Monday, July 13, 2015

Writing Getaways for Summer 2015 - Saskatchewan

I was at St. Peter's College in Muenster, Saskatchewan, last week and learned that there are still a few spaces available in several of their 2015 Summer Writing Getaways, with Sylvia Legris (Think Like A Poet), Guy Vanderhaeghe (Short Story Workshop), or Trevor Herriot (Writing for the More than Human World).

Details in the images below (click to further enlarge), and at

Workshop with Sylvia Legris

Workshop with Guy Vanderhaeghe

Workshop with Trevor Herriot

General information about the Summer
Writing Getaways. 


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lorna Crozier and Cassidy McFadzean Read Poetry at Vertigo

Lorna Crozier (The Wrong Cat) and Cassidy McFadzean (Hacker Packer) read from their new poetry collections from McClelland & Stewart at the Vertigo Reading Series in Regina, SK, on Monday.

Barbara Kahan of Wild Sage Press also read from her father's memoir (Tending the Tree of Life, by Irwin Kahan), and drummer Flo Mounier (with Troy Bleich on guitar) provided the music.

It was the last Vertigo reading of the season, and the room was overflowing with friends and fans. Some images from the night...

Regina poet Cassidy McFadzean takes to the podium
for the Regina launch of her new book,
Hacker Packer. 
Lorna Crozier greets the crowd. 
Barbara Kahan holds up a photograph of her father,
Irwin Kahan. 
Music! With Troy Bleich (Into Eternity/Digital Doomzday/Planet Eater)
and Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy/Digilal Doomzday)  
Lorna Crozier 

Barbara Kahan

Cassidy McFadzean gets ready to sign her book. 

Tara Dawn Solheim opens the evening.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Congrats and changes: Coteau Books

Congratulations to Regina book publishers, Coteau Books, on their 40th Anniversary!

Good luck to former publisher, Nik Burton, on his retirement — and to the new publisher, John Agnew.

Nik Burton raises a glass.

John Agnew and Saskatchewan Poet Laureate Judith Krause
Congrats on 40 years of Saskatchewan publishing!  And Moving Out (a collection by Robert Currie) Thanks, Nik! 

(More of my event pix are on the Coteau site.) 


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Lloyd Ratzlaff launches Bindy's Moon in Regina

Saskatoon writer Lloyd Ratzlaff was in Regina in early June to launch his new book of essays, Bindy's Moon (Thistledown Press).

He also offered a language lesson, with help on the concepts of time and space from Regina writer Gerry Hill, who also read from his latest, Hillsdale Book

Lloyd Ratzlaff, with Bindy's Moon — and a lesson in ... Old German? 
Pay attention, class! 
Gerald Hill, in his old classroom at Luther College, University of Regina,
explaining the concepts of Time and Space. 


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Purdham, McFadzean, Gereaux: Regina Writing Award Winners

Congrats to Medrie Purdham, Cassidy McFadzean and Tara Gereaux, the winner and runners-up of the City of Regina 2015 Writing Award. The award was announced in late May at an event hosted by the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild, with Jeff Erbach from the City on hand to present plaques and prizes.

Tara Gereaux, Cassidy McFadzean and Medrie Purdham

Medrie Purdham receives the first-place award from
Jeff Erbach (City of Regina) and Judith Silverthorne (SWG) 

Tara Gereaux and Jeff Erbach
MC Joanne Skidmore, with Cassidy McFadzean, Judith Silverthorne, and others

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mentorship Readings in Regina

In late April, the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild hosted Four New Voices, readings by participants in the 2015 Mentorship program: Carla Braidek, Karen Nye, Lisa Bird-Wilson, and Matthew Stone, who worked with Katherine Laurence, Harriet Richards, Elizabeth Philips and Leona Theis.

Here's a composite photo from the night: (click to enlarge, and if you're it and want your slice, let me know.)

Karen Nye and Carla Braidek;
Katherine Lawrence and audience'
Elizabath Philips, Leona Theis, Harriet Richards;
The whole crew;
Lisa Bird-Wilson and Matthew Stone.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

2015 Book Awards: Congrats to all Saskatchewan Writers

The 2015 Saskatchewan Book Awards was a fine celebration of Saskatchewan writing and publishing. Congrats to the winners — Bruce Rice, Tracy Hamon, Brenda Baker, Dawn Dumont, Suzanne North, Ernie Louttit, Ken Dalgarno, Ken Caron and Angela Caron, Michelle LaVallee, Merle Massie, Paul Hanley, Laurier Gareau.

Congrats, too, to those nominated, and to those who haven't yet come near the podium, but who have the talent and drive to keep on writing!

Two composites with scenes from the 2015 Saskatchewan Book Awards - and if you're pictured and want a jpg of your piece of the square, let me know and I'll e-mail to you. (Or if I've made up or misspelled your name, let me know and I'll fix!)

Top Row: Suzanne North, Paul Hanley, Angela Caron, Ken Dalgarno,. Second Row: Ernie Loutit, Brenda Baker,
Laurier Gareau, Merle Massie. Third Row:Tracy Hamon, Bruce Rice, Michelle LaVallee, MC Art Slade. ©SB

First column: Gwen and Robert Currie, Linda Biasotto, Eric and Donna Greenway, Nik Burton and Susan Buck.
Second column: Saskatchewan Writers' Guild staff and board members; Tables of honourees and guests.
Third column: Sandra Birdsell and Tara Dawn Solheim, Karen and Trevor Herriot, SBA Administrative Director Courtney Bates-Hardy with volunteers; poets Jeanette Lynes, Kathleen Wall, Judith Krause. .

The full list of winners - click to enlarge. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Mystery Writer Anthony Bidulka at Regina's Readers' Summit

Anthony Bidulka with Regina Public Library 
Writer-in-Residence Art Slade
Surprise! We have several mystery writers in Saskatchewan, and last night Saskatoon's Anthony Bidulka gave an inspiring talk at the Regina Public Library Reader Summit about his successful mystery-writing career.

It was also great to see RPL's Writer in Residence, Art Slade, who gave the intros for the night. (Slade writes novels for young adults, and released the graphic novel, Modo: Ember's End last fall. It's related to his Hunchback Assignment series)

Anthony Bidulka talks about the Pits, the Passion, and the Prairies:
What I Learned about Life from Becoming a Writer.  

Bidulka is the author of two series, one featuring Russell Quant, described online as the "first, and perhaps only, half-Ukrainian, half-Irish, Canadian, gay, ex-farmboy, ex-cop, world-travelling, wine-swilling, wise-cracking, Saskatchewan, prairie private detective being written about today anywhere."

His second series, which includes his latest, The Women of Skawa Island, features Adam Saint, an international disaster recovery expert. (Also from Saskatchewan, which he says some readers find surprising. Flood. Fire. Plane crash. Typhoons... Excitement. Adventure. Surprise!)


Friday, April 24, 2015

Regina, SK, writer Linda Biasotto at the Regina Public Library

Last night, my friend Linda Biasotto talked about writing and read from her new short story collection at the Regina Public Library. It was great to see the audience interest in the stories, set in Italy and Canada, and their involvement in the Q&A session that followed — before the cakes claimed us.

First up, the Regina author-with-book pic, then a more relaxed one. (Public readings are fun, Linda! Thank you for reading to us!)

Linda Biasotto, 2015 Saskatchewan First Book Award nominee
Sweet Life (Coteau Books)  ©SB
Linda Biasotto 

Linda Biasotto's novel Sweet Life (Coteau Books) is nominated for the O'Reilly Insurance/The Cooperators First Book Award in the 2015 Saskatchewan Book Awards.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Robert Currie, Paul Hanley, Ken Dalgarno at Vertigo

This week's Vertigo Reading Series in Regina,SK, featured readings by three nominees for the 2015 Saskatchewan Book Awards: Robert Currie, Paul Hanley and Ken Dalgarno, with music by the Quarter Tones Flute Ensemble.

What a range of writing, from Currie's intriguing novel for young adults (Living with the Hawk, Thistledown Press - and I love hearing Bob read!), through Dalgarno's gorgeous photographs (Badlands: A Geography of Metaphors, Red Deer Press), to Hanley's well-researched Eleven (Friesen Press).

David Popoff, Tara Semple, Marie-Véronique Bourque, Linda Lucyk
of the Quarter Tones Flute Ensemble
Robert Currie 
Paul Hanley

Ken Dalgarno, with his photographs of the Badlands on the easels and the screen 

Robert Currie's book is nominated for the SaskEnergy Young Adult Literature Award; Ken Dalgarno's for the O'Reilly Insurance/The Cooperators First Book Award; and Paul Hanley's for the University of Saskatchewan President's Office Non-Fiction Award.

The awards will be announced on Saturday, April 25. 2015.


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