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


I met recently with literary historian Brian Busby to talk about 'Literary Montreal', poet John Glassco, plaques and the Writers' Chapel of St James the Apostle Anglican Church.

Direct download: Brian_Busby_on_Literary_Montreal.mp3
Category:Literary Destinations -- posted at: 9:51pm EDT

What William Toye apparently wanted most in the world after graduating from the University of Toronto in 1948,  was a job in Canadian book publishing. This, Robert Fulford tells us in a recent National Post profile, was an outlandish career move since Canadian publishing barely existed. We had few publishers and they produced few books. They did little more than import American and British books, selling Bibles, dictionaries and schoolbooks to keep themselves afloat. But Toye was insistent. Says Fulford: 

"When he applied for a job at the Canadian branch of Oxford University Press, he was told they had nothing for him but a place in the warehouse. He said that would be fine. Over the next six decades Canadian publishing steadily expanded and Toye found many ways to deploy the talents he developed. At age 84, still editing, he recently produced yet another in the long list of valuable books he’s given us, The Concise Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature, Second Edition."

Quite apart from the outstanding work he has produced as editor, the multi-talented Toye has also written and designed some beautiful, memorable books of his own, and it is these we met to talk about last month.  Please listen here:

Direct download: Bill_Toye.mp3
Category:Book Designer -- posted at: 8:35pm EDT

Jeff Hurwitz

This from the Poetry Foundation: "An influential figure in contemporary poetics, Ron Silliman became associated with the West Coast literary movement known as “Language poetry” in the 1960s and ‘70s. He edited In the American Tree (1986), which remains the primary Language poetry anthology, as well as penned one of the movement’s defining critical texts, The New Sentence (1987). Silliman’s prolific publishing career includes over thirty books of poetry, critical work, collaborations and anthologies. He has long championed experimental or “post-avant” poetics, most recently through Silliman’s Blog, a weblog he started in 2002."

I met recently with Ron at the Ottawa International Airport to talk about Language poetry. Among other things we discuss the 'Bardic I"; diagnosis of the self; examining viewpoint; the concept of clarity in writing; literary effects; passion through form; Raid killing bugs dead; manipulation of the reader; the artificiality of literary devices and preset responses. Louis Zukofsky. Received rather than earned wisdom. Shakespeare as a great font of creative invention. Bing Crosby as the Jimi Hendricks of the microphone. Steve Roggenback. The 'God help us' response. Unquestioned ideology. Ambiguity. Self check-out lanes. Common denominators.  Helen Vendler's irrelevancy. Poets' dishonest criticism. And the importance of reading series.

Direct download: Ron_Silliman_ZOOM0010.mp3
Category:Poets -- posted at: 10:25am EDT

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