News and Interviews

The WAR Series: Writers as Readers, with Mat Laporte

MatLaporte_AuthorPhoto_Credit kevin killian

Mat Laporte's Rats Nest (BookThug) has a pretty unique protagonist - "The Kid" is self-reproducing and 3D-printed, but no less compelling for his strange origins. With him, we explore the bizarre and fascinating underworld of Laporte's creation. 

Rats Nest is Laporte's first full length book and its wild creativity had Unnerving Magazine calling it "a triumph of oddity, pacing and imagination", while Griffin Poetry Prize winner Liz Howard praised it, saying, "Laporte has engendered for us an austere and gorgeous horror". 

We're excited to have Mat on Open Book today, where he's put his own spin on our WAR Series: Writers as Readers by answering visually, and it's a gift to the book design nerds amongst us, showcasing his collection of gorgeous twentieth century sci-fi and fiction paperbacks. So "read" on to see Mat's picks for the book that made him cry, the book he'd love to give his 17-year old self, and the book whose title could do double duty as a title for his autobiography. 

The WAR Series, Writers as Readers, with Mat Laporte:

The first book I remember reading on my own:


A book that made me cry:


The first adult book I read:


A book that made me laugh out loud:


The book I have re-read many times:


A book I feel like I should have read, but haven't:


The book I would give my seventeen-year-old self, if I could:


A book I feel strongly influenced me as a writer: 


The best book I read in the past six months:


The book I plan on reading next:


A possible title for my autobiography:



Mat Laporte, born in Sault Ste. Marie, is a Toronto-based writer and co-founder of the micro-press Ferno House. Laporte is the author of a tetralogy of chapbooks: Demons, Billboards from Hell, Life Savings (nominated for the 2013 bpNichol Chapbook Award), and Bad Infinity. His poetry has been featured in numerous publications, including Poetry is Dead and Lemon HoundRATS NEST is Laporte’s first full-length book.

Buy the Book


Mysterious and sometimes hallucinogenic, RATS NEST builds a narrative out of the complexity and dialectical uncertainty that many people feel about being alive in the 21st century.

This first full-length book by Mat Laporte introduces readers to a protoplasmic, fantastical underworld, as navigated by a self-reproducing 3D Printed Kid made especially for this purpose.

As the Kid descends the layers of a seemingly never-ending pit, its nightmares and hallucinations—recorded in stunning detail—unfold in twelve chilling chapters of unreality that will make readers think twice about what it means to be a human (or humanoid) on the planet we call home.