May 20, 2013 • 24 min
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,…
Prof. Edwin Conner on Longinus and the Sublime
May 1, 2013 • 32 min
“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…
Karla Boos on Dream of Autumn a play by Jon Fosse
Apr 11, 2013 • 14 min
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…
Emilio Gil on the History of Modern Spanish Book Design
Apr 4, 2013 • 29 min
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 programs in Spain. He trained at the SVA (School of…
Curator Lucy Mulroney on the Grove Press
Mar 21, 2013 • 23 min
Strange Victories: Grove Press, 1951-1985 was a major exhibition about the Grove Press that ran at the Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library in Syracuse. Grove was founded by Barney Rosset in 1951 and is one of the world’s…
Interview with Australian Poet Mark Tredinnick
Mar 16, 2013 • 47 min
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,…
Maurice Podbrey on producing Waiting for the Barbarians
Mar 3, 2013 • 30 min
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…
Michael Lista on Ethics and Honesty in Poetry Reviews
Jan 27, 2013 • 26 min
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…
Robert Fowler on al-Qaeda, Mali, Newtown and Terrorism
Jan 15, 2013 • 45 min
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…
Corey Redekop on his novel Husk, and zombies
Jan 5, 2013 • 45 min
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…
Laurie Lewis on Book Design and the University of Toronto Press
Dec 20, 2012 • 46 min
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…
Ross King on Leonardo and the Last Supper
Dec 9, 2012 • 42 min
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…
Poet Julie Bruck on Monkey Ranch
Dec 3, 2012 • 36 min
Julie Bruck is the author of three collections of poems from Brick Books, Monkey Ranch (2012) The End of Travel (1999), and The Woman Downstairs (1993). Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Ms, Ploughshares, The Walrus, The Malahat…
Linda Spalding on her novel The Purchase
Nov 30, 2012 • 31 min
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,…
Charlie Foran on Wingham, Ontario and Alice Munro
Nov 11, 2012 • 9 min
Well known Canadian author/biographer Charlie Foran, playing the Literary Tourist, travelled to Wingham, Ontario and environs to spend a little time in Alice Munro country. I talked to him recently about his experience. Photo credits: © James…
Stephanie Hlywak on Poetry magazine and the Poetry Foundation
Nov 5, 2012 • 36 min
I met with Stephanie Hlywak, Media Director at the Poetry Foundation, one hundred years after Poetry magazine was launched in Chicago to the month. We talk about the history, mandate, approach and architecture, not only of the magazine, but also…
Crime Novelist Jason Webster on Valencia and Chief Inspector Max Camara
Oct 27, 2012 • 30 min
Jason Webster is an Anglo-American crime novelist, travel writer and critic. Born in California he now lives in Valencia, Spain. Webster was educated in England, Egypt and Italy. In 1993 he graduated from Oxford University (St John’s College) with a…
Eric Timmreck on the Shared Inquiry method of discussing great books
Oct 16, 2012 • 12 min
Shared Inquiry is a discussion method employed by the Great Books Foundation, which, according to its website provides ” a teaching and learning environment, and a way for individuals to achieve a more thorough understanding of a text by discussing…
Terry Fallis meets The Literary Tourist on Parliament Hill
Oct 14, 2012 • 16 min
While researching an article on Literary Tourism for an upcoming issue of Ontario magazine, I got to meet and greet some stellar Canadian authors at sites across the province that feature, variously, in their works. Here, it’s Terry Fallis, and his…
Top 10 Literary things for you to do in Houston
Oct 14, 2012 • 14 min
Attention Literary Tourists! I met with Kristi Beer from Inprint Houston, a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring readers and writers in Houston, Texas. Founded in 1983, Inprint fulfills its mission through the nationally renowned Margarett…
Randall Speller on Canadian Book Design and collecting
Oct 12, 2012 • 27 min
Randall Speller was for 29 years a librarian in the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. Combining his career in art librarianship with an interest in Canadian literature and book collecting, he has done extensive research into the history of Canadian…
Curator Amanda Stevenson on Houston’s Museum of Printing History
Oct 11, 2012 • 23 min
Houston’s Museum of Printing History was founded in 1979 by Raoul Beasley, Vernon P. Hearn, Don Piercy, and J. V. Burnham, four printers with a passion for preserving their various printing-related collections and sharing them with the…
Owner Nancy Bass Wyden on the Strand Bookstore
Oct 5, 2012 • 21 min
In 1927, Ben Bass opened Strand Book Store on Fourth Avenue, home of New York’s legendary Book Row. Named after the famous publishing street in London, the Strand was one of 48 bookstores on Book Row, which started in the 1890’s and ran from Union…
Founder Miranda Hill on Project Bookmark Canada
Oct 3, 2012 • 11 min
Project Bookmark Canada is a national charitable organization that marks places where real and imagined landscapes meet. It does this by installing poster sized ceramic plaques - called Bookmarks - in the exact physical locations where literary scenes…
Professor Adam Barrows on The Hogarth Press
Aug 29, 2012 • 46 min
Adam Barrows is a Professor in the English Department at Carleton University in Ottawa. The focus of his research for the last eight years has been the relationship between time, literary modernism, and imperialism. His background is in the history of…
Terry Cook on the Importance of History, and Library and Archives Canada
Jul 26, 2012 • 59 min
Terry Cook received a Ph.D. in Canadian History from Queen’s University, 1977. From 1975 to 1998, he worked at the then Public, later National, Archives of Canada, leaving as the senior manager responsible for directing the appraisal and records…
Brian Busby on Montreal Noir and its Pulp Fiction
Jul 15, 2012 • 18 min
As weird as it might seem today, people from New York used to come up to Montreal for a good time. Gambling houses, drugs, clubs, fast women… Montreal was one of the coolest places to be in post-war North America. Fun, racy, naughty…for a few…
David Theis on his book Literary Houston
Jul 11, 2012 • 17 min
While there is no ‘great Houston Novel,’ a lot of good stories have come out of the city, many of which are told in David Theis’s Literary Houston, an anthology of writing on and about ‘the Bayou city’. Stories, because Houston is a place…
Michele Rackham on Betty Sutherland and Canadian Book Design
Jul 5, 2012 • 31 min
Michele Rackham is a post doctoral fellow at Trent University. She is currently working on a digital catalogue raisonne of P.K. Irwin’s (a.k.a P.K. Page) artwork that will accompany a print art book to be published by the Porcupine’s Quill….
Peter Dorn on his Heinrich Heine Press
Jun 12, 2012 • 32 min
“Heinrich Heine’s writings, poetry, and ideology delighted and enlightened me. He became a personal, meaningful experience, in the same way I feel, that private printing is a personal experience, printing meaningful things. These feelings make up…
Brian Busby on Literary Montreal
May 27, 2012 • 12 min
I met recently with literary historian Brian Busby to talk about ‘Literary Montreal’, poet John Glassco, plaques and the Writers’ Chapel of St James the Apostle Anglican Church.
William Toye on Canadian Book Design
May 24, 2012 • 27 min
What William Toye apparently wanted most in the world after graduating from the University of Toronto in 1948, was a job in Canadian book publishing. This, Robert Fulford tells us in a recent National Post profile, was an outlandish career move…
Ron Silliman on Experimental Language Poetry
May 4, 2012 • 37 min
This from the Poetry Foundation: “An influential figure in contemporary poetics, Ron Silliman became associated with the West Coast literary movement known as “Language poetry” in the 1960s and ‘70s. He edited In the American Tree (1986), which…
Richard Stursberg on his book The Tower of Babble and the CBC
Apr 29, 2012 • 23 min
Unlike Britain, which opted to invest in public non-commercial broadcasting in the early ’60s, Canada chose a hybrid model that freed the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to augment its Parliamentary appropriation with advertising revenues….
Robert Fulford on Book Designer Allan Fleming
Apr 24, 2012 • 27 min
Allan Fleming was born in Toronto in 1929. At 16 he left studies at the Western Technical School to apprentice at various design firms in Toronto. He then went to England, where he soaked up lessons from some of the great British book designers. Back…
Prof. Brian Trehearne on Irving Layton
Apr 6, 2012 • 55 min
Brian Trehearne is a professor of English at McGill University. His teaching and research areas focus on Canadian literature to 1970, chiefly poetry. Awards and Fellowships include SSHRC Standard Research Grants, the Louis Dudek Award for…
Tim Bowling on Book Collecting and In the Suicide’s Library
Apr 1, 2012 • 41 min
Tim Bowling’s collections of poetry include Fathom, The Book Collector, and The Memory Orchard. He has written three novels, including The Bone Sharps and The Paperboy’s Winter. Twice shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry, Tim…
Bruce Taylor on his No End in Strangeness New and Selected Poems
Mar 23, 2012 • 40 min
Bruce Taylor is a two-time winner of the A.M. Klein Award for Poetry. He has published four books of poetry: Getting On with the Era (1987), Cold Rubber Feet (1989), and Facts (1998). He has been a teacher, a puppeteer, and a freelance journalist. He…
Peter Cocking on book design at Douglas & McIntyre
Mar 20, 2012 • 40 min
Peter Cocking is a Vancouver-based graphic designer and design teacher. His wide ranging portfolio includes annual reports, airline tickets, snack-food boxes, CD packages, corporate identity programs, newspapers, and magazines. Since 2002 his focus…
Robert R. Reid on his Career as Printer and Book Designer
Mar 9, 2012 • 41 min
Born in Alberta in 1927, Robert R. Reid moved to Vancouver with his family at an early age. During his second year at the University of British Columbia he spotted a beautiful rubricated book on display in the library which inspired him to make…
Jan and Crispin Elsted on The Barbarian Press
Feb 29, 2012 • 54 min
Barbarian Press was established in 1977 in Kent, England where Jan and Crispin Elsted worked with Graham Williams at the Florin Press. With three flatbed hand presses and many cases of type, the couple returned home to Canada in 1978 to set up shop in…
Eric Swanick on graphic designer, letterpress printer Jim Rimmer
Feb 20, 2012 • 15 min
“PRINTING, ILLUSTRATION, TYPE DESIGN, typefounding, type engraving, bookbinding, graphic design, stone cutting and digital type design are things that have occupied me for over seventy years, and do to this day. Excepting the bit of letter…
Leah Gordon on the Alcuin Society Book Design Awards
Feb 19, 2012 • 18 min
The Alcuin Society’s Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada have been recognizing achievement since 1981. As Marlene Chan put it in the preface to the 2009 winners’catalogue, “The hallmark of the judging process in all of the Alcuin…
Poet bill bissett in Conversation
Feb 15, 2012 • 35 min
Monsieur Wikipedia informs us that bill bissett was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, attended Dalhousie University (1956) and the University of British Columbia (1963–1965), and dropped out of both because of a desire ‘to live as a free agent, writer…
Will Rueter on his Aliquando Press
Feb 4, 2012 • 46 min
Will Rueter is a private printer, hand binder, instructor and printmaker living in Dundas, Ontario. He founded The Aliquando Press late in 1962. It has, to date, produced more than 100 books, and plenty of broadsides too. Rueter’s work has been shown…
Charlotte Gray on Nellie McClung
Jan 20, 2012 • 36 min
According to her website, “Charlotte Gray is one of Canada’s best-known writers, and author of eight acclaimed books of literary non-fiction. Born in Sheffield, England, and educated at Oxford University and the London School of Economics, she began…
Steven Galbraith & Amelia Hugill Fontanel on the Cary Collection
Jan 15, 2012 • 17 min
The Cary Collection is one of America’s premier libraries on graphic communication, its history and practices. Located in Rochester on the campus of the Rochester Institute of Technology, the original collection of 2,300 volumes was assembled by New…
Stan Bevington on the Coach House Press, Part ll
Jan 14, 2012 • 38 min
Last summer I met with Stan Bevington in Toronto to talk about the history of the Coach House Press and some of the more collectible books that it has published over the years. In this, Part ll of our conversation, we discuss, among many other things,…
David Gilmour on his novel The Perfect Order of Things
Jan 9, 2012 • 36 min
It didn’t win any prizes; no awards; didn’t make many, if any, long or short lists; but David Gilmour’s The Perfect Order of Things is a great novel. The best I read last year. In fact, I think it’s one of the best Canadian novels ever written….
Phil Hall on his GG Award winning book of poetry Killdeer
Dec 19, 2011 • 39 min
I met with Phil Hall, whose latest collection of poems, Killdeer, has just won the Canadian Governor General’s Literary Award for English Poetry. It’s a sensitive, engaging, revealing work that incorporates narrative essay, life philosophy and…
Professor Jonathan Rose on J.M. Dent & Sons
Dec 12, 2011 • 27 min
Joseph Malaby Dent (30 August 1849 – 9 May 1926) was the British book publisher who gave the world the Everyman’s Library series. After a short, unsuccessful career as an apprentice printer he took up bookbinding, and shortly thereafter founded J….
Mark Kingwell on Glenn Gould
Dec 7, 2011 • 40 min
Glenn Gould was a world renowned classical pianist and an ‘eccentric genius’— a ‘solitary, headstrong, hypochondriac virtuoso.’ Abandoning stage performances in 1964, he concentrated instead on mastering recordings, radio, television, and…
Douglas Gibson on Stories, Storytelling and Storytellers
Dec 1, 2011 • 47 min
Douglas Gibson was, for more than 40 years, a noted Canadian editor and publisher whose skills both as writer and salesman put him at the pinnacle of his profession. Douglas Gibson Books, the first editorial imprint of its kind in Canada, has over the…
Andrew Cohen on Lester B. Pearson
Nov 6, 2011 • 38 min
Lester “Mike” Pearson was an extraordinary politician. He was also an extraordinary athlete, diplomat, leader, teacher, writer and student. And yet, despite all of this, and, the fact that during his lifetime he was the world’s best known Canadian,…
Dan Boice on the publisher Mitchell Kennerley
Nov 2, 2011 • 28 min
A complicated, fascinating, largely unknown man who did a great deal for American literary publishing, Mitchell Kennerley was born in 1878 in Burslem, England. He arrived in the United States in 1896 to help set up publisher John Lane’s U.S. offices….
Founder Emilie Buchwald on Milkweed Editions
Oct 30, 2011 • 33 min
Founded in Minnesota in 1980 by Emilie Buchwald and R.W. Scholes, Milkweed Editions is one of America’s leading independent, nonprofit literary publishers, releasing between fifteen and twenty new books each year in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and…
Randy Bachman on collecting guitars, vinyl, and books
Oct 20, 2011 • 24 min
Hard not to like Randy Bachman. He’s smart, friendly, interested, passionate…and a collector. Why a collector? Because in 1976 his favourite guitar was stolen from a Toronto hotel room, and he wanted to get it back. What? A late-1950s orange Gretsch…
Allan Kornblum on the Coffee House Press
Oct 11, 2011 • 50 min
Coffee House started out as the Toothpaste Press in Iowa in the early 1970s. Founded by Allan Kornblum after taking a University of Iowa typography course with the famed printer Harry Duncan, this small publishing house dedicated itself to producing…
Founder Stan Bevington on the Coach House Press
Sep 27, 2011 • 30 min
In 1965, Stan Bevington, moved to Toronto from Edmonton, rented an old coach house, installed an antique Challenge Gordon platen press and set up Coach House Press. Over the years his small publishing house introduced the world to the early works of…
George Walker on his Presses, and Wood Engravings
Sep 18, 2011 • 23 min
George Walker is a wood engraver, book artist, author, illustrator and educator who has taught courses at the Ontario College of Art & Design since 1985. For over twenty years he has exhibited his wood engravings and limited edition books…
Joanna Skibsrud on controversy surrounding The Sentimentalists
Sep 12, 2011 • 19 min
Johanna Skibsrud’s debut novel The Sentimentalists won the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2009 Alcuin Award for best designed work of prose fiction, the first book ever to achieve this double win. The Sentimentalists was first published by…
Etgar Keret on his film Jellyfish
Sep 7, 2011 • 28 min
Etgar Keret is an Israeli writer known for his short stories, graphic novels, and scriptwriting for film and television. His first work, a collection of short stories, was largely ignored when it was published in 1992. His second book, Missing…
Cheryl Torsney on the urge to collect
Jul 29, 2011 • 10 min
Whilst in Texas recently I did what all crazed literary tourists do, I checked around for listings of interesting conferences that were taking place at the time, in the area. The Popular Culture Association was holding one in San Antonio, and…
James Keeline on collecting Tom Swift books
Jul 26, 2011 • 24 min
James Keeline liked to take apart radios as a young boy. He was also interested in space technology and computers. While in school he worked for a used bookstore. He ended up managing the place and running its web site and computer network. He…
Kathy Doyle Thomas on the success of Half Price Books
Jul 18, 2011 • 35 min
Whilst in the Lone Star state, Texas, I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Kathy Doyle Thomas, Executive Vice President at Half Price Books’ headquarters in Dallas. The company has been in business now for almost 50 years and has enjoyed…
Cathy Henderson and Richard Oram on the Alfred A. Knopf Archive
Jul 11, 2011 • 38 min
Curators at The Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas
Top Ten Literary Destinations in Texas
Jun 25, 2011 • 13 min
Charles Lohrmann is the editor of Texas Highways, the official travel magazine of Texas. It “encourages recreational travel within Texas and tells the Texas story to readers around the world. Renowned for its photography, statewide events…
Book Scholar George Parker on The Ryerson Press
Jun 20, 2011 • 46 min
This from the Loyalist Research Network website: GEORGE L. PARKER was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and schooled in Lunenburg and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. He attended Mount Allison University and Pennsylvania State University,…
Andrew Steeves on the Gaspereau Press
Jun 10, 2011 • 42 min
Gaspereau Press was established in February 1997 as a registered partnership by Andrew Steeves and Gary Dunfield. That year the Press published the first issue of its literary quarterly, The Gaspereau Review, and three trade titles. In 2000, Gaspereau…
Charlie Foran on Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard
Jun 9, 2011 • 32 min
From his website: “Charlie Foran was born and raised in Toronto. He holds degrees from the University of Toronto and the University College, Dublin, and has taught in China, Hong Kong, and Canada. He has published ten books, including four…
Alex Ross on Modern, Classical and Popular Music and a Need for the New
May 27, 2011 • 41 min
Alex Ross was born in 1968 and has been the music critic at The New Yorker magazine since 1996. He graduated from Harvard University in English summa cum laude for a thesis on James Joyce, and was a DJ at college radio station, WHRB. His first…
Michael Gnarowski on Contact Press
May 18, 2011 • 39 min
Professor, poet, editor and critic, Michael Gnarowski was born in Shanghai, China in 1934. He received his Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Ottawa in 1967. While an undergraduate at McGill, he contributed to, and co-edited, Yes…
Author Vincent Lam on Tommy Douglas
May 9, 2011 • 36 min
Vincent Lam is a Canadian-born member of the expatriate Chinese community of Vietnam. He is an emergency physician in Toronto, and lectures at the University of Toronto. He has also worked in international air evacuation and expedition medicine…
Margaret Lock on Lock’s Press
Apr 26, 2011 • 40 min
Locks’ Press, according to the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild’s Ottawa Chapter website, “was founded in 1979. Since then it has printed eleven books, fifteen pamphlets, and twenty-four broadsides. The editions are small, 30 to 80…
Olivier Barrot on Les Editions Gallimard
Mar 22, 2011 • 20 min
Olivier Barrot has presented the literary program Un livre, Un Jour (A Book a Day) daily on channels France 3 and TV 5 Monde since 1991. In 2009, the year in which he celebrated his 4,000th program, he created Un Livre Toujours (Always a Book), a…
Tom Boss on Copeland & Day and Stone & Kimball
Mar 14, 2011 • 28 min
Tom Boss is the owner of Thomas G. Boss Fine Books in Salem, Mass. He has been in business in the Greater Boston area since 1974, specializing in Art Deco, Arts & Crafts, and Art Nouveau books, livres d’artiste, fine bindings, press and…
Publisher Jack David on ECW Press
Mar 6, 2011 • 46 min
ECW Press is a North American small press book publisher located in Toronto, Ontario. It was founded by Jack David and Robert Lecker in 1974 as a Canadian literary magazine called Essays on Canadian Writing. Its first books belonged primarily to two…
Joseph Boyden on Gabriel Dumont and Louis Riel
Feb 11, 2011 • 21 min
Joseph Boyden (born 31 Oct 1966) is, Wikipedia tells us, a Canadian novelist and short story writer. “He grew up in Willowdale, North York, Ontario and attended the Jesuit-run Brebeuf College School.” His father Raymond Wilfrid Boyden, was a medical…
Adrian Harrington, past president of ILAB on challenges facing booksellers
Feb 1, 2011 • 36 min
Adrian Harrington (born 1948, Chelsea, England) is a noted antiquarian bookseller who specializes in first editions written by Winston Churchill, Arthur Conan Doyle, Graham Greene, J.K.Rowling and, particularly, Ian Fleming. He is a Past…
Richard Charkin on Book Publishing and Great Publishers
Jan 24, 2011 • 60 min
Richard Charkin began his career in 1972 as Science Editor of Harrap & Co. He has since held many senior positions in the publishing world with companies such as Pergamon Press, Oxford University Press, Reed International/Reed Elsevier, and…
John Randle on The Whittington Press
Jan 19, 2011 • 33 min
Born in the mind of John Randle at the age of 14 when he first entered his school’s press room, the Whittington Press started life in a disused cottage. Its first book, Richard Kennedy’s A Boy at the Hogarth Press, was printed on weekends during…
Gordon Graham on his publishing career
Jan 6, 2011 • 36 min
W. Gordon Graham was born ninety some years ago in Scotland. He attended university in Glasgow and after graduation enlisted in the army; he was awarded the Military Cross and Bar for active service in Burma. He started his postwar career as a…
Roderick Cave on The Golden Cockerel Press
Dec 13, 2010 • 38 min
The Golden Cockerel Press is one of most important, productive English private presses in the history of fine printing. In 2002 Oak Knoll Press and the British Library co-published the first extensive study of the Golden Cockerel. Written by…
Richard Greene on his Award winning book of poetry Boxing the Compass
Dec 9, 2010 • 34 min
Richard Greene’s Boxing the Compass recently won the Governor General’s Award for English Poetry. Here’s how the jury saw it: “Richard Greene’s Boxing the Compass leaves us feeling unmoored, adrift across time and voice. The matchless long…
Dianne Warren on her novel Cool Water
Nov 26, 2010 • 32 min
“Dianne Warren is best known for her short stories and plays. One of her three published plays, Serpent in the Night Sky, was a GG finalist in 1992, and she has written several radio dramas for CBC. She has published three short story…
Iain Stevenson on the history, and collecting, of 20th Century British Publishing Houses
Nov 20, 2010 • 47 min
Iain Stevenson has worked with Longman, Macmillan, Pinter, Leicester University Press, Wiley, and The Stationery Office. In 1986 he founded the environmental publisher Belhaven Press. He created the award winning MA in Publishing Studies at City…
Alexander MacLeod on his book of short stories Light Lifting
Nov 4, 2010 • 37 min
Alexander MacLeod was born in Inverness, Cape Breton and raised in Windsor, Ontario. His award-winning stories have appeared in a variety of leading journals, some have been selected for The Journey Prize Anthology. He holds degrees from the…
Toby Faber on the history of Faber & Faber
Oct 30, 2010 • 49 min
Previously managing director of Faber and Faber, Toby Faber is now a non-executive director of the firm and Chairman of its sister company Faber Music. An author in his own right, Faber has written two books Fabergé’s Eggs and Stradivari’s…
Frank Newfeld on his career in Canadian Book Design
Oct 21, 2010 • 31 min
Frank Newfeld is a Canadian book designer, illustrator, art director and educator. He has designed over 650 books and won more than 170 Canadian and international awards, is a former Vice-President of Publishing at McClelland & Stewart…
Robert Baldock: On the Yale University Press, London
Oct 15, 2010 • 30 min
Robert Baldock started working at Yale University Press in London as a history editor in 1985. After serving as editorial director of the publisher’s humanities division, and deputy m.d., he was promoted to Managing Director in 2004….
Book Historian Michael Winship on Ticknor and Fields; Houghton Mifflin
Oct 7, 2010 • 22 min
Michael Winship is a bibliographer and historian of the book – with special expertise in pre-1940 American publishing and book trade history. He edited and completed the final three volumes of Bibliography of American Literature, for which he…
Carl Spadoni on McClelland and Stewart
Oct 3, 2010 • 33 min
Carl Spadoni is the former Director of the William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections, McMaster University Library. In 1999, he was awarded the Marie Tremaine Medal by the Bibliographical Society of Canada for outstanding…
Ruth Panofsky on the history and collecting of MacMillan Canada
Oct 3, 2010 • 25 min
Ruth Panofsky is Professor of English at Ryerson University in Toronto where she specializes in Canadian Literature and Culture, focusing on Canadian authorship and publishing history. She is the author of The Force of Vocation: The Literary Career of…
Librarian Richard Virr on Book Collecting
Oct 3, 2010 • 22 min
Richard Virr was the Head and Curator of Manuscripts at the Rare Books and Special Collections Division of the McGill University Library. We met in Montreal to talk about book collecting, characteristic traits of the book collector, and…
Mac Johnson on Collecting Rare Prints
Sep 7, 2010 • 26 min
W. McAllister (Mac) Johnson is a retired professor of art history at the University of Toronto. Some years ago he donated his collection of close to 1000 scholarly, art historical titles to the Carleton University Library in Ottawa. The…
Jack Rabinovitch on The Giller Prize and how to Pick the Best Novels
Sep 7, 2010 • 15 min
Jack Rabinovitch is a philanthropist best known for founding the annual Scotia Bank Giller Prize (named after his late wife, Doris Giller, a former literary columnist and editor at the Toronto Star) for best Canadian novel. Rabinovitch, a reporter and…
Leslie Morris on Collecting the New Directions imprint
Jul 26, 2010 • 25 min
Leslie Morris is Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts at Houghton Library, Harvard University in Cambridge MA and an expert on the New Directions publishing house. I met with her to talk about publisher James ‘J’ Laughlin “New Directions was…
David R. Godine on the history and collecting, of his publishing house
Jul 26, 2010 • 36 min
Publisher and book collector David R. Godine is the founder and president of a small, independent, eponymous publishing house, located in Boston, Massachusetts. It produces between twenty and thirty titles per year and maintains an active reprint…
Tim Inkster on the Porcupine’s Quill
Jul 21, 2010 • 45 min
Elke and Tim Inkster have made an important and enduring contribution to Canadian literature. In 1974 they founded The Porcupine’s Quill (PQL), a publishing house based in Erin, Ontario. Renowned for excellence in design and production, and for…
Mark Samuels Lasner on Collecting The Bodley Head
Jul 12, 2010 • 31 min
Collector, bibliographer, and typographer Mark Samuels Lasner is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Delaware Library and a recognized authority on the literature and art of the late Victorian period. A graduate of Connecticut College, he is…
Prof. David Staines on Northrop Frye and Evaluative Criticism
Jun 28, 2010 • 33 min
Prof. David Staines is a Canadian literary critic, university professor (English at the University of Ottawa), writer, and editor. He specializes in three literatures: medieval, Victorian and Canadian. He is editor of the scholarly Journal of…
Bob Fleck on Oak Knoll Books and Press
Jun 21, 2010 • 29 min
Oak Knoll Books – specialists in books on books – was founded in 1976 by Bob Fleck, a chemical engineer by training, who let his hobby get the best of him. Oak Knoll Press, the publishing arm of the business was established two years later. Today,…
Richard Holloway on the Monster and the Saint
Jun 21, 2010 • 41 min
Richard Holloway is a Scottish writer/broadcaster and former Bishop of Edinburgh in the Scottish Episcopal Church who was educated at Kelham Theological College and the Union Theological Seminary, New York City. Between 1959 and 1986 he was curate,…
Adam Thorpe on the Real Robin Hood
Jun 21, 2010 • 40 min
Poet, playwright and novelist Adam Thorpe was born in Paris in 1956 and grew up in India, Cameroon and England. After graduating from Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1979, he started a theatre company and toured villages and schools before moving to…
Carmine Starnino on his poetry collection This Way Out
Jun 21, 2010 • 32 min
“Good reviewing,” writes Carmine Starnino in the not-to-be-missed introduction to his A Lover’s Quarrel Essays and Reviews, “… reviewing that believes in literary failure – is invaluable because by calling one poem good and another less good,…
Allen and Pat Ahearn on Book Collecting
Jun 21, 2010 • 31 min
“The Quill & Brush was established in 1976 as an outgrowth of a part-time business run by Allen and Patricia Ahearn who started collecting and cataloging books in the early 1960s. The Ahearns have over 45 years of experience in the field. At…
Jane Urquhart reading a poem called The Literary Club
Apr 7, 2010 • 2 min
Nicholson Baker on the Future of the Book
Mar 28, 2010 • 31 min
Nicholson Baker is an American writer of fiction and non-fiction. As a novelist he often focuses on describing the minute physical detail of our surroundings, straws and escalators for example, writing on provocative topics such as voyeurism, phone…
A.L. Kennedy on how to be Funny
Feb 18, 2010 • 36 min
Writer/comedian A. L. Kennedy lives and works in Glasgow and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In 2003 she was nominated by Granta magazine as one of 20 ‘Best of Young British Novelists’. Her novel Day (2007), won the Costa Book of the…
Marie Korey on the History of the Book
Feb 18, 2010 • 49 min
A small college cannot hope to have a large library, but if it sets to work along the right lines it may aspire to the possession of a fine one… A book may be a thing of beauty, and an example of a great craft which we must not allow to die. The…
Robert Fulford on Book Reviewing
Feb 7, 2010 • 42 min
“Robert Fulford is a Toronto author, journalist, broadcaster, and editor. He writes a weekly column for The National Post and is a frequent contributor to Toronto Life, Canadian Art, and CBC radio and television. His books include Best Seat in the…
Prof Kevin Gilmartin on Critic William Hazlitt
Jan 15, 2010 • 37 min
Kevin Gilmartin is a professor of English at California Institute of Technology, and visiting professor at the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies at York University in England. He is the author of Print Politics: The Press and Radical…
Richard Coxford on Fine Press Books: History and Collecting
Jan 12, 2010 • 37 min
Richard Coxford is the former proprietor of Bytown Bookshop in Ottawa, Canada. He has been collecting fine/press books for many years. We talk here about their history, and the joys and challenges of hunting them down.
Richard Landon: On Collecting Rare Books
Jan 11, 2010 • 38 min
Richard Landon is Director of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library and Professor of English. He has taught courses on aspects of the history of the book and bibliography for many years in the University of Toronto’s Graduate Department of English and…
Copyright Expert Bill Patry on Orphans and Pirates
Dec 14, 2009 • 22 min
In 1841 Thomas Babington Macaulay observed that “it is good that authors should be remunerated; and the least exceptionable way of remunerating them is by a monopoly. Yet monopoly is an evil. For the sake of the good we must submit to the evil; but…
Jane Urquhart on Lucy Maud Montgomery
Dec 10, 2009 • 40 min
Published in 1908, Anne of Green Gables is the first in a series of bestselling novels by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. Although often dark and complex, and at times racy, the ‘Anne’ novels are today considered by most to be children’s…
Cory Doctorow on the Future of the Book
Dec 6, 2009 • 11 min
Copyright activist, speaker, teacher (how about ’speacher’…or ’spreacher’), columnist, science fiction novelist, short story writer, co-editor of Boing Boing, and the very manifestation of articulate dynamism, Cory Doctorow was in…
Kate Pullinger on The Mistress of Nothing
Nov 26, 2009 • 25 min
Kate Pullinger is a novelist who also writes for film and various digital platforms. Born in Cranbrook British Columbia she went to high school on Vancouver Island, dropped out of McGill University, worked for a year in a copper mine in the…
Yann Martel on What Stephen Harper is Reading
Nov 26, 2009 • 31 min
Listen here as famed author of The Life of Pi and self proclaimed political gadfly Yann Martel absorbs a barrage of punishing jabs I throw at him over his book What is Stephen Harper Reading? and punches back at a (former) Canadian Prime…
Larry Thompson on the Process of Letterpress Printing
Nov 20, 2009 • 31 min
Larry Thompson established Greyweathers Press several years ago because of a “love of beautifully designed type skillfully arranged on a well-proportioned page.” His original plan was to print letterpress books only, however, as his…
Don Lindgren on Collecting Cooking Books
Nov 13, 2009 • 35 min
Researching ‘literary’ Portland (Maine) before trekking down there, I came across mention of Rabelais Book shop. What an interesting concept it’s built upon: the vertical integration of new titles on food, wine, gardening and farming, with…
Publisher Tom Doherty on Tor Books
Nov 11, 2009 • 25 min
After working his way up through the publishing trade during the 1950s and 1960s, Tom Doherty became publisher of Tempo Books in 1972 and later Ace Books. In 1980 he established his own publishing firm Tom Doherty Associates Inc., with the help of…
Science Fiction Editors David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer
Nov 9, 2009 • 40 min
David Hartwell has worked as a Science Fiction and Fantasy editor for Signet, Berkley Putnam, Pocket (where he founded the Timescape imprint and created the Pocket Books StarTrek publishing line), and Tor (where he headed Tor’s Canadian…
Rocky Stinehour on The Stinehour Press
Nov 6, 2009 • 34 min
Roderick ‘Rocky’ Stinehour is a very pleasant, accomplished gentleman from Vermont. He’s also recognized internationally as a printer of high repute and a designer of beautiful, scholarly books. His career spans over much change in printing…
Book Artist Claire Van Vliet on the Janus Press
Nov 2, 2009 • 35 min
Conversation with the Janus Press’s Proprietor
Galway Kinnell on Poetry
Oct 14, 2009 • 27 min
Galway Kinnell was born February 1, 1927 in Providence, Rhode Island. He has been hailed as one of the most influential American poets of the latter half of the 20th century. Educated at Princeton and Rochester Universities, he served in the United…
Curator Jerry Fielder on the books of Yousuf Karsh
Oct 7, 2009 • 24 min
Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002) was born in Armenia in 1908. His photographer uncle, George Nakash, brought him to Canada in 1924. After apprenticing in Boston with John H. Garo, Karsh settled in Ottawa in 1932, where he began his professional career. By…
Brad MacKay on Doug Wright, Comics and Graphic Novels
Oct 5, 2009 • 30 min
Writer, journalist, comic reader, Cartoon Historian, intermittent blogger, and over-tired family man Brad Mackay is the author of a biographical essay which appears in The Collected Doug Wright Volume One (Drawn and Quarterly, 2009). First…
David Mitchell on experimenting with the novelistic form
Oct 3, 2009 • 31 min
This from the incom­par­able Brit­ish Council’s con­tem­por­ary writers web­site: Born in South­port in 1969, David Mitchell grew up in Mal­vern, Worcester­shire, study­ing for a degree in Eng­lish and Amer­ican Lit­er­at­ure…
Booksellers Joshua and Phyllis Heller on Artist Books
Sep 29, 2009 • 25 min
What’s the dif­fer­ence between a First Edi­tion, a Fine Press Edi­tion and an Artists’ Book? Joshua and Phyl­lis Heller work with me to help define the bound­ar­ies. The two of them estab­lished Joshua Heller Rare Books, Inc….
John Bidwell on the Morgan Library’s Collection
Sep 22, 2009 • 37 min
John Bid­well is Astor Cur­ator of Prin­ted Books and Bind­ings at thePier­pont Mor­gan Lib­rary, before which he was Cur­ator of Graphic Arts in the Prin­ceton Uni­ver­sity Lib­rary. He has writ­ten extens­ively on the his­tory of…
Prof. Joseph Khoury on Succession in King Lear and Hamlet
Sep 15, 2009 • 32 min
Shakespeare wrote Hamlet before James l came to the throne. Events in the play reflect many of the real world concerns that Englishmen had about being ruled by a foreigner. At the play’s end, Denmark’s line of rulers is extinguished,…
Denise Mina on the Crime & Mystery Genre
Sep 3, 2009 • 37 min
Crime novelist Denise Mina is the author of a trilogy of novels set in Glasgow: Garnethill (1998), which won the Crime Writers’ Association John Creasey Memorial Dagger; Exile (2000); and Resolution (2001). Sanctum (2002), is the…
Terry Griggs on her novel Thought you were Dead
Aug 22, 2009 • 27 min
Terry Griggs is the author of a collection of short stories, Quickening, which was nominated for a Governor General’s Award, and two novels, The Lusty Man, and Rogues’ Wedding, shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Award….
Karl Siegler on Talon and Literary Book Publishing
Aug 22, 2009 • 32 min
Karl Siegler is a founding member of the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia and the Literary Press Group of Canada; he has served as president of the Association of Canadian Publishers twice, and was one of the founding members of the…
Ha Jin on the Writer as Migrant
Aug 17, 2009 • 37 min
Ha Jin was born in China in 1956. After Tiananmen Square, he emigrated to the United States. Unlike most exiled writers Ha Jin was not established in his native language; he had no audience in Chinese, and so chose to write in English. He has…
Donald Antrim on Fiction and Memoir
Aug 13, 2009 • 34 min
This past Spring at the Blue Met Writers Festival, Donald Antrim conducted a workshop entitled: Fiction and Memoir: “Writing Ourselves” It was designed to explore the ‘challenging and often frustrating process of reading into one’s own work;’…
Professor Rohan Maitzen on George Eliot’s Middlemarch
Jul 29, 2009 • 45 min
Originally from Vancouver, Professor Rohan Maitzen has an Honours B.A. in English and History from the University of British Columbia and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Cornell University. Since 1995, she has been a member of Dalhousie…
Robert Bringhurst on Book Design
Jul 28, 2009 • 29 min
Born in Los Angeles in 1946, Robert Bringhurst is an award winning Canadian poet, typographer and author. Perhaps best known for The Elements of Typographic Style – a reference book of typefaces, glyphs and the visual and geometric arrangement…
A.B. Yehoshua on his novel Friendly Fire
Jul 21, 2009 • 39 min
A.B. Yehoshua was born in 1936 to a fifth-generation Jerusalem family of Sephardi origin. His first book of stories, “Mot Hazaken” (The Death of the Old Man) was published in 1962. He was an important member of the “new wave” generation of Israeli…
M.G. Vassanji on Mordecai Richler
Jul 19, 2009 • 23 min
M. G. Vassanji was born in Kenya and raised in Tanzania. Before coming to Canada in 1978, he attended MIT and the University of Pennsylvania, where he specialized in theoretical nuclear physics. From 1978-1980 he was a postdoctoral fellow at the…
Zoe Heller on her novel The Believers
Jul 19, 2009 • 33 min
This from Contemporary Writers: ” Zoe Heller was born in London in 1965 and educated at Oxford University and Columbia University, New York. She is a journalist who, after writing book reviews for various newspapers, became a feature writer for…
Nino Ricci on Pierre Trudeau
Jul 15, 2009 • 35 min
Nino Ricci’s first novel, the best-selling Lives of the Saints, won international acclaim and a host of awards, including, in Canada, the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and in England, the Betty…
Margaret MacMillan on History and Stephen Leacock
Jul 10, 2009 • 35 min
Margaret MacMillan was educated at the University of Toronto and at Oxford, where she obtained a B. Phil. in politics and a D. Phil. for a thesis on the British in India between 1880 and 1920. Her books include Women of the Raj, Paris 1919: Six Months…
Author Meir Shalev on Television Satire
Jun 24, 2009 • 29 min
Meir Shalev one of Israel’s most celebrated novelists, was born in 1948 in Nahalal, Israel’s first moshav. He is a bestselling author in Israel, Holland, and Germany; and he has been translated into more than twenty languages. His novels…
Henrietta Dax on Clarke’s Bookshop, Cape Town
Jun 17, 2009 • 24 min
Clarke’s Bookshop, the most famous in Cape Town, specializes in selling southern African books to universities and libraries that teach and have an interest in same. Established in 1956 by Anthony Clarke, the Long Street shop today remains much the…
Crime novelist Margie Orford on Writing in Prison
Jun 13, 2009 • 34 min
Crime novelist, film director, children’s author and award-winning journalist, Margie Orford was born in London and grew up in Namibia and South Africa. She has studied under J M. Coetzee, and worked in publishing with the African Publishers…
M.G Vassanji on his Critics
Jun 9, 2009 • 9 min
In a conversation I had with him, Canadian critic, editor and short story writer John Metcalf hauls off on both the Giller Prize and two-time winner M.G. Vassanji; the former for boosterism and an inability to distinguish between good and bad…
Open Letter’s Chad Post: on Publishing in Translation
Jun 5, 2009 • 27 min
Open Letter is the University of Rochester’s literary publishing house. ‘ It is dedicated to connecting readers with great international authors and their works. Publishing twelve books a year and running an online literary website called Three…
Novelist Damon Galgut on South Africa
Jun 4, 2009 • 33 min
Damon Galgut is a writer based in Cape Town. He wrote his first novel, A Sinless Season (1984), when he was seventeen. Small Circle of Beings (1988), a collection of short stories, was followed by The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs…
Andre Brink on Life & Writing in South Africa
May 22, 2009 • 50 min
This from contemporary writers: One of South Africa’s most distinguished writers, André Brink was born in 1935. Poet, novelist, essayist and teacher, he began work as a University lecturer in Afrikaans and Dutch Literature in the 1960s. He…
Stephen Johnson on Random House Struik
May 20, 2009 • 26 min
Stephen Johnson is Managing Director of the South African publishing firm Random House Struik. We talk here about the merger, the independence of SABC (the state owned South African Broadcasting Corporation), Cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro,…
John Metcalf on Negative Reviewing
May 14, 2009 • 36 min
I interviewed Canadian critic/editor/writer John Metcalf on his love of Books and Book Collecting. The same afternoon we also talked about the process of book reviewing, whether or not the use of insult and/or invective is ever justified and if so,…
Franschhoek Literary Festival Director Jenny Hobbs
May 12, 2009 • 18 min
JENNY HOBBS is a novelist and freelance journalist who lives in Franschhoek, South Africa. She is the author of four novels, Thoughts in a Makeshift Mortuary, The Sweet-Smelling Jasmine, The Telling of Angus Quain, and Video Dreams, four non-fiction…
Dawn Arnold on Northrop Frye and the Frye Festival
May 10, 2009 • 25 min
Dawn Arnold is Chair of the Frye Festival in Moncton, New Brunswick. Jane Urquhart, Wayne Johnston, Neil Smith, Alexandre Jardin and Miriam Toews are among the many authors who will participate in this year’s ten day event. Dawn and I talk here…
Pittsburgh Post Gazette Books Editor Bob Hoover
May 7, 2009 • 153 min
Former Pittsburgh Post Gazette Books Editor Bob Hoover wrote about books with the paper for more than 20 years. We talk here, at a noisy diner in the shadow of the Heinz ketchup factory, about the role of a books editor, Pittsburgh’s lively literary…
John Metcalf on Book Collecting
May 1, 2009 • 37 min
John Metcalf is best known as a writer/editor who has worked with many of Canada’s foremost short story writers including Michael Winter, Terry Griggs, Steven Heighton, and Caroline Adderson. Born in Carlisle, England, and educated at the…
Chris Cleave on his novel Little Bee
Mar 23, 2009 • 27 min
Chris Cleave was born in London and spent his early years in Cameroon. He studied Experimental Psychology at Balliol College, Oxford, and now writes a column for the Guardian newspaper. His debut novel Incendiary won a 2006 Somerset Maugham Award, was…
Luise von Flotow on Literary Translation
Mar 15, 2009 • 31 min
Luise von Flotow is an associate professor in Translation Studies at the University of Ottawa with a special interest in translation and gender. In 1992, her translation of Deathly Delights was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award. Her most…
Jessa Crispin on Bookslut
Feb 19, 2009 • 36 min
Jessa Crispin is editor and founder of Bookslut.com “a monthly web magazine and daily blog dedicated to those who love to read. We provide a constant supply of news, reviews, commentary, insight, and more than occasional opinions.” Author Jana Martin…
Keith Fiels on the American Library Association
Feb 19, 2009 • 58 min
I was in Chicago and met with Keith Michael Fiels, Executive Director of the American Library Association. According to The ALA Constitution the purpose of ALA is “…to promote library service and librarianship.” Stated mission is “To…
Levi Stahl on the role of Book Publicist
Feb 11, 2009 • 36 min
A lifelong resident of Illinois, Levi Stahl works at the University of Chicago Press. For the past three years he has maintained a literary blog, I’ve Been Reading Lately. He has written for the Poetry Foundation, the Chicago Reader, the Bloomsbury…
Rain Taxi Editor Eric Lorberer
Feb 5, 2009 • 29 min
Mr. Wikipedia tells us: “Rain Taxi is a Minneapolis-based book review and literary organization. In addition to publishing its quarterly print edition, Rain Taxi maintains an online edition with distinct content, sponsors the Twin Cities Book…
Bookseller Kathy Stransky on the Used Book Trade
Feb 5, 2009 • 20 min
Kathy Stransky co-owner, with her husband, of Midway Used and Rare Books on University Avenue in St. Paul Minnesota for the past 35 years, talks about the impact of the Internet, Half Price Books moving in down the street, high tech book scouts, rapid…
Margaret Eaton on what is being done to help those who live with illiteracy
Feb 5, 2009 • 28 min
Today is Family Literacy Day! Literacy is defined as “the ability to understand and employ printed information in daily activities at home, at work and in the community - to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and…
Robert Rulon-Miller Antiquarian Book Dealer
Feb 3, 2009 • 36 min
Robert Rulon-Miller is an antiquarian book dealer who lives, if not in a mansion, then at the very least in a great big house on Summit Avenue, one of the toniest in St. Paul, Minnesota. Not that toiling as a bookseller is anyway to get rich quick. He…
Librarian Rosemary Furtak: On Artist Books
Feb 3, 2009 • 23 min
Rosemary Furtak was the librarian at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis for more than 25 year. She was co-curator of ‘Text Messages’, an exhibit on artist’s books shown in 2009 at the Center. We talk here about her early championing of…
Victoria Glendinning on Biography
Jan 19, 2009 • 26 min
Biographer, critic, broadcaster and novelist Victoria Glendinning was born in Sheffield, and educated at Somerville College, Oxford, where she read Modern Languages. She worked as a teacher and social worker before becoming an editorial assistant for…
Tanja Jacobs on playing Winnie in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days
Jan 19, 2009 • 22 min
Tanja Jacobs is a well known actress, director, teacher and coach. She has worked in the professional theatre since 1981, and performed at most major theatres in Canada. She has been nominated for ten Dora Mavor Moore Awards and has won twice. As a…
Christian Mcpherson on his first collection of Poetry
Jan 19, 2009 • 24 min
Born, raised and currently resident in Ottawa, Canada, Christian McPherson’s poetry has appeared in a variety of print and online journals. He has won the John Spenser Hill Award and the Ottawa Public Library Short story Award. We met recently to…
Ross Raisin on his novel Out Backward
Jan 7, 2009 • 39 min
Ross Raisin is a young British author born in Keighley, Yorkshire. He studied at the University of London, worked as a trainee wine bar manager and completed a postgraduate degree in creative writing at Goldsmith’s College. His debut novel Out…
A conversation with Author Nadeem Aslam
Jan 6, 2009 • 31 min
Nadeem Aslam was born in Pakistan in 1966, moved to the UK as a teenager and now lives in London. He studied Biochemistry at the University of Manchester, but left to become a writer. His first novel, Season of the Rainbirds (1993) won a Betty…
Anne Enright on the Short Story
Dec 24, 2008 • 32 min
This is part three of a series of interviews conducted with three acclaimed short storywriters: Rebecca Rosenblum, Nam Le, and Anne Enright. In each case we riff off those qualities which Flannery O’Connor thought best constituted a good short…
Joe Dunthorne on his debut novel Submarine
Dec 17, 2008 • 30 min
Joe Dunthorne is a graduate of the Creative Writing Masters program at UEA, where he was awarded the Curtis Brown Prize. His poetry has been published in Reactions 5, Magma, Smiths Knoll, and Tears in the Fence. His work has been featured on Channel…
Bruno Racine, former President of the National Library of France, on the Role of National Libraries
Dec 16, 2008 • 19 min
Bruno Racine was President of the National Library of France from 2007- 2016. Prior to this he held a variety of senior positions within the French government including: Director General Cultural Affairs for the City of Paris (1988-1993),…
Amitav Ghosh on his novel Sea of Poppies
Dec 10, 2008 • 21 min
AMITAV GHOSH is one of India’s best-known writers. His books include The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, The Glass Palace, Incendiary Circumstances and The Hungry Tide. Born in Calcutta in 1956 Ghosh studied in Dehra Dun, New Delhi,…
Junot Diaz on his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Dec 5, 2008 • 32 min
Junot Díaz was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and is the author of Drown and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao which won the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the…
Nam Le on the Short Story
Nov 14, 2008 • 32 min
Nam Le has won the £60,000 Dylan Thomas Prize. It recognizes the best young writer in the English-speaking world, with the goal of ensuring that the inspirational nature of Dylan’s writing lives on. I met with him in Toronto at the IFOA. This…
Joseph Boyden on his novel Through Black Spruce
Nov 11, 2008 • 22 min
Joseph Boyden won The 2008 Giller Prize for his novel Through Black Spruce. We talk here about the novel, and the psychic distance Joseph requires to write novels about Northern Ontario and the Cree; the similarities between North and…
How to run a successful used Book Sale, with Beryl Barr
Nov 11, 2008 • 26 min
Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library, founded in 1946, is a not-for-profit organization for people interested in books and libraries. Its purpose is to stimulate public interest in the library, purchase library materials, and support other…
Aleksandar Hemon on his novel The Lazarus Project
Nov 11, 2008 • 36 min
Listen to my interview with Aleksandar Hemon on his National Book Award nominated novel The Lazarus Project here, and at The Quarterly Conversation.
David Curruthers on St. Armand Papers
Nov 5, 2008 • 27 min
David Curruthers, owner/proprietor of St. Armand Papers in Montreal takes us through the process of how he produces paper that is used in the letterpress printing of books. We talk about pure fibre rags, old jute coffee bags, cover stock, denim and…
Michael Lista on his first collection of poetry, Bloom
Nov 4, 2008 • 39 min
I first heard about Michael Lista in a workshop conducted by Meeka Walsh, Editor of Border Crossings magazine. She raved about him: “Michael is a remarkably gifted young poet who lives in Montreal. He has a special interest in the points of…
Rebecca Rosenblum on What Constitutes a Good Short Story
Nov 1, 2008 • 27 min
This is part one of a series of interviews conducted with three acclaimed short storywriters: Rebecca Rosenblum, Nam Le, and Anne Enright. In each case we riff off those qualities which Flannery O’Connor thought best constituted a good short…
What Makes Vampires so Appealing? with Patricia McCarthy
Oct 10, 2008 • 28 min
Patricia K. Macarthy is author of The Crimson Series, three books, to date, about vampires. We talk here about what makes Vampires so appealing to so many people, about their being symbolic of man’s desire for supremacy, women’s desire to…
Margaret Visser on her book The Gift of Thanks
Oct 1, 2008 • 44 min
Margaret Visser is a writer/broadcaster who lives in Toronto, Barcelona, and France. Her subject matter is the history, anthropology, and mythology of everyday life. Born in South Africa, she attended school in Zambia, Zimbabwe, France (the…
Miriam Toews on The Flying Troutmans
Sep 18, 2008 • 19 min
This from Random House: “Miriam Toews…was born in 1964 in the small Mennonite town of Steinbach, Manitoba. She left at eighteen, living in Montreal and London and touring Europe before coming back to Manitoba, where she earned a B.A. in film studies…
Craig Poile co-owner of Collected Works on running an independent bookstore
Jul 18, 2008 • 36 min
Listen here to my conversation with Craig Poile, co-owner of Collected Works, an innovative independent bookstore based in Ottawa, Canada (now closed). We talk, among others things, about a rudimentary webcam-teleconferencing system dubbed ‘Great…
Les Petriw on what small book publishers and authors should look for in a distribution company
Jun 30, 2008 • 36 min
Distribution is a critical spoke in the publishing cycle, and yet it’s surprising the scant amount of thought many small publishers give to how their books will eventually be sold, and how much it will cost to get their titles into the stores. Most…
Harlan Coben on the Business of Publishing Books
Jun 29, 2008 • 36 min
Harlan Coben’s latest novel HOLD TIGHT debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list — and simultaneously debuted at #1 in the London Times. Winner of the Edgar Award, Shamus Award and Anthony Award – the first author to win all three –…
Japp Blonk on Sound Poetry
Jun 23, 2008 • 36 min
Jaap Blonk is a self-taught composer, vocal performer and sound poet. As a vocalist, Blonk has performed around the globe exciting audiences with his powerful stage presence and childlike improvisation. Live electronics have over the years extended…
Lindsey Davis on Historical Crime Fiction
Jun 17, 2008 • 40 min
Lindsey Davis was born and raised in Birmingham, read English at Oxford, then joined the civil service, which she left in 1985.She started writing about Romans in The Course of Honour, the remarkable true love story of the Emperor Vespasian and his…
Rawi Hage on Deniro’s Game
Jun 11, 2008 • 33 min
Rawi Hage was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and lived through nine years of that country’s civil war. He immigrated to Canada in 1992. He is a writer, a visual artist, and a curator whose debut novel, De Niro’s Game (2006), was shortlisted for the 2006…
Ed Pettit on Edgar Allan Poe
Jun 8, 2008 • 27 min
Edward Pettit is a freelance book reviewer and writes the Bibliothecary blog. He also pursues graduate studies in literature at bucolic Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and teaches writing at La Salle University in Philadelphia. After…
Derick Dreher on Dr. Rosenbach
Jun 5, 2008 • 51 min
Derick Dreher has been the Director of the Rosenbach since 1998. He has an M.A. in the History of Art from Yale University,and is a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton. A Fulbright scholar, he was awarded a Kress International Research Fellowship,…
Donald Antrim on his memoir The Afterlife
Jun 5, 2008 • 37 min
Donald Antrim is the author of three novels and a memoir entitled, The Afterlife, which is about the strained relationship he had with his mother, Louanne, an artist, teacher and alcoholic. In addition to receiving some of America’s most prestigious…
Frank Wilson on How to Write a Successful Book Blog
Jun 1, 2008 • 36 min
Frank Wilson has been reviewing books professionally since October, 1964. For most of the last decade that he was Books Editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, he was given to retaining committed bloggers (e.g. Mark Sarvas, Scott Esposito, Ed Champion)…
Margot Livesey on Shakespeare
May 30, 2008 • 40 min
“Margot Livesey grew up in a boys’ private school in the Scottish Highlands where her father taught, and her mother, Eva, was the school nurse. After taking a B.A. in English and philosophy at the University of York in England she spent most of her…
Anke Feuchenberger on German Graphic Art
May 29, 2008 • 38 min
Anke Feuchtenberger was born in 1963 in East Berlin and is one of Germany’s leading comic illustrator/artists. Her award winning work has been published in numerous books, newspapers, magazines and anthologies, and includes paintings, drawings,…
Glenn Patterson on Belfast, Cities, Disney, Tolstoy and Public Houses
May 27, 2008 • 44 min
Glenn Patterson was born in Belfast in 1961 and studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia under Malcolm Bradbury. He is the author of seven novels. The first, Burning Your Own (1988), set in Northern Ireland in 1969, won a Betty Trask…
Alaa Al Aswany on Fiction and Democracy
May 27, 2008 • 30 min
Egyptian writer Alaa al Aswany was born in 1957 and studied dentistry in Egypt and Chicago. In addition to fiction, he writes on literature, politics, and social issues. His second novel, The Yacoubian Building, an ironic take on modern Egyptian…
John Hollander on Good and Bad Poetry
May 26, 2008 • 21 min
Born in 1929 in New York, educated at Columbia, John Hollander is a poet and literary critic. He has written more than a dozen books of poetry, and seven books of criticism, including Rhyme’s Reason of which Harold Bloom said: “[it is] on all…
Andre Alexis on the themes in his Novels
May 25, 2008 • 37 min
André Alexis was born in 1957 in Trinidad and Tobago. His parents left for Canada when he was a baby. The family reunited in Ottawa when Alexis was four years old. He still remembers the trauma of this separation; it has coloured much of his writing…
Andrew O’Hagan on Determination, Memoir, Israel, Martin Amis, Islam and Coloured Doors
May 13, 2008 • 47 min
Andrew O’Hagan’s most recent novel, Be Near Me, has just won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It is the story of an English priest who takes over a small Scottish parish in a post-industrial town by the sea; a story of art and politics,…
Irene Gammel on Lucy Maud Montgomery & Anne of Green Gables
Apr 22, 2008 • 56 min
Biography as Screaming Farce
William Deverell on how to write Crime Mystery Novels
Apr 20, 2008 • 45 min
William Deverell, has been widely hailed as Canada’s greatest ‘literary mystery’ writer. This from his website: “Deverell worked as a journalist for seven years, with Canadian Press Montreal, the Vancouver Sun and the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix,…
David Solway on What makes a Poem Great
Apr 6, 2008 • 39 min
In honour of Poetry Month, here is my interview with Canadian poet, critic and political writer, David Solway. We first discuss what constitutes a great poem in the context of ‘political’ and other agendas that some poets incorporate into their…
Sally Cooper on her second novel, Tell Everything
Feb 28, 2008 • 40 min
Sally Cooper’s second novel, Tell Everything,delves into the darkest regions of the human soul, and lends credence to Kipling’s line: “The female of the species is deadlier than the male.” During our conversation about Tell Everything we discuss…
Owner Kenneth Gloss on the Brattle Book Shop
Feb 24, 2008 • 39 min
The Brattle Book Shop, founded in the Cornhill section of Boston in 1825, has been in the hands of the Gloss Family since 1949. Over the years George and his son Kenneth built this shop into one of the largest antiquarian book shops in the United…
Larry McMurtry on Writing and Bookselling
Feb 23, 2008 • 20 min
Novelist, screenwriter and essayist Larry McMurtry is best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning 1985 novel Lonesome Dove, a sweeping historical epic that follows ex-Texas Rangers as they drive cattle from the Rio Grande to Montana. He grew up on a…
Ray Hinst on Haslam’s Bookstore in Florida
Feb 23, 2008 • 16 min
Haslam’s Books, now Florida’s largest new & used book store, was established in St. Petersburg in 1933 by two avid readers, John and Mary Haslam. After World War II they were joined by the second generation, Charles and Elizabeth. The business…
Editor Ian Brookes on Chambers Dictionary
Feb 23, 2008 • 23 min
Ian Brookes is Editor-in-Chief of The Chambers Dictionary which was first published in 1901 and most recently updated in 2006. We talk here about lexicographers, Samuel Johnson, Scotland, the speed of language change getting quicker, Chambers’…
Kathryn Court, President, Penguin Books USA on Publishing
Feb 5, 2008 • 39 min
Kathryn Court joined Penguin Books in 1977 and became Editorial Director two years later. In l984 she was named Editor in Chief of Viking Penguin and in 1992 Senior Vice-President, Publisher, and Editor in Chief of Penguin Books. She was named…
Patrick McGahern: Antiquarian Bookseller
Feb 5, 2008 • 54 min
Patrick McGahern has been selling books in Ottawa, Canada since 1969. His store specializes in used and rare books: Canadiana, Americana, Arctic, Antarctic, Travel, Natural History & Voyages, Illustrated & Plate Books, Irish and Scottish…
Margie Macmillan on Granny Bates Books
Jan 28, 2008 • 26 min
Margie McMillan is co-owner of the award winning Granny Bates Children’s Bookstore in St. John’s Newfoundland. We talk here about longevity and research as a reason for success, the brilliance of Graham Oakley and The Church Mice, the difference…
John Freeman on newspaper book reviews
Dec 13, 2007 • 25 min
At the time of this interview, John Freeman was president of The National Book Critics Circle. Founded in 1974, the NBCC is a non-profit organization consisting of nearly 700 active book reviewers who honor quality writing and communicate with one…
Bernard Margolis on the public library and its history
May 24, 2007 • 37 min
Interview with Bernard Margolis President of the Boston Public Library
John Wronoski on the role of the Archives Dealer
May 21, 2007 • 48 min
John Wronoski is a rare book dealer who specializes in literature, and primary works in the history of ideas in English, German, French, Spanish, and Russian. His shop, Lame Duck Books, contains the most significant selection of 19th and 20th century…
Author Elias Khoury
May 10, 2007 • 46 min
Elias Khoury is author of eleven novels including Little Mountain and Gates of the City. He is currently professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at New York University, and editor in chief of the literary supplement of Beirut’s daily…
Peter Behrens on his novel The Law of Dreams
May 3, 2007 • 33 min
Peter Behrens’ short stories and essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Tin House, Saturday Night, and The National Post and have been anthologized in Best Canadian Stories and Best Canadian Essays. He was born in Montreal and lives on…
Lydia Davis on translating Proust
May 3, 2007 • 31 min
Lydia Davis is a contemporary American author and translator of French. From 1974 to 1978 she was married to Paul Auster, with whom she has a son. She has published six collections of short stories, including The Thirteenth Woman and Other Stories…
C. S. Richardson on Book Design
Apr 19, 2007 • 35 min
C.S. Richardson is an accomplished book designer who has worked in publishing for over twenty years. He is a multiple time recipient of the Alcuin Award (Canada’s highest honour for excellence in book design) and a frequent lecturer on…
Ottawa Librarian Barbara Clubb
Apr 18, 2007 • 52 min
Barbara Clubb is City Librarian and CEO of the Ottawa Public Library, past president of the Canadian Library Association, a member of the International Relations Committee of the ALA/Public Library Association; a director for the Canadian Writers…
John Metcalf on the Role of the Short Story Editor
Apr 7, 2007 • 49 min
John Metcalf is a highly regarded author who happens to have edited many of Canada’s foremost short story writers, including Lisa Moore, Alice Munro, and Michael Winter. Born in Carlisle, England, and educated at the University of Bristol, he…
Interview with erotica writer Amanda Earl
Mar 25, 2007 • 28 min
Amanda Earl writes erotic fiction in Ottawa, Canada, as much for her own pleasure as anything else. Her stories have consistently been selected for publication in Carroll and Graf’s annual Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica. Amanda publishes and…
Churchill Bibliographer Ron Cohen on Bibliography
Mar 23, 2007 • 40 min
Ronald Cohen is author of the Bibliography of the Writings of Sir Winston Churchill published in 2006: a ‘richly annotated work’ containing thousands of entries, with detailed descriptions of each work by Churchill, including information…
Curator David Franklin on Exhibition Catalogues
Sep 12, 2006 • 40 min
David Franklin is former Chief Curator at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, and editor of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and the Renaissance in Florence, a catalogue published by Yale University Press to accompany a major exhibition of the same…
Christopher Pratt Artist Poet
Aug 24, 2006 • 42 min
Christopher Pratt is one of Canada’s most ‘prominent’ painters. He is now also a published poet. We talk here, in his home of St Mary’s Bay, Newfoundland on the Salmonier River, about his book A Painter’s Poems (Breakwater Books, 2005),…
Barbara Reid on Illustrating Children’s Books
Aug 14, 2006 • 36 min
Barbara Reid’s plasticine artwork makes her books instantly recognizable. They have won acclaim around the world, and many awards. We talk here about what makes her so good, about great children’s book illustrators, the accurate conveyance of…
Ramona Dearing on her short story collection So Beautiful
Aug 14, 2006 • 22 min
Ramona Dearing lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and is the latest member of the longstanding (and increasingly famous) fiction collective The Burning Rock to publish a collection of short fiction. Dearing works for CBC Radio where she is currently…
Tim Parks on his novel Cleaver
Aug 14, 2006 • 34 min
Here’s Tim Parks on his novel Cleaver: “Cleaver comes out of my love of the South Tyrol and a growing awareness/ irritation/ anxiety about the invasive nature of the public voice, the spoken media, in our minds and lives. And of course Cleaver, this…
Lisa Moore on her novel Alligator
Aug 14, 2006 • 38 min
Lisa Moore’s fiction has been published widely in literary magazines and in anthologies. Her two collections of short stories, Degrees of Nakedness and Open have received praise for their ’supple sensuality and emotional authenticity.’ She lives…
Michael Crummey on the historical novel
Aug 14, 2006 • 36 min
Michael Crummey is a Newfoundland-born poet, short story writer and novelist. He is known for his historical fiction. His multi-award winning novel River Thieves depicts the relationship between European settlers and the last of the Beothuk indians…
James O. Born on Writing Crime Fiction
Aug 14, 2006 • 37 min
James O. Born is a Special Agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and author of three best selling crime novels. We talk about his most recent, Escape Clause; about blurbs, putting humour and a human face on the real life experience of…
Novelist Tim Winton: In Conversation
Aug 14, 2006 • 17 min
Australian Tim Winton wrote his first novel, An Open Swimmer (1982), at the age of 19. It won the Australian Vogel National Literary Award. Born in Perth, in 1960, he is the author of Shallows (1986), a novel set in a whaling town, and Cloudstreet…
Andrew Miller on Literary Prizes and his novel The Optimists
Aug 14, 2006 • 29 min
The Biblio File
Wendy Duff on the difference between Librarians and Archivists
Aug 2, 2006 • 27 min
Wendy Duff is Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Information Studies. She received her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh. Her primary research interests are user studies, archival…
Jim Roberts on the Evolution of Bookselling
Aug 1, 2006 • 39 min
Jim Roberts is the owner of Books End Bookstore in Syracuse, New York. We talk here among other things about salt, the AB Bookman’s weekly magazine, the emergence and evolution of book-selling on the Internet from Interloc, to Alibris, to…
Tim Parks on Prizes, Awards, Coetzee and Rushdie
Jul 29, 2006 • 11 min
Prizes are ridiculous. Winners are often poor writers. Short lists are political. The whole world kneels before a bunch of Swedish academics who only read books in translation… So what does Tim Parks really think of book awards? Listen up….
Prof. Joseph Khoury on Hamlet, Act 1 & 2
Jul 20, 2006 • 45 min
Prof. Don Nichol on the History of Book Publishing Copyright
Jul 20, 2006 • 44 min
Dr. Don Nichol is an English Professor at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada. He has been researching copyright law and its role in the history of writing and publishing for more than a decade. He is the author of Pope’s Literary Legacy,…
Fran Durako on her Kelmscott Bookshop
Jul 18, 2006 • 25 min
Fran Durako is owner of the Kelmscott Bookshop in Baltimore, Maryland. We talk here, among other things, about her love of William Morris, fine printing and Victorian book illustration, the transition from book collector to seller, and art as a…
David Gilmour on his novel A perfect Night to go to China
Jul 14, 2006 • 29 min
Novelist and acclaimed critic David Gilmour was born in London, Ontario in 1949. His first novel, Back on Tuesday, was published in 1986, followed by How Boys See Girls in 1991 and An Affair with the Moon in 1993. Lost Between Houses, published in…
Martin Levin on the role of the book review editors
Jun 16, 2006 • 32 min
Martin Levin was the popular (particularly at Book Expo Canada where we met) Books Editor at the (Toronto) Globe and Mail newspaper. We talk here about namesakes in Tolstoy, guilt, tragedy, sorrow at not being able to review anywhere near all worthy…
Publisher Jamie Byng on Myth and the Art of Publishing
Jun 16, 2006 • 44 min
Canongate publisher Jamie Byng appreciates and understands that myth and The Bible lie at the core of creative imagination and the Western Canon. He marries this knowledge with a skill for presentation and promotion that few other publishers can…
Peter Ellis: London-based Antiquarian Bookseller
May 10, 2006 • 49 min
Interview with Used/Antiquarian Bookseller Peter Ellis in London, England.
Paul Muldoon on Poetry
Apr 28, 2006 • 56 min
Pulitzer Prize winning poet Paul Muldoon was in Ottawa for the Writers Festival. We talk here about poetry as pemmican; about initials, dashed expectations, the movie Ice Age, James Joyce’s secular epiphanies, the luck of Shakespeare and Mozart,…
Derek Walcott on Poetry
Apr 28, 2006 • 25 min
Nobel Prize winning poet Derek Walcott read at the Blue Metropolis Writers Festival in Montreal several weeks ago. We talk here about England, parents, Ted Hughes, William Blake, combining painting and poetry, the sea, getting laid, and returning….
Gill Coleridge on the role of the Literary Agent
Apr 27, 2006 • 32 min
Gill Coleridge is a partner with Rogers, Coleridge & White, one of the top literary agencies in the world. I spoke with her at the 2006 London Bookfair about how discounting squeezes authors; about the role of the literary agent, the championing…
Neil Wilson on Founding the Ottawa International Writers Festival
Apr 16, 2006 • 21 min
Neil Wilson is a former journalist/broadcaster, future publisher, current long-distance runner and Founding Director of the Ottawa International Writers Festival. We talk about his love of Irish literature and poetry, his founding of the Festival in…
Faber CEO Stephen Page on the Role of the Publisher
Apr 11, 2006 • 24 min
Here is my interview with Stephen Page (unparalleled name for a) CEO and Publisher of Faber and former British Publishers Association President, conducted hurriedly at The 2006 London Bookfair. We talk briefly about the role and necessity of…
Lexicographer Jonathon Green talks Slang
Apr 11, 2006 • 27 min
or Why Penises Beat Out Vaginas
Maggie Knaus on the Rockcliffe Bookfair
Mar 22, 2006 • 21 min
The Rockcliffe Book Fair is one of the oldest, biggest, best used book sales in Ontario, if not Canada. Book dealers travel across the country every year to cash in on the great deals. More than 3500 volunteer hours go into the making of it annually…
Entrepreneur Kensel Tracy on Self Publishing
Mar 22, 2006 • 28 min
I’ve known Kensel Tracy for 20 years. We met in 1985 when he was in charge of marketing at the Ottawa-Carleton Tourism Commission and I was Membership Director at the Board of Trade. I can’t think of anyone I’ve ever met who is as energetic…