Off the Page

A blog on Canadian writing, reading, and everything in between

Latest Blog Posts
Book Cover The Shadow Life

My Drifter Reading List

By Jen Sookfong Lee

A poetry list by the author of new book The Shadow List.

read more >
Book Cover Fuse

Persian-Canadian Writers You've Got to Read

By Hollay Ghadery

So, where were all the Persian Canadian writers? It turns out, here all along, but not as represented as one might hope; …

read more >
Tough Like Mum: An Essential Picture Book for Kids *and* Adults

Tough Like Mum: An Essential Picture Book for Kids *and* Adults

By Geoffrey Ruggero

Picture books are often written with young children as their intended audience. In Tough Like Mum, Lana Button provides …

read more >
Book Cover We Jane

Aimee Wall on The Great Canadian Abortion Novel

By Kerry Clare

"I didn’t want the plot to turn on an abortion or the decision to have one. Any conflict or tension is rooted elsewher …

read more >
Book Cover Because the Sun

Poetry That's Going to Grab You

By 49thShelf Staff

Great books to read before for National Poetry Month is out.

read more >
The Chat with Christopher DiRaddo

The Chat with Christopher DiRaddo

By Trevor Corkum

Christopher DiRaddo’s sophomore novel, The Family Way, is a dynamic and rich exploration of queer family, parenthood, …

read more >
Book Cover No More Plastic

Fighting for the Planet: Inspiring Books for Earth Day

By Kerry Clare

An eclectic list of inspiring books about fighting to protect the planet.

read more >
Book Cover Hour of the Crab

Other Beings, Other Minds

By Patricia Robertson

A recommended reading list by author of the new book Hour of the Crab.

read more >
Book Cover WANTED! Criminals of the Animal Kingdom

Notes from a Children's Librarian: Life Sciences

By Julie Booker

Celebrate Earth Day with these fun and inspiring picture books.

read more >
Book Cover Constant Nobody

Courage from the Outliers

By Michelle Butler Hallett

A recommended reading list by the author of new novel Constant Nobody.

read more >

Samuel Martin: If the Writer Builds a Fire, the Reader Will Come to Watch You Burn

A Blessed Snarl by Samuel Martin (Breakwater Books).

Samuel Thomas Martin is the author of This Ramshackle Tabernacle (Breakwater Books), which was shortlisted for the 2010 BMO Winterset Award and longlisted for the 2011 ReLit Award for Short Fiction, and the novel A Blessed Snarl, also from Breakwater Books, about a man who moves his family back to Newfoundland to start a new Pentecostal church.

Originally from Ontario, Martin now lives in Newfoundland with his wife Samantha and their dog Vader.



Find Martin at his "e-nook out of the pull of the Google slipstream," The Dark Art Cafe.

(Read Sam's post on finding the right book at the right time.)

Julie Wilson: Your collection of short stories, This Ramshackle Tabernacle, is set in and around the fictional villages of St. Lola and St. Olga in northeastern Ontario. Why was it important to locate the stories in a particular kind of place, a recognizable one, while not naming those places as they currently exist?

Sam Martin: In rural communities, people know each other and, at least in my hometown, there is a lot of emphasis on telling stories—true stories—and getting the details right. You can’t have people over for coffee without storytelling and part of that is cutting in and saying, "That’s not how it happened," or "Come on now, get it right." So, to write …

Continue reading >

Illustrator Gallery: The Work of Dawn Baker

In this month's illustrator gallery, we're pleased to feature the work of Newfoundland artist Dawn Baker, whose gorgeous images put the spotlight on her home province.  

Dawn Baker has been a full-time visual artist and children’s writer since 1992. She grew up in Glenwood, Newfoundland, and has lived in Gander since she was a teenager. Dawn has a bachelor of education (post-secondary) and a certificate in library studies, both from Memorial University, and has served on the board of directors of The Rooms Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador since 2006. Her work has been shortlisted twice for the Writers Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage and History Book Awards, and she was invited to participate in TD Children's Week in 2014.

*****

Dawn Baker, from A Newfoundland Christmas

 

From A Newfoundland Christmas, written and illustrated by Dawn Baker. 

 

Dawn Baker, from Saltwater Joys

 

From Saltwater Joys, written by Wayne Chaulk, illustrated by Dawn Baker

 

Continue reading >

Some Good: Healthy Roast Chicken and Vegetables

Some Good reimagines Newfoundland cuisine, with Jessica Mitton fusing traditional fare with healthy eating practices. Her roast chicken and vegetable recipes are just the thing for cool autumn nights, and might seem especially tempting for those still nursing Thanksgiving food hangovers. 

*****

Some Good Roast Chicken

Garlic Savoury Roast Chicken 

Roast chicken or turkey is always a hit in Newfoundland homes and is generally the star dish in what we call a ‘Sunday Dinner.’ The downside, for anyone trying to eliminate gluten, is that the bird is often filled with a dressing made with bread. To get away from the gluten, but maintain that amazing flavour, stuff your chicken or turkey with just the herbs and spices, and hold off on the bread. Served with roast veggies, the succulent taste and texture will be so satisfying, you won’t miss that inflammatory dressing.

Yields: 1 roast chicken (4 servings)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

 

Ingredients

1 (2½ -3 lbs) whole chicken

½ tsp sea salt

2 tsp dried savoury

1 bulb of garlic, peel removed

1 small onion, diced

w …

Continue reading >

Megan Gail Coles: Writing Through Risk

Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club, by Megan Gail Coles, begins with a warning: "This might hurt a little. Be Brave." But oh, the rewards for the reader who dares to venture forth: Coles' fresh and vibrant storytelling is stirring and unforgettable, and this novel that's set over the course of a single day proves to be so much more expansive in terms of time and place. It's a literary tour de force, and one of the most powerful books you'll read this season.

We're pleased to feature Coles' recommended reading list, "Writing Through Risk."

****

The books on this list challenge literary expectations and community norms while demanding artistic honesty and human compassion. This is fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama from the whole of our country written by individuals taking creative risks. Some of these are small linguistic risks, forcing the structure of a sentence into a new shape. Others are grand demonstrative risks, urging the industry to move beyond traditional gatekeeping. Still others are risking more, risking everything, even safety and wellbeing, to speak their truth rather than sit silent and unseen. These books, to varying degrees, have given me courage to write as I do about things I feel are important to the place and people I love. I am …

Continue reading >

Filling the Gaps, Minding the Gaps: the Unconventional (Mostly) Small Town Girls of CanLit

My latest poetry collection, Gaptoothed, is about my own bashful, lusty Wife of Bath smile. Yet it is also about gaps in identity, memory, history—flaws, holes, spaces and absences, that when looked at from a certain angle, become powerful instruments of poetic expression. The collection, released by Gaspereau Press this past spring, is also about gender, girlhood, and the unconventional and vulnerable girls who too often fall through the cracks—or gaps—in a system that was never built to help the likes of them. The collection is dedicated to my late grandmother; she was supposed to be one of forgotten, cast-aside girls, but her tremendous wit, her razor-sharp tongue, her vitality made her unforgettable. The book is about the beauty of the one-of-a-kind that tells you off for not noticing sooner.

The books listed below have filled in the gaps for me over the years on a literary landscape that so often seemed full of holes—that still seems to be short so many vibrant and vital stories and poems and voices.

*

Monkey Beach, by Eden Robinson

This is …

Continue reading >

The Randomizer

Load New Book >
X
Contacting facebook
Please wait...