Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Questionless Books Interview: Writer and Editor Jon Paul Fiorentino

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Jon Paul Fiorentino

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.

Jon Paul Fiorentino's first novel is Stripmalling which was shortlisted for the 2009 Hugh MacLennan Award for Fiction. His most recent book of poetry is Indexical Elegies which recently won the 2010 CBC Book Club Award for Best Book of Poetry.  He is the author of the poetry books The Theory of the Loser Class which was shortlisted for the 2006 A.M. Klein Award for Poetry and Hello Serotonin and the humour book Asthmatica. His next book of poetry is Needs Improvement which will be out in 2013 with Coach House Books. He is the editor of 25 books including Blues and Bliss: the selected poems of George Elliott Clarke, Career Suicide: contemporary literary humour, Post-Prairie – a collaborative effort with Robert Kroetsch. He lives in Montreal where he teaches creative writing at Concordia University, and edits Matrix magazine.

Jon Paul's Links:


Indexical Elegies
Snare Books
Matrix Magazine

I am a 36 year old “man” with various issues.

I am known to write and edit books of poetry and fiction.

I do this in a sterilized spherical container.

I do this because someone once told me that I couldn’t.

I do this when I am drunk enough to do this.

The way I do this is quite stylish and with a pen.

At his/her core, a Writer is a person who has an open relationship with language.

As opposed to an Author, who is a person with an 8X10 glossy at the ready.

A Writer is responsible for her/his writing.

As opposed to an Author, who is responsible for her/his grooming.

At its core, Publishing is fusing helium.

As opposed to Editing, which is a task essential to the process of writing.

A Publisher should always lie to its authors regarding their expectations.

As opposed to an Editor, who should always speak in hushed tones and only when
spoken to.

A Manuscript that's ready to be read by others is rare.

As opposed to a Book that's ready to be read by others, which is How to get Rich by
Donald Trump.

A Manuscript should always be typeset in an elegant font like Garamond or Minion.

As opposed to a Book, which should always be typeset in Comic Sans.

At its core, Bookselling is noble and needed.

Book Marketing is also noble and needed.

The smallest unit of narrative is the involuntary grunt.

The biggest reason to anticipate the future is the knowledge of it.

The biggest reason to be scared of the future is the knowledge of it.

In the future we will all be reading hoverbooks whilst jetpacking to work at the laser

At his/her core, a Reader is a rare and beautiful person.

However, the ideal Reader is Morrissey.

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.

Related item from our archives

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