Getting Lit with Linda - The Canadian Literature Podcast


To Discover or to Divine

Season 3, Ep. 43

In this episode, Linda considers the moment she came across the handwritten memoir of Jane Rule at the University of British Columbia Archives and Rare books. She considers the idea of "discovering" or "divining" in the archive and how that relates to meeting poet and instructor, Sheryda Warrener, who invited her to look at the work of her students during one of Linda's visits to the archive. Two poets from that exhibit--Graeme Kennedy and MacKenzie Sewell--are highlighted in this episode, along with Warrener and her collection, Test Piece (Coach House Books, 2022). The other students who took that class are Bayleigh Marelj, Sinead Tebbutt, Stephanie Okoli, Faria Malik, Ava Kucharski, and Charis Young.

Episode highlights:

  • the nature of "discovery" and "divining"
  • the importance of process (over "creative product")
  • a consideration of ekphrasis

In the Takeaway, she recommends Montreal's Salon du Livre, taking place in Montreal at the moment of this episode's release - and tonight's event (as part of "Salon Dans La Ville"), Sean Michaels and David Mitchell (hosted by the Quebec Writers' Federation) at the Atwater Library.

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.