May 24, 2010


SLS Montreal faculty member Kevin Canty has recently launched a new website in support of his forthcoming novel, Everything. Canty has taken on the herculean task of completing and posting a new short story every month for the next year; you can read the first installment, “King of the Elephants,” here.

May 11, 2010


SLS Montreal special guest Gary Shteyngart was recently interviewed by the folks at The Days of Yore, who asked him about his pre-publication life as an aspiring writer.  For those seeking asylum in graduate programs: behold your future.

May 10, 2010

Globe and Mail Africa Special Feature

The Globe and Mail is edited on May 10 by two guest editors – anti-poverty activists Bono and Bob Geldof – who produced a special issue focused on the future of Africa and its importance not just for the more than 1 billion people living on that continent, but for Canadians and the rest of the West as well.  See the full section here.

May 4, 2010

Martin Espada in the Huffington Post

SLS Montreal poetry faculty member Martin Espada has a poem featured in the Huffington Post.  Enjoy it here.

April 30, 2010


Take a gander at Popmatters’ review of SLS friend and special guest Robert Coover’s new crime novel, Noir, wherein the point is made that, unlike certain other A-list authors who have recently dabbled in crime, Coover’s novel is utterly unfilmable–and that’s a good thing.

April 28, 2010


“The Difficulty of Crossing a Field,” the titular opera from SLS Montreal faculty member Mac Wellman’s 2008 collection of plays, recently opened at the University of Texas’ B. Iden Payne Theatre in Austin.  The Austin-American Statesman’s Jeanna Claire van Ryzin was wowed by Wellman’s adaptation of Ambrose Bierce’s 1888 short story, praising it for its enigmatic take on the historical legacy of the American Civil War.  Wellman has received awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the New York Foundation for the Arts, and is also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.

April 21, 2010


If you haven’t cruised by Big Think’s website, give it a try.  As you might have put together from their name, they’re dedicated to sharing and discussing of ideas, and have put together quite a panel of thinkers, writers, artists, scientists, and others to discuss whatever happens to be important to those panelists.  SLS Montreal special guest Keith Gessen has his own Big Think page, where you can watch him read from his novel (All the Sad Young Literary Men) or discuss the political role of fiction.  He makes a good case for the humanitarian value of writing, saying, “Fiction still has a real role to play in changing the way that people live,” in its ability to act as something of a mirror for its readers.

April 19, 2010


SLS Montreal special guest Robert Coover wrote prophetically about the future of hypertext and the end of printed books way back in 1992, when the rest of us were still listening to Nirvana and most of us were accessing Prodigy on our dialup connections.  Some of hypertext’s innovations as seen by Coover–the incorporation of statistics charts, song lyrics, newspaper articles, and dictionary entries–have made it into the world of print, and David Foster Wallace would employ almost all of them in Infinite Jest several years later.  Coover ran a hypertext-based writing workshop at Brown back in ’92 and here talks about the good and creative work that came out of that class.  Things have certainly changed since then–Coover’s class was working on Apple 7.0!–but it’s not hard to read his article with contemporary ears.  What he’s calling (and is still called) hypertext, we might simply call the internet.  Indeed, some of the problems Coover presents remain; namely, how to maintain unity, narrative integrity, and voice in an amorphous and community-composed text.  As sampling becomes more accepted by the mainstream, how do these concerns and others affect what we consider art?

With all of the current talk about the possible demise of printed books, it’s interesting to hear a writer as artistically minded as Coover talk about the possibilities inherent in a post-print book world.

(via Understanding Sociology of New Media)

April 16, 2010


Check out this video of SLS Montreal faculty member Martin Espada reading his poem “Who Burns for the Perfection of Paper.” Espada has been called “the Pablo Neruda of North American authors” and recently read a new poem, “Walking,” at the memorial service for firebrand historian Howard Zinn.

April 14, 2010


“Football,” which is here reprinted on’s Page 2 blog, is the centerpiece essay in SLS Montreal faculty member Chuck Klosterman’s most recent book, Eating the Dinosaur.  It’s essential reading for those who think about football in abstract terms (there are more of us than you think), but it’s also worth reading for Klosterman’s reading of football as essentially progressive in its nature, despite the somewhat-conservative nature of its iconography and demographic.  As with most of Klosterman’s essays, the stated subject is only half of the point; it is his paradoxically serious and playful exegesis of why unimportant things are truly on display here.