Thursday, May 22, 2014

Regina Writer Linda Biasotto Launches Sweet Life

Spring is launch season for books in Saskatchewan, and it was great to be there when Regina writer Linda Biasotto launched her new novel, Sweet Life (Coteau Books).

Linda Biasotto signs a copy of her new novel, Sweet Life, with her husband, Mario. 
Linda Biasotto reads from her new novel, Sweet Life. 
Byrna Barclay introduces Linda Biasotto. 

The sweet, Sweet Life cake,
decorated with a photo of the book cover. 

The launch was held in a private room at Tony Roma's in Regina, and featured words, music, wine and cake. (And I had a chance to get my copy of Linda's novel, and check out the photo I took of her on the back page...)  

Congrats, Linda! (And I know your next book is also on the way!)


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

dee Hobsbawn-Smith launches Wildness Rushing In

Also in mid-May, Saskatoon writer dee Hobsbawn-Smith launched her first poetry collection at the Unitarian Centre in Regina. at a reading shared with other Hagios Press authors, Sean Arthur Joyce and Vangie Bergum. 

Congrats, dee! It was great to see you and hear sections from your book (and see how the author photo I took for you looks on the back page...)! 

dee Hobsbawn-Smith, with her new book,
Wildness Rushing In  
dee Hobsbawn-Smith reading at the Unitarian Centre.
(Anyone - other than me - recognize the fellow at right?).   


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Trevor Herriot launches The Road is How in Regina

And now, a couple of pictures from Trevor Herriot's Regina launch of his new book, The Road is How (HarperCollins). The launch was held May 15 in the auditorium at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. The room was filled to capacity with readers, naturalists and friends — and it was the most fun I've ever had in that hall!* 

Trevor Herriot reads from
The Road is How 
The launch included a slide show and discussion between Trevor Herriot
and photographer Dennis J. Evans, at right, above.  

* The museum auditorium was sometimes used for ponderous presentations by my former employer, and it's also where I often got my flu shot in those days.... But it was a true delight to go there to hear Trevor read! 


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Two Great Readings in Regina - May 15

Two great readings and launches will be held in Regina, Saskatchewan, this evening, with writers Trevor Herriot (The Road is How), and dee Hobsbawn-Smith (Wildness Rushing ), Sean Arthur Joyce (Laying the Children's Ghosts to Rest) and Vangie Bergum (Downstream).

Trevor Herriot's launch, with HarperCollins, starts the evening at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum at 7:00 p.m. (Readings start at 7:30 p.m.)

Then, at 8:30 p.m., the Hagios Press launch for dee Hobsbawn-Smith, Sean Arthur Joyce and Vangie Bergum starts at the nearby Unitarian Centre, a short walk across Albert Street in Cathedral, on College Drive.

Both presses and groups of writers are coordinating to ensure a fabulous literary evening for all!


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Brenda Baker Launches Camp Outlook

On Thursday in Regina, Saskatoon writer and singer Brenda Baker launched her new Young Adult novel, Camp Outlook (Second Story Press) at Chapters.

There was a good turn-out — more chairs had to be found, and several people were left standing while Brenda read. It's a rare treat to hear a live reading by an accomplished performer! And yes, there was singing, too. And laughter... And food. And best of all, a great story.

Brenda Baker 

Brenda Baker is also the author of The Maleness of God, an award-winning collection of short stories published by Coteau Press. An early version of Camp Outlook was awarded a John V Hicks Manuscript Award from the Saskatchewan Writers Guild in 2005.

(Note: Brenda offers coaching to help writers read their work more effectively in public. Seriously. I've taken workshops with her — she is excellent!)

Congrats and thanks for an entertaining evening, Brenda!


Friday, May 9, 2014

Jan Zwicky Reads in Regina, SK, on May 11

Poet, philosopher, musician, essayist — and great writer and teacher — Jan Zwicky will read in Regina on May 11, at 1:30 p.m. at the Creative City Centre, 1843 Hamilton Avenue. 

Jan Zwicky, winner of Canada's Governor General's Literary Award, is in Saskatchewan this week to lead the Spring Poetry Colloquium at the Sage Hill Writing Experience, held in Lumsden.

Regina poet Bruce Rice, who recently launched his latest collection, The Trouble with Beauty, will also be reading.

This will be a truly memorable event!


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sage Hill Keynote Address with Chandra Mayor in Regina

Award-winning author Chandra Mayor (All the Pretty Girls, Cherry, August Witch) will deliver the Sage Hill Writing Experience's Robert Kroestch Spring Keynote Address in Regina next week.

Time and Date: May 11, 2014, at 1:30 p.m.

Location: The Creative City Centre, 1843 Hamilton St., Regina, Saskatchewan.

Chandra Mayor to deliver Kroestch Keynote

Friday, May 2, 2014

Poetry Month Reading in Regina

I'm behind on events, but yes, there was a Poetry Month Reading at Government House in Regina, Saskatchewan, with Poet Laureate Judith Krause, along with her fellow poets, Mari-Lou Rowley and Paul Wilson, on April 11, 2014.

A fun evening!

Judith Krause
Paul Wilson 
Mari-Lou Rowley


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Katherine Lawrence Reads to Regina City Council

Katherine Lawrence,
with Regina's mayor, Michael Fougere
As part of the 2014 Mayor's Poetry City Challenge, Regina poet Katherine Lawrence read to city council on Monday.

Katherine's poems were likely the finest words they've heard all year from that public presentations table.

(I used to cover city hall, a long time ago, for a newspaper in a city far from here, and I certainly never heard anything as powerful as Katherine's three poems during my watch.)

Thanks, Katherine Lawrence, for bringing your words and good wishes to the City of Regina.


The Mayor's Poetry City Challenge was started in Regina in 2012 (or thereabouts...), with a challenge issued by Regina's mayor to his colleagues in cities across Canada to have a local poet read a poem at the opening of a council meeting in March or April. This year, about 40 cities and municipalities took part.

Katherine Lawrence reading to Regina City Council

The challenge celebrates UNESCO's World Poetry Day (March 21) and National Poetry Month (April). It also celebrates the work of local writers, publishers and libraries, and the work of mayors and towns to promote the arts, culture, literacy and reading.

The Canada-wide event is supported by the The League of Canadian Poets and the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild, in partnership with the City of Regina.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Poet Ian Stephen: From the Outer Hebrides to Regina, SK

Ian Stephen
It's always a treat to meet and listen to writers from other places, and it was great this weekend to hear Ian Stephen, a writer, artist, storyteller and sailor who was visiting from Scotland's Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

Stephen, who is in Canada as part of the Commonwealth Poets United tour, read at the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild office in Regina, along with Regina poet Bernadette Wagner.

And now my list of books to read and blogs to surf has grown again.

For example, the awesome Scottish Poetry Library.

And the beautiful collaborative site run by Stephen and visual artist Christine Morrison, Stephen | Morrison.

The readings were great and I'm now floating in a wake of inspiration. (That's meant to be a sailing/sea image, okay? Not a funereal one.) Loved the voices, the images, the words, and the trust in sharing in-progress pieces...

And as for the tour — what a concept! Six Scottish poets are visiting Commonwealth countries: Canada, India, Jamaica, New Zealand, Nigeria and South Africa, and six poets from those countries — including former Saskatchewan Poet Laureate Louise Halfe, whose Cree name is Sky Dancer — will in turn visit Scotland. It's related in some way to the Commonwealth Games being held this year in Glasgow, but the idea of celebrating that with poetry seems too good to be true! How wonderful!

For more on the tour, and to read reflections and in-progress works from the poets involved, visit

Bruce Rice (MC for the reading), Bernadette Wagner, and Ian Stephen 


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