My favourite gift to receive for Chanukah or Christmas, both of which we celebrate at home, is a book. Thanks to my wife Kara for this year’s wonderful choice of US National Book Award winner Charles Johnson’s The Way of the Writer. Part memoir, part how-to manual, part philosophical meditation from a writer and a… Read More “The Way of the Writer”
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… Read More 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… Read More 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… Read More 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… Read More 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… Read More The questions on your mind