Friends: I am excited to announce that I'll be doing a reading - in person!!! - as part of the Wolsak and Wynn Publishers' 40th anniversary celebration. This is happening Thursday, June 9th at 7pm at Wychwood Barns here in Toronto. This will be my first in-person reading since (gulp!) October of 2019. Looking forward to sharing a stagewith Nancy Jo Cullen, Catherine Graham, Susan Perly, Rasiqra Revulva, Daniel Scott Tysdal, Katie Welch, and Dan K. Woo. See this flyer for more details!
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
If you didn't catch the launch party for the new issue of FreeFall magazine last week, not to worry! The recording is below. Lots of great readings included as part of this hour-long event. I read my own poem, "The Mosquito's Aphrodisiac," starting at the 23-minute mark. Enjoy!
Saturday, April 30, 2022
Just announced: On Wednesday night, FreeFall magazine will host an online launch for its latest issue, which contains a new poem of mine, called "The Mosquito's Aphrodisiac." Indeed, there will be a pre-recorded reading by yours truly. If you're able to come, please do! See this Facebook invitation for all the details.
Monday, January 3, 2022
This new piece, about a guy who develops a sexual fascination with a mosquito, is part of a larger poetry manuscript I've recently finished and am trying to find a publisher for. 2021 was one of my quieter years on the publishing front, so I'm grateful (and relieved) to announce so early in the New Year something fresh coming out. Anyway, I'll post about it again when I have more details.
Saturday, October 30, 2021
interviewing Danuta Gleed Award-winning author Jack Wang about his stellar debut short story collection, We Two Alone, published by House of Anansi. Through our wide-ranging discussion held earlier this month over Zoom, Wang talks about his interest in transnational and the Chinese diaspora, and how he wanted to write about Chinese people living in different eras and different parts of the world. Here's a snippet:
Sampson: [T]hat’s another thing readers will notice: the wide array of settings for these stories. You’ve got tales set in Canada, China, Austria, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This really highlights your core theme of the collection, that of the transnational nature of racism, especially anti-Asian racism. How did you come to taking this prismatic approach to settings and their impact on discrimination, oppression, and even genocide?
Wang: That’s a great question. I feel like there are certain narratives about being Asian in general and Chinese in particular, about coming to North America, that have been done, and I didn’t want to write those kinds of stories. Moreover, I spent many years writing about my own experiences, sort of semi-autobiographical, but I just found that they were more interesting when refracted through other times and places. I wasn’t really conscious of this until I wrote “The Night of Broken Glass.” The idea came to me when I was in Shanghai for the World Exposition in 2010 and I saw a plaque at the Israeli pavilion dedicated to Ho Feng-Shan, the man who was the consul-general of China in Vienna during the time of Kristallnacht. It fascinated me that I had never heard of him, and I began to wonder why I hadn’t heard of him, and so I just began to follow my own fascination with the Chinese diaspora more generally. And the more I did, the more I began to ask: Why haven’t I read more about the Chinese elsewhere, in Africa, in Europe? So I wrote stories about the Chinese diaspora in other places because there seemed to be a dearth of them.
You can read our interview in full here. Enjoy!
Thursday, October 14, 2021
It's always a good mail day when the haul includes a literary journal carrying a positive review of a book you wrote. That's been my afternoon after receiving a copy of the Fall 2021 issue of FreeFall magazine, which includes a review of my latest novel, All the Animals on Earth, published last year by Wolsak & Wynn/Buckrider Books.
In the piece, reviewer Skylar Kay says "Mark Sampson's All the Animals on Earth is like if Orwell had mashed Animal Farm and 1984 into one story ... The comedy is certainly a nice relief from what otherwise seems an Orwellian nightmare, as it juxtaposes some light against the very dark nature of murders and societal degradations ... Sampson's clever way of turning the animals more human, and the humans more animalistic allows readers to see the unrefined, natural instincts not only of [protagonist Hector Thompson], but also of themselves."
I've been a fan of FreeFall for a long time, and have had a couple of poems published in the magazine over the years, so I'm very chuffed to see my novel get some love in its pages. You can find FreeFall on newsstands in the following locations.
Monday, September 27, 2021
The episode will feature other fantastic writers published recently in QR, including Hollay Ghadery (whom I just read with at Lit Live a few weeks ago), Paul Vermeersch (my editor at Wolsak & Wynn, and, incidentally, one of my favourite Canadian poets), Catherine Graham (whom I've reviewed here and here on this blog) and others. If you're in Toronto, tune into the show on the radio; if you're not, check it out online!