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    When Words Collide

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    The second weekend of August might be a good one to stick around town, as the 4th annual WHEN WORDS COLLIDE festival descends upon Calgary to bring together a huge range of readers and writers from all over the world. Regardless of the genre you're trying to master or love to read, When Words Collide has more than 60 expert panelists/presenters lined up to share tips and information on everything from science fiction to historical fiction to nonfiction, from inspiration to editing.

    It appears as though this year's program of workshops, pitch sessions, panels, social events, blue pencil cafes, and merchants has caught on and filled up quick, but they are now taking names for a waiting list, the 'Merchants' Corner' is open to the unregistered public, and on the Thursday leading into the big weekend you can catch 5 featured WWC guests live at the Fish Creek Library.

    Thursday, August 7

    7 - 8:30 p.m.

    Second Floor Open Area - Fish Creek Library

    REGISTER HERE

    Join us for readings by international bestselling authors: Jack Whyte, Jacqueline Guest, Brandon Sanderson, D.J. McIntosh and Mark Leslie.

    The authors will follow up the readings with a question and answer and autograph session.

    MARK

    LESLIE

    D.J.

    MCINTOSH

    BRANDON

    SANDERSON

    JACQUELINE

    GUEST

    JACK

    WHYTE

    Stampede of Poets

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    It's pretty convenient to throw a party this week and call it a 'Stampede' party. Or throw a poetry reading and call it a Stampede reading. It's even easier if you've actually "wrangled some of the best darn poets in Cowtown" for a lineup of powerhouse performers that couldn't be described as anything but a stampede, regardless of our being in Calgary during the second week of July. This is exactly what the wonderful folk at Shelf Life Books have done for their 'Stampede of Poets', which'll git goin' tomorrow night - Wednesday July 9 - at 7 p.m.

    Here are the poets prepared to get on their saddle and run you over:

    Christian Bök

    Sheri-D Wilson

    Weyman Chan

    Kirk Miles

    Erin Dingle

    David Eso

    Juleta Severson-Baker

    Richard Harrison

    You may have also seen Stampede of Poets described in this week's FFWD, which offers the insight of Wordfest executive director Jo Steffens on Calgary's literary nightlife, as well as a roundup of Cowtown's hardest working literary organizations. And if you haven't come across the Calgary Herald article on Sheri-D Wilson's powerful new book 'Open Letter', read it here. Happy Stampede week y'all.

    Sizzling Summer Writing

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    As the summer heats up it's only natural for a cool off on some of our creative endeavours. We've got music festivals to go to. Road trips to drive. Friends we don't normally get to see. Gardens to tend to... but Calgary's community of writers that work to inspire, guide, and befriend you never let up!

    Over the summer here at the 'Nook we'll focus on ways to keep your focus over the summer and quite likely come out of August feeling sharper than ever before.


    "SIZZLING SUMMER WRITING" (at the Alexandra Writers' Centre Society)

    Just Write July 9, 23 & August 13, 27 | 6-9pm

    Get out of the heat of summer and into the coolness of AWCS for 3 hours of straight writing time. Work on anything you want. Enjoy uninterrupted writing time with other writers.

    Finding Your Muse July 12-August 23 | 9:30-12pm

    Is there a book hidden somewhere inside you? Do stories dance in your head? Does your personal writing say what you want it to? Are you a poet at heart? Through friendly discussion, in-class writing exercises and sharing your writing, we will address the basics and specific interests of the participants involved. For writers of all levels.

    It's A Wrap! Tuesday, July 15 | 6-9pm

    Why is finding the perfect story ending so elusive? What makes a great story ending? We’ll explore these questions and more in this three hour session. Come prepared to learn, experiment and have fun.

    Settings From Your Past Monday, July 21, 2014 | 6-9pm

    Come and enjoy 3 hours of instruction, discussion and exercises to help you uncover the unique details and potential story hidden within your memory of place.

    Say What? Wednesday, August 6, 2014 | 6-9pm

    Having trouble with dialogue? Come out to this three hour session full of instruction, discussion and exercises to help your characters say exactly what it is they want to say in a way that is authentic.

    Summer Shorts (Short stories, that is.) Tuesday, August 12, 2014 | 6-9pm

    Flash fiction is becoming an increasingly popular short story form. Come out for an evening of learning how to write great flash fiction pieces. There will be writing, instruction and discussion.

    For complete details and course registration visit www.alexandrawriters.org.

    Stay tuned for more cool, fresh ideas to keep your writing sharp over the summer, including WHEN WORDS COLLIDE, a festival for readers and writers from August 8 - 10. And don't forget that any of Calgary Public Library's 18 locations are the perfect place to cool off and get some writing done on a hot summer afternoon.

    Predigital Typographic Wonders

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    The Honey Pot, by Alan Riddell, 1969Since the grand opening of Loft 112 it seems that the center for writers and artists has something great going on every night. Whether it's musical performance, comedy show, literary reading, or just hanging out in a place with good vibes, the Loft certainly seems to be the creative hive it was opened to become. This Friday, June 27, Loft 112 is hosting what looks to be an extra special event:

    MICHAEL MORRIS: ARE WORDS THINGS?

    "The Vancouver-based painter, photographer, performance artist and curator Michael Morris will speak about concrete poetry and the creation of the mail art archive Image Bank and other networks. This event is free and open to all, starts at 5:30 p.m., and will be followed by a reception."


    Before going any further I should mention that the beautiful piece of typewriter art to the right (The Honey Pot, 1969) is not the work of Michael Morris, but Alan Riddell. For a look at Morris' beautiful work, go here. I've thrown The Honey Pot in here to show my all-time favorite piece of concrete poetry and to celebrate the 2014 publication of 'Typewriter Art: a modern anthology'. The library copy of this long-awaited collection of poetry and art created entirely using typewriters will be here soon and I wanted to make sure all concrete poetry/typewriter art lovers out there had a heads-up...

    In this book readers will find not only Alan Riddell's beautiful Honey Pot, but also more than a century's worth of the most innovative, interesting, and beautiful pieces of typewriter art from all over the world. From the butterfly of Flora F.F. Stacey (1898) all the way up to the impossibly fluid work of Stephanie Strange.

    Also included is the work of Calgary Poet Laureate derek beaulieu, who, as this blog comes full circle, is a volunteer on the team that turns the wheel of Loft 112 and likely had something to do with the visit of Michael Morris. According to the anthology, beaulieu is "currently archiving a great many examples of typewriter/visual poetry" in order to salvage so much of the work that only appeared in obscure journals in the 1960s and 70s.

    Typewriter Art: a modern anthology



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    Back from New York

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    What do two shy editors, one 800-kilometre Camino de Santiago explorer and a 240-pound tattooed motorcyclist have in common? These Calgary authors – Naomi K. Lewis, Rona Altrows, Patricia Klinck and Robert Chomany – have just won awards for their books in New York City from two of the biggest book award programs in the world. Come see the books and hear the authors on Tuesday, June 24, 7pm at Shelf Life Books (4th Street and 13th Avenue SW).

    Calgary publisher and writer Tag Goulet will emcee the evening, presenting the three award-winning authors who will talk about their books. Bob Chomany will talk about BawB’s Raven Feathers. Patricia Klinck will read from Each Step is the Journey: The Call of the Camino. Editors Naomi K. Lewis and Rona Altrows and will present Shy: An Anthology.

    Shy: An Anthology, edited by Naomi K. Lewis and Rona Altrows

    The pages of this anthology are filled with personal essays and poems of thoughtful musings, raw memories, and humorous self-examinations by authors and poets who have been labelled by the world—teachers, parents, and peers—as shy. Here, they proudly own up to their shyness, and their message is clear: they don’t need to be “cured”! Why should they, when nearly half of North Americans consider themselves shy? Editors Naomi K. Lewis and Rona Altrows have enlisted writers from across the continent and have created a moving anthology that will appeal to all, either because we are shy or because we know someone who is.

    Tied for silver in the Anthology section of the Independent Publisher Book Awards

    Each Step is the Journey: The Call of the Camino, by Patricia Klinck

    The origins of the Camino de Santiago cannot be found in books. Its story is woven from legends and myths told by the ancients over the centuries and retold by pilgrims. Those who answer its call are often in search of a greater good, a more powerful truth, a fuller understanding. But what is its true meaning? What can this age-old pilgrimage—declared the first European Cultural Route and a UNESCO World Heritage Site—offer us in the twenty-first century?

    Winner of Best Cover Design, Non-Fiction at the Next Generation Indies Awards

    Also available from the library as an OverDrive eBook

    Bawb’s Raven Feathers, by Bob Chomany

    In 2008, a 6’4”, 240-pound tattoo-covered bike enthusiast (whose hobby is “wrenching on motorcycles”) signed up for Facebook. Like many of us, Robert Chomany was disappointed by the daily drab of “what I had for breakfast” and complaints about the weather. Unlike most of us, he was determined to make his page a better place. He decided he would try to put smiles on his readers’ faces each day with his pure and simple inspirational poetic musings. As the days, months and years passed, his audience began asking when the book would be coming out, and soon after that, Bawb’s Raven Feathers was born. In fact, three volumes have been quietly published and a fourth is due out soon.

    Finalist in Best Cover Design, Non-Fiction at the Next Generation Indies Awards


    For a complete list of all the great literary action hosted by Shelf Life check out their current list of upcoming events.

    Alberta's Best

    by Phil - 1 Comment(s)

    Winners of the of the Alberta Literary Awards and the Alberta Book Publishing Awards were announced at the Alberta Book Awards Gala here in Calgary on Friday, June 6 at The Fairmont Palliser Hotel. The gala also featured the presentation of the Alberta Reader's Choice Award. After all the votes were tallied Alberta readers chose Calgary author Tyler Trafford's Almost A Great Escape, which also took home the Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction. The Calgary Herald offers a complete roundup of all last week's winners.

    R. Ross Annett Award for Children's Literature


    Karen Bass - Graffiti Knight

    Hazel Hutchins - The Great Bike Rescue

    Gail Sidonie Sobat - Not With A Bang

    Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction

    Ali Bryan - Roost

    Lynn Coady - Hellgoing

    Theresa Shea - The Unfinished Child

    Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction

    Jessica Kluthe - Rosina, The Midwife

    Tyler Trafford - Almost A Great Escape

    Chris Turner - The War on Science

    Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry

    Tim Bowling - Selected Poems

    David Dowker & Christine Stewart - Virtualis: Topologies of the Unreal

    Paul Zits - Massacre Street

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    The Confabulist, Live

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    From the beloved, award-winning, bestselling author of The Cellist of Sarajevo, The Confabulist is a beautiful, suspense-filled novel that uses the life and sudden death of Harry Houdini to weave a magical tale of intrigue, love and illusion. The Confabulist weaves together the life, loves and murder of the world's greatest magician, Harry Houdini, with the story of the man who killed him (twice): Martin Strauss, an everyday man whose fate was tied to the magician's in unforeseen ways.

    A cast of memorable characters spins around Houdini's celebrity-driven life, as they did in his time: from the Romanov family soon to be assassinated, to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the powerful heads of Scotland Yard, and the Spiritualists who would use whoever they could to establish their religion. A brilliant novel about fame and ambition, reality and illusion, and the ways that love, grief and imagination can alter what we perceive and believe.*

    On Thursday, June 5 the Calgary Public Library is thrilled to be hosting along with Pages bookstore "An Evening with Steven Galloway" from 7 – 9 p.m. in the John Dutton Theatre (2nd floor, Central Library). Register here or call 403-260-2620.

    Available as OverDrive eBook Available as OverDrive eBook Available as OverDrive eBook Available as OverDrive AudioBook

    For a taste of the thoughtful, engaging eloquence Steven Galloway puts into the presentation of his work, watch the video of our 2011 One Book One Calgary launch, in which the entire city shared the power of Galloway's 2008 novel, The Cellist of Sarajevo.

    *The Confabulist book summary lifted off the library catalogue

     

     

     

    Award Season

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    One of these five books will win the 2014 Alberta Readers' Choice Award.

    The Edmonton Public Library will take your vote until May 31, 11:59pm.

    Almost A Great Escape, by Tyler Trafford Come Barbarians, by Todd Babiak (also available as eBook) Pilgrimage, by Diana Davidson (also available as an eBook) The Dilettantes, by Michael Hingston The Unfinished Child, by Theresa Shea (also available as an ebook)

    The Alberta Readers' Choice Award is awarded annually for the best fiction or narrative non-fiction written by an Alberta author. The $10,000 award - presented annually by the Edmonton Public Library - recognizes the exceptional writing talent in Alberta and encourages readers to support Alberta authors. Books must be published between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013.

    The winner will be announced June 6 at the 2014 Alberta Book Awards Gala in Edmonton, a night to honour the best of Alberta's literary community. Winners of the Alberta Literary Awards and the Alberta Book Publishing Awards will also be handed out at the gala.

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    Meet the New Poet Laureate

    by Phil - 1 Comment(s)

    There's a whole lot of 'Nookish, literary action taking place in this first half of May. Big news last week—Calgary's first Poet Laureate Kris Demeanor passed over the wreath to derek beaulieu, who will serve as artistic ambassador for the citizens of Calgary from 2014–2016.

    In the news release from Calgary Arts Development, President & CEO Patti Pon had this to say:

    “The enthusiasm we’ve seen for the Calgary Poet Laureate has been astonishing, from the support of Calgary’s private sector to the widespread interest in the capacity for poetry to inspire and build community. On behalf of Calgary Arts Development and the citizens of Calgary, I would like to thank Kris for his service to the city during his time as Calgary Poet Laureate, and welcome derek beaulieu to the role. I look forward to witnessing how derek’s artistry will enrich our civic landscape over the next two years.”

    To dive into beaulieu's work, you can find many of his publications on the shelves of your local library:

    fractal economies seen of the crime Please, No More Poetry eBook version

    GRAND OPENING of Loft 112

    You can also meet the new Poet Laureate at a very exciting event taking place this Saturday, May 10—it's the GRAND OPENING of Loft 112! For months we've been hearing the most promising rumblings coming out of the East Village: the opening of a community writing centre, a place for Calgary artists to meet and develop ideas, and now the time is finally here! The day of celebration will feature readings every hour from some of the city's top notch writing talent, including two former library WIRs, Naomi Lewis and Barb Howard, as well as Jani Krulc, Sara Tilley, and outgoing Poet Laureate Kris Demeanor. Check out the full schedule of readings.

    The 'Loft is only a few minutes walk from the Central Library, so make sure to drop by the party before or after your CAFE workshop with us in Self-Editing 101. The workshop is now full but if you're still looking to fill that appetite for inspiration the Fish Creek Library will be hosting highly acclaimed author Kenneth Oppel for the presentation of his new novel 'Boundless'.

    Busy day. May the tenth be with you.

    May the 7th, too! Great event tonight at the Owl's Nest...

    Writing in the Works

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    Self-Editing 101

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    On Saturday May 10 the Central Library is excited to host Self-Editing 101 — a free workshop on the revision and editing of your writing. Susan Forest from the Calgary Association of Freelance Editors, or CAFE, will lead the workshop from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. with the goal of giving your writing shape and professional polish. Opportunities to attend free writing workshops don't come around too often, so spaces at this event are filling up quick. Register now to make sure you get a spot.

    Susan Forest is a writer of science fiction, fantasy and horror. She is a member of SFWA and SF Canada, and works as a fiction editor for Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishers. She is the winner of The Galaxy Project for her novella, “Lucy”, and her YA novel, The Dragon Prince, was awarded the Children’s Circle Book Choice Award. Other stories have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Analog, Tesseracts, AE Science Fiction Review, OnSpec, and Legacy Magazine. “Back” was a finalist for the 2009 the Prix Aurora Award.

    Of course nothing beats the in-person guidance of a writing workshop, but to get a head start on the polish of your work, check out some of these titles available from your local library:

      Also available as eBOOK Also available as eBOOK  

     

     

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