Robert Hough is a novelist and recovering Mississaugan. His fiction has been praised by all sorts of literary types, and his new book, The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan was just released through House of Anansi. We spoke with Robert about Toronto’s coming of age, the mistakes young writers make, and why developing characters is everything. Robert also talked about achieving authenticity in his work, working through moral struggles, and the best places to eat in our fair town.
Kyle Carsten Wyatt is the managing editor of The Walrus, a doctor of English Literature, and the first American to be on the show. He’s also Barry’s old boss. We spoke with Kyle about the agony and ecstasy of growing up in Nebraska, moving to Hogtown in his twenties, and why living in the Distillery District sucks. He also let Barry grill him about the ostensible shortcomings of Canada’s most awarded magazine, what new editor-in-chief Jonathan Kay brings to the table, and—surprise!—why Toronto is amazing. This episode is sponsored by Regal Bicycles.
Sam White is a writer living in Brockton Village. As one of Barry’s best friends and lover of podcasts, we could think of no better human to talk about Hogtown in 2014. We spoke with Sam about growing up in Roncesvalles Village, meeting Barry at the Etobicoke School of the Arts, and why Lansdowne’s ugliness makes it good. Sam also argued with Barry about gentrification, the Election, and he unveiled his three favourite Toronto restaurants.
Mark Kingwell is a philosopher at the University of Toronto. His work in political theory, ethics, aesthetics, and criticism has made him one of Canada’s most renowned public intellectuals. And he’s the reason Barry became a philosophy major. (We’ll see how that turns out.) We spoke with Mark about his childhood obsession with Trudeau-era nationalism, living in Kensington Market as an undergrad, and the intersection of philosophy and pop culture. Mark also spoke about the tension of working within elitist institutions, civility’s relationship with political violence, and how it’s kind of hard to beat what we got going on in Hogtown.
Stephen Marche is a columnist at Esquire, novelist, and doctor of Early Modern Drama. He’s written about sex, hockey, and Megan Fox, among many things. Stephen spoke with us about his lifelong obsession with the novel, being labelled a misogynist and idiot, and why writing is not for whiners. He also talked about how Americans could give two shits about the CBC, why writing fiction takes courage, and Toronto’s future. (It won’t be boring.)
Michael Lista is a poet, columnist for the National Post, and the poetry editor at The Walrus. The Montreal Gazette called Michael a “brilliant, erudite new voice on the Canadian poetry scene,” and Barry called him, “a great host who got me drunk during our podcast interview.” Michael’s book The Scarbourough, due out in September, is a collection of poems that takes place during the weekend Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka abducted Kristin French. Michael spoke with us about the agony and ecstasy of the ‘burbs, Biggie vs. Tupac, and being called a literary rapist. He also talked about aesthetic theory and what he’d say to the “Ken and Barbie Killers” if given the chance.