Off the Page

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

Latest Blog Posts
Book Cover Legacy of Trees

Launchpad: Legacy of Trees, by Nina Shoroplova

By Kerry Clare

"A fascinating answer to why we should care about trees in the first place." —Wayne Grady

read more >
COVID–19 Teacher Diary: Eric Walters' New Book Explores the "Now Normal"

COVID–19 Teacher Diary: Eric Walters' New Book Explores the "Now Normal"

By Geoffrey Ruggero

Written, published and released during a pandemic: Eric Walters defies traditional publishing norms to create a book for …

read more >
Book Cover The Abortion Caravan

The Abortion Caravan: A Ragtag Army of the Willing

By Karin Wells

The Abortion Caravan, intent on bearding prime minister Pierre Trudeau in his den and removing abortion from the Crimina …

read more >
COVID–19 Teacher Diary: A New Way to Celebrate the Forest of Reading

COVID–19 Teacher Diary: A New Way to Celebrate the Forest of Reading

By Jennifer Byrne

Forest of Reading is Canada’s largest recreational reading program, celebrating Canadian books and authors. In the eye …

read more >
Covers of books celebrated this spring by regional awards

Big Fiction

By Kerry Clare

Fall book season is exciting with its televised ceremonies and fancy galas, but spring is just as interesting, with regi …

read more >
Book Cover Sister Dear

10 Unapologetically Twisted Reads

By Hannah Mary McKinnon

Ten crime reads to help you discover why authors in Canada have their own hashtag (#ReadTheNorth), and deserve a place o …

read more >
Book Cover Murmurations

Launchpad: Murmurations, by Annick MacAskill

By Kerry Clare

Populating her poems with birdsong and murmurings of the natural world, MacAskill highlights how poets and lovers share …

read more >
COVID–19 Teacher Diary: Time to Slow Down, with Deborah Ellis & Richard Scrimger

COVID–19 Teacher Diary: Time to Slow Down, with Deborah Ellis & Richard Scrimger

By Erika MacNeil

This is the second pair in a series of interviews with a host of Forest of Reading authors interviewed by Erika MacNeil, …

read more >
Book Cover One Earth

Launchpad: One Earth: People of Color Protecting Our Planet, by Anuradha Rao

By Kerry Clare

This is a book to be celebrated and shared!” —Elizabeth May

read more >
Book Cover In Veritas

Launchpad: In Veritas, by C.J. Lavigne

By Kerry Clare

“The perfect mix of incandescent writing and enthralling storytelling. C.J. Lavigne has given us something we can beli …

read more >

Verve: Check. Smarts: Check—Julie Wilson Joins as Host and Producer

tagged : staff, news

If you work in Canadian publishing, you’ve more than likely enjoyed the wit and original productions of Julie Wilson, aka Book Madam; if you’re an author, you may have been lucky enough to be interviewed by her in some irreverent or newfangled way. The force behind Book Madam & Associates and Seen Reading, and the co-founder of The Advent Book Blog, Julie describes herself as a “professional publishing fan.”

Julie

It’s this sensibility that has made Julie’s work so much more interesting than if it were just the product of an astute and tireless mind. She’s … fun! She inspires others to join her in her crazy yet amazingly effective online ventures, and makes it easy and exciting for us to find our way into books. She’s a social media whiz, which has helped her to become a major personality in a movement toward improving the conversation in this country about our brilliant writers.

As such, Canadian Bookshelf is hugely lucky to have Julie Wilson onboard as host and producer. Her work on the site will be divided between serving as:

  • Point person for incoming news from the Canadian publishing industry—major releases, events, promotions, or other newsworthy goings-on … so long as they’re relevant and compelling for readers. If you’ve got stuff read …
Continue reading >

Brick Books' Poetry Podcast Channel: A Fantastic Point of Discovery

36931-brick-logo-colour-large-1299506725

A poem on a page has its own power, but the poem comes alive in an entirely different and more accessible way when read aloud by the person who's written it. This kind of aural experience is the whole point of Brick Books' Poetry Podcast Channel, launched in celebration of Brick Books' 35 years publishing poetry. The channel is an obvious treasure trove for hardcore poetry fans, but also represents a fantastic point of discovery for booklovers who are not yet well-versed in verse (but would like to be!).

Already boasting works read by poets Karen Connelly, A.F. Moritz, Janice Kulyk Keefer, Dennis Lee, and John Reibetanz, the site promises recordings to come by Karen Solie, David Seymour, Helen Humphreys, Margaret Avison and more. The project is being produced and publicized by Julie Wilson of Book Madam & Associates, who explains, "Podcasting naturally lends itself to the performed voice, so why wouldn't a poetry publisher take advantage of 35 years' worth of poetic voices? This channel has the potential to be an extremely powerful archive of some of this country's greatest poets. That can't be underestimated, and it's worthy of great celebration."

The project releases poetry from the confines of the page and puts it out into the world on the internet, where users …

Continue reading >

Kerry Clare Joins 49thShelf.com as Editor

tagged : news, staff, general

With great pleasure we welcome Kerry Clare of the much-loved lit blog Pickle Me This to the 49thShelf.com team. Kerry will add her mind-boggling reading habits and wonderful thoughtfulness to the mix on 49th Shelf.

IMG_5455-1-300x216

We thought of Kerry for the editorial position—in addition to being wowed by her blog and also by her great essay, Love Is a Let-Down, in The New Quarterly 116—because she’s as excited as we are by the idea of an inclusive, all-genre Canadian book site that appeals to a variety of readers.

Canadian publishing is well enough supplied with good lit blogs and reviewers dealing mostly in fiction and critical darlings. The 49th Shelf will definitely celebrate the best Canadian writing but with the caveat that “best” is a subjective term and readers are a heterogeneous lot. We want to extend the discussion of Canadian books beyond insider culture and the most avid readers. Anyone who wants to discover what Canadian authors and publishers are offering will be welcome on 49thShelf.com, whether their interests are fiction, poetry, non-fiction or books about hockey, gardening, cooking – or gnomes!

We have no doubt that Kerry’s imagination and enthusiasm (not to mention writing chops) will be a great fit with 49th Shelf. Welcome, Kerry.

Continue reading >

Someone Who Writes

This week's guest post is from Angie Abdou, finalist in Canada Reads for The Bone Cage (published by NeWest Press) and author of the just released The Canterbury Trail (published by Brindle and Glass). In this post Angie speaks frankly and humourously about what happened when she discovered that the glamourous handle of "Writer" is elusive. She finds real meaning and substance in a humbler concept: she is someone who writes.

photo_angiebrock

I remember longing for the day I could call myself a Writer. I wasn’t exactly sure when that would happen, couldn’t be positive what transformative accomplishment would allow me to look in the mirror and say, “Ah, good morning Important Famous Writer Person.”

At first, I figured it would be as simple as publishing any piece of creative work. However, the momentous occasion of my first publication came and went without me feeling in the least bit transformed. Though I’d published a piece of fiction in a noteworthy and respected journal, I didn’t notice people treating me with a newfound awe, reverence, or even respect. My mom, it’s true, was quite impressed, but everyone else seemed unfazed (even as I waved said journal in their faces), and I felt more or less, well, exactly the same: self-conscious, insecure, and eager for approva …

Continue reading >

Reading Lists on Canadian Bookshelf (Featuring Stacey May Fowles!)

In these days of overstimulation, distraction, and time constraints, finding ways to downsize and simplify feels pretty good. Maybe that’s why we love lists so much.

Lists of things to do or check out are oases in the midst of information chaos—especially when they’re made by people we admire and trust. When they include ten or so items, they are soothingly finite and doable—easy to bookmark, act upon, and feel excited about investigating. Just think of playlists from industry insiders (e.g., Kate Carraway’s mixtape, CHICKS, for the new Burner Magazine), awards shortlists, or numbered magazine cover lines.

Lists can provide a helpful and meaningful filter for search activities, which is why we’re making Recommended Reading Lists a prominent feature on Canadian Bookshelf. There will be lists by Canadian Bookshelf editors, lists readers create, and lists contributed by writers and subject experts. For example, here’s a list we’ve just received from one of Canada’s hottest new authors, Stacey May Fowles (author of Fear of Fighting and Be Good):

Unconventional Heroines, Lives, and Loves
A Reading List by Stacey May Fowles

Bottle Rocket Hearts, Zoe Whittall

A refreshing take on the typical coming-of-age narrative, Whittall submerges us in the frantic, …

Continue reading >

The Randomizer

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