Interview with Allyson Latta

Monday, December 6, 2010

Anvil Press Book Launch

Check out the Anvil Press Book Launch this Wednesday December 8th featuring my husband Salvatore Difalco.

Ed Macdonald (Spat the Dummy), Tony Burgess (Ravenna Gets), Bonnie Bowman (Spaz), Kerry Ryan (Vs.) and Salvatore Difalco (The Mountie at Niagara Falls
December 8, 2010 | 7:00 p.m.
The Garrison
1197 Dundas St W

Come out and celebrate the release of these great new books!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Favre from the truth

I like Brett Favre. I do. He is great to watch, has been one of the greatest quarterbacks to watch over the years. Even throughout his on again off again flirtation with retiring, I have stuck by him because I can't help but like the guy. I am a diehard Indianapolis Colts fan, Peyton Manning is my guru and yet I have written about Brett Favre more than Manning and the Colts. Of Course, Manning doesn't threaten to quit every year.

This time around, I think I want Favre to leave. It bothers me that he doesn't like to attend training camp, that he doesn't feel he has to, which helps explain his inconsistencies. Sometimes he's brilliant and others completely useless - unlike Manning who is, I think, consistently brilliant, even on his off days. It's true Favre has a knack for joining teams in need and bringing out the best in them - a great leader. We saw this with the Jets and with the Vikings. He gives teams hope. He gives teams hope and he gives team's fans hope and that's why I think it's even worse that he threatens to leave each time he joins a new team. He dashes everyone's hopes.

I never liked the Minnesota Vikings. They were one of the teams I liked to dislike. However, last season they were likable, watchable, had a sense of discipline, channeled their thuggery into useful, effective energy which I attribute to Favre. Now the rumor is he won't be returning.

At this point, crying wolf is an understatement. Will I miss him? Or will I miss the on again off again Favre's not returning threat I've come to look forward to at the beginning of each new NFL season? That is the question.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tate Leggat 1996 - 2010

Sometimes the hardest thing for a writer to write is the truth, and yet I strive for truth to be present in everything I write and for everything I write to be true. As a kid, seeking truth was my life goal. Over the years I learned that truth is not what I thought it was. I am mystified and driven by it and ultimately realized that the truth was all around me, present and communicating and feeding me every moment for the past fifteen years of my life. The ultimate joy, the greatest gift I have been given on this earth, in this life has been the truth and for me it came in the form of a beautiful, intelligent, wise, funny, instinctual creature - my incredible husky/cross Little Man Tate - Tate for short.

When Tate passed away on July 19th, I felt that he guided us as beautifully and heroically through death as he did life. We have learned from him and grown because of him. Adjusting to his spirit's presence opposed to his physical presence is painful and yet enlightening for his spirit is as strong as it ever was. He is too powerful a being to not continue to envelop our days. I even believe that when he moved on to the next leg of his journey, that the earth new one of its greatest beings had left it.

I always thought an incredible animal like Tate would be immortal. When he died, I thought of one of my favourite passages from Marguerite Duras' novel The Lover,

"People ought to be told of such things. Ought to be taught that immortality is mortal, that it can die, it's happened before and it happens still. It doesn't ever announce itself as such - it's duplicity itself...It's while it's being lived that life is immortal, while it is still alive."

As a writer I have always dealt with pain and suffering and confusion and perplexity by pouring my thoughts and feelings into words - so it only seems fitting in honor of Tate, in honor of the ultimate truth that I have to write about him - my guru, my best friend, my spirit guide - our Wolf Totem. Our hearts are breaking Tate but our souls are together always. You were always my angel.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


17 FINALISTS FOR TRILLIUM BOOK AWARD: "TORONTO – Seven English books and five French have been short-listed for the 23rd Annual Trillium Book Award, the Ontario government’s prestigious award for literature. This year, three titles are also short-listed for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry in English language and two titles in French language."

On June 23, 2010 the public are invited to join in the celebration of the finalists with authors’ readings followed by a reception. The event will be held in the Bram & Bluma Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library, 2nd Floor, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto. On June 24, 2010, the Honourable Michael Chan, Ontario Minister of Tourism and Culture, will announce the winners in Toronto at a luncheon.
English Finalists for the Trillium Book Award/Prix Trillium are:

Margaret Atwood, The Year of the Flood (McClelland & Stewart)
Ian Brown, The Boy in the Moon (Random House Canada)
Alexandra Leggat, Animal (Anvil Press)
Anne Michaels, The Winter Vault (McClelland & Stewart)
Alice Munro, Too Much Happiness (McClelland & Stewart)
Emily Schultz, Heaven is Small (House of Anansi Press)
Cordelia Strube, Lemon (Coach House Books)
French Finalists for the Trillium Book Award/Prix Trillium are:

Ryad Assani-Razaki, Deux cercles (VLB éditeur)
Nicole Champeau, Pointe Maligne. L’infiniment oubliée (Les Éditions du Vermillon)
Jean Mohsen Fahmy, Frères ennemis (VLB éditeur)
Daniel Poliquin, René Lévesque (Les Éditions du Boréal)
Daniel Soha, La Maison : une parabole (Éditions du GREF)
English Finalists for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry are:

Susan Holbrook, Joy is so Exhausting (Coach House Books)
Karen Solie, Pigeon (House of Anansi Press)
Matthew Tierney, The Hayflick Limit (Coach House Books)
French Finalists for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry are:

Jacqueline Borowick, Le chant du coucou (Inanna Publications & Education Inc.)
Michèle Matteau, Passerelles (Les Éditions L’Interligne)

•The Trillium Book Award encourages excellence in literature through its significant investment in Ontario-based writers. Award recipients for both English and French works receive $20,000. Their respective publishers also receive $2,500 to promote the winning titles. All finalists receive a $500 honorarium.
•The Trillium Book Award for Poetry was introduced during the 16th Trillium year to recognize new emerging poets in English and French language (poets’ first, second and third published works only are eligible for consideration for this prize). The winner for each of these awards receives $10,000 and their publisher $2,000 for promotion of the titles. Finalists for these awards also receive a $500 honorarium.
•Internationally-acclaimed authors who have received the Trillium Award include Alistair MacLeod, Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Austin Clark and Alice Munro.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Power and the Glory

There are two things that instantly bring tears to my eyes, an unbelievable surge of emotion comes over me, the sight of racing thoroughbreds and a football match (soccer, in translation). Every four years in a football fan's life, the world is a different place. With the 2010 World Cup less than a month away, life is beginning to feel different, take on new meaning - ah football.

As much as I want this to be England's year, my reveries are threatened by an ominous force - Argentina. And after watching the Champion's League final last week, where Inter's lethal Argentine striker Diego Milito scored both goals that shut out Bayern Munich, my gut is no calmer.

One of the many beauties of the World Cup is anything can happen. Every single team involved is in its way a threat. The names of the ruling class may astound but on the world stage they don't always take the spotlight.

Count down begins and yes, tears are welling up in my eyes this very moment. Ah, the magnitude of the beautiful sport!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Post Script

Taddle Creek Magazine Recommends:

Animal, by Alexandra Leggat (Anvil , 2009; $18). Alexandra’s stories are usually not for the emotionally squeamish, but the characters in this collection really raise the bar on reader discomfort—in the best possible way. Excuse Taddle Creek’s lack of elegance, but this is a damn fine book.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Year of the Tiger

How ironic, that, according to the Chinese calendar, 2010 is the Year of the Tiger. That may or may not give Mr Tiger Woods hope for brighter days ahead. Who are we to judge - if the finger waggers opened their closets wouldn't there be many, many tales of immorality and such? Perhaps not to the same degree, however...

The fact that the game of golf will take a hit in the Year of the Tiger is probable.
What a shame that two greats in sports lost so much in the final days of last year. Tiger Woods and my hero the Indianapolis Colts. Imagine telling the Romans they had to rest before marching on to a major battle. Imagine Caesar worrying about his soldiers getting hurt.

To an athlete, great athletes at that, athletes who were making history, Peyton Manning, Jeff Saturday, Dallas Clark, Reggie Wayne, Joseph Addai etc, playing to the death as it were is in the script and if it isn't it should be. Why work so hard to win game after game after game to simply throw the historical winning streak away two games before the end of the season - why try at all?

I can't help wondering who the Jets' supporter is in the Indie Franchise that was willing to sacrifice his men, his team, from making history, from going ALL - THE -WAY so that the New York Jets could advance to the playoffs. On the sidelines, despite what he diplomatically voiced on TV, Manning looked destroyed. Imagine asking Picasso to erase Guernica, to erase the masterpiece.

2009, the Year of the Ox, came to a bad end for many. Oddly enough the Ox signifies stablilty and perseverence. "The typical Ox is a tolerant person with strong character. Not many people could equal the resolution and fearlessness the Ox exhibits when deciding to accomplish a task or an objective. Oxen know they will succeed through hard work and sustained effort and find no truth or benefit in concocting insincere schemes to get ahead." Hm...

The Tiger is said to be lucky, vivid, lively and engaging. Another attribute of the Tiger is his incredible bravery, evidenced in his willingness to engage in battle and his undying courage.

So for Peyton Manning and his loyal crew the future is inevitably bright - they will bounce back and fight back, as they do, to victory.

For Tiger, in this coming year that bears his name, he might just have to rely on the luck attributed to that of the other Tiger.