the last town crier

2013 has been a big year for the Crier.

It’s been a huge year for the Town Crier. Our Hollywood makeover began last year, at yet another Toronto literary event, when Tavish McGregor approached us and proposed a redesign. We agreed and the ball was rolling. We spent the year’s early months wavering between our mastodonic ambition and what reality would allow.

Eventually, we bumped to a start, launching in March with a sleek redesign. In the months that followed, the reborn Crier felt its way around, gathering its strength and vision. Then, in short order, the ship tightened, and we’ve been sailing more or less smoothly ever since.

An increasing number of people have provided invaluable support in this effort. In time, we gathered a team of regular contributors who—along with guest posts and Author Notes from our ever-generous and awesome Puritan contributors—have kept the engine purring. Among the highlights from our guests:


  1. Robert McGill‘s take on the relationship between American and Canadian lit (a preview of our upcoming supplement, “Bridging the Literary Border”).
  2. Lisa Pasold‘s impassioned plea to Canada’s journalistic outlets to incorporate the poetics of the news into their stories.
  3. Peter Norman on the poetics of music and the music of poetics.
  4. Souvankham Thammavongsa on writing to get the voice, not the effect (spoiler alert: in the process, quite an effect is achieved).
  5. Mike Spry, of, on sports literature.
  6. Daniel Scott Tysdal on i-phone-assisted procedural poems.
  7. Patricia Westerhof on Toronto’s underground tunnels, spirituality, and writing with a full time job.

Then there is our valiant team of regular contributors and managers. It is impossible to capture all that everyone has done—such is the cross-over and collaboration of duties—but here is an attempt:

Quintin Peirce took on the tricky task of administrating the first regular schedule we established, helping The Town Crier through its training-wheels-phase.

Phoebe Wang has covered a range of topics—from the practicalities of literary production to women’s representation in criticism—with a keen eye on the long view, all while providing much needed guidance in the realm of social media, general web-knowledge and more.

Jess Taylor has compiled an impressive list of features (which continues to grow and will be coupled with a feature in the Winter Issue of The Puritan) on local reading series and the good souls that keep them active.

Tracy Kyncl has kept her ear to the ground—carefully documenting those rare instances when literary types can be witnessed interacting in the flesh—and has repped The Puritan at countless events, in addition to providing author interviews, advice on book clubs, and more.

Jason Freure has consistently taken a critical but fair look at contemporary literature through his concise and insightful reviews of both poetry and fiction.

André “Blogman” Babyn, in addition to taking over blog management—and steering quite well—has played centre field, as it were, touching on everything from literary Halloween costumes to the Fernando Pessoa’s opinion of Weezer.

Ted Nolan, meanwhile, has himself been fulfilling a number of highly hybridized roles, serving as a literary headhunter, talent manager, and bullpen coach, bringing new contributors on board, netting reviews, and planning supplemental projects, such as the upcoming “Bridging the Literary Border” addition to Issue 24: Winter 2014.

All the while, our tireless Head Calvinists, Tyler Willis and Spencer Gordon, have—despite vowing not to add to their workload—lent much needed assistance, without which we would surely still be wandering.

And then there are The Puritan‘s contributors, who have generously offered us their time and skill. We continue to be pleasantly surprised by the effort and creativity our authors bring to the Crier table, even after they’ve already given us the great work that keep The Puritan afloat.

Last but not least, we want to thank you, our growing readership. Without you, there would be no point to any of this.

So that’s 2013, or a bit of it. Here’s to keeping it going through this time next year and beyond.

Happy New Year,

The Town Criers

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