Getting Lit with Linda - The Canadian Literature Podcast


Night Vigils & Varieties of Looking

Season 3, Ep. 36

Linda opens on a celebratory note: Getting Lit With Linda has received two separate nominations for the Canadian Podcasting Awards, one in the category of Outstanding Educational Series and another in the category of Outstanding Arts Podcast. She also includes a tribute to the late Steven Heighton (2.39), whom she remembers fondly.

Linda and Gillian Sze -- the guest for this episode -- chat about her new book, Quiet Night Think (ECW Press) and participate in “quiet thinking” and "looking," especially when there are competing demands on one's time and competing expectations. They discuss other writers, with an emphasis on Li Bai (701-7662 AD; 5.11, 16.27, 24.09) and Emily Dickinson or “Em” (12.28, 16.27, 24.11, 25.11). They also chat about the following:

  • Caregiving, night vigils (19.32; 23.00)
  • Origins, parenting, immigrant parents (25.35, 26.28)
  • Structure and genre of the collection (20.27, 21.39)
  • Learning Mandarin (7.22)
  • Poetry and relationships (8.28 ; her father, 9.45, 27.03)
  • the Chinese generation poem (8.39)
  • Ekphrastic poetry (14.12)
  • looking, and the nature of looking (cosmic, artistic; the flaneur;13.20, 17.30, 18.12)
  • Cezanne (17.50)
  • Fountain pens (18.38)
  • Canlit and questions of gender (25.50)
  • Sitting in the Moon, postpartum care (4.57, 16.45, 33.18)
  • Insomnia (17.00)

More Episodes


The Baggage of Atlas: Amy Spurway's Crow

Season 3, Ep. 42
** Explicit language in this episodeLinda opens this episode on a celebratory note – the fact that Getting Lit with Linda won in the category of Outstanding Education Series in the Canadian Podcast Awards. We are grateful to our listeners, voters, and guests on the show! (And Linda recommends reaching out to her producer, Marco Timpano, if you want more information about podcasting in general!)In this episode, Linda begins with a reflection on the “weight of Atlas” in relation to Greek mythology (no, not the band “The Weight of Atlas” that did a cover of one of Taylor Swift’s songs) and how we use it in the present. She ties that reflection to the themes of Amy Spurway’s Crow (Goose Lane Books), winner of the "IPPY Award for Best First Book - Fiction and Margaret and John Savage First Book Award for Fiction" and  the subject of this episode. The narrator, also named Crow, has returned back to her home on the East Coast of Canada, where she must learn that adapting to her environment is no longer enough—real transformation is required, which happens when one puts down the weight--our past baggage--that one has been unnecessarily carrying. The episode also involves:Linda's promise to examine other East Coast writers, like Michael Crummey, Lisa Moore, Joel Thomas Hynes, Donna Morrissey, and Alistair MacLeod (5.35); Discussions about Spurway’s Crow (GooseLane Books), with selections from the audiobook, available on Kobo (6.07);references to authors Heather O'Neill and Kevin Lambert and their rendering of class (12.43).In the Takeaway (15.10), Linda discusses with actor and audiobook narrator, Amanda Barker, about what is involved in this kind of work—and especially in relation to Crow, for which she was the reader.