The Biblio File Hosted by Nigel Beale
Twenty - forty minute interviews with accomplished authors, publishers, biblio people, conducted by an excitable bibliophile.

 

Laurie Lewis began her publishing career in New York City with Doubleday in the early 60s, acting as liaison between the book design  and printing departments. In 1963 she moved to Toronto and joined the University of Toronto Press. When Allan Fleming came on board as Chief Designer in 1968 the new Design Unit was formed and Lewis became Fleming’s assistant. The department produced many important books, winning numerous awards both nationally and internationally.

For her outstanding service over they years to the design community, Lewis was made a Fellow of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada in 1975, proposed by Allan Fleming and Leslie Smart. She was vice-president of the Ontario Chapter from 1975 to 1977 and continued to support and contribute to the organization for many subsequent years and encouraged graphic design internationally through workshops in publication design in the third world, particularly in South East Asia and in South America, through volunteer assignments with the Canadian International Development Agency

Lewis  introduced computers to the design office at University of Toronto in 1984, with the original Macintosh 512K. In 1991 she took early retirement in order to pursue interests in writing and small publishing. She is the founder and director of The Artful Codger Press, established to encourage the publication of memoirs and life writings.

After retirement from her international volunteer work Laurie began what she calls "another life." She became editor of Vista, the publication of the Seniors Association in Kingston, and began a new career as a writer. In 2011, at the age of 80, her first memoir, Little Comrades, was published by Porcupine’s Quill, and was selected by The Globe and Mail as one of the Top 100 Books of the Year 2011. As of this writing, her next book, Love, and all that jazz is scheduled for publication in 2013.

I caught up with Laurie Lewis recently at her home in Kingston, Ontario where we talked about her impressive career, her colleagues, and some of the more collectible books that she has had a hand in designing. Please listen here.

Direct download: Laurie_Lewis_120930_001.mp3
Category:Book Designer -- posted at: 10:18 PM

According to his website, Ross King is "the bestselling author of six books on Italian, French and Canadian art and history. He has also published two historical novels, Domino (1995) and Ex-Libris (1998), and edited a collection of Leonardo da Vinci's fables, jokes and riddles. Translated into more than a dozen languages, his books have been nominated for a National Book Critics' Circle Award, the Charles Taylor Prize, and the National Award for Arts Writing. He has won both the Governor General's Award in Canada (for The Judgment of Paris) and the BookSense Non-Fiction Book of the Year in the United States (for Brunelleschi's Dome). His latest book, Leonardo and The Last Supper, has been described as 'gripping' (New York Times), 'fascinating' (Financial Times), 'engaging' (The Guardian), 'enthralling' (Daily Mail), 'absorbing' (Kirkus), 'engrossing' (Booklist), and 'extraordinary' (Irish Times)."

It too won a Governor General's Award, this one in 2012. We met recently in Ottawa to talk about the book and the prize. 

Direct download: Ross_King_110102_001.mp3
Category:Author Interview -- posted at: 1:26 PM

Julie Bruck is the author of three collections of poems from Brick Books, MONKEY RANCH (2012),

 Image: Donald Roller Wilson

THE END OF TRAVEL (1999), and THE WOMAN DOWNSTAIRS (1993).  Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Ms,  Ploughshares, The Walrus, The Malahat Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Maisonneuve, Literary Mama, and elsewhere.

Montreal-born and raised, Julie has taught at several colleges and universities in Canada, and has been a resident faculty member at The Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire. Since 2005, she has taught poetry workshops for The Writing Salon in San Francisco’s Mission district, and tutored students at The University of San Francisco.

Awards and fellowships include The A.M. Klein Award for Poetry, two Pushcart Prize nominations, two Gold Canadian National Magazine Awards and, for Monkey Ranch, Canada’s 2012 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry, which we talk about here.

Direct download: Julie_Bruck_110101_002_40.mp3
Category:Poets -- posted at: 7:14 PM

Born in Topeka, Kansas, Linda Spalding (née Dickinson) is a Canadian writer and editor who has, over the years, worked as a professor of English and writing at numerous universities. She currently lives in Toronto, is an editor with Brick magazine, and is married to novelist Michael Ondaatje.  

Spalding's  novel The Purchase has just won the 2012 Governor-General’s Literary Award for English Fiction. We met in Ottawa recently to talk about it.  Please listen here:

Direct download: Linda_Spalding_110101_003_2_32mg.mp3
Category:Author Interview -- posted at: 3:46 PM

Creativehuron.ca
Several years ago, well known Canadian author/biographer Charlie Foran, playing the Literary Tourist, travelled to Wingham, Ontario and environs to spend a little time in Alice Munro country. We talked to him recently about his experience.


The power of poetry or what? Listen and learn

I met last month - October, 2012 to be precise, the very month one hundred years ago that Poetry magazine was launched in Chicago - with Stephanie Hlywak, Media Director at the Poetry Foundation to talk about the history, mandate, approach and architecture, not only of the magazine, but also of The Foundation and its impressive new building, and, as if this weren't enough, the place and places of poetry itself in our world. Please listen here:

Direct download: Stephanie_W_Poetry_Foundation121024_001.mp3
Category:Literary Destinations -- posted at: 5:42 PM

Jason Webster is an Anglo-American crime novelist, travel writer and critic. Born in California he now lives in Valencia, Spain. Webster was educated in England, Egypt and Italy. In 1993 he graduated from Oxford University (St John's College) with a degree in Arabic and Islamic History. His books all involve Spain, and include Duende: A journey in search of Flamenco (2003), which recounts his move here, and his quest to learn flamenco guitar, (itwas long-listed for the Guardian First Book Award); Andalus: Unlocking the secrets of Moorish Spain (2004)  and Sacred Sierra: A year on a Spanish mountain (2009) which describes a year that Webster and his Spanish wife spent living on their mountain farm in eastern Spain working on the land and planting trees with the help of a 12th century Moorish gardening manual.

Or the Bull Kills You (2011) is a crime novel set in Valencia, and the world of bullfighting. It is the first in a  series of detective stories featuring Chief Inspector Max Cámara of the Spanish National Police. It was long-listed for the Crime Writers' Association John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger.  Death in Valencia (2012), is the second book in the series.

I caught up with Jason recently in Valencia. We met at a sidewalk cafe in the Cabanyal - the real neighbourhood in which his fictional action takes place -  to talk about how those who read and love his novels can get more out of them by visiting this great, colourful Spanish city.

Direct download: Jason_Webster_ZOOM0003_2.mp3
Category:Literary Destinations -- posted at: 12:32 PM

Shared Inquiry is a discussion method employed by the Great Books Foundation, which, according to its website provides " a teaching and learning environment, and a way for individuals to achieve a more thorough understanding of a text by discussing questions, responses, and insights with fellow readers. Shared Inquiry combines a sound theoretical base with proven strategies to engage all readers in higher-order thinking and collaborative problem solving. In Shared Inquiry, participants come together to help each other explore the meaning of a work of literature. Each participant brings a unique perspective that influences how he or she understands the work. Sharing their interpretations, participants gain new insights and deepen or even change their initial understanding."

I caught up with Eric Timmreck, President of the Houston Great Books Council recently in Toronto at an annual event called Toronto Pursuits, to talk about his experience using the Shared Inquiry technique.

Direct download: Eric_Timmerick_Shared_Inquiry120720_001_40.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:43 PM

While researching an article on Literary Tourism for an upcoming issue of Ontario magazine, I got to meet and greet some stellar Canadian authors at sites across the province that feature, variously, in their works. Here, it's Terry Fallis, and his novel The Best Laid Plans. I got together with Terry on Parliament Hill, right next to the newly refurbished parliamentary library to talk about how its 'hallowed hallways' informed the writing of his book; about how readers might gain insight into its characters and plot by visiting the 'Hill', and how these buildings play an important role in Canadian political life, stabilizing democracy and inspiring hope for a better future. 

Direct download: Terry_Fallis120821_001_2.mp3
Category:Literary Destinations -- posted at: 9:00 PM

I met recently with Kristi Beer from Inprint Houston, a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring readers and writers in Houston, Texas. Founded in 1983, Inprint fulfills its mission through the nationally renowned Margarett Root Brown Reading Series, the Cool Brains! Reading Series for Young People, literary and educational activities in the community that demonstrate the value and impact of creative writing, and support for the Univeristy of Houston Creative Writing Program.  These programs and events play a vital role contributing to Houston's rich and diverse cultural life.

Who better then to question about how the Literary Tourist might best spend his or her time in Houston.

Direct download: Beer_Houston_things_to_do_ZOOM0013.mp3
Category:Literary Destinations -- posted at: 6:54 PM