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For the past 26 years, The Word On The Street has been renowned for the quality and diversity of its event programming. See the lineup of incredible Canadian literary talent at the 27th festival on September 25, 2016.
As the Boys of Summer give way to October, you’ll want to discuss all things baseball. Step up to the plate as we transform the deck of the Kajama into a literary baseball diamond and talk to two authors and two sports journalists who, in a literary sense, have really hit it out of the park.
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A collection of essays for ardent seamheads and casual baseball fans alike, The Utility of Boredom is a book about finding respite and comfort in the order, traditions, and rituals of baseball. From learning about America through ball-diamond visits to the most famous triple play that never happened on Canadian soil, Forbes invites us to witness the adult conversing with the O-Pee-Chee baseball cards of his youth. Tender, insightful, and with the slow heartbreak familiar to anyone who’s cheered on a losing team, The Utility of Boredom tells us a thing or two about the sport, and how a seemingly trivial game might help us make sense of our messy lives.
Andrew Forbes was born in Ottawa, Ontario and attended Carleton University. He has written film and music criticism, liner notes, sports columns, and short fiction. His work has been nominated for the Journey Prize, and has appeared in publications including VICE Sports, The Classical, The New Quarterly, and This Magazine. What You Need, his debut collection of fiction, was published by Invisible Publishing in 2015. He lives in Peterborough, Ontario.
Buck Martinez has been in and around professional baseball for nearly fifty years as a player, manager, and broadcaster. Currently the play-by-play announcer for the Toronto Blue Jays, Martinez has witnessed enormous change in the game he loves, as the game has morphed from a grassroots pastime to big business. In Change Up, Martinez offers his unique insights into how Major League Baseball might reconnect with its fanbase, how the clubs might train and prepare their players for their time in The Show, and how players might approach the sport in a time of sagging fan interest. Always entertaining, ever insightful, Martinez shares brilliant insights and inside pitches about summer’s favourite game.
Dan Robson is a senior writer at Sportsnet Magazine, and is the co-author of the bestselling book The Crazy Game, with Clint Malarchuk. He lives in Toronto.
Morgan Campbell is a multilingual, multimedia journalist who covers the business of sport at the Toronto Star. He spent two years covering baseball, where his insightful features – especially about Latin American players and the issues facing them – earned him a reputation as one of the finest writers on the beat. Campbell is the author of “Fight of Their Lives,” a serial narrative about aspiring boxers. In 2004 he won the National Newspaper Award for “Long Shots,” an eight-part series about a high school basketball team. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
Stacey May Fowles is an award-winning novelist, journalist, and essayist. She is a columnist at The Globe and Mail, Open Book Toronto, and Blue Jays Nation, author of the popular Baseball Life Advice e-newsletter, and co-editor of Best Canadian Sports Writing (forthcoming fall 2017). She regularly writes about sports for Globe Debate, The Walrus, and Torontoist. Her work has also appeared in such publications as the National Post, Elle Canada, NOW Toronto, Deadspin, Jezebel, The Classical, Rookie, Hazlitt, Vice Sports, Quill & Quire, and Toronto Life. She lives in Toronto, where she is writing Perfect Game, a collection of essays on baseball to be published by McClelland & Stewart in March 2017.