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    Zombies Hungry for Poetry, Not Brains

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Get your zombie on this weekend in Inglewood!

    It's a masquerade ball with Calgary Poet Laureate Kris Demeanor and the RE:act Collective. Other than promising a supremely great time at Inglewood's THE AREA, featuring FIRE PITS! BEER! WOOD OVEN PIZZA! LIVE ART! And prizes for best mask. And Best Mardi Gras themed zombie-esque costume...

    Money raised will go towards RE:act's Calgary Anthology Project and youth literacy initiatives.

    Click here for ticket information.

    Speaking of the Calgary Anthology Project, RE:act is working with Frontenac House and House of Blue Skies to publish "a gorgeous coffee table anthology of poetry and visual art about the City of Calgary, created by Calgarian writers and artists". If you are a Calgary writer or artist, click here for the CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS. Here's what they're looking for:

    We are looking for works about, or inspired by, the City of Calgary. We hope to articulate the experience of the city through creative language and art. What stories is our city ready to tell us through our poets and artists? What sings in our green spaces? What thrives in the fast lane? What struggles in the margins? What chatters in the Plus 15s? What two-steps in the alleys? What surprises us, wounds us, heals us, makes us run, or woos us to stay?

    The print anthology will be launched in April 2014.

    House of Blue Skies is responsible these two beautiful anthologies, available at your local library:

    Writing the Land: Alberta through its poets Home and Away: Alberta's finest poets muse on the meaning of home


    The Literary Secrets of Superheroes

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    There are still a few spots left to come and listen to a presentation from one of Calgary's finest poets. Richard Harrison will be at the Central library this Wednesday, February 27, at 6:30pm, to illuminate the hidden connections between the superheroes you thought you knew.

    Without much of a background in the world of comics I have no idea what kind of bridges Mr. Harrison has built, or where his lines are drawn, but I know for sure it will be an interesting hour of literary investigation from a very accomplished poet and experienced university professor. For a sneak peek into "The Dark Knight Origin of the Man of Steel", check out the book that contains the essay of the same title:

    Secret Identity Reader: Essays on Sex, Death, and the Superhero

    ...Comic-book superheroes have risen from their newsprint beginnings to dominate films, infiltrate the literary establishment, and become an integral part of popular culture. Secret Identity Reader: Essays on Sex, Death, and the Superhero is a collaboration between two authors who investigate, and often disagree on, key facets of the superhero character and storyline. Masculinity, origin stories and the problem of the side kick are all fair game in this wide-ranging discussion, which also considers the superhero's place in a post 9/11 world and considers why these characters keep dying and coming back to life.

    For more on Richard Harrison, click here to read his Mount Royal University profile. And if you're more interested in the poetic side of things make sure to pick up a copy of the Governor-General nominated book of poems: 'Big Breath of a Wish' and his most recent release 'Worthy of his Fall'.


    New in the 'Nook

    by Phil - 1 Comment(s)

    A roundup of the most useful and inspirational titles landing in the 'Nook... it's been tough keeping up with the newest of the new, so please excuse the twenty-twelvishness of the bottom two. I just had to include them in the list because 'Architectures of Possibility' is a totally unique approach to the concept of a writer's manual/handbook, and Don Fry's 'Writing Your Way' has a cute illustration of an assembly line on the cover (and it doesn't shy away from the fact that it's up to you to figure out how you write best).

    The Canadian Writer's Market (19th edition)

    The essential guide for freelance writers, now completely updated and revised. The Canadian Writer's Market is the authority on who publishes what and how best to bring your work to their attention. It offers practical advice on everything from manuscript preparation to copyright law, from information on pay rates to writers' workshops.

    This useful guide also includes comprehensive and up-to-date listings for: consumer magazines; literary and scholarly journals; trade, business, and professional publications; daily newspapers; book publishers; literary agents; awards, competitions, and grants; writers' organizations and support agencies; writers' workshops, courses, and retreats.

    Good Prose, by Tracy Kidder & Richard Todd

    Good Prose explores three major nonfiction forms: narratives, essays, and memoirs. Kidder and Todd draw candidly, sometimes comically, on their own experience--their mistakes as well as accomplishments--to demonstrate the pragmatic ways in which creative problems get solved. They also turn to the works of a wide range of writers, novelists as well as nonfiction writers, for models and instruction. They talk about narrative strategies (and about how to find a story, sometimes in surprising places), about the ethical challenges of nonfiction, and about practical aspects of making a living as a writer. They offer some tart and emphatic opinions on the current state of language. And they take a clear stand against playing loose with the facts. Their advice is always grounded in the practical world of writing and publishing.

    Architectures of Possibility: after innovative writing, by Lance Olsen

    ...theorizes and questions the often unconscious assumptions behind such traditional writing gestures as temporality, scene, and characterization; offers various suggestions for generating writing that resists, rethinks, and/or expands the very notion of narrativity; visits a number of important concerns/trends/obsessions in current writing (both on the page and off); discusses marketplace (ir)realities; hones critical reading and manuscript editing capabilities; and strengthens problem-solving muscles from brainstorming to literary activism. Exercises and supplemental reading lists challenge authors to push their work into self-aware and surprising territory.

    Writing your way: creating a writing process that works for you, by Don Fry

    Writers write the way they were taught, which may not suit them at all, making their writing slow, painful, and not what they want to say. Writing Your Way shows you how to create your own unique writing process that magnifies your strengths and avoids your weaknesses. It shows you a multitude of ways to do the five key stages: Idea, Gather, Organize, Draft, and Revise. You can then design your own collection of techniques that work for you. You'll write clearer, faster, and more powerfully, with less effort and suffering. The second half of this book shows you how to create and modify your own voice, one that sounds like the real you, that sounds the way you want agents and publishers and readers to experience you.


    What Kings Ate and Wizards Drank

    by Phil - 1 Comment(s)

    Other than breathing, every single living person has at least one thing in common - FOOD. We all eat. Heck! Even those language-impaired animals eat. And what we eat says a heck of a lot about who we are. The person who eats a bag of chips for lunch is quite a bit different from the person chowing down on a fifty dollar steak or an organic beet green salad. That's why food is an essential tool for fiction writers. When a reader sees what a character eats it not only reveals unique personality traits, it also establishes a visceral connection with the reader through taste. This is no problem for writers working with modern-day settings, but what did food taste like a millenium ago? What will food taste like in the future?

    On February 20, a Wednesday, fantasy author Krista D. Ball will be at the Fish Creek library to share her discoveries on the eating habits of epic fantasy characters. Whether you are a lover of fantasy novels, a writer looking to strengthen the taste of your work, or a food lover interested in a voyage to the past, join us at 7 pm on the main floor of the Fish Creek library.

    Click here to register, or call 403-260-2620.

    To learn more about Krista D. Ball, visit her website at

    Library copies of Tranquility's Blaze are on the way. Click here to place a hold.

    Thank You!

    by Phil - 1 Comment(s)

    Just wanted to put out a great big huge THANK YOU to everyone who came out last Saturday for Writers’ Weekend 2013.

    We truly hope you enjoyed the marathon presentation ride as much as we did, had a chance to solve any mysteries cropping up in your writing life, and met some new friends.

    We are already hard at work crafting a fresh, exciting lineup for 2014 and would love to hear if there’s anything you’d like to see more, or less of. Leave a comment below or go to our fancy electronic suggestion box. And remember there’s a lot more to the library’s writerly support than just one day out of one weekend. Whether it's in-depth research, formatting specifics, where to submit, block break-throughs, or inspiration from the masters, we've got all the resources you need, year round, seven days a week. And don't miss any of these upcoming visits from local authors:

    What Kings Ate and Wizards Drank – A Fantasy Lover’s Food Guide by Krista D. Ball

    Wednesday, Feb 20
    7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
    FISH CREEK - Main floor - Open Area

    Join fantasy author Krista D. Ball as she takes you on a voyage of discovery about cooking and preserving food and feeding the armies of epic fantasy, while giving food history lovers a taste of the past.

    The Dark Knight Origin of the Man of Steel

    Wednesday, Feb 27
    6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
    CENTRAL - Main floor South

    Join Richard Harrison, poet and literary detective as he unravels the hidden connections between the superheroes you thought you knew.

    Writing in the Works

    Thursday, Apr 11
    7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
    MEMORIAL PARK - Basement

    Readings from new works by Ken Cameron, Lori Hahnel, Steve Passey, Inge Trueman and Roberta Rees, emceed by Susan Calder.

    Telling Stories – A Poetry Workshop - CANCELLED!

    Saturday, Apr 13
    2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
    CENTRAL - Lower level - Meeting Room 2

    Join Wendy Morton for a dynamic workshop! Learn to turn the stories of others into poetry. Co-presented with Calgary Spoken Word Festival.

    Writers' Weekend 2013 - TODAY!

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    It's not too late to come on down to the John Dutton Theatre at the Central library to experience our full day of expert presentations geared toward informing and inspiring writers. I've been trying my best to highlight each presenter over the past month, focusing on credentials and all the ways in which they'll be able to shed light on some of the mysteries and roadblocks writers face, but as anyone who's been to our 'Weekend' before knows - it isn't just about what's happening on the stage that matters.

    This is also a chance to get to know some of Calgary's most supportive players in the writing community. If you're familiar with the 'Nook you've probably heard of some of these groups, and today many of them will set up tables outside the theatre to show off the opportunities they have to offer. Make sure to stop and chat!











    And, of course, the CALGARY PUBLIC LIBRARY!

    Make sure to stop at our table to see all the resources we've put together. And let us know what you thought about the presentations and what kind of speakers you'd like us to try to bring in for next year.