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Pop Montreal 2014 Postmortem: Jouissance Risks Fracture

Vaguely feverish notes on a few days of Ronnie Spector, Fagen-esque forgettable lyrics, the reunited Unicorns, and pastries unclassifiable in French or any other tongue.

Polaris Prize 2014 Postmortem: Praying For Disintegration

Notes on an evening of charming Canadian earnestness punctuated by at least one moment of indisputable triumph.

The Global Matriarchy of 2047 Will Need an Anthem: Beyoncé and Jay Z, Live in Toronto

Before the Toronto date of their outlaw-themed On the Run tour, I fantasized about Beyoncé tying Jay Z to a chair, only removing his gag when she needed a guest verse for “Upgrade U” or “Crazy in Love.” Such havoc only went down last night...

Dance Beside the Spinning Prism: A TCAF 2014 Running Diary

In its 11th year, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival sprawls over a week of readings, panels, interviews, workshops, art exhibits, awards, tangential academic presentations, cartoonist-introduced film screenings, hotel suite parties, and 300+...

||Katrina Afonso / PEN Canada
Sheila Heti and Jian Ghomeshi: Memoir in the Selfie Age

The OED word of the year, PEN president Philip Slatton tells us by way of introducing the event, is “selfie.” He adds that the night’s proceedings—a conversation about memoir and literature of...

||Douglas Coupland via Monte Cristo magazine
IFOA 2013 Diary #3: Going For Broke

In our third—and final—dispatch from IFOA, Douglas Coupland remembers quitting smoking, and moderator Rodge Glass asks Craig Davidson, Tamara Daith Berger and others what is the point to all this writing. 

IFOA 2013 Diary #2: Anne Carson’s Krapp Hour

In our second dispatch from IFOA, Isabel Greenberg bring a comic to life, Xiaolu Guo wraps us up in language, and Anne Carson talks about Krapp Hour.

IFOA 2013 Diary #1: Shape Shifters, Rachel Kushner, and the Three Cs of Literature

Siri Agrell enters and introduces the panel: Peter Bagge, a short, grey-haired cartoonist who looks much less gruesome than the graphic self-portrait that appears in the program; Nadeem Aslam, whose face seems as open as a window, features built...

Embracing the Whole: John Ashbery and His Things

One of my favourite John Ashbery poems, “Instead of Losing,” ends with these lines: “Or is right now the answer—you know, the radio / we heard news on...

Pop Montreal 2013 Postmortem: Things You Can’t Ignore

Writing about a previous edition of Pop Montreal, I said that certain music festivals feature so many tempting shows as to make the scattered rush between them “strangely serene.” This time around, it was tranquil in a muted sense. You couldn’t...