A Conversation with Ken Babstock

Karen Solie interviews Ken Babstock in Brick 87.

“I think about points in world history when new materials became part of what was driving the engine of an art, like when architecture latched on to glass, or when pop art latched on to plastic, or whatever, and they all had culturally different moods and strategies behind them, like high modernism had that kind of drive to utopian madness behind it. I don’t feel like I’m partaking in the same thing, but I was consciously aware that material was everywhere, that it is everything, there is nothing excluded by virtue of what it is” (Babstock on Methodist Hatchet).

Read the full interview here.

A taste of Clark Blaise’s The Meagre Tarmac

When I came back from visiting some of our facilities in South Asia, I was still of a mind to stay in California and enjoy my second first-marriage and the baby, and our new house, and perhaps fund a few interesting projects in India from long range. The customs agent flipped through my American passport, observed that I sure do a lot of travelling, to which I merely smiled, to which he reiterated, “A lot of South Asian travel,” to which I said, “Family, you know,” and he responded, “Family in Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Malaysia and China?” and put a number on my declaration form. I’m scrupulous about keeping receipts and not exceeding the customs exemption.

This was at JFK. All I had to do was claim my bag and roll it to the domestic conveyor belt, none of it easy without a wheelchair, then move on to the domestic departures lounge. Nothing comes easily unless I’m met in SFO by my driver. But I didn’t make it to the conveyor belt. I was still waiting for my bag at the carousel when a uniformed office came up to me, specifically to me, no one else, and said, “Let me see some I.D.” (Read more here).

Clark Blaise will be reading at Concordia University Tuesday, November 19th at 4PM in the Henry F. Hall Building (H-767).

Clark Blaise on “Mapping the Indo-American Experience”

Clark Blaise discusses his latest novel The Meagre Tarmac (Biblioasis) in the National Post. He and his partner Bharati Mukherjee will be visiting Concordia next week. Clark Blaise will be giving a free public reading on Tuesday, Nov. 19th at 4PM in Room 767 of the Henry F. Hall Building, Concordia University (1455 De Maisonneuve W. Blvd.). Don’t miss it!