The Orenda

Joseph Boyden is a Canadian author (heritage part Anishnaabe, Irish and Scottish) who lives during the school year in New Orleans, where he teaches at the University of New Orleans, and in Canada, where he has been writer-in-residence at several […]

Powning in London

I met Beth Powning at a literary lunch at the Canadian High Commission, which was held on the top floor, with fantastic views of Trafalgar Square and environs. Before the renovation of Canada House, this room was used for storage. […]

photo: Debra Martens

British Rite

British Rite of Passage for Fathers One of the many good things about being married is that I read things I wouldn’t otherwise read. Such as the humorous book How to be a Husband by Tim Dowling. I am embarrassed […]

Each poppy commemorates a military British and Commonwealth life lost in WWI

Imagine

At the Remembrance Day ceremony for Canada in Green Park, London, the High Commissioner, Gordon Campbell, asked everyone to imagine what it would have been like to be in the trenches, to see your friends die, the person with whom […]

Flight Paths

Landing Gear by Kate Pullinger, Doubleday Canada 2014, hardcover 286 pages. Reviewed by Debra Martens. Kate Pullinger is a Canadian author living in the UK and was interviewed for Canadian Writers Abroad in 2012. Visiting a neighbourhood like Richmond, you […]

Spirits

Every December from 1963 for eighteen years, on Gaudy Night, while Master of  Massey College, Robertson Davies told a ghost story. These he collected into a book called High Spirits (Penguin Books paperback 1982), explaining in the first chapter both […]

“Canada Election”

Every so often the British attitude to Canada makes me cringe – yes, it seems still a colony, even if Canada unexpectedly and occasionally burps up something good like a bank manager (some Carney guy), or that small-town Gosling who […]

National Poetry Day

Here in the UK it is National Poetry Day. What does that mean? First, the Forward Arts Foundation, the charity that co-ordinates the day’s events, defines it on their website: “the annual mass celebration of poetry and all things poetical.” […]

Writer Two Kids

  Michelle Smith’s piece on Devon appeared in CWA in July 2014. Author of the poetry book dear Hermes…, she and co-author Faye Hammill recently published the monograph Magazines, Travel, and Middlebrow Culture: Canadian Periodicals (Liverpool University Press and University of […]

Carnival

Rawi Hage came to Canada (via New York City) from Lebanon, where his first novel, DeNiro’s Game, is set. Quite the debut it was, pulling in such prizes as the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2008 and two QWF prizes: […]

The Writers’ Friend

Something I didn’t cover much in “Pay the Rent” was the role of the media, particularly the CBC, in writers’ lives – not just as an income supplement via journalism or broadcasting, but also in the promotion of their work. […]

Pay the Rent

In the Spring of 2015, the Writers Union of Canada surveyed 947 writers about their income, and in May released their report on their findings: Devaluing Creators, Endangering Creativity. The title makes it obvious that their findings were not good. […]

Letter from Greece

Remember Demetra Angelis Foustanellas, author of Secrets in a Jewellery Box, resident on the Island of Samos? I contacted her recently about the economic crisis in Greece — unless you have been in an isolated cottage with no internet, you […]

Progress in Penang

I met Alison Gresik at our writing group in Ottawa. She was the exciting young writer whose first book, a collection of stories, Brick and Mortar, had been nominated for the Ottawa Book Award in 2001. But after some years, […]

London Short Story

I was sitting at a table in the Waterstones Piccadilly lower cafe, sipping my water and watching people trickle in to the opening of the London Short Story Festival (18-21 June 2015) on Thursday evening, when Rupert Dastur asked if […]

Saikaley Reviews Secrets

Review by Sonia Saikaley Secrets in a Jewellery Box by Demetra Angelis Foustanellas spans time and culture, shifting between the past and present. Foustanellas knows both worlds: she was born in Ottawa to Greek parents and in her thirties relocated […]

Mulling Over Food, Writing

At the end of April we (DM, husband, daughter) took a short holiday on the Isle of Mull in the Hebrides. As this trip would involve a flight, a car rental, and a ferry ride, I felt we were going […]

Demetra on Samos

Demetra Angelis Foustanellas came late to writing. Born in 1957 in Ottawa to Greek immigrant parents — her mother from Samos and her father from Skopelos — she started writing about ten years ago. With a business degree from Algonquin […]

Naomi Guttman

Before leaving Canada for the United States, Naomi Guttman lived in Montreal, which is where we met sometime in the 1980s. (We both had work published in the anthology Celebrating Canadian Women in 1989.) After getting her B.F.A. from Concordia […]