I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of poet David McFadden.
If you’re unfamiliar with his work start with the twitter account, The Poetry of David McFadden and then head over to Mansfield Press where you’ll find many of his books which Stuart Ross edited. I love his selected Why Are You So Sad? also edited by Stuart Ross published by Insomniac.
Here's an excerpt From his 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize winning book What's the Score? (Mansfield).
I have a little anecdote about David McFadden. He was the judge of the Great Canadian Haiku Contest run by Geist Magazine in 1997. Geist published the winners and runners up in the magazine. Shockingly I won, but once the readers saw the poems, they were furious I had won and not Gary Barwin who they thought had written a better poem. One of Gary’s poems was disqualified because it was one syllable over the 17, which readers thought was unfair.
They wrote in letters about how terrible my haiku was. They wrote things like “Kathryn Mockler’s haiku sucks”. Some suggested that I had cheated because David McFadden had written a poem about a canoe and my haiku had a canoe in it.
Some were mad because I hadn’t written about the right season: winter.
Others were mad I hadn’t written about hockey.
Most thought my haiku was boring.
Geist gave David McFadden the opportunity to respond to the letters which I think he did. Sadly, I can’t find the issue where most of the letters were published (Fall 1997 issue).
The poems were picked up by Utne Reader. Even the CBC got a hold of the story and called me for a quote about the controversy. It was very amusing.
And that was my 15-minutes of fame for being a terrible poet all thanks to the wonderful David McFadden.
I have a new short story up at Danforth Review called "The Job Interview: A Murder".
My fourth book Some Theories has been released! It's a collaboration with artist David Poolman.
You can pick up a copy at knife | fork | book in Toronto or Brown & Dickson Booksellers in London, Ontario or online here.
I have new short story over at Cosmonauts Avenue called "Sit Down Beside Megan." Thanks to the editors and Max Winter for this neat illustration.
I'm thrilled to be hosting the Write Now! Speaker Series which is both a university class and a public reading series at Western University in London, Ontario.
Each week we invite a writer to read their work and answer questions about their process!
Cecily Nicholson is the author of Triage (2011) and From the Poplars (2014), winner of the 2015 Dorothy Livesay prize for poetry, both with Talonbooks. She is administrator of the artist-run centre, Gallery Gachet and has worked since 2000 in the downtown eastside neighbourhood of Vancouver. Her work, both creative and social, is often in collaboration with artists and educators. She facilitates the Surrey Teacher’s Association, Teachers Writing Group and is appointed to the Ethics Research Board for Emily Carr University. She has held residencies at: Thompson Rivers University, University of British Columbia Okanagan, University of Northern BC, the University of Windsor and Queens University.
Margaret Christakos is a widely known Canadian poet, fiction writer and writing mentor. She has published nine collections of poetry about the body, memory, relationship, social hope and public speech— including Multitudes (Coach House, 2013), Welling (Scrivener, 2010, a Globe100 book), What Stirs (Coach House, 2008, a Lowther Memorial Award nominee), Sooner (Coach House, 2005, a Lowther nominee), and Excessive Love Prostheses (Coach House, 2002, winner of a ReLit Award) — as well as a Trillium-nominated novel, Charisma (Pedlar, 2000). She has taught creative writing in association with University of Toronto, the Guelph-Humber MFA in Creative Writing program, and OCAD University. A new book of creative non-fiction, Her Paraphernalia: On Motherlines, Sex/Blood/Loss & Selfies, was published in Spring 2016 by BookThug. She is Writer in Residence this year at the University of Western Ontario and the LPL. Originally from Sudbury, Ontario, she lives in Toronto with her three young-adult children.
Victoria Weibe is the author of numerous poems and three novels. Wiebe has been published in Occasus, Teen Ink and Creative Communications. She served as president of the Creative Writing Club and editor-in-chief of Nom de Plume literary journal for 2014-2015 and is the 2016-2017 Student Writer-in-Residence.
Monica Kidd is a writer of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Her most recent book is a collection of poetry, called The Year of Our Beautiful Exile (Gaspereau Press, 2015). She has won many awards for her journalism and essays, and writes with a “painterly eye.” She lives in Calgary, where she works as a family physician and tends to her young family.
Renuka Jeyapalan is a Toronto-based writer/director and a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Director’s Lab. Her short film Big Girl premiered at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival where it was awarded the Best Short Film Award. Since then, Big Girl has screened at over thirty-five film festivals around the world—including the Berlin International Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival and the San Francisco International Film Festival—and was nominated for a 2007 Genie Award for Best Live Action Short Film. In 2010, Renuka was awarded the Kodak New Vision Mentorship Award by Women in Film and Television-Toronto and was mentored by director Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Thirteen). In 2013, Renuka wrote and directed the short film Arranged for TMN, Movie Central, and the Harold Greenberg Fund. She has recently directed web content for CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries, episodes of the kids TV show Playdate for Sinking Ship Entertainment and has completed her third short film, A Bicycle Lesson. Currently, she is developing her feature film projects: How to go to a Wedding Alone and Sex with the Perfect Stranger. Renuka has an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto.
Fred Wah, Order of Canada, was born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan in 1939 but grew up in the Kootenays in southeast British Columbia. He has published since the early 1960s and is a former Parliamentary Poet Laureate. Recent books are Diamond Grill, a biofiction (NeWest Press, 1996); Faking It: Poetics and Hybridity, a collection of essays (NeWest, 2000); and two collections of poetry, Sentenced to Light (Talonbooks, 2008) and is a door (Talonbooks, 2009). In 2015 Talonbooks published Scree: The Collected Earlier Poems, 1962-1991.
Don McKay has published numerous books of poetry and several books of essays. The poetry has been recognized with a number of awards, including two Governor General’s Awards and the Griffin Poetry Prize. His most recent book of essays,The Shell of the Tortoise, received the Winterset Prize for Excellence in Newfoundland and Labrador Writing for 2011.Paradoxides, his most recent book of poems, winner of the E.J. Pratt Prize for Poetry, includes meditations on geology and deep time, while pursuing ongoing obsessions with birds and tools. Angular Unconformity: Collected Poems was published by icehouse poetry, an imprint of Goose Lane Editions, in 2014.Don McKay lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Daniel MacIvor is a playwright/actor/director who is originally from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and divides his time between Halifax and Toronto. He has written numerous award-winning theatre productions including See Bob Run, Communion, Marion Bridge and His Greatness and with Daniel Brooks created the solo shows House, Here Lies Henry, Monster, Cul-de-sac and This Is What Happens Next. Daniel received the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama for his collection of plays I Still Love You and he was awarded the Siminovitch Prize for Theatre. He is also the recipient of the New York Obie Award and a GLAAD Award. Most recently he wrote the screenplay for Bruce McDonald’s “Weirdos” that had its world premiere this year at TIFF. He is currently touring the solo show Who Killed Spalding Gray? and is working on the libretto for Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian commissioned by the Canadian Opera Company. In development is a new touring show The Myth of Authenticity for reWork Productions.
Kate Taylor is an award-winning novelist and an arts columnist at The Globe and Mail. Her debut novel, Madame Proust and the Kosher Kitchen, was a national bestseller, winning the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book (Canada-Caribbean region), the City of Toronto Book Award and the Canadian Jewish Book Award. Her second novel, A Man in Uniform, was shortlisted for the Ontario Library Association's Evergreen Award. She lives in Toronto with her husband and son.
Armand Garnet Ruffo is a writer and scholar who draws on his Ojibway heritage for his work. Born in Chapleau, northern Ontario, his roots extend to the Sagamok Ojibway First Nation and the Chapleau Fox Lake Cree First Nation. He is recognized as one of the earliest contributors to both contemporary Indigenous literature and Indigenous literary criticism in Canada. In 2016 he co-edited Introduction to Indigenous Literary Criticism (Broadview Press). In 2015 he published The Thunderbird Poems, based on the paintings of the acclaimed Ojibway artist Norval Morrisseau (Harbour), and that same year his creative biography Norval Morrisseau: Man Changing Into Thunderbird (Douglas & McIntyre) was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award. He is the Queen’s National Scholar in Indigenous Literature at Queen’s University, Kingston.
Ian Williams is the author of Personals, shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award; Not Anyone's Anything, winner of the 2011 Danuta Gleed Literary Award for the best first collection of short fiction in Canada; andYou Know Who You Are, a finalist for the ReLit Prize for poetry. He was named as one of ten Canadian writers to watch by CBC. Visit www.ianwilliams.ca.
Evan Munday is the author and illustrator of the acclaimed series of novels for young adults, The Dead Kid Detective Agency (ECW Press). The first two books in the series were both nominated for the Silver Birch Award. The third, Loyalist to a Fault, got a thumbs-up from his mother. He was the publicist at Toronto-based literary press, Coach House Books, for eight years, currently works as the interim director for The Word on The Street Toronto, and once tied for second place in a Gilmore Girls trivia night.
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