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Bound but not gagged
Bound but not gagged is the rabble book lounge blog where you'll find news and views about progressive authors, publishers, bookstores and just about anything books! To read our reviews visit http://rabble.ca/books
A little while ago, I got to speak to one of my favourite poets: George Elliott Clarke. Originally from Nova Scotia, Clarke now lives in Toronto, where he is currently the appointed poet laureate. Clarke has 13 published collections of poetry and is in the process of writing his life's work: a three part epic poem, his version of Dante's hell. An expert in the academic field of Black Canadian literature, Clarke puts the study in perspective, and shed some light on the current situation of Black Canadian authors and poets.
Could you tell me a little bit about yourself and your work?
Canada Reads came to a close today and Kim Thúy's debut novel Ru (translated by Sheila Fischman) won Canada's annual "title fight."
I have to say, that at the beginning of the week, I thought that The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King was the sure choice. When it got knocked out on Tuesday, everything became uncertain. It seemed as if it was all up in the air.
In a four-to-one vote, Martha Wainwright was the only panelist left rooting for And the Birds Rained Down by Jocelyne Saucier (translated by Rhonda Mullins). Unfortunately #50ShadesofMarthaWainwright was not enough to stay in the competition. I will be expecting to see even more shades tomorrow.
After losing The Inconvenient Indian yesterday, the audience was nearly silent when And the Birds Rained Down was voted off today. Perhaps they were still in shock. I know I was.
Today was also surprising because And the Birds Rained Down was the book that sounded the most interesting to me, as far as sit-down-with-a-hot-beverage enjoyment goes. Either way, I know I will be reading it sometime soon.
The second day of Canada Reads came as a total shocker as Thomas King's The Inconvenient Indian was voted out of the competition.
Each of the remaining books: Ru, And the Birds Rained Down, When Everything Feels Like the Movies and The Inconvenient Indian received one vote against them. It all came down to the defendant of When Everything Feels Like the Movies, Elaine "Lainey" Lui, who did not hesitate to vote for The Inconvenient Indian.
It's that time of year again, Canada's annual reading reality show, Canada Reads, is back! Next week, March 16-19, the battle of the books, hosted by last year's defending champion, Wab Kinew (who defended Joseph Boyden's The Orenda), is on and more controversial than ever. Before controversy, let's talk about what books we can expect to see this year.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your work?
A: My name is Kevan Anthony Cameron, I’m also known as Scruffmouth. I'm a spoken word artist and a scribe. Basically, I'm a writer and a performer. I was born in Edmonton Alberta and my family is Jamaican. A lot of my cultural sensibilities come from my upbringing and my culture, and that is very much a part of my work…
It was probably about ten years ago, almost 11 years ago actually, that I first performed spoken word at a poetry slam and that kind of opened up a new world that I still live in and I kind of use all of my experiences now to either express myself now or gain employment.
It was announced last month that the Robson Street Chapters in Vancouver will close on June 30, 2015. The "department store for book lovers" has closed stores in various locations across Canada including Toronto's John St. and Richmond St. W. and Bloor West locations last May year. The Robson flagship store is just another closure to add to Chapters' growing list.
The CBC released its final book choices and pannelists for Cananda Reads 2015 today. The longlist was cut down to five contenders that will be under debate by notable Canadian panellists. This year's battle of the books will include:
1) And the Birds Rained Down by Jocelyne Saucier, translated by Rhonda Mullins. And the Birds Rained Down will be championed by Canadian songstress, Martha Wainwright.
2) Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes by Kamal Al-Solaylee. Intolerable will be championed by British Columbia actress, Kristin Kreuk.
The Canadian Women in the Literary Arts (CWILA) announced last month that transgender writer, poet, performer and scholar, Lucas Crawford, will be the 2015 critic-in-residence. This marks Crawford as the first transgender critic-in-residence for CWILA.
Crawford is currently a faculty member at Simon Fraser University, where he researches what he calls the "literary history of transgender." He says that literature holds the creative reins for the direction in which conventionally skewed definitions of gender can be challenged. This is what he is hoping to do: challenge conventional ideas of gender within literature.