All posts filed under: Author Interviews

In Conversation: An Interview with Max Layton

Born in Montreal in 1946, Max Layton now lives in Cheltenham, Ontario. A published novelist and short story writer, Max went legally blind a decade ago. During that difficult period, he recorded his first CD of original songs and began the series of linked poems which would become When The Rapture Comes (Guernica, 2012). When his eyesight restored thanks to the miracle of modern medicine, Max bounced back with the release of two more albums of songs and now, still going strong, his second book of poems In the Garden of I Am (Guernica, 2015).

In Conversation: an Interview with Bruce Hunter

In Conversation: Bruce Hunter Bruce Hunter grew up in Calgary and studied film and humanities at York University. After graduation he taught at Humber College, York University and Banff School of Fine Arts. In 1986 he joined Seneca College teaching English and Liberal Studies. He is now retired. Bruce has published five books of poetry: Selected Canadian Rifles (unfinished monument press, 1981), Benchmark (Thistledown Press, 1982), The Beekeeper’s Daughter (Thistledown Press, 1986), Coming Home from Home (Thistledown Press, 2000), and Two O’Clock Creek (Oolichan Books, 2010). His works of fiction include a book of linked short stories Country Music Country (Thistledown Press, 1996) and a novel, In the Bear’s House (Oolichan Books, 2009). Joan Shillington: Bruce, I think it’s interesting how you write in both poetry and prose genres. Reading your work it seems seamless, but of course, all writing is a lot of work, time and commitment. More and more writers are crossing genres so I’d like to focus on that aspect of your work. Two O’Clock Creek is one of my favourite poems and when I read the chapter …

In Conversation: Marcello Di Cintio Interview with John Vigna, FreeFall’s Upcoming Contest Judge

Marcello Di Cintio sat down with FreeFall’s upcoming judge, John Vigna, for some quick questions: M: What elevates a piece of writing beyond ordinary? JV: A compelling, authentic narrative voice; brutal truth but restraint in calibrating it throughout the story. Humility. Wisdom. Complete mastery of the world of the story and finding the right way to tell it. The art of knowing what to leave out; the subtlety and the ability to express deep emotional moments without sentimentality, letting the details and characters speak for themselves. A less is more approach. M: Your characters are beyond ordinary for the circumstances they find themselves in and for the way they react to the violence within themselves and in their environment. How does a character come to you first? JV: Characters initially come to me from a sense of place, where they came from, where they currently inhabit space and time, and why. Reading Sherwood Anderson, William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor and Cormac McCarthy, I am interested by how they created fictional, composite worlds from a landscape that left a …

Interview with John Wall Barger

Micheline Maylor An Interview with John Wall Barger On October 25, 2012 MM: Your poems have a distinct voice that comes off as quirky. What would you tell starting writers about developing a voice? JWB: I think of the written voice as an extension of the physical voice. Our speaking tics should find approximations on the page, just as our lump in the throat must find an image. I spent many years trying to write small quiet poems like the ones I admire, but my voice would not do that. My voice is kind of excitable and jumpy and loud. Voice is where our limitations become our advantages. Do you stammer when you are nervous? A poem that stammers can command a room. But a poet who does not let his poem stammer is a dictator whose poem will be willing to die in protest against him. MM: How do poems come to you, or do you have to work for them? What is your creative process like in terms of starting a poem? JWB: …

A Conversation with Alice Major about “Intersecting Sets, A Poet Looks at Science”

by Bob Stallworthy A Conversation with Alice Major about Intersecting Sets, A Poet Looks at Science University of Alberta Press Fall 2012 I’ve known Alice Major for twenty-seven years. I first met Alice just after the publication of her YA novel, The Chinese Mirror. Since then she has published 10 books of poetry, published in a long list of periodicals, had her work performed on CBC, been the first Poet Laureate for the City of Edmonton, President of the Writers Guild of Alberta, President of the League of Canadian Poets, Chair of the Edmonton Arts Council, been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award (2010) and awarded or short-listed for numerous awards including the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry (Alberta Book Awards) and the Pat Lowther Award (League of Canadian Poets). Alice is a founding member of the Edmonton Stroll of Poets and the Edmonton Poetry Festival. Alice has been asking some big questions about the world in which she lived since childhood. The questions trace back to the Christmas that she got a chemistry set …