The Biblio File-logo

The Biblio File

Interviews >

More Information










Jonathan Galassi on FSG and Book Publishing

Jonathan Galassi is the author of three collections of poetry and a novel, Muse (2015) set in the publishing world. He is also president and publisher of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and an eminent translator of Italian poetry. We met in his New York office (with the window open) to talk about, among other things, book publishing, Stanley Unwin; convincing, moving, artful voices; the capacity to hear; reading, aesthetic response and shrewdness; Tom Friedman; confidence, style, overpaying for...


Jonas Hassen Khemiri on writing, memory, death, speed and language

"Jonas Hassen Khemiri is one of the most important writers of his generation in Sweden. When his debut novel, One Eye Red (Ett öga rött) was published in 2003, Khemiri’s eccentric and imaginative prose made a huge splash and reached an audience far beyond traditional literary circles. The book was awarded the Borås Tidning Award for Best Literary Debut Novel and also became an enormous bestseller. Khemiri’s equally original second novel, Montecore: The Silence of the Tiger (Montecore – en...


Daniel Mendelsohn on The Odyssey and Identity, Literary Criticism and Memoir

"Daniel Mendelsohn is an internationally bestselling author, critic, essayist, and translator. Born in New York City in 1960, he received degrees in Classics from the University of Virginia and Princeton. After completing his Ph. D., he moved to New York City, where he began freelance writing full time; since 1991 he has been a prolific contributor of essays, reviews, and articles to many publications, particularly The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books." His multi-award winning...


Adam Gopnik on art criticism, love, money and New York

Adam Gopnik has been writing for The New Yorker since 1986. He is a three-time winner of the National Magazine Award for Essays and for Criticism and of the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting. In March 2013, Gopnik was awarded the medal of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Republic. We met in Montreal at the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival to discuss his latest book At the Strangers' Gate. Among other things we talk about bookshops, art in the 1980s, the...


Matthew Zapruder on his book Why Poetry?

Matthew Zapruder is a poet, editor, translator, and professor. He earned a BA in Russian literature at Amherst College, an MA in Slavic languages and literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and an MFA in poetry at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Sun Bear (2014), Come On All You Ghosts (2010), The Pajamaist (2006), and American Linden (2002). His honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation...


Anita Engles on the American Bookbinders Museum

Anita Engles is the Executive Director of the American Bookbinders Museum based in San Francisco, California. It's the only museum of its kind in North America celebrating and exploring the culture and tools of bookbinders and bookbinding from its earliest forms through the changes and innovations of the industrial revolution. In addition to the craft and artistry of binding, it focuses on the stories of the men, women, and children who worked in binderies. We met at the museum after I...


Founder Andrew Hoyem on the Arion Press

Andrew Hoyem is the creative spirit of the Arion Press. He's a published poet and exhibited artist who occasionally includes his own writings and drawings in Arion books. The concepts for all Arion publications originate with Hoyem, who chooses literary texts, commissions new work from writers and artists he admires, and designs the books, including their bindings and typography. In the Press's livre d'artiste series, he has worked closely with distinguished artists, many of whom come to...


Bookseller Kris Arnett on Kona Bay Books in Hawaii

Kris Arnett is the proprietor of Kona Bay Books which is located in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. She also owns Hilo Bay Books in, you guessed it, Hilo, which is located on the other side of the Big Island of Hawaii. I met with Kris recently at the Kona location to discuss bookstores. Among other things we talk about books touching everything and everyone, barbers, the Upstart Crow* bookshop in San Diego, Borders, driving across the Big Island, big box stores, suspense and romance,...


Dave Bull on Japanese Woodblock Carving and Printing

David Bull is an ukiyo-e woodblock printer and carver who heads the Mokuhankan ukiyo-e studio in Asakusa, Tokyo. Born in Britain, Bull moved to Canada at age 5 and lived there until 1986 when he relocated with his family to Tokyo to pursue ukiyo-e. He first discovered Japanese woodblocks while browsing an art gallery in Toronto at age 29. Intrigued, he started making his own prints without formal training. He is known for his work on the Ukiyo-e heroes kickstarter crowd-funding project...


Sjon on Poetry and Iceland

Born in Reykjavik in 1962, Sjón is a celebrated Icelandic novelist. He won the Nordic Council's Literary Prize for his novel 'The Blue Fox' (the Nordic countries' equivalent of the Man Booker Prize) and the novel 'From The Mouth Of The Whale' was shortlisted for both the IMPAC Award and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. His novel 'Moonstone – The Boy Who Never Was' was awarded every Icelandic literature prize, among them the 2013 Icelandic Literary Prize. His latest published work is...


Alice Notley on Poetry

Alice Notley is an American poet whose work has influenced generations of poets; she is considered a pioneering voice on topics such as motherhood, feminism, disobedience and domestic life. Notley has experimented widely with poetic form and has written a book of criticism, a play, and a biography. She has also edited three publications. Her collage art appeared in Rudy Burckhardt's film "Wayward Glimpses" and her illustrations have appeared on the cover of numerous books, including some...


Prof. Eli MacLaren on the Ryerson Press Chap-Books

Eli MacLaren is an Assistant Professor of English at McGill University in Montreal. Subjects taught include Canadian poetry and fiction; First Nations writers; bibliography and the history of the book. We met to discuss an article he wrote for Canadian Poetry entitled " ‘Significant Little Offerings’: The Origin of the Ryerson Poetry Chap-Books, 1925–26”. We talk, among other things, about the literary publishing environment in Canada during the 1920s, Lorne Pierce's idealistic nation...


Jason Guriel on Poems, Poetry, Criticism and Critics

Jason Guriel is a poet and critic whose work has appeared in such publications as Poetry, Slate, Reader's Digest, The Walrus, Parnassus, Canadian Notes & Queries, The New Criterion, and PN Review. His poetry has been anthologized in The Best Canadian Poetry in English, and in 2007, he was the first Canadian to receive the Frederick Bock Prize from Poetry magazine. He won Poetry's Editors Prize for Book Reviewing in 2009. His essays and reviews are collected in The Pigheaded Soul (The...


Poet Gillian Clarke on Welsh poetry, truth, and the importance of creativity in education

Gillian Clarke is a Welsh poet, playwright, editor, broadcaster, lecturer and translator. Born in Cardiff in 1937 she has written more than ten books of poetry. In 2008 she was appointed the third National Poet of Wales (Ifor ap Glyn took over in 2016). In 2010 she was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, only the second Welsh person to receive the honour. In 2011 she was made a member of the Gorsedd of Bards and in 2012 she received the Wilfred Owen Association Poetry award. We met...


Prof. Nick Mount addresses critics of Arrival The Story of CanLit

I met with Professor Nick Mount at his University of Toronto offices in "Toronto" to discuss his book Arrival, The Story of CanLit. We talk among other things about the pronunciation of Toronto, the non-Toronto-centricity of his book, Alistair MacLeod, the CanLit boom, early Canadian writers publishing first in the United States, novels that are so bad they're good, the 1960s, history turning into myth, academic versus commercial success, reviews of the book, Margaret Atwood's Survival,...


Zach Wells on his book of essays Career Limiting Moves

Zachariah Wells is the author of three collections of poetry (Unsettled, Track & Trace, and Sum), as well as a children’s book Anything But Hank, with Rachel Lebowitz), and a collection of critical essays . He is also the editor of Jailbreaks: 99 Canadian Sonnets and The Essential Kenneth Leslie. His poems have been translated into Bosnian and Spanish and adapted into operatic songs by composer Erik Ross. He lives with his family in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We talk, heartily, here about...


Ivan Klima on his memoir My Crazy Century

I met with famed Czech writer/novelist Ivan Klima at his home in Prague to talk about his memoir My Crazy Century. Please keep in mind that he is today a man in his late eighties. Topics covered include the criminal conspiracy of communism, the impact on his life of the Terazin concentration camp, the thrill of freedom, forests, poisonous mushrooms, communist stupidity and lack of common sense, Potemkin villages, political apathy, great literature describing complications in human...


Guy Baxter on the University of Reading's Archive of British Publishing and Printing, and Ladybird and Beckett

Guy Baxter has been University Archivist at University of Reading since 2008. His responsibilities include caring for the Archive of British Publishing and Printing, the archives of the Museum of English Rural Life, and the Beckett Collection. Guy has worked in museum archives for over 15 years and has advised on several major research projects including Staging Beckett (AHRC), Giving Voice to the Nation (AHRC) and the East London Theatre Archive/ CEDAR (JISC). He is a Trustee of the...


John Cole on the history of the Library of Congress

Historian John Cole started working at the Library of Congress as a young man in 1966. Most of his books since have dealt with this venerable institution. We talk here about it's influence on American political and cultural life, about Thomas Jefferson as bibliophile, about books comprising a small part of the library's total collection; capturing, cataloging and digitizing the world's intellectual activity, serving the blind, teaching teachers how to use the collection on-line,...


Stephan Delbos on Prague and Poetry

Stephan Delbos is a New England-born writer living in Prague, where he teaches at Anglo-American University and Charles University. His poetry, essays and translations have appeared internationally in journals such as Absinthe, Agni, Oxonian Review, PEN America, and Zoland Poetry. He is the editor of From a Terrace in Prague: A Prague Poetry Anthology (Litteraria Pragensia, 2011). A collection of visual, music-inspired poems, “Bagatelles for Typewriter,” was exhibited at Prague’s ArtSpace...