In the early days of this program, I wasn’t swamped with wonderful reading material as I am today. This is one of the few examples of a filler – i.e. when I took a past interview and “turned it into” an episode of Get Let.
I had the distinct pleasure of working, however briefly, with Sean Michaels. As he runs the music blog Said the Gramophone, he’s considered a music journo; as Program Director at CFMU and freelancer, I am the same. As such, we’re both on the jury for the Polaris Music Prize. In 2013, the year of the “controversial” Godspeed You! Black Emperor win, both Sean and I were on the grand jury. He was “working on a book” at the time and was remarkably modest about it, even though that book turned out to be the fabulous Us Conductors. If you watched the Gillers that year, that look of shock on his face when he won? 100% genuine. A humble fellow and a cool dude.
Anyhow, I interviewed him a propos of nothing, and here it is now, repackaged as episode seven of Get Lit. Dig!
If you’re doing a Hamilton-based literary show/podcast, you have to talk to Noelle Allen. Wolsak and Wynn is the city’s premiere independent publisher and it was a pleasure to talk to Noelle about the house. Noelle is also a tireless supporter of the Hamilton lit scene and is actually the reason I’m published!
You see, Noelle’s one of those publishers who actually takes the time to help you out even though she can’t publish your book. When I first sent The Captain of Kinnoull Hill to publishers (after all the nation’s agencies turned me down, of course), I was overwhelmed at the number of publishers. I decided, for my own sanity, to start local and move outwards. Noelle wasn’t able to publish me, but she thought there was something there, and suggested publishers A, B and C. I sent it to A. A made me an offer. So, Noelle clearly rocks.
Hope you dig.
Back when I first started out on this “published author” gig, I got to travel to Midland, ON to be part of the Toronto International Festival of Authors. It was a travellin’ roadshow kinda deal, a reading featuring myself, Jowita Bydlowska, and Emily Saso. Emily and I swapped books and that’s how I discovered her amazing novel The Weather Inside. You should check it out if you have not already, and keep an eye out for new work from her. She is boss.
This was the second show I ever did, and let me tell you, it was a thrill to be able to talk to someone as amazing and (frankly) popular as Madeleine Thien. She had just won the Giller for Do Not Say We Have Nothing. This fledgling program was not on anyone’s radar yet, so I felt that having her name on E02 would help me garner more guests. It probably did help, but more importantly, Madeleine was wonderful and even took the time to speak to me when she was in Hamilton for her event. I was new to this world; she helped me feel more comfortable in it.
Hope you dig.
Here it is, the first episode of Get Lit! It aired on my 47th birthday, 2016. I was lucky enough to have a superstar on the program, too – the one and only Gary Barwin, whose support and generosity floored me from the get-go. I think the second time I ever met him, he came to my book launch. Given I was (and am) a literary nobody, that was pretty great of him to do. He’s been there since, to bounce ideas off of and just generally chat. Wonderful guy and a wonderful writer. Here, in his funky living room, we discuss his breakthrough novel, Yiddish for Pirates. Enjoy!