Off the Page

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

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Book Cover Cedar and Salt

3 Great Recipes from the 2020 Taste Canada Awards Shortlist

By Kerry Clare

Foodies, take note! Great recipes from celebrated cookbooks.

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Book Cover On Nostalgia

Launchpad: On Nostalgia, by David Berry

By Kerry Clare

"Berry’s subject is a wide-ranging one, but he pulls off the impressive feat of covering plenty of ground in a concise …

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Literatures, Communities and Learnings

Literatures, Communities, and Learning

By Kerry Clare

9 conversations with Indigenous writers about the relationship between Indigenous literatures and learning, and how thei …

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The Chat with Faye Guenther

The Chat with Faye Guenther

By Trevor Corkum

Swimmers in Winter (Invisible Publishing) is Faye Guenther’s debut collection of short fiction. These six stories expl …

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Book Cover Little Secrets

Summer Reading Starts Here

By Kerry Clare

Summer is not cancelled, and summer reading isn't either. We've got thrillers, epics, drama, historical fiction, and so …

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Cover Summer Feet

Picture Book Sneak Peek: Summer Feet, by Sheree Fitch and Carolyn Fisher

By Kerry Clare

Summer starts HERE with this glorious celebration of childhood...and filthy feet.

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Book Cover Mr. Frank

Notes from a Children's Librarian: Texts on Textiles

By Julie Booker

Exploring the art of sewing? Here are some tales to comfort and inspire.

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COVID–19 Teacher Diary: Pondering the “What If” with Shari Green & Caroline Pignat

COVID–19 Teacher Diary: Pondering the “What If” with Shari Green & Caroline Pignat

By Erika MacNeil

During this time of self-isolation and social distancing, books can sometimes be our only companions as the days stretch …

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Book Cover Good Mothers Don't

Launchpad: Good Mothers Don't, by Laura Best

By Kerry Clare

"An unlikely page turner replete with hushed surprises, unexpected crescendos, endless love and boundless vitality."

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Book Cover #NotYourPrincess

Exploring Indigenous History

By Kerry Clare

June is Indigenous History Month, a great opportunity to celebrate some of our favourite books over the years, along wit …

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Behind the Poem: "Abandoned Car" by Mark Lavorato

Book Cover Wayworn Wooden Floors

I think, because I’m a novelist, my poems are often quite story-centred. In Wayworn Wooden Floors I have written several series composed of five poems in that vein, but none of these is more inspired by story than the set I did on abandoned things (an abandoned car, resort, toys, grave, and a farm), all of which were things I had come across in my travels.

When something is abandoned, it’s not discarded, not simply tossed aside for something new. No, it’s a thing that shouldn’t have been discarded, a thing that works perfectly fine as it is, but because of some extraneous circumstance, had to be left behind. Because of this, I think finding something abandoned inspires the part of us that wants to know the story, that wonders, hypothesises, and in turn, formulates an odd form of empathy. Those very questions are what I wanted to draw out of the reader, and delve into myself, in writing the abandoned series in the collection.

The most dramatic story in the series is about an abandoned car. I set out into the Californian desert on a climbing road trip one year, and after a long stretch of driving through the most arid scrubland imaginable, arrived at our destination. It was extremely hot, and you could climb only at certain times of the day. From atop the bui …

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JonArno Lawson's A Hobo's Crowbar: Excerpts

Cover Hobo's Crowbar

JonArno Lawson's first book since his internationally acclaimed award-winning Sidewalk Flowers is a collection of poetry, Hobo's Crowbar, with woodcut illustrations by Alec Dempster, a collection of poems brimming with whimsical wordplay, rollicking rhymes, and funny, profound, occasionally contrarian life lessons for children of all ages.

We are pleased to feature an excerpt here. 


Image Spunky Dunker

Spunky Dunker

There was a spunky dunker who swept across the flux
she floated in the flotsam

and trudgened in her tux

Shouts from the shore

Had her turning about

where wrathful officers hollered her out

Her peace was disturbed

So as smooth as a trout

She disappeared under the ducks. 


Image Under a Billboard

Under a Billboard at Bathurst and Eglinton

Under a billboard at Bathurst and Eglinton
Using nothing but my eyes

I bought some clouds—

Because they were bi …

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