Back in the late 1970’s, I became very involved with THE CANADIAN AUTHOR’S ASSOCIATION, primarily with their publication, The Canadian Author and Bookman. My role with this publication began with writing book reviews. I eventually became the book review editor under the mentorship of one, Duncan Pollock, a wonderfully talented writer.
In the course of writing for CAB, as we called it, Duncan offered me an incredible opportunity: he asked me to interview Canada’s First Lady of Literature, Margaret Laurence. My heart soared at the honour. So did my fear! Could I, an aspiring young writer, carry this off? What would I ask her? What would she be like? Would she think my questions stupid? A waste of her time? Duncan encouraged me. He said: “You can … and will …do this and do it well. Now go out and interview Margaret Laurence.”
I did as I was told and in the Spring, 1977 issue, Volume 52, No. 3 of the Canadian Author and Bookman, I had the pleasure of seeing my interview with Margaret Laurence, printed exactly as I wrote it. What did Margaret share with me? What messages, advice did she give to aspiring writers? What did she reveal about her own approach to writing? Where did the unforgettable “Hagar Shipley” in THE STONE ANGEL come from? How did Margaret deal with all the fuss about her book, THE DIVINERS?
Click directly below to Download Viga Boland’s Interview with Margaret Laurence, complete with photos, now:
Author, Viga Boland, shares a glass of wine with Canada’s First Lady of Literature, Margaret Laurence, at Margaret’s home in Lakefield, Ontario, at the end of their interview for the Canadian Author and Bookman, 1977
Not familiar with the works of Margaret Laurence? Find her books at AMAZON.CA
In the Fall/Winter issue of the Canadian Author and Bookman, another of my interviews with Canadian writers was published. This time, I interviewed the “POET COP”, HANS JEWINSKI. Hans was a member of the Metro Toronto Police Force. He loved hanging out with writers. What he experienced in his line of work, he chose to put into poetry, beautiful emotional poetry that gets right at you and into you. I still have the book he personally signed for me at that interview, just as a I have a personal letter from Margaret Laurence. Sadly, things didn’t go for Hans as he deserved. I found the information below at this BOOKS IN CANADA LINK:
“I remember celebrating Hans’s sale of The Poet Cop to New York’s Simon and Schuster in 1975. We were in awe of his success, but were dismayed when the book was released with a photo of Hans on the front, in uniform, stooped beside a little girl, with the title scrawled as if with chalk on a red-brick wall behind them, and a subtitle, “Some Call Me Pig,” beneath it. The publishers were treating him as a gimmick: a policeman so sensitive he wrote poetry. When the book didn’t pan out, they returned his second manuscript unread. It was an insult to Hans, who had a poet’s eye for detail and a fine turn of phrase, and as far as I know he never published again.”
For those who might be interested in how Hans Jewinski wrote his poems and where his inspiration came from, I offer you this download: INTERVIEW with HANS JEWINSKI (Click link)