How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts?Julian Barnes
Third Person Pertinent
Todd is a colonial settler who lives and works on the bed of an ancient glacial lake in the heart of Turtle Island. He lives on Treaty 1 Land that is the territories of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Lakota, Inuit, and Dene Peoples, and on the Traditional Homeland of the Métis Nation, in Winnipeg, MB, a static colonial city carpet tacked to the still damp clay bed of a proglacial lake created during the Holocene Glacial Retreat.
He has over 35 years of experience as a book publisher, writer, editor, not-for-profit board member, arts and culture administrator and manager, journalist, communications professional, bookseller, and occasional author.
Currently he is the executive editor of Arbeiter Ring Publishing Ltd. (operating as ARP Books).
From 2001 to 2009 he was the managing editor of Turnstone Press. In that time the company published many acclaimed books, including the Giller Prize finalist, Kilter: 55 fictions and Turnstone was a finalist for the Canadian Bookseller Association’s Small Press Publisher of the Year Award.
In addition, was the executive director of the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers, and was the book and publishing columnist for Uptown Magazine and the editor of Prairie Books NOW. Authors he’s interviewed include Dionne Brand, Douglas Coupland, Carol Shields, and Richard Van Camp.
An experienced community advocate
Todd is dedicated to book culture and is an advocate for publishers, authors, poets, writers, and other creators. Right now, he is the Board Secretary of the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) and a Board Member of eBound.
He has also served as the Chairperson (and Treasurer) of the Literary Press Group, the Chairperson of (and founding Treasurer) of LitDistCo, the Vice-president of the ACP, and the President of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild. He was once a member of both the board and the advisory council of the Winnipeg International Writers Festival
Todd has also served on peer juries for the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council, and the Winnipeg Arts Council and on many book award juries. As well, he has been a speaker and panellist at writing and publishing annual general meetings and professional development sessions.
Todd is a RRC Polytechnic (formerly Red River College) graduate in Creative Communications (Honours, Journalism) and has an Arts & Culture Management Certificate from The University of Winnipeg.
You can find his fiction in a few literary magazines, including Geist, Prairie Fire, and subTerrain. These stories and others can be read on this blog.
He has received grants from the Manitoba Arts Council and the Winnipeg Arts Council to support his development as an author and publishing professional.
For more professional information, Todd’s kitchen sink CV/Résumé is here.
First Person Impertinent
I’m a blue-collar guy working in a white-collar world and I think mastering a craft or trade and blurring the line between work and life fosters happiness or, at least, contentment.
So given that I spend more hours of the day than I’d like teetering on vexation, I’m not meeting my standard.
But reading, writing, and thinking about stories and storytelling walk me off the ledge.
Stories are what people do, perhaps even what we are. And books–as objects and for the stories they hold–are vital to humanity. I’ve spent a good chunk of my life working and volunteering in book culture.
Sometimes it seems like a hard–and occasionally frustrating–way to make a living. But it’s a great way to make a life.
To help keep me on course my semi-guiding mottoes are “Accept Events as They Occur” and “Être fort pour être utile.”
If you want to buy me a gift, I have fetishes about shoulder bags, notebooks and pencils, and sundry office supplies. As well, I’m keen on generous pours of strong dark coffee (black), American bourbon, Scottish Whisky, Irish Whiskey, Canadian Rye, hoppy microbrew ales, New Zealand Pinot Grigio, and Argentinian Malbec.
My sense of humour is dark, profane, occasionally grotesque, and deep, deep blue.
Contact me if you have time on your hands and you’re willing to buy the first round or if you want to offer me a lucrative and useful sinecure.
All material, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © Todd Besant. All rights reserved.
Image Copyright © Todd Besant