Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Congrats to poet Courtney Bates-Hardy - House of Mystery

Fall book launch season has started, and I was glad to be able to make the launch of Courtney Bates-Hardy's first poetry collection, House of Mystery.

The event was at Bushwakkers — always fun — and not on a Thursday, so it didn't clash with my class. (French, if you were wondering...) Courtney read with guest writers Janet Nicolson and Amber Godwin.

Courtney Bates-Hardy, with books and a fan 
Courtney Bates-Hardy, signing copies of her book
House of Mystery 

And here's the blurb for Courtney's book, available in the usual places, or from publisher ChiZine:

House of Mystery is a beautifully dark and vivid collection of poems that tears down our familiar ideas about fairy tales. These are not poems about privileged princesses who live happily ever after; these are poems about monsters, mothers, witches and mermaids. They explore the pain of change and womanhood, and transform the way we think about fairy tales. Bates-Hardy moves through the childhood stories and delves into the violent and problematic origins of Cinderella, Snow White, and many other favourites. Lyrical and haunting, her poems will follow you long after you find your way through the forest.

Congrats, Courtney!


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Sage Hill Teen Writing Experience: Saskatchewan

If you are — or know of — a teen writer in Saskatchewan, why not consider or suggest the Sage Hill Teen Writing Experience? The program is offered in Regina, Swift Current, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, and La Ronge, and has received rave reviews from past participants. For more info, see the poster below, or visit http://www.sagehillwriting.ca/teens


Monday, June 13, 2016

Tara Gereaux - City of Regina Award 2016

Congrats to Tara Gereaux, winner of the 2016 City of Regina Writing Award! I've heard two long excerpts from her next book-in-progress so far, and it will be a powerful read. I'm looking forward to it!

Regina writer Tara Gereaux reads at the Artesian.
(Winner of the 2016 City of Regina Writing Award.) 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Poetry and a Pint at Regina's Bushwakker Brew Pub

Poetry and a Pint - the poster. 
And now, some photos from the Saskatchewan Poet Laureate's Poetry and a Pint event at the Bushwakker Brew Pub in Regina on May 21.

Listening to poetry — what a novel way to spend a Saturday afternoon! (Drinking beer mid-afternoon is novel for me, too, but we won't get into that...)

The readers were Courtney Bates-Hardy, Coby Stephenson, Brenda Niskala, Eric Greenway (the prose reader who kept us entertained with selections from a short story), and me, Shelley Banks.

Saskatchewan Poet Laureate Gerald Hill presented the event, and was the MC.

There was strong turnout, and the audience seemed to enjoy the event as much as the readers. (At least, that's what they told us afterwards.)

(My thanks to Gord Hunter for the photos that follow.)

Brenda Niskala    © Gord Hunter
Courtney Bates-Hardy    © Gord Hunter
Coby Stephenson    © Gord Hunter
Shelley Banks   © Gord Hunter
Eric Greenway  © Gord Hunter
Saskatchewan Poet Laureate Gerald Hill opens the event. Also on stage, Eric Greenway, Shelley Banks,
Brenda Niskala (hidden), Courtney Bates-Hardy, Coby Stephenson.   Photo: © Gord Hunter. 


Friday, May 20, 2016

Mary Maxwell and Carla Braidek: New Poetry in Regina

It was wonderful to hear Saskatchewan poets Mary Maxwell and Carla Braidek read from their new books in Regina in May. And yes, I now have a copy of each to enjoy at home! Congrats to Mary and Carla — it was great to see (and hear!) both of you.

Writer Carla Braidek. Copyright © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved
Carla Braidek, reading from her new poetry collection,
A Map in my Blood (Thistledown Press)  © SB

Writer Mary Maxwell. Copyright © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved
Mary Maxwell, reading from her new collection,
Wind Leaves Absence (Thistledown Press).   © SB


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Phil Hall, Barbara Langhorst: Sage Hill Reading Regina

Poet Phil Hall launched his latest collection, Conjugation, in Regina in early May. The reading was hosted by the Sage Hill Writing Experience, and Hall was in Saskatchewan to lead its Spring Poetry Colloquium, which I hear was amazing. 

Also reading was Saskatchewan writer Barbara Langhorst. (I'd call her a poet, too, because her poetry is wonderful, but she now has a novel in the works...) 

And for some reason, these cell phone pix appear far over on the warm spectrum, a happenstance that might perhaps be attributed to the confusing profusion of redheads in the room... Or the red sign of the Artful Dodger.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Mattern, Heit, Nakutny, Mushka: SWG Mentorship Reading

I was honoured to be asked to MC the recent Saskatchewan Writers' Guild Mentorship reading, featuring Jason Heit, Ashleigh Mattern, Katerina Nakutnyy, and Dora Mushka. I took part in this program several years ago, and it was a great confidence and skills booster!

The mentoring senior writers were Dave Margoshes, Brenda Baker, Ted Dykk, and Trevor Herriot. 

I enjoyed the readings — great work! — and was impressed by the spirit of camaraderie, excitement and joy in the Artesian theatre that night. Congrats to all, and I'm glad to have been there! 

Brenda Baker introduces Ashleigh Mattern 
Ashleigh Mattern
Trevor Herriot introduces Dora Mushka  
Dora Mushka
Dave Margoshes introduces Jason Heit 
Jason Heit
Ted Dykk introduces Katerina Nakutnyy 
Katerina Nakutnyy
Katerina Nakutnyy, Ashleigh Mattern, Trevor Herriot, Dave Margoshes, Ted Dykk,
Brenda Baker, Jason Heit, and Dora Mushka. 


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Poetry at Regina City Hall - for Poetry Month

April is Poetry Month, when mayors of cities across Canada are challenged to invite a poet to read at City Hall. This year, Regina poet Tracy Hamon shared her work with city council and members of the public in the gallery.

Tracy Hamon  © Shelley Banks
Tracy Hamon, reading for Regina City Council © SB

Tracy Hamon  © Shelley Banks
Lights, camera, action! Well, lights and poetry, anyway! © SB

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Halfe, Long, Morse: Regina's Vertigo Reading Series

A few pictures from this month's Vertigo Reading Series in Regina, at which we were treated to music by Joelle Fuller and great readings from Louise Bernice Halfe (Burning in this Midnight Dream: Coteau Books); Garry Thomas Morse (Prairie Harbour: Talonbooks) and Timothy Long (Wanda Koop: Sightlines: MacKenzie Art Gallery).

(And, I just want to say that if Garry wants to offer a workshop in singing opera while reading poetry, I'll be signing up! Not that I have an opera voice or range, but, well... Amazing.)

Louise Bernice Halfe (Sky Dancer) 

Garry Thomas Morse 
Timothy Long

Joelle Fuller 


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Carpenter, Hill, Silverthorne: Regina's Vertigo Series

The March Vertigo Reading Series in Regina was lots of fun, especially when one of the readers (David Carpenter) formed an improv trio with host Tara Dawn Solheim and musician Rye Noble.

Other readers for the night were Judith Silverthorne, who shared a visual presentation of her new book, Honouring the Buffalo, and Gerald Hill, who presented new work from his recent writing residency in Toronto (hence the Maple Leafs hat). And, Courtney Bates-Hardy took to the stage to promote the upcoming Saskatchewan Book Awards.

Dave Carpenter, Tara Dawn Solheim and Rye Noble. Vertigo Reading Series, Regina. Copyright © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
New musical trio? David Carpenter, banjo; Tara Dawn Solheim, vocals; Rye Noble, guitar. © SB
Gerald Hill. Vertigo Reading Series, Regina. Copyright © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
Gerald Hill     © SB
David Carpenter. Vertigo Reading Series, Regina. Copyright © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
David Carpenter   © SB
Judith Silverthorne. Vertigo Reading Series, Regina. Copyright © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
Judith Silverthorne    © SB
Judith Silverthorne's book    © SB
Courtney Bates-Hardy. Vertigo Reading Series, Regina. Copyright © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
Courtney Bates-Hardy,
of the Saskatchewan Book Awards.  © SB 

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