The cost of cringe

“If you’re like me, you’ve never actually intentionally watched Gags. It’s only ever appeared somewhere — late at night on your television or on a screen in a public place; its silent stock-footage style of cinematography radiating a kind of dreamlike, unfinished quality. And if you’re like me, you’ve always felt like there was something wrong with the show, but you have also never been able to put your finger on exactly what.”

Nick Zarzycki – National Post – May 2019



How One Podcaster Got Us Talking about Sex

“When Kaitlin Prest first came to Toronto, she worked in her bathtub. She would climb in amid piles of pillows or piles of friends, spitballing ideas that would eventually become pieces of audio art. Sometimes she wore clothes, and sometimes not, just a girl and a computer monitor and a flip chart and an artful life. Before the bathtub, her office was a bed in New York City. But one day, two summers ago, sitting on the steps of a brownstone in Brooklyn, she got a call from an executive producer at the CBC. The producer wanted to talk about an offer: come home to Canada and use the resources of a major network. It meant a chance for Prest to make the podcast series about love that had been living in her mind for many years.”

Katherine Laidlaw – The Walrus – December 2018

How Do We Come to Terms with Leonard Cohen’s Legacy in the #Metoo Era?

“About a year ago, a friend who, like me, is a huge Leonard Cohen fan, confessed that she’d had a terrible thought: ‘Thank God Leonard Cohen is dead.’ I told her I’d often had the same sentiment. To understand why a Cohen devotee would harbour such feelings, you have to appreciate just how important Cohen is to the people who revere him and how defensive we can get about his legacy.”

Simon Lewsen – Sharp Magazine – November 2018

In the Prison

“Each time I entered prison I signed in, locked my coat and purse in the locker and put on a bulletproof vest. A guard led me down one hall and up another, our stride punctuated by waiting at several locked doors to be buzzed through. Each week I tried to memorize where I was going. Writing workshops were in a concrete room painted off-white. There were no windows, no colour except for the red fire extinguisher and the clock on the wall with its red numerals. Triangular desks were arranged in a semicircle; chairs filled with sand were too heavy for prisoners to use as weapons.”

Carole Glasser Langille – Atlantic Books Today – September 2018

Arkells, ascending

Josh O’Kane – The Globe and Mail – August 2018

The Strange Case of CanLit’s Disappeared Black Poet

Kate Siklosi – The Puritan – August 2018

How Jen Gerson Became One of Canada’s Most Popular Political Pundits

“Gerson’s omnipresence appeared sudden and explosive, but I wanted to know how and when her journalistic fuse was lit. She agreed to meet with me last spring even though she was coming off a rough week. Gerson was recovering from strep throat, and her 18-month-old son had also been sick and spent the previous few nights in Gerson’s bed kicking her in the face. She had just recorded an episode of Oppo from inside her closet because it is the most soundproof place in her house. “You have to picture me in my closet still, in my pyjamas, shaking back and forth because I haven’t slept,” Gerson said. “And I’m on antibiotics. I am so exhausted.” Still, she sat down with me to run through what has gotten her to this point.”

Marcello Di Cintio – Avenue Calgary – August 2018