Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Questionless Books Interview: Critic, Poet, and Train Guy Zachariah Wells

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Zachariah Wells

In The Questionless Books Interview, I get a whole bunch of books people (from authors to editors to publishers to sales / publicity / production people, booksellers, designers, librarians, readers, etc) to "answer" a series of unspoken "questions". The results highlight a delightful mix of the opportunities and challenges facing our sector: from doom and gloom to sunshine and rainbows, and every irony in between.

Zachariah Wells lives with his wife and son in Halifax, where he writes, edits and rides trains. He is the author of Unsettled and Track and Trace and the editor of the sonnet anthology Jailbreaks


I am...broke, but not in debt, praise be.
I am known to...irk.
I do this bathrobe.
I do this because...I'm a jerk.
I do this when I...don't work.
The way I do this is...endlessly charming.

At his/her core, a Writer is...shrivelled.

As opposed to an Author, who is...dessicated.

A Writer is responsible for...lies.

As opposed to an Author, who is responsible for...negative royalty statements.

At its core, Publishing is...vain.

As opposed to Editing, which is...futile.

A Publisher should for the drinks.

As opposed to an Editor, who should always...drink.

A Manuscript that's ready to be read by others is...probably not.

As opposed to a Book that's ready to be read by others, which is...already remaindered.

A Manuscript should always...wear a condom.

As opposed to a Book, which should always...take antibiotics.

At its core, Bookselling is...moribund.

As opposed to Book Marketing, which is...morbid.

The smallest unit of narrative is...the first person singular pronoun.

The biggest reason to anticipate the future never happens.

The biggest reason to be scared of the future will never happen.

In the future we will all...stop.

At his/her core, a Reader is...probably thinking about herself.

However, the ideal Reader is...definitely thinking about me.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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George Murray

George Murray’s six books of poetry include The Rush to Here and The Hunter. His most recent books, Whiteout and Glimpse: Selected Aphorisms, are published by ECW Press. He is the editor of the popular literary website

Go to George Murray’s Author Page