Episode 25 – Part 1 – Interview with Guillaume Morissette

The Small Machine Talks with a.m. kozak and Amanda Earl

Episode 25-A: Interview with Guillaume Morissette

recorded on Sunday, December 3, 2017

In the first part of our interview, Guillaume, who is in Ottawa for a reading, talks to us about events he’s attended in NYC and Montreal and recommends the latest issue of Granta Magazine, the Canadian issue, along with other books.

Site: http://guillaumemorissette.com/

1: 54 Granta 141: Canada: https://granta.com/

Guillaume’s interview with co-editor Catherine Leroux in Montreal Review of Books:


Guillaume talks about the issue and muses about how Canadian literature feels like it’s in a period of transition. He tells us about particular work that stood out, such as Falen Johnson’s play, “Two Indians,” Nadim Roberts’s essay, “Mangilaluk’s Highway, Chloé Savoie-Bernard’s  “Of Roses and Insects”. Amanda mentions the urgent need to translate Francophone writing into English.

Guillaume mentions the chaotic process the editors of the issue embraced to create the issue, making it a little bit of everything. Aaron talks about having that same process for the 30 under 30 anthology, allowing themes to emerge naturally.

Guillaume thinks Granta should have a best young Canadian novelists issue (8.29).

In New York City, Guillaume read at Babycastles, an art space for video games, with additional performances by Mary Boo Anderson, Bryan Woods, Rachel Bell, Bud Smith, Liz Bowen and Jade Sharma. http://newyork.carpediem.cd/events/5172857-the-original-face-a-reading-w-guillaume-morissette-friends-at-babycastles/

8.35 We think of New York and Montreal as magical otherworlds, but Guillaume found it comfortable. Guillaume recommends Liz Bowen’s poetry collection, Sugarblood from Metatron. http://www.onmetatron.org/portfolio_page/sugarblood-liz-bowen/ 9.56. and Jade Sharma’s novel, “Problems” from Coffee House Press: http://coffeehousepress.org/shop/problems/ which is super funny (11.00).

11.23 Guillaume went to a reading at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop

http://aaww.org/ and heard Chen Chen read from his poetry book, “When I Grow Up, I Want To Be A List of Further Possibilities” (BOA Editions, 2017). Twitter: @ChenChenWrites has a positive vibe.

We discuss how writers in person are often not what we imagine them to be.

Guillaume talks about how one person in an audience can change a vibe.

13.50 He mentions the reading at Black Squirrel Books with Cason Sharpe (Our Lady Of Perpetual Realness, Metatron), Marcela Huerta (Tropico, Metatron), Jessica Bebenek (Fourth Walk, Desert Pets Press), Sennah Yee (How Do I Look?, Metatron)

& Guillaume Morissette (The Original Face, Véhicule Press). [Note from Amanda – post-reading: it was a great reading – stay tuned for more info!]

It’s back to the future with the Small Machine Talks!

14.33 Amanda also discusses recent events she’s attended. Aaron has been too busy with edits to a play he’s been working on to attend events. Tree’s features – Christine McNair and Rhombus 19. Amanda enjoyed the diversity of the event. Pre-fair reading: Amanda, Natalie Hanna, Hugh Thomas. The Small Press Fair was great and Amanda will talk about it in more detail in a future episode. She went to the In/Words reading with Noah Wareness and Connie Clayton. Perhaps Amanda’s fav. reading of the year. Amanda also enjoyed the music of Idiot Brother. Amanda also went to the Governor General Award readings.

Aaron discusses the challenging transition between school and work.

18.55 Guillaume recommends Sennah Yee’s book “How Do I Look” from Metatron Press: http://www.sennahyee.com/


Amanda points out that the Small Machine Talks has a mission to promote small presses.

Stay tuned for the second part of the interview in which we discuss Guillaume’s book, The Original Face and talk about the effect of social media, the gig economy and other internet phenomenon on society, particularly millennials.