EPISODE 11 - EA DOUGLAS & NICK MCKINLAY
EA Douglas and Nick McKinlay join me to talk about their reading series and open mic, Sophisticated Boom Boom.
Run out of The Ossington, Boom Boom started as friends reading whatever they wanted (even if they didn't write it) at the back of a bar. Since then it has turned into a monthly series with a mix of established features, regular open micers, and even a zine.
Douglas and McKinlay started the series together and tell me how it all began, the most memorable moments, and what's next for Boom Boom.
EPISODE 10 - SOPHIE MCCREESH
For fiction writer Sophie McCreesh, writing is not without its crests and troughs. Maybe mostly troughs. Whether its trying to make characters die, repeated rejections, or finishing a novella despite physical nausea, McCreesh seems to write not as a respite but a compulsion.
McCreesh joined me to talk about her recently published flash story, finishing an MFA, and completing her manuscripts no matter what.
EPISODE 9 - MLA CHERNOFF
I didn't know Mla Chernoff existed until I heard them at a magazine launch in Toronto where they've lived their whole life.
Despite early advice to be disciplined and NOUNS AND VERBS, Chernoff didn't have much faith as a writer. I don't know how to describe Chernoff now, or if I really want to, but they join me to talk about depressive apathy, romanticism, Frasier Crane, saying fuck off to the lyrical tradition, and laughs and gags.
EPISODE 8 - ANDRÉ BABYN
Writer André Babyn grew up in Caledon, Ontario before settling in Toronto for at least a decade. He can't quite pinpoint the feeling that compelled him to start writing, or even continue, but he knows it's there.
Babyn joins me to talk about children's literature, personal relationships, his first time reading, and the small victories that keep writers going. He also leaves us with one special message at the very end.
EPISODE 7 - SUZANNA DEREWICS
Suzanna Derewicz started writing for the theatre, going so far as to produce her play for the Fringe Festival and co-host a reading series. But something changed.
Derewicz talks about leaving theatre behind for poetry, mental health, and creating new work even when it means facing the "gunk" of emotion. Now she has a chapbook, Maggie Monologues, and performs her poetry throughout Toronto and as recently as New York.
EPISODE 6 - JM FRANCHETEAU
JM Francheteau was one of the first poets I met when starting out at open mics and launches nearly 5 years ago.
Inspired by heavy metal lyrics in his teens and Ottawa's young poets in his 20s, JM backpacked throughout Europe before settling in Toronto. He tells me about depression, characters in poetry, empathy, and meeting his father in the south of France.
EPISODE 5 - ELIZABETH BURNS & KAIT FOWLIE
Elizabeth Burns and Kait Fowlie talk intersectional feminism, health and wellness, tarot, and the horror of when your dad reads your diary.
Burns and Fowlie have created The Salvage, a new blog that tackles arts, activism, and mental health with a focus on intersectional feminism. They tell me how it began.
EPISODE 4 - JOSEPH IANNI
Joseph Ianni is a poet and community-builder who had plenty to say about what it means to be accountable as an artist, and the fluidity of meaning between writers and readers in a performance context.
There are many more strides to make in creating a stronger, more diverse literary community. Ianni tells us how intersectional conversation and a "infrastructure of forgiveness" are only the first steps.
EPISODE 3 - JAMES SOUTHCOTT AND CHARLOTTE VAN RYN
James Southcott and Charlotte Van Ryn have lived in rat-infested apartments, survived only on income-tax benefit cheques, and make a conscious decision everyday: write, read, and be happy.
They joined me to talk about moving to Toronto from Halifax, the ideal environment to write (sans literary community), and what defines exclusivity in contemporary literary scenes.
EPISODE 2 - JULIE MANNELL
Prolific writer Julie Mannell talks about academic elitism, being an outsider, and her greatest fear: not writing.
She has two forthcoming novels tentatively titled "little girls" and "Weekending in India". As well as a book of poetry, "Not Nice". Truly authentic, and an inspiring force in CanLit, Mannell is an author we'll be hearing more of in the years to come.
EPISODE 1 - NICOLE BREWER AND WILLIAM KEMP
Toronto-based writers and publishers Nicole Brewer and William Kemp talk Allen Ginsberg, Akana Schofield, and Toronto's ever-changing literary scene.
From their shared hatred of university courses to starting their own micro-press words(on)pages, literary magazine (parenthetical), and reading series words(on)stages, Brewer and Kemp have become some of the hardest working writers in Toronto.