Poet Catherine Owen's new non-fiction collection looks at the many ways writers spend their time. Taking its title from a Max Beerbohm quote (as reported by Billy Collins), The Other 23 & a Half Hours: Or Everything You Wanted to Know that Your MFA Didn't Teach You is an in-depth look at the parts of writing life that aren't actually writing. According to Beerbohm, "The hardest thing about being a poet [is] knowing what to do with the other 23 and a half hours of the day."
Starting with the MFA vs. NYC debate (do writers really need a degree, or should they learn from the streets?), Owen explores the myriad ways writers create and nurture their creative communities, which in turn feed their writing. Drawing on interviews with more than 50 poets from across Canada, The Other 23 & a Half Hours dispels the notion of the lonely writer toiling away in an attic and replaces it with a truer (albeit less romantic) image of the writer actively engaging artistic ideas and communities.
Join Catherine and some of the other poets she interviewed as they launch The Other 23 & a Half Hours tomorrow night, October 22, at The Steady Cafe in Toronto. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free.