Sunday, July 23, 2017
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
|cover idea for Greenblatt (which was mislabelled as poems)|
For Barwin, the ordinary and the extraordinary are never far apart—and that’s very good indeed.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Thursday, July 06, 2017
I was so delighted that Yiddish for Pirates won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. I was shortlisted with Amy Jones and Drew Hayden Taylor, both fantastic writers, and it was really fun (maybe, in retrospect, more for me than for them...) to get to spend the weekend with them. We were driven around in a 1911 Model T Ford so we could wave at the good people of Orillia, Ontario. We were treated extremely well and the entire event had a lovely small town feel. Many former Leacock winners were present -- all extraordinarily warm people. We toured the Leacock House, saw the Leacock collection at the beautiful new local library, went to a garden party and had the gala by the lake at the YMCA camp/conference centre.
As part of winning the Leacock Medal, I was asked to give a 15-minute speech and so, in addition to thanking people, I said some things about humour and made a bunch of terrible jokes. I called the speech, Sunshine Kvetches of a Little Parrot (borrowing the title from a quip made by my friend Stuart Ross.)
The Leacock Associates posted the speech here. Next week, I'm going into Penguin Random House to record it as it will be a "bonus feature" for the Canadian version of the audiobook that they are doing, so it'll be really fun to get to record something on the audiobook. I'm very glad about the actor that they chose (I got to be in on the decision, too) and more details about that later, but part of me wanted to get to record the audiobook as I've had such a great time hamming it up in readings.
Tuesday, July 04, 2017
Just received this intriguing anthology which I'm very happy to appear in along some fascinating nonnonhuman writers including one of my favourite writers, Gabriel Gudding, and eedited by A. Marie Houser for Faunary Press. My piece, "The Sky Above Chairs" is from my book, I, Dr. Greenblatt, Orthodontist, 251-1457 (Anvil Press.)
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Saturday, May 27, 2017
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Light, the Pope, his Toe and the Afterlife: Two Poems written along with my students in Poetry Class
The Pope, his Toe and the Afterlife
everything you say is bleeped out by birds
The above are two more poems that I wrote as my students wrote in creative writing class. The first one is based on David McGimpsey's "chubby sonnets" and inspired by his investigations into narrative, the self, and popular culture.
The second was inspired by Bhanu Kapil's interventions into the Urban Dictionary where she inserts her own poetic, obliquely narrative "definitions" into UrbanDictionary.com.
Monday, May 15, 2017
A student in the class asked me about endings. North's poem (like his comparisons) is deliberately antipoetic and anticlimatic. We talked about different ways to end a poem. With a big finish, a fade out, a twist, a turn, a reaching back to the first line or the title. Thinking about our discussion, as I wrote my realization of my North-derived poem, I turned the ending of the poem—after a listing of mostly ridiculous comparisons—into an occasion of sudden emotion. I also chained my comparisons, which North doesn't do, each comparison linking with the one before it. This, too, came from talking to my students about the poem and different ways to create cohesion, different formal ways to weave a poem together outside of narrative or other techniques.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
|Nerve Thicket Molar King|
Because I'm on the jury for the CBC Poetry Prize, they've asked me some questions about some booky things. Here are the two most recent.
Seven Books that Excite CBC Poetry Juror Gary Barwin
Becoming a Better Poet
Tuesday, May 09, 2017
Wednesday, May 03, 2017
Monday, May 01, 2017
Very happy to have two reviews of my new collection, No TV for Woodpeckers this weekend.
Barb Carey at the Toronto Star wrote this lovely assessment.
And then Phillip Crymble the Hamilton Review of Books wrote this thoughtful discussion of the book.
And check out the entire Hamilton Review of Books. This second issue expands on the first issue—excellent essays, interviews and review.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Two things: Yiddish for Pirates on the Leacock Medal Longlist! And No TV for Woodpeckers on 49th Shelf Must Reads
|My publisher made up this award. My greatest honour.|
Very delighted that Yiddish for Pirates is on the Leacock Medal longlist. The prize celebrates Canadian literary humour. What a great list of books.
Also grateful that the great 49th Shelf included No TV for Woodpeckers on their spring poetry must-reads along with a bunch of great books.
Saturday, April 22, 2017
The novelist and poet, Jennifer Lovegrove is this month's Writer-in-Residence at OpenBook. She is running a very interesting series about writing including one on poetry exercises.
She invited a number of poets to discuss their use of exercises and their thoughts about them in general. She kindly invited me to contribute and my interview is posted today.
Here I am!
P.S. Her new book of poetry is just out with BookThug. Beautiful Children with Pet Foxes
Monday, April 17, 2017
|Me and Yiddish for Pirates, the morning after Scotiabank Giller Prize celebrations.|
Writer and Brock University professor Natalee Caple arranged to have one of her students, Sarah Rockx, interview me. The interview has just appeared on Queen Mobs. I'm grateful for the excellent questions that Sarah Rockx asked me and for Natalee for setting it up. Here's the interview.