books on the radio


Shapes begin to emerge: The Hal Wake Interview

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The VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL WRITERS & READERS FESTIVAL IS COMING!

Read the post below and check the links while you listen to the podcast by clicking here.

In the earliest days of planning for Books on the Radio, when it was but a glimmer on the horizon, I knew that I wanted to interview Hal Wake about the Vancouver International Writers Festival.  I’ve known Hal for a few years and we have many mutual friends and I’ve been a big fan of the work that he and his team have done to bring a fresh international group of writers to Vancouver every year.

This interview could have gone on for an hour and a half and we still wouldn’t have covered everything that the festival has to offer.  I didn’t even get a chance to ask Hal about the Peter Mansbridge event!

That’s ridiculous and would be almost unforgivable had we not alighted on David Sedaris, Margaret Atwood, Audrey Niffenegger, Sal Ferreras and the Tribute to Alice Munro along the way.

So the festival is coming but it’s not all about percussive bandleaders and international heavyweight smackdowns.

The VIWF also features emerging talents like local beatboxing, wharf-dwelling, gravel voiced impresario C.R. Avery.  The always charming Billeh Nickerson brings his McPoems (published by the excellent Arsenal Pulp Press) to town for a few events.  Michael Turner is also making a few appearances in support of his new experimental novel 8X10.

And just when you thought that it was an unrelenting sausage party the VIWF drops the likes of Zoe Whittall, with her new book Holding Still for as Long as Possible, Lisa Foad with her short story collection The Night is a Mouth (note the Sonja Ahlers cover!) and local poet and unabashed Laurie Anderson fan, Elizabeth Bachinsky reps the legendary annual Poetry Bash in support of her new book of poems, God of Missed Connections.

And I’m only really touching the surface.  You can pick up the festival programs at bookstores and libraries throughout the city or you can check it out online.

It’s going to be another great year and I look forward to seeing you there.



The Shinan Govani Interview: Bold Face Names

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This Thursday afternoon at an undisclosed location in downtown Vancouver I will be interviewing Canada’s finest disher of celebrity gossip turned wisecracking novelist, Shinan Govani.

Shinan is the National Post‘s “resident snoop, town crier and people watcher.”

Bold Face Names

According to Richard Johnson of the New York Post‘s legendary Page 6, “Shinan Govani works with bemused detachment in a bizarro world of fame whores and the truly famous, and he knows the difference. In Boldface Names, he plumbs the depths of the shallow party circuit, and finds humanity beneath the celebrity, and wisdom beyond mere wit.”

Shinan is in town to promote the launch of his new book, Bold Face Names, which, if the back cover copy is to be trusted, carries a narrative that sweeps “…from the beaches of Anguilla to the towers of Dubai, from LA to London to the social mines of Toronto…”

Social mines of Toronto?!!?  Dear god help us all.

I just received my copy of the book and I’m going to burn through it this afternoon.

Stay tuned for hijinx.



Franz Kafka Int’l Named World’s Most Alienating Airport
September 28, 2009, 1:37 PM
Filed under: Enthusiasms, Imagination | Tags: , , ,


O’Reilly Radar Picks Up the Future of Publishing Interview

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Mark Sigal at O’Reilly.com included a link to the Open Book: Toronto interview that I recently did with Book Oven‘s Hugh McGuire in his most recent O’Reilly Radar posting.

To be mentioned positively on the O’Reilly Radar is a huge enough honor but to be included in a piece about the revolutionary prospects of the forthcoming Apple tablet… well, that’s just beyond words.

Mr Sigal’s piece begins with this quote:

“It is August, 1927, and Al Jolson is industriously, unwittingly, engaged in the destruction of one great art form and the creation of another…In four short years, the ‘talkie’ will completely subsume the silent movie.” – from The Speed of Sound by Scott Eyman

Here’s what he had to say about our interview:

In “The Future of Publishing,” Sean Cranbury and Hugh McGuire do a beautiful job of getting to the it of what makes a book, a book.

They say that the primary thing a book has to do is “fulfill its promise as a transmitter/inspirer of ideas, art, thoughts, story, entertainment.”

Thanks again to Amy and Clelia at Open Book: Toronto for being so great.  And to Hugh McGuire for being an amazing accomplice in this.



The Day Does Not, by Ernesto Priego

I only know about this great poem because I follow him, Ernesto Priego, on twitter.  Further evidence that twitter is not a vacuous hole of suburban non-sense (all the time).

Check out Ernesto’s blog, Never Neutral, for more poetic experiments involving technology, text and comix.

The visual poet is the person who sees text where others see words, the visual poet is the one for whom words are not invisible portals toward meaning but concrete structures that harbor meaning, the visual poet is the person who loves the letter and the structures of sequences of letters over the word.

Geof Huth



Cranbury v. McGuire: The Future of Publishing Interview

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Sometime around the middle of August I got an email from Amy Logan-Holmes at Open Book: Toronto asking whether I would be interested in participating in something called the 48 Hour Interview that would run in their Fall Issue.

She described it as an email exchange or co-interview between two people working within the books/publishing industry.  The participants are free to discuss whatever they like provided that the ‘interview’ occurs within 48 consecutive hours and, I suppose, is at least tangentially related to the business at hand.

So I’m thinking, “Ok, that sounds doable.  I wonder who she’s going to pair me up with?”

And, of course, it was Hugh McGuire, co-creator of Book Oven and Librivox.org.  Organizer of BookCamp Toronto and well-coiffed confidante of the Digital Literati.

No pressure, right?

None.

It was a great, if somewhat long, interview that really dug into some key issues facing the evolving – convulsing? – book publishing industry today.

The whole thing was edited and punched into shape by the very talented Clelia Scala.  Many thanks to Hugh and everyone at Open Book: Toronto.

For an example of something that I wrote for the interview that may or may not be interesting, please click the little red (more…) button below.

Continue reading



Punch the Boss Launch = Final Show at the Legendary Cobalt!

Come celebrate the launch of Chris Walter’s new book, Punch the Boss, on the final night for the legendary Cobalt, Vancouver’s finest current punk venue.

September 26th featuring the Subhumans,  Alcoholic White Trash and Speckled Jim.  The Books on the Radio crew will be there!

If you don’t know where the Cobalt is… ask around.

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