The amazing, unique and completely unforgettable Nic Boshart is the kind of guy you hope you get stuck sitting beside at a dinner party. Sure, some of the awesome topics of conversation that would inevitably arise would stem from his literary background. Boshart, after all, is the co-founder of Indie press Invisible Publishing and also works at The Walrus Foundation and teaches Digital Publishing and Production at the Chang School at Ryerson. But in Boshart’s words, “those are things I do, not who I am.” So who is Nic Boshart, exactly? Read on to find out…
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
I’m extremely Mennonite, both sides of my family for generations. This manifests in no way except for potato eating, beardiness, and pacifism. Rather passive aggressivism. For a while I planted trees; these formative years were post my creative writing degree at Concordia, which for some reason was a full BA and not a fine arts degree. Or a certificate. Or like a handshake. The degree has been useful for things like resumes and sincere messages on birthday cards – hey-o!
I have been to the following major-league baseball stadiums: Yankees Stadium (new), PNC Park, Great American Ballpark, Comerica park, whatever the hell the one was before Comerica, Progressive Field, and the Rogers Centre. I have also been to SKYBAR in BUFFALO where they DON’T ALLOW FLAT BRIMS. I recommend it.
I work at The Walrus Foundation, am co-founder of Indie press Invisible Publishing, and teach Digital Publishing and Production at the Chang School at Ryerson. But those are things I do, not who I am.
What are three things you can’t live without?
Cronuts, New York, and my Snuggie. Just kidding, This question invites all sorts of class criticism. It’s a total set up. I’m not falling for it.
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
Of all the trees. We’re a very tree’d city, it’s very nice. And Fucked Up. That band is great! It’s like how New York has The Strokes or Haim or whatever stupid band they have right now, and Las Vegas has Mumford and Sons, and we have Fucked Up. We easily have the best cool city band. What’s Montreal got? Arcade Fire? Grimes? Phht. Well they do have YT/ST. Also every single person in the world who does not live in Toronto loves Drake, so get on board.
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
You know if Grand Electric would get like 20 more seats and turn the music down a notch, it would be great. It’s very affordable. There is no one restaurant, but I really like The Sister in Parkdale because it’s close to my house, pretty cheap, and you can take anyone there and just get a burger. And Island Foods. And Mother India. And Shangri-La. And Black Hoof.
What 3-5 books had the most impact on you and why?
The Collected Works of Deborah Eisenberg – Probably the best short-story author. I know, Alice, but just read the story Some Other, Better Otto and come back to me. I can’t really define why this one hit me so hard, but one day I was a little tipsy on my way home and read that story and had to write a really long email to Andrew Hood (who wrote Cloaca and Pardon our Monsters) and tell him how good it was. I really don’t do that too often.
Monoceros – If you don’t read this book, you’re just wrong. It’s a book that begins with a teen suicide. It’s about empathy. I’m too verbally hamfisted to really do this book justice, I apologize. But yeah, really good.
No Coins Please – Possibly the highlight of the Gordon Korman oeuvre… although some would say Who is Bugs Potter? and Bugs Potter Live at Nickaninny are Korman’s masterpieces, I think this is really his Sistine Chapel. Or whatever album it is that people think was the best Beatles one. Whatever. No Coins Please is the best.
Henry Reed’s Journey and Henry Reed’s Babysitting Service – The bizarre tale of a diplomat’s son traveling across America with his best friend’s, tomboy Midge, and his futile attempt to find fireworks. The reason I like this book is he finally finds the fireworks and they blow up by accident, destroying the family trailer. It was a good book to come across young to prepare myself for the futility of life. I read these about a hundred times. Also HOLY COW THERE ARE FIVE HENRY REED BOOKS! I’VE ONLY READ TWO!
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami – It’s about running! I like running a lot! And it’s kind of about aging and being thoughtful. I read it when I get sad.
What is currently on your reading list?
I’m starting in on a Nadine Gorimer short-story collection, and am finally getting to Spencer Gordon’s great collection, Cosmo. I’m also reading a sci-fi book called vN because I like a mix. And I’m also reading the Milk Bar cookbook because I intend on baking a hell of a cake this Christmas.