News Podcast

Ep. #50: Edward Keenan + Karen Houle + Geoff Berner

Edward Keenan is a senior editor at the Grid, a columnist at Spacing, and a lifelong resident of Toronto, Ontario. He has been writing about the city’s political and cultural landscape for over 10 years and has been nominated for prestigious writing awards. His new book is called Some Great Idea – Good Neighbourhoods, Crazy Politics and the Invention of Toronto, which was published by Coach House Books and prompted a lecture series tour of Toronto Libraries between Nov. 6 and Nov. 13, including stops in Etobicoke, Scarborough, downtown, and North York. Keenan is also appearing as a guest on my Long Night with Vish Khanna talk show for the Long Winter arts series on Friday Nov. 8 at the Great Hall. Here, we spend our time breaking down Mayor Rob Ford’s admission that he did in fact use crack cocaine and how his behaviour impacts the city of Toronto.

Karen Houle is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Guelph and an acclaimed poet, whose 2001 volume Ballast was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award. Her latest volume of poetry is 2008’s During, which its publisher Gaspreau Press describes as a study in continuity and a depiction of friendships, siblings, marriage, parenting, breakups, work and loss through the oblique angles of biology, geology, forestry and philosophy. Houle appears at the River Run Centre on Friday Nov. 8 as part of the Guelph Lecture on Being Canadian. Here Karen and I discuss the Rob Ford controversy and the connection between poetry and philosophy.

Geoff Berner is a tremendously gifted songwriter and musician known for his outspoken work and 100% belief in the klezmer tradition. Based in Vancouver, he received a scholarship for being the top student in the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing program and has gone on to write scripts for Sesame Street, make several acclaimed recordings, write a book about How to Be an Accordion Player, and he has toured across 18 countries. Dundurn Press has just published Berner’s hilarious new novel called Festival Man, a faux memoir about an unhinged music impresario named Campbell Ouiniette. It’s prompted Berner to go on an extensive book reading and music playing tour across Canada, which includes a 5 PM reading at the Bookshelf and an evening performance at the Ebar in Guelph on Sunday Nov. 11. It should also be noted that Berner just became a dad again within the last week. We discuss his surprising take on Mayor Rob Ford, the Canadian music biz, as it pertains to his new book, Festival Man‘s accompanying soundtrack, and more.

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