News & Events
“I’m looking for Toronto — a city I’ve known all my life and am still trying to define. Not the city you find in books or down at City Hall but the Toronto we carry around in our heads.”
Author Susan Crean's blog What is Toronto? poses an important question and welcomes answers in the form of interviews, poetry, photography, essays, and more.
Read author and Brick editor Michael Redhill's discussion of our city, here.
“She came to Western Europe after the war; no one knew who she was and she didn’t know anyone. She lived as anonymously as possible with an exercise book, a notebook, and a pencil. She was like Kafka’s invisible woman and the invisible woman took notice of everything that Europeans thought was of no importance. And now people see that it was indeed important.”
The author of a dozen poetry collections, numerous translations, plays, and prose and recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature, Seamus Heaney was without doubt one of the world’s greatest poets. We were deeply saddened at his passing last month, and to pay tribute, we’ve made an excerpt of Eleanor Wachtel’s Brick 86 interview with Heaney available online for our readers. In it, Heaney speaks about about growing up in in County Derry, Northern Ireland, the poet’s responsibility to politics, and his last poetry collection, Human Chain.
I really enjoyed the discussion of “Endings” in #91. I noticed that two writers mentioned the eloquent ending of Joyce’s “The Dead,” but without reference to what makes that famous conclusion very special. Joyce wonderfully appropriated it from the American novelist Brete Harte, whose novel Gabriel Conroy (he lifted the name as well for his story’s protagonist) was published in 1876. I stumbled across this fact while researching Harte’s fiction many years ago, and I assume it’s well-known to Joyce scholars. Joyce, of course, didn’t borrow word for word, but here’s how the novel begins. I thought your readers might be interested.
— Robert Atwan
The Independent’s Sean O’Brien named The Living Option, selected poems by contributor Karen Solie, one of the Best Books of Poetry in 2013. Our heartfelt congratulations to Karen. O’Brien praised the book’s “enormous wit and invention” and said her poem “Tractor” (mentioned by Grant Buday in his Brick 90 review of Pigeon) “should be painted on grain silos everywhere.” Solie has two new poems in Brick 92, so while you’re getting your copy of The Living Option, be sure to you’ve got our latest issue, too!
Congratulations to Hugh Curran, winner of the latest Books for Brains contest. His prize is a copy of Severo Sarduy’s Firefly, translated by Mark Fried and excerpted in our current issue. To our question, Who is John Clare? Hugh answered,
He was an English poet who lived in relative poverty and was of the labouring class, an unusual distinction in the early part of the nineteenth century. His poems on farming and on nature have seen his poems gain more stature. . .
Our latest issue has arrived at Brick headquarters and is on its way to a mailbox or bookstore near you. Brick 92 features riches you’ll want to dig into right away, including a conversation between Juan Gabriel Vásquez and Javier Cercas, Mark Fried’s translation of Severo Sarduy, a quest story by Jim Harrison, poetry by Karen Solie and Michael Dickman, Geoff Dyer’s look at Arctic photographs, and so much more.
If you’re chomping at the bit to get into Brick 92, we’ve put a sampling of its joys up on our website. So sit back and savour an excerpt from Ali Smith’s celebration of writer and early sociologist Harriet Martineau, Eleanor Wachtel’s interview with Richard Sennett, C. D. Wright’s on “Driving with Dominic,” and excerpts from love letters between London and Łódź.
Our hearty congratulations to Alice Oswald, winner of the 2013 Warwick Prize for Writing for her book Memorial! In Brick 90, Teju Cole called Memorial “enormously successful, sure-footed, full of unforgettable detail, and animated by the vigilant eye and ear of a born poet.” You can listen to him read that review right here, and order a copy of Brick 90 to read Oswald’s interview with Naomi Jaffa.