Archive for June, 2010

Is there something better than a remarkable essay?  I’m reading two collections at the moment. The first, Fraud by David Rakoff, is a witty and intelligent collection. One of my favourites so far describes a three week gig as Freud in a department store window, at Christmastime. Some of the humour includes comments reportedly made by  people looking […]


Best Canadian Essays 2010 is taking shape, but for the moment I’d like to take a look back at Best Canadian Essays 2009. First appearing in The Walrus, “The Business of Saving the Earth,” by Chris Wood concerns, among other ideas, ecological economists assigning value to irreplaceable biological factories. With permission from the author, here […]


Originally published on Bookninja, and in different editions of Reader’s Choice (Pearson Education Canada). There are two types of graffiti: one rambling, obscure, and sometimes offensive, the other more tangible, more political and accessible. Whatever negative associations people sometimes have of graffiti and whatever steps are taken against it are usually the result of a […]


Michael Bryson has published a number of short story collections over the years, most recently The Lizard (2009) and new this year, the self-published How Many Girlfriends? What made you consider self-publishing your new book? Alex, I was going to begin with a wind-up about the evils of multinational corporations and the need for a […]


Steve McOrmond has written three books of poems, most recently The Good News about Armageddon. To what extent is your book inspired by larger trends like climate change, and to what extent is it more personal observation? The Good News about Armageddon is informed by trends and dire predictions about ecological and socioeconomic collapse, by collective […]


Originally published in The Danforth Review, 2002 The first sentence in How the Blessed Live stretches out like a cat: “Beyond a winding ribbon of sand, the water of English Bay supports mammoth bellies of cargo ships.” The first novel by Susannah M Smith is a carefully crafted book. Her main difficulty, as is the […]