Thursday, July 4, 2013

Writing Literary Nonfiction

Some thoughts on writing literary non-fiction after reading hundreds of submissions for the CBC contest.

Read the piece here.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

CBC Books' Writers to Watch

Honoured to be included on this list with nine other writers - CBC Books' Writers to Watch: The 2013 Edition.

The complete list is here.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Calgary's Greatest Moment?

Some fine Calgary writers - Ian Brown, Marcello Di Cintio, Debbie Willis, Samantha Warwick and others - share their thoughts on the recent flood.

Read the article here.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Danuta Gleed Award Finalist

Congratulations to Rebecca Lee for winning the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for her collection, Bobcat and Other Stories.

Bull Head was a finalist along with Anton Piatigorsky’s The Iron Bridge.

For more information, click here.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Danuta Gleed Award Shortlist

BULL HEAD has made the shortlist for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. The Award recognizes the best first English-language collection of short fiction by a Canadian author published in 2012. 

Other nominees include Rebecca Lee, Paul Marlowe, Anton Piatigorsky, and Yasuko Thanh.

For more details on the award and each nominated book, click here.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Booklist: "Impressive Debut Collection"

Recently, Booklist reviewed BULL HEAD and had some great things to say about it: "Muscular, lyrical prose ... The characters, mostly men toughened byhardscrabble living, are drawn with understanding, insight, and brutal honesty....

"This impressive debut collection will appeal to readers of literary fiction like James Dickey's Deliverance, Larry Brown's Joe, and Annie Proulx's Wyoming stories."

The full review can be found here.

Monday, April 8, 2013

CBC Bookie Awards

It was a nice surprise to discover that BULL HEAD is up for a CBC Bookie Award in the category "The Overlookie Bookie Award for Most Underrated Canadian Book."

For more info and to vote on the book or any others, go here.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Reading on Salt Spring Island, April 6

I'm looking forward to reading and discussing BULL HEAD at the "Short, Sharp, Sweet: A Celebration of the Short Story" on Salt Spring Island. The reading takes place on Saturday, April 6, from 7-9pm at the Salt Spring Island Public Library.

Full details of the event can be found here.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Publishers Weekly Review: "Muscular Debut"

Ahead of BULL HEAD's publication in the US, Publishers Weekly gave the book a great review.

"Hard, violent lives are the common denominator, and clouded resolve speaks volumes. And while there is bravado on display, Vigna also prods the underbelly of these emotions, revealing the insecurities of man."

Read the full review here.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

"A tense, vitriolic collection..."

Broken Pencil magazine recently reviewed BULL HEAD - here is a brief excerpt.

"Bull Head offers both a lamentation and a condemnation for a type of masculinity that no longer exists, fuelled by blue collar, salt-of-the-earth toughness and emotional stoicism. When forced into a corner, these men turn to violence as a solution to their problems. Whether through a fistfight between friends, shooting and killing a doe, or kicking a pit bull in the ribs, this blunt behaviour gives these characters temporary surges of strength and confidence, allowing them brief respite from their assorted emotional prisons."

Read the full review here.

Friday, February 15, 2013

"Gripping Mountain Gothic Literature"

The wise and generous Bob Ede, over at East Kootenay News Online Weekly (, asked me some insightful questions in a wide-ranging interview that gets to the heart of process in writing BULL HEAD.

The interview sheds light on violence, William Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O'Connor, the harsh beauty of the Elk Valley, curses, the changing role of men, and the importance of basketball in my life.

To read the full interview, go here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

"Sharp And Satisfying Stories..."

I was pleased to read this astute and articulate review of BULL HEAD that was recently published in the great literary magazine, Prism.

"John Vigna does for Western Canada what William Faulkner does for the American South and Alice Munro does for small town Ontario. His characters inhabit a land of “gin-clear rivers” and ancient pines, a place both enchanted and foreboding, where human fortunes rise and fall along with the indifferent vacillations of the natural world. Most of the characters in the eight stories that comprise Bull Head live in an unnamed small town, presumably somewhere in the mountains of interior British Columbia. The world of Bull Head feels like a real place, but it also feels like a place beyond time and geography, more a way of life and a state of being than a place on the map."

Read the full review here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2012's Dozen Most Dazzling Debuts

BULL HEAD has appeared on a few lists this past Fall, including Salty Ink's 2012's Dozen Most Dazzling Debuts.

You won't find many male writers on this list, two to be exact, but it's a great list of fine new writing published this year. I'm humbled to be included on it.

The list is here.