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

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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. 
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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.  
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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. 
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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! 

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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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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Congrats, Sandra Birdsell!

Sandra Birdsell 
Congrats to Regina writer Sandra Birdsell, this year's recipient of the Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence!

The award honours Saskatchewan writers with a substantial body of acclaimed literary work and comes with a $10,000 prize.

Sandra Birdsell has written six novels, including Waiting for Joe, Children of the Day and The Russländer, as well as three collections of short stories and several scripts for television, theatre and radio. A respected mentor, she has been a lecturer and writer-in-residence at numerous universities across Canada, United States, Italy, England and Poland — and has won many awards for her writing. 

She also serves as President of the Sage Hill Writing Experience, is a founding member of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild, was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada in 2010, and received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2012.
"Sandra's fiction has been consistently recognized as among the best in the country, and she is most deserving of the Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award with its dedication to literary excellence.” (2014 Kloppenburg Jury)
Past recipients of the award, which was established in 2010, are Guy Vanderhaeghe, Lorna Crozier, Sharon Butala, and Dianne Warren. For more, see the website for the Saskatchewan Writers Guild, which administers this award.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Gary Geddes, Bruce Rice and Byrna Barclay

After this afternoon's great discussion about writing and the writer's role as a (perhaps only ever partial and often wrong) witness, three writers discuss books... Byrna Barclay, right, points out that the book she's holding, What Does a House Want, was written by Gary Geddes, centre. Event host Bruce Rice is on left.

Bruce Rice, Gary Geddes and Byrna Barclay 

(Note to self: Bring a real camera to readings/events, not an ageing phone...) 

~~~~~

A Great Weekend of Readings and Talking About Writing

Monday's Vertigo Reading Series features writers Gary Geddes, Bruce Rice, Byrna Barclay, and Jim McLean, with music by Troy Bleich. Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, 7:30 p.m., at Craves, in Regina.

And, on Sunday, Sept. 14. 2014 — that's today! — at 2 p.m., Gary Geddes will be speaking at the Regina Public Library main branch on "The Writer as Witness."

Gary Geddes has written and edited more than 40 books of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, drama, criticism, translation, and anthologies, and won a dozen national and international literary awards, is in Regina to launch his new collection, What Does a House Want? (Red Hen Press).
What Does A House Want? is a tongue in the ear and a red-hot needle to the conscience, full of poems in Gary Geddes’s “brilliantly polished, cinematographic, white-knuckled style” (Montreal Gazette).
I'm looking forward to this!



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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dave Margoshes Launches Wiseman's Wager

The fall book launch season has begun in Regina, with Dave Margoshes's new novel, Wiseman's Wager (Coteau Books).

Dave Margoshes tells readers and friends about Wiseman's Wager.  ©SB


This, from Coteau, on Margoshes's new Wager:
Through the streets of Strike-era Winnipeg, Toronto during the Depression, and the 1980s Calgary of Zan’s new life, Dave Margoshes’s compellingly unreliable narrator treats the reader to a magnificent meditation on aging, family ties, faith, and the liquid concept of the truth.
 
Dave Margoshes, signing my copy of Wiseman's Wager.  © SB

The launch was held at Tony Roma's in Regina, with good food and great stories offered with Dave's typical deadpan humour. A fine evening, for a fine book from my former writing mentor. 

(And okay, Dave — you wanted a picture... I'll send you these and two more.) 

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