article posted 7 days ago
Now, there’s been a lot said, written, and broadcast about the “seismic” shifts the publishing business has undergone (and continues to undego) but this article provides an interesting look at how all this can actually play out. It’s not without flaws of course (what is?)
All that aside, the piece does raise some interesting points about the actual lives of a trio of (interestingly enough, relatively successful or “tending-to-privileged”) writers and the way they’ve been affected by those proverbial changes. And, at the very least, that’s a nice change of pace from all the abstract debate, or tales of corporate suffering…
Here’s the article
article posted 36 days ago
There’s a lot to say about the situation of reviewing and literary criticism these days, but it is especially nice to see the points Catton raises here made so clearly. Her discussion of what elitism actually means is a healthy correction to the too-often sloppy way so many terms get thrown around in contemporary discourse, and her point about consumer culture in this context is interesting as well.
I’m surprised I didn’t come across this when it was first published, but I am still happy to share it with you now. It is certainly worth a look .
article posted 83 days ago
The Out in Print literary blog has named my prose poem collection, Conjure: a Book of Spells, on its “Best Reads of 2013” list. And I couldn’t be happier!
You can find the complete list over on the site. Enjoy!
article posted 93 days ago
I’m delighted to announce that my collection of prose poems, Conjure: a Book of Spells, has been chosen for the Band of Thebes website’s list of the best books of 2013!
You can find the full (and fascinating!) list here
article posted 93 days ago
Here’s an interesting Guardian report concerning sales figures released by Amazon.
There’s no question that the numbers are skewed (in terms of providing a meaningful snapshot of the actual market, assuming one’s interested in that) since the big “one quarter” figure applies only to ebooks, and only to kindle ebooks at that. Naturally, since kindle books are generally found on the Amazon site they form a substantial proportion of ebook sales at Amazon. D’uh. And the figures only concern the U.S. Moreover, when one takes overall book sales into account the picture is very different; it’s still dominated by big publishers.
All of that aside, however, the numbers are still kind of interesting. It’s a shift, a real one, whether on not it’s “seismic.” And it’s a shift in a world – publishing – that tends to change slowly.
article posted 99 days ago
In an age in which we so often talk around the real issues dogging our culture, this piece at The Times seems to take a clear look at some of the fundamental questions. Like, maybe, what do we mean by value when we say something is valuable?
Prof. Gutting’s article is, to my mind, part of a conversation that isn’t happening nearly enough: one about whether or not the economic yardstick is a suitable tool for measuring everything in human life. So, I encourage you to have a look.
article posted 104 days ago
Novelist Madeleine Thien has some pointed observations concerning bias in the Canadian literary establishment.
Her remarks on the shortlists and winners of the major literary prizes seem especially pertinent in light of the incredible visibility (and sales impact) created by some prizes in Canada’s literary culture.
Here’s the piece; why not have a read and consider its implications…
article posted 135 days ago
Those of you who share my interest in contemporary surrealism will certainly be pleased to hear about this new site.
I came across it a little while ago and found it to be an invaluable source of information on what’s happening in surrealism now – people, events and publications alike. All too often this information can be time-consuming and/or difficult to track down, so here is a big “thank you” to the folks behind Surrealist NYC.
Have a look!
article posted 148 days ago
I am thrilled to announce that my collection of prose poems, Conjure: A Book of Spells has been shortlisted for the A. M. Klein Prize for poetry. Needless to say, I’m very pleased and excited, and look forward to the Prize Gala on November 19th. Fingers crossed…..
You can find the press release here.
And you can find an article about the QWF prizes this year over at The Gazette’s website, here.
article posted 163 days ago
In recent years one of the recurring themes in literary conversations that has tended to irk and/or trouble me most is the increasing use of whether or not a character is “relatable,” or even worse “likeable,” as a criterion of a book’s quality.
The notion comes up in relatively mild iterations – off-hand comments, for example – and in more serious ways, like, lets say, a professor who chooses only to teach writers that resemble him in some ways… But in any version, this idea strikes me as problematic. After all, one of the most valuable things about literature has always been, for me, the opportunity to step outside of the comfortable world one already knows, to encounter previously unknown things, unknown people, unknown ideas. Those can be troubling, unlikable, uncomfortable, for excellent and useful reasons.
This article at The Times considers this sort of question. Not as deeply as I might like, but it’s nice to see the discussion happening.
Have a look and see how you feel.