Saturday, April 18, 2015

Poetry Month Reading with 2015 SK Book Award Nominees

Judith Krause, Bruce Rice and dee Hobsbawn-Smith — nominees for the 2015 poetry prize at next weeks Saskatchewan Book Awards — entertained a large crowd at Government House this week with readings from their recent published and brand new work.

It was great! My thanks especially to Judith Krause, Saskatchewan's Poet Laureate, who very graciously and generously read one of my poems and told the crowd about my collection, Exile on a Grid Road, to be published by Thistledown Press in Fall 2015. (Now that is awesome!)

Her Honour, Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield
welcomes poets Judith Krause, Bruce Rice and dee Hobsbawn-Smith  ©SB
Bruce Rice reads from The Trouble with Beauty    ©SB

Judy also read a poem by Moose Jaw poet Jim McLean, and Her Honour Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield read one from Regina poet Cassidy McFadzean's collection, Hacker Packer, newly released from McClelland and Stewart.  

dee Hobsbawn-Smith is nominated for Wildness Rushing In (Hagios Press); Bruce Rice for The Trouble with Beauty (Coteau Books), and Judith Krause for Homage to Happiness (Hagios Press).  The Saskatchewan Books Awards will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Gerald Hill: Hillsdale -- The Book

Gerry Hill at Luther College, showing the Hillsdale map and photos on display 
First, there was Hillsdale, then the Hillsdale Map, and now the Hillsdale Book.

Or was poet Gerald Hill (map and book author) the first?

Details, details.

Gerry Hill launched his new collection of Hillsdale poems — and stories, fragments, photos, drawings and found text — at Luther College this week, accompanied by readings from students from his creative writing class.

Great to hear Gerry read about this Regina, SK, neighbourhood, and lovely to hear new voices, too.

As for the Hillsdale Book (NeWest Press), it's highly entertaining — and made me ever-so-slightly nostalgic for a place where I've never lived...

As Will Chabun says in the Regina Leader Post review:
It's a mark of his skill as a poet, prose writer and researcher that he's able to show Hillsdale, which lies between Albert Street and the University of Regina, south of 23rd Avenue, for what it was, and is: a place of innovation, hope, and occasional tragedy.
Or, as former Canadian Poet Laureate Fred Wah says: "An intense and fascinating exploration of the layering of thought and feeling about place that goes much deeper than moth balls. This book-collage of poetry is so down to earth."   

Gerald Hill introduces his student readers 
The book signing. Congrats, Gerry! 

Congrats. Gerry — and help yourself to any pix here! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Regina's Connie Gault Launches A Beauty

Connie Gault, reading in Regina, SK  
Regina writer Connie Gault launched her latest novel, A Beauty (McClelland and Stewart), with a flash mob of dancers — and even better, a wonderful reading. This book is definitely on my list!

Connie's novel was also recently featured in The Globe and Mail, where the reviewer had this to say:
Gault, who has published several plays for stage and radio, as well as two short-story collections and an award-winning novel, Euphoria, has that rare talent that makes every character important, no matter how apparently peripheral their role in the story. Gault cares about the idiosyncrasies and distinct world views of each of the characters and these qualities extend to their narration. 
The launch took place at the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild's annual Talking Fresh writing conference, held at the University of Regina on March 3, 2015, where there just happened to be a few other great writers on hand...

BelowTara BeaganChristian Bök, Michael Helm, and Angie Abdou discuss the theme of the conference, writing and luck. 

Tara Beagan
Christian Bök
Michael Helm
Angie Abdou

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Lawrence Hill at Saskatchewan's Sage Hill Writing Event

In November 2014, Lawrence Hill visited Regina, SK, to speak at a fundraiser for the Sage Hill Writing Experience. (Hill, the award-winning author of The Book of Negroes, was an instructor for several years at Sage Hill—and with talent like that, Sage Hill is clearly a great place for writers to hone their skills!)

Lawrence Hill   
Saskatchewan poet Katherine Lawrence
interviews Lawrence Hill    
Regina novelist Anne McDonald,
with Lawrence Hill      
Ticket takers: Regina writer (and board member)
Brenda Niskala, with Sage Hill Executive Director Philip Adams
Writer and all-round entertainer
David Carpenter 
One of many door prizes 


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Robert Calder, dee Hobsbawn-Smith, Lloyd Ratzlaff:
Hicks Manuscript Award Winners

Today, a salute to the recent winners of the 2014 John V. Hicks Long Manuscript Award — Robert Calder, dee Hobsbawn-Smith and Lloyd Ratzlaff. These writers' book-length, literary non-fiction manuscripts were celebrated in late October at the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild's annual conference.

Robert Calder took first place for Gonzalo Guerrero: Father of the Mexican; in second place, was dee Hobsbawn-Smith for Bread & Water: Essays; and in third, Lloyd Ratzlaff for Bindy’s Moon: A Sojournal.  The three—who receive $1,000, $650, and $350, respectively—were selected by judges Tim Bowling and Lori A. May. Honourable Mention this year goes to Cassidy McFadzean for Curious Cabinet.  (from the SWG news release... congrats to Cassidy, too!) 

Robert Calder, dee Hobsbawn-Smith and Lloyd Ratzlaff


Saturday, November 1, 2014

October Vertigo Reading Series

A selection of photos from the fantastic October Vertigo Reading Series, with Fionncara MacEoin and Lori Hahnel, along with Bernadette Wagner and other writers from A Gift of the Prairie, music by the Stillhouse Poets, and gracious hosting by Tara Dawn Solheim.

It was great to hear from Fionncara MacEoin's new book, Not the First Thing I've Missed, and from Lori Hahnel's novel, After You've Gone (both from Thistledown Press), as well as the authors from Gift of the Prairie. (And the Stillhouse Poets' singing and steel guitar!)

The Stillhouse Poets
Host, Tara Dawn Solheim 
Lori Hahnel, with her new novel, After You've Gone. 
Fionncara MacEoin, reading from her new
poetry collection, Not the First Thing I've missed. 
Fionncara MacEoin, with her new
poetry collection, Not the First Thing I've missed. 
Bernadette Wagner, introducing the writers
in A Gift of the Prairie 
Sue Cook, reading from
A Gift from the Prairie
June Mitchell, reading her piece in 
A Gift of the Prairie 
Sandra Topinka, with
A Gift of the Prairie 
Bernadette Wagner reads from A Gift of the Prairie 
Some of the writers who contributed to A Gift of the Prairie: left to right, 
Dora Mushka, Sandra Topinka, Bernadette Wagner, Jillian Bell, Karen Nye, June Mitchell and Sue Cook. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tracy Hamon releases Red Curls

Tracy Hamon
Regina writer Tracy Hamon recently launched her new poetry collection, Red Curls (Thistledown Press).

Congrats, Tracy!

And yes, I missed the launch, as I was touring the beaches of Ireland at the time...

But I will soon have a copy of the book, and I wanted to share the great poster promoting Tracy's amazingly entertaining (so I am told) Regina launch!

From the Thistledown website:  
In a series of poems that move between narrative and lyric, the personas of Austrian artist Egon Schiele and his mistress/model Valerie Neuzil are revealed in exquisite detail. 
Dividing the work into three sections, equal energy is given to the artist, his model, and the alluring energy of Viennese eroticism. Creating intimacy through the use of first person and exposing drama through the use of the third, Hamon’s poems resonate with Egon’s and Valerie’s story: how they met, their intense desires, and the union and bond that would keep them together for years.  
Red Curls chronicles lives but in the retelling, captures the enterprise and intensity of Schiele as he pushed the culture of desire to new heights.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Vertigo Reading Monday: MacEoin, Hahnel, Gift of the Prairie

The upcoming Vertigo Series in Regina features readings by Lori Hahnel, whose novel After You've Gone has just been released by Thistledown Press and Fionncara MacEoin whose poetry collection, Not the First Thing I've Missed came out from Thistledown earlier this year.

Also reading will be several contributors to the new anthology I've been hoping to hear from (but keep missing its events), A Gift of the Prairie: Writings from the Southern Shore of Last Mountain Lake, edited by Bernadette Wagner, published by the Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre. (I'm glad there's a Regina launch!) And there will be music, too, by the The Stillhouse Poets. 

The Vertigo Reading Series starts at 7:30 p.m. Monday, October 20, 2014, at Crave Kitchen and Wine Bar, 1925 Victoria Avenue. Looks like a great evening! 

The Vertigo Series Reading in Regina, Monday October 20, 2014. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Anne Lazurko wins WILLA with Dollybird

Yes, this is catch-up time on my blog... 
Anne Lazurko, with her novel, Dollybird.  

And I'm delighted to note that Anne Lazurko's novel Dollybird is the winner of the 2014 WILLA Literary Award for Historical Fiction, from Women Writing the West.

The WILLA is named in honor of Pulitzer Prize winning author Willa Cather, and celebrates the best of literature featuring women's stories set in the North American West. 

Congrats, Anne! 


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hagios Fall Book Launch in Regina

Paul Wilson of Hagios Press recently sent me the poster for the Hagios Press Fall Book Launch.

Three great books, from the looks of it, by Judith Krause (Saskatchewan's current Poet Laureat) with Homage to Happiness, Victor Enns's  Afghanistan Confessions, and Joe Varro's Tracks: The Art and Times of Switchman Joe.

The launch will be held at 7:30 p.m., October 30, at the Art Gallery of Regina, 2420 Elphinstone Street, Regina.


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