J.S. Porter

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Dennis Lee’s “Deeper” and National Poetry Month

Dennis Lee’s “Deeper” and National Poetry Month

| April 4, 2014 | 0 Comments

Is poetry in your life? Should it be? What are you missing if it isn’t? Sometimes people get their poetry from Björk or Radiohead or Arcade Fire. Sometimes they don’t get any at all. I’m not sure I’d go as far as William Carlos Williams: …   It is difficult to get the news from poems […]

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12 Years a Slave – The Academy Got It Right

12 Years a Slave – The Academy Got It Right

| March 7, 2014 | 0 Comments

12 Years a Slave really was the best picture—the richest storyline, the most courageous reach,  the best ensemble acting, including stellar performances from Lupita Nyong’o (Patsey), best-supporting actress, and the lead Chiwetel Ejiofor (Northup). Nyong’o was born in Mexico of Kenyan descent and the British-born Ejiofor has the same name as a Nigerian footballer. It […]

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Mavis Gallant (1922-2014)

Mavis Gallant (1922-2014)

| February 19, 2014 | 0 Comments

Writer down. Maybe we readers need to scream that phrase the way officers scream it for fellow officers struck down by gunfire.  A great Canadian writer – Mavis Gallant – is down. I once had the privilege of hearing her read at the Different Drummer in Burlington during her promotional tour for her Selected Stories […]

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Philip Seymour Hoffman – One of the Great Ones

Philip Seymour Hoffman – One of the Great Ones

| February 5, 2014 | 2 Comments

(above) Philip Seymour Hoffman opposite Catherine Keener in A Late Quartet.   Philip Seymour Hoffman (July 23, 1967 – February 2, 2014) was an American actor, on stage and screen. Not a celebrity. Not a movie star. An actor. One of the great actors of our time. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for Capote (2005), […]

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CBC’s Canada Reads – What’s Missing?

CBC’s Canada Reads – What’s Missing?

| January 30, 2014 | 0 Comments

Canada Reads 2014 panellists with host Jian Ghomeshi In France, books are everywhere—in stalls along the Seine, in markets, at bus depots, at train stations. In Canada, they’re becoming less conspicuous.  Toronto is losing bookshops quicker than I’m losing hair and small towns like Huntsville have, if they’re lucky, a single shop to service the […]

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Revolution in the Air: The East, Russell Brand, Donald Sutherland & Catching Fire

Revolution in the Air: The East, Russell Brand, Donald Sutherland & Catching Fire

| January 5, 2014 | 0 Comments

Revolution was in the air in 1968, even in an excessively qualified way in the Beatles’ song “Revolution:” You say you want a revolution Well, you know We all want to change the world You tell me that it’s evolution Well, you know We all want to change the world But when you talk about […]

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A Review of Lynn Coady’s Hellgoing — Scotiabank Giller Prize Winner for 2013

A Review of Lynn Coady’s Hellgoing — Scotiabank Giller Prize Winner for 2013

| November 19, 2013 | 0 Comments

Canada makes really good ice wine and produces topflight short stories from the fictional tours of European capitals conducted by Mavis Gallant to microscopic investigations into the tics and eccentricities of small-town life by Alice Munro. Lynn Coady, usually a novelist (her novel The Antagonist was shortlisted for the Giller last year), lives in Edmonton, […]

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The Counselor: 1 + 1 + 1 = Zero

The Counselor: 1 + 1 + 1 = Zero

| October 29, 2013 | 0 Comments

The Counselor has a lot of things going for it. A-list actors. Some of the biggest names in Hollywood: Michael Fassbender the Counselor (did you see him in Cronenberg’s Dangerous Method playing Carl Jung? He’s terrific.); Javier Bardem (see him in Cormac McCarthy’s No Country For Old Men or the new Bond Skyfall, if you […]

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Celebrating Canadian Achievement:<br />Alice Munro Brings Home 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature

Celebrating Canadian Achievement:
Alice Munro Brings Home 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature

| October 10, 2013 | 0 Comments

Congratulations Alice Munro! I’m writing this note on Thursday, October 10, 2013 – a very Happy Day for Canada. It’s not every day you wake up in the morning and the radio announces that a Nobel Prize has gone to a Canadian. Alice Munro from Wingham, Ontario is the 2013 recipient of the Nobel Prize […]

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A Reminder to Always Be Sexy – Ashton Kutcher & The Perfect Speech (Revisited)

A Reminder to Always Be Sexy – Ashton Kutcher & The Perfect Speech (Revisited)

| September 28, 2013 | 0 Comments

The public speaking manuals all give you the same advice: “Keep it simple, stupid.” (The KISS Formula) Be brief. Be concise. Be memorable. (The Three B’s) “Say what you’re going to say. Say it. Say what you’ve said.” (The Say it Formula) Speaking is like blowing up a bridge. You go in, position the dynamite, […]

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