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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Apr 6, 2023

Mark interviews Sudbury area writers Matthew Del Papa and Vera Constantineau.

Prior to the interview, Mark shares a few listener comments reminds listeners about sending THEIR reflections for forthcoming Episode 300, provides a personal update and shares a word about this episode's sponsor.

You can learn more about how you can get your audiobooks distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at

During the interview, Mark, Mat and Vera talk about:

  • Vera and Mat's backgrounds as writers
  • How humor is always going to show up in almost anything that Vera writes
  • Haibun Poetry, which is a form that combines haiku and with prose poem
  • Mat's very first book of "railroad stories" and how a lot of his work is focused on his home town of Capreol, Ontario
  • What's funny about disability?
  • How humor can be a coping mechanism for dealing with frustration
  • Vera's love of poetry and fascination with Japanese forms of writing
  • How poetry is a way of giving the shortest word picture imaginable
  • The uniqueness of Latitude 46 Publishing, the publisher releasing both of these books in the spring of 2023
  • The way large publishers commonly make "we just published a book like that" restrictions
  • Mat and Vera billing themselves as the "Rolling Writers" when promoting these books
  • How small presses can be a really great resource for writers
  • A focus on what is unique about writers from Northern Ontario and the mutual respect and understanding in the local writing community
  • The benefits and drawbacks of being a writer in a northern community as opposed to a larger city
  • A bit about Sudbury Wordstock, a fantastic literary festival that is celebrating its 10th year in 2023
  • A look at the geography and physical breadth of Canada and how one has to really hustle and really "want it" in order to be successful as a performer in Canada
  • The term "criplit," the divisiveness in the use of the term among disabled writers and why that writing is important
  • How the use of Zoom during the pandemic has been a boon for folks who have mobility issues and difficulty getting out and about
  • Dealing with the inability to travel for book promotions
  • Vera becoming a Poet Laureate of Greater Sudbury the day the pandemic started, but how that helped her bring Sudbury to the world
  • How the pandemic taught a lot of able bodied people the concept of "not being able to do something you want to be able to do"
  • And more...

After the interview Mark reflects on the important of community, the uniqueness of the Sudbury writing community, and an element from Mat's email signature that he finds inspiring.


Links of Interest:


Matthew Del Papa lives in Capreol. He joined the Sudbury Writers’ Guild in 2009 and served two years as president. A voracious reader, Matthew has written for local newspapers and websites, contributed to magazines, and together with Lisa Coleman-Brown co-authored a fund-raising novella entitled Nightmare at the North Pole for the Northern Ontario Railroad Museum & Heritage Centre (Greater Sudbury’s #3 tourist attraction).

Having self-published ten titles, either as author or editor (and sometimes both), Matthew always has a project or two on the go. The majority of his work is humorous and focused on Northern Ontario, specifically his home town.

His titles include: The Legend of Capreol Red: And Other Stories From a Railroad Town; Nursing Doubts: The Miss Hattie Mysteries; Green Eyes Through Capreol: More Stories From a Railroad Town; Creepy Capreol: Chilling Tales From a Railroad Town; Captivating Capreol: Thoughts From a Railroad Town; Creepy Capreol, Jr.: Chilling Tales From—and For—Young Minds; Capreol At Bat: The Fastball Years; Creepy Capreol, Jr. 2: Too Many Zombies; and Merry Capreol: Christmas Stories From a Railroad Town.

Matthew’s first essay collection, Jerry Lewis Told Me I Was Going to Die, is being released May 6th, 2023 by Latitude 46 Publishing.


Vera Constantineau lives in Copper Cliff, ON. She served a two-year term (2020-2022) as poet laureate of Greater Sudbury. The pandemic arrived on the scene the day her appointment was affirmed forcing her to rethink the role, which was very community oriented. She spent a good part of her two years on zoom and travelled around the world to workshops and poetry events. Her podcast, The PL Pod, gathered a following that included regular listeners in the UK, Ireland, Japan, Sweden and Australia as well as the US and Canada. Her poetic focus is the Japanese forms of haiku, senryu, tanka and haibun.

In addition to her interest in poetry, Vera writes both fiction and nonfiction. In 2019 her essay Options was included in an anthology, Against Death—35 Essays on Living, published by Anvil Press of Vancouver. In 2020 her haiku placed third in the Martin Lucas Award for Haiku in England. Vera’s early writing coered a ten year span as a humour columnist. Her weekly column appeared in several Northern Ontario Community newspapers.

Vera is the author of Daisy Chained, a collection of short fiction, three lines at a time, a chapbook of haiku that has gotten excellent reviews.

Vera is the Haiku Canada Regional Representative for Ontario and a member of the Haiku Society of America, a member and past president of the Sudbury Writers’ Guild as well as a member of NOWW Thunder Bay.

Her poetry collection, Enlightened By Defilement was published in April of 2023 through Latitude46 Publishing of Greater Sudbury.

The introductory, end, and bumper music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0