01 September 2016

My bloggy August adventure!

I had a really bloggy adventure in August. I was invited to act as that month's online writer in residence at Open Book Toronto. That meant posting a blog on whatever topic I wished every couple of days. If you don't know Open Book, check it out.

The first half of my summer was packed with deadlines, and so I didn't get a lot planned in advance: mostly I created a list of about 30 possible topics, most of which I abandoned when the time came. Since I tend to write well to deadline — in fact, I almost need that pressure — it was an exhilarating scramble over those four weeks. In the end, I found it so inspiring, so motivating, I have decided to at least try to keep up the momentum here in Bloggamooga. I think it'll be good for my writing life, which has caused me a lot of struggles especially since I left Toronto six or so years ago.

I'm going to try to write in this space every three days, more or less.

Here is what I wrote about on Open Book. Click and read to your heart's content!

• The aforementioned struggle to find my writing life here in the small town of Cobourg. Plus, my fear of spiders.

An interview with my awesome American friend debby florence, who lives in Missoula, Montana, and has neat connections with Canadian poetry.

• My wrestling match with my Jewish identity, and a meditation on reclaiming my old family name of Razovsky.

My first publication as a teenage writer, along with my childhood friends Mark Laba and Steven Feldman.

• A remembrance of the late Toronto literary undergrounder Crad Kilodney, and how he introduced me to an obscure chapbook that has influenced my writing.

• An impassioned defence of why I led a movement to boycott my own latest book of poetry.

My relationship with science-fiction – and sci-fi writer Robert Sheckley's astounding avant-garde masterwork.

• The true, fish-on-a-bicycle story of my almost entirely ignored anthology of Canadian post-Surrealist poetry.

• An interview with my oldest friend, Mark Laba, an almost entirely ignored literary genius.

13 reasons to say goodbye to "closure" — that artificial and overrated and usually uninteresting literary goal.

• An interview with my other awesome American friend — and collaborator — Richard Huttel, a Chicagoan (now an Albuqueran) who also has ties with Canadian poetry.

• 50 exciting ways of distributing your poetry leaflets so that you can change the world.

An interview with my friend Carolyn Smart, the wonderful and formidable poet, memoirist and writing teacher at Queen's University.

• The influence of legendary Hollywood icon Kim Novak on my writing — and her appearances in my poetry and fiction.

• Why you should tell writers whose work you like that you like their work — plus a tribute to my hero and friend Dave McFadden.

Enjoy! I sure enjoyed writing these.

Over and out.


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