Character trumps language. Language trumps plot. Plot trumps setting, unless setting is a character.
Following are my remarks in acceptance of the 2016 Poetry Vine Award for Canadian Literature September 29, 2016 Toronto, Ontario Good afternoon. It’s wonderful to be here with you today. Some of you may be wondering what a nice Jewish book of poetry is doing with such a non-obviously poetic cover. I’ll come to… Continue reading The Jewish Literary Tradition
In university I had an English teacher who drove most of his students mad. He marked very harshly. Students who were used to A’s got C’s. B students eked out D’s. Everybody else failed. At a certain point, the class confronted him. Nobody could understand why his standards were so different. Some students actually complained… Continue reading The second-best way to learn how to write
I feel very fortunate that my novel Sons and Fathers was able to garner a high degree of media coverage for a literary novel published by an independent publisher. Sons and Fathers was written up in The National Post, New Brunswick’s Telegraph-Journal, Calgary Herald, the Ottawa-based Hill Times, Quill and Quire, and rated a brief… Continue reading When “poetry became bad”
Canada has a proud literary tradition of poets who go on to write novels. Leonard Cohen, Margaret Atwood, Anne Michaels, and Michael Ondaatje are just a few that come to mind. This phenomenon is comparable in part to the one in which many writers start off with short stories before penning a novel. Short story… Continue reading Of poets and novelists
When I’m speaking about Sons and Fathers, either at a formal event or in conversation with a friend, readers often ask me five very interesting questions. Here they are, along with my typical answers. How do you find the time to write with a young family and full-time job? Ah, the million dollar question! I… Continue reading The questions on your mind
In my last post, I wrote about the many reasons men don’t read fiction. For many men it comes down to one reason: they believe they can learn more from a work of non-fiction than from a novel, which, as we all know, is made up. So, as a sort of public service announcement dedicated to… Continue reading Why men don’t read fiction, but should: Part 2
If these words were the start of a novel instead of a blog, chances are you’d be a woman. At least according to studies cited on the Internet indicating 80 percent of all fiction is purchased by women. These studies are so often cited that despite the fact it is difficult or impossible to actually… Continue reading Why men don’t read fiction: Part 1
Blurbs – those pithy, effusive, adjective-heavy, uniformly positive endorsements from other writers or simply famous people that adorn the back covers of books and sometimes the front covers – get a lot of mixed, if not downright bad, press. Writers, who depend on blurbs the most, often have a love/hate relationship with receiving and giving them, seeing… Continue reading In search of the perfect blurb…
Welcome. I’ll be publishing my first novel Sons and Fathers on September 19 (Linda Leith Publishing). The book will be launched at Owl’s Nest in Calgary. Please go to my Events page for more info.