Thursday, June 23, 2011

Many Tributes to Robert Kroetsch

Many writers lost a friend yesterday when Robert Kroetsch died.

I met Kroetsch at the Sage Hill Writing Experience in 2002. I was taking the Introduction to Fiction and Poetry; he was teaching the Novel Colloquium. His great generosity and memory were equaled by his courtesy and charm, and whenever I saw him after that (at the Saskatchewan Book Awards, or Moose Jaw's Festival of Words, or the Saskatchewan Writers Guild AGM), he remembered me and offered a hug and encouraging words for my work. We all need inspiration and encouragement; Kroetsch understood this. I'm glad I knew him, sad that he has gone.


Hornbooks of Rita K, inscribed by Robert Kroetsch to Shelley Banks
inside cover page
Kroetsch was a panelist at the Talking Fresh writing conference here in Regina in 2006. During a discussion about the drive and courage it takes to be a writer, to keep creating and submitting work against all odds, his matter-of-fact approach was stressed by himself and other panelists: As a writer, you just have to keep going; you have to keep stepping into the River of No. 

Scary? Yes. 

True? Yes.

Source? I'm sure there are many. Mine, for that phrase, "the river of no" is The Hornbooks of Rita K, by Robert Kroetsch, University of Alberta Press. (A book I bought at Sage Hill, in 2002.)

(links are weird; this reference falls at the end of the linked post)


The following montage was produced by the University of Alberta when Robert Kroetsch won the U of A's distinguished Alumni Award in 2003: 


Because the blogroll (at right) lists post titles from rotating featured blogs, LatitudeDrifts started triggering Google hits early this morning for Robert Kroetsch. If you're here looking for details or more stories about how he touched writers' lives, the links above are a good place to start. 



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