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    Send Them Your Best

    by Philip Rivard - 0 Comment(s)

    It’s always frustrating to hear about a good contest a week before the deadline, leading to a crammed submission or missed opportunity, so we’re gonna pass this one along nice and early. It’s Freefall magazine’s 2011 annual prose and poetry contest. The deadline is December 31, 2011. This leaves five months to prepare and polish 4000 words of prose or 5 poems.

    Click here for full details and the contest entry form.

    Not familiar with FreeFall? Here’s what the Calgary magazine of "exquisite writing" is all about:

    Freefall was founded in 1990 and published by the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society until 2008.

    FreeFall is a literary magazine that is published twice a year in print. We publish poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, visual arts (artwork and photography in high contrast black and white format), literary reviews, author interviews, author focus.

    Mission Statement Is to encourage the voices of new, emerging, and experienced Canadian writers and provide a platform for their quality work. Although we accept work from all over the world we maintain a commitment to 85% Canadian content.

    The current issue showcases the 2010 contest winners, so make sure you check it out, to get a feel for the content, before deciding what you want to submit. The library holds issues of Freefall from all the way back to its first volume, 21 years ago, in the Local History room on the 4th floor of the Central library.

    The 2011 guest editor/contest judge is Stephanie Bolster. Stephanie won the Governor General’s Award and the Gerald Lampert Award in 1998 as well as the Archibald Lampman Award in 2000. She has taught creative writing at Concordia University since 2000. Check out some of her work in the library catalogue:

    The People's Poetry Festival

    by Philip Rivard - 0 Comment(s)

    The People’s Poetry Festival is a 3-day event (August 19 – 21) that will showcase local artists and help you become a poet too. Much of the detail hasn’t been revealed yet, but here is what we do know:

    The festival will be made up of “Poetry Walks” (strolls down some of Kensington’s narrowest alleyways to check out the verses spread out on the walls), “DIY Verse” (spur-of-the-moment street composition sessions and public slam stations), and “Beer Hall”, which I imagine will involve some combination of poetics and drinking.

    We also know and are delighted that the library gets to join in the fun by hosting a one-hour whirlwind introduction to poetry. The details:

    POETRY 101

    Join volunteers from the People's Poetry Festival for a rapid-fire look at what poetry is, how it's written, why people write it, and how it's evolved over time, from Shakespeare's sonnets to Tupac's lyrics. Put your newfound skills to the test and write your own poem!

    Saturday, Aug 20

    11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

    4th floor North - Writer's Nook

    Register for POETRY 101 by following this link:

    The People’s Poetry Festival is on Facebook. LIKE the page to get updates on festival details, connect with other poets, and share your favorite poetic links.!/pages/The-Peoples-Poetry-Festival-Aug-19-21-2011/120140568067501

    See you in August!

    Stampede Haiku Contest

    by Philip Rivard - 0 Comment(s)

    The People’s Poetry Festival wants to know if you can write a Stampede-themed haiku. Here’s mine:

    predictable stink

    a thunder-shower for sure

    will wash it away

    To enter your own haiku in the contest, check out the entry instructions at ‘The People’s Poetry Festival’ homepage.

    Robert Kroetsch Tribute Week

    by Philip Rivard - 0 Comment(s)

    If you’re looking for an alternative to Stampede-themed entertainment this week, look no further than two distinct tributes to the life and work of Robert Kroetsch, both of which are sure to provide emotionally charged performances from some of Calgary’s best writers.

    The first of these events: “A Celebration of Life: ROBERT KROETSCH”, takes place Tuesday, July 12 at Shelf Life Books at 7pm and is being put on by the Writer’s Guild of Alberta, inviting you to gather, share stories, pay tribute, find solace, raise your glasses, and hear readings from his latest work, Too Bad.

    “This tragedy has been a great shock to all of us at the WGA and a tremendous loss to everyone whose lives he has touched. A memorial was held in Leduc on Monday, June 27th, but many writers and friends, particularly in Southern Alberta, were not able to attend. In light of this, we would like to invite you to celebrate Robert’s life with short readings from Too Bad (or tell a story) on Tuesday July 12, 2011”

    Click here to read full details on the event.

    The second tribute event, also starting a 7pm, goes two nights later on Thursday, July 14, at Pages Books on Kensington. This special issue of the local Flywheel Reading Series will feature readings and an open mic, “letting everyone share either work by Robert, for Robert, or otherwise related as a tribute and celebration of the memory of this wonderful man and important Canadian writer who has touched so many.”

    For more details go to filling Station’s website.

    Of course the best way to celebrate Robert Kroetsch and keep his memory alive is to study and enjoy his masterful work. There is so much to choose from. Click to link to a full list of catalogue results for "Kroetsch, Robert".

    filling Station re-Born

    by Philip Rivard - 0 Comment(s)

    In an age of government cutbacks, in a province that isn’t well known for supporting the arts, it isn’t easy for small volunteer-run literary presses to keep the issues coming. Luckily, the hard-working volunteer crew at filling Station have persevered through stingy times, producing increasingly beautiful issues every year.

    However, it’s been difficult to keep up with their wonderful work, or find clear directions for submission over the course of the past year after a website meltdown. I’m a bit late on the uptake here – looks like the new website has been up and running since April, but I’ve just come across it now and am delighted to have all my filling Station needs in one place. Take a look! -

    This is a great place to submit your work. And always a great read featuring fiction, poetry, non-fiction, reviews and local artists. filling Station is also quite active in the community, so you'll always find current event listings and news on Calgary's literary scene, including the magazine's own monthly "Flywheel" reading series