Archive | Recommended

Jennifer Manuel: Out of a Jar (on Writing with Honesty)

I’ve been on a reading blitz lately about residential schools. I’ve read a couple novels that address this atrocious time in Canadian history, and I’m deep into volume one of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, a text that every Canadian should read, and which many will read, thanks to […]

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Mixed Tape & CanLit Collections: Christy Ann Conlin’s The Memento

Christy Ann Conlin‘s brand new book The Memento “wields a strange power and force, both psychological and emotional” writes Robert Wiersema in The Toronto Star. Here, she shares the music and artifacts that helped breathed life into this “coming of age story with elements of ghost stories, haunted houses, family curses and folk tales.” It’s rare […]

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Firelight Interview Series: Donna Besel

I first encountered Donna Besel in Flin Flon, Manitoba. She was up north with a couple other writers giving readings, and I remember how she spoke of her growing understanding of her work being rooted in the boreal forest landscape. Since I’d started writing my way back into the Canadian Shield – my own formative […]

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Plant a Seed

You have to hear this song. I mean, really. Really.  Take a minute out of your busy life, click play, and listen. Because it’s so good. I had tears in my eyes the first time I heard it, last Saturday night, under glistening strings of white lights at the Oddfellows Hall in Thessalon, Ontario, during […]

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A Walk In the Woods (and a Giveaway!)

In Calgary, this past spring, I had the real pleasure of reading Leo Brent Robillard‘s fourth novel, The Road to Atlantis. The publisher had asked me to blurb it, which means to give it a tidbit of praise they can use on the cover, and I’m usually careful with these things so I didn’t agree until I’d […]

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Firelight Interview Series: Catherine Bush

Catherine Bush makes me think. I first met her during my time in the Creative Writing MFA program at the University of Guelph and, like the best writers and teachers, she offered questions to inspire deep consideration of the practice of writing and the writing life. This winter, I spent a week with her latest […]

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Writing (Reading) with Soul

At the beginning of this year, I had a transcendent experience. Dark night, reading into it, I finished The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri and rolled over in bed, my arm around the book, holding it close. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt such a strong connection to a novel, this feeling like I […]

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Firelight Interview Series: Shawn Syms

I first “met” Shawn Syms online, in the mid-2000s, through PWAC. I was attempting to make a living freelance writing in between surfing for killer travel deals and he was generous with advice and suggestions. A long-time journalist and fiction writer, his debut short story collection, Nothing Looks Familiar, came out last September. Says Kathryn […]

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Oh, Peterborough

I started this past Saturday night sipping dirty martinis with an old friend under a framed map of Rupert’s Land. A bright red swath swept northwest, right over present-day Manitoba and up to where The Pas would be. A scrawled date in black ink said 17-something. From there, I walked a few blocks west on […]

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Firelight Interview Series: Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer

The first Thursday of each month (second Thursday this month, due to circumstances), I post a Q-and-A with a Canadian author. Read more about who exactly is asking the questions, and if you’re a published writer and want to take part, let me know! This month: Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, whose most recent novel All the Broken […]

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