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    October Launch Dates

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    On top of being the headquarters for our current Writer In Residence service with Rosemary Nixon, the Memorial Park Library is also a hot spot for book launches this October. On THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2, local master of short fiction Ken Rivard will be launching his 10th book, Motherwild - a novel that is "honest, refreshing, startling, imaginative, and gets the reader emotionally involved".

    The following week Lori Hahnel launches After You've Gone - the story of a Regina jazz guitarist and her Seattle record producer granddaughter. This brand new novel is released tomorrow, October 1, and you can catch the Calgary launch at Memorial Park library on THURSDAY OCTOBER 9. Keep up on all the exciting news from this local author on her blog.

    No registration is required for these author readings and both start at 7 p.m. Library copies are on order now.

    Ken Rivard was born and raised in Montreal. He is the author of ten published books of poetry, fiction, and children’s literature. His writing has appeared in numerous anthologies, in many regional and national publications, and on the CBC. His books have been finalists for the Writers Guild of Alberta Book Awards and the City Of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize. He has worked as a juror for both the Alberta and Saskatchewan book awards and has been the Writer-in-Residence for the Calgary Public Library and the Writers Guild of Alberta. In 2005, Ken was nominated for the inaugural Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards. He lives in Calgary.

    (author bio lifted off kenrivard.com)

    Lori Hahnel is the author of a novel, Love Minus Zero (Oberon, 2008) and a story collection, Nothing Sacred, (Thistledown, 2009), which shortlisted for an Alberta Literary Award. A new novel, After You’ve Gone, is forthcoming from Thistledown in Fall 2014. Her work has been nominated for the Journey Prize three times and has appeared in over thirty publications across North America and in the U.K. Her credits include CBC Radio, The Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire and Joyland. Lori teaches creative writing at Mount Royal University and the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society.

    (author bio lifted off lorihahnel.ca)

    The Laureate is coming!

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    The 7th annual Alberta Culture Days if fast approaching and the Library is thrilled to be hosting several events to help Albertans get wildly creative for three days. On Friday, September 26, Calgary Poet Laureate derek beaulieu will take over the Main Floor of the Central library to share his experiences combining poetry and art. "An Evening with derek beaulieu" will start at 7 p.m. and if you're familiar with beaulieu's work you know that visual art plays an integral role in his poetry and this is certain to be a stimulating, inspirational event. To register, please head over to our Programs page.

    For more information on all the wonderful work of our Poet Laureate, including links to some of his recent projects and lots of insider news on local events, follow this link to derek beaulieu's blog. On top of his role as laureate derek has also been named Artist in Residence at the Epcor Centre for Performing Arts from August 20 - October 24. The walls of the newly created 'Lightbox Studio' are draped with his text art, he's got manual typewriters set up, and welcomes passing conversation about his experiments with the structure of language. Read an article about the residency from The Calgary Herald.

    For all the Alberta Culture Days events taking place at the library, check out this listing, which includes an all day 'Arts Explosion Fair', a visit from the Alberta Reader's Choice Award winner Tyler Trafford (author of Almost a Great Escape), and Signal Hill Library's Annual Community Art Showcase.

    For a list of events taking place all over the province, year round, check out Alberta's Culture Calendar.

    And don't forget to check out your Poet Laureate's books available at the library...

    Fractal Economies seen of the crime How to Write Please, No More Poetry

    Wordfest Workshops

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    It's another amazing lineup coming to Calgary this October for Wordfest. With more than 80 writers slated to deliver more than 65 events, many of which the Central Library has the honour of hosting in the John Dutton Theatre, readers and writers have a full week of opportunity to connect with some of the world's most exciting storytellers.

    This year's highlights for the 'Nook are Andrew Kaufman (The Tiny Wife), Sjon (From the Mouth of the Whale), and Sheila Heti (How Should A Person Be?), but like every year when the Wordfest program guide appears I turn straight to the 'Workshop' page to see which artists will be offering "inspiration, instruction, and an in-depth look at the craft of storytelling." This year there are seven event listings under WORKSHOP (one every day!) which cover a huge range of interesting topics and they all take place in the beautiful new East Village art space Loft 112...

    WRITING NON-FICTION WITH TED BISHOP

    Ted Bishop delivers an accessible workshop geared for fans of non-fiction who are curious about the genre from a writers perspective.

    HUGH BREWSTER ON GETTING PUBLISHED

    This workshop demystifies the publishing process for creators at all levels. If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a published author, this event is for you!

    WRITING FOR FILM & TELEVISION WITH ELYSE FRIEDMAN

    With today’s technology, the ability to move a story from print to the big or small screen is now within the reach of more creators. Open to all levels, this workshop analyzes the anatomy of storytelling through film, compares narrative strategies across media and genres, and discusses some common pitfalls to avoid.

    WRITING ROUNDTABLE WITH KATHLEEN WINTER

    Kathleen Winter guides a small group discussion focusing on the challenges and rewards of working with an editor over several drafts. Participants are encouraged to share their experiences and bring questions or thoughts of their own to the discussion.

    WRITING MYSTERY WITH MICHAEL ROBOTHAM

    Learn more about the art of building tension and suspense in mystery writing through fun, interactive exercises and engaging discussions.

    MASTER CLASS WITH MICHAEL CHO

    This intensive workshop for the literary and visually inclined includes hands on sketching exercises, discussion and tips from illustrator and cartoonist Michael Cho, followed by a guided Alley Walk with Rollin Stanley in Inglewood.

    ILLUSTRATING FOR BOOKS WITH SCOTT CHANTLER

    “Cartoonists are writers who ‘write’ with pictures,” says Scott Chantler. Bring your favourite writing and drawing instruments to this workshop, and learn more about the theory behind visual storytelling.

    Hopefully these haven't all sold out already! Follow the links to Wordfest.com to reserve your spot. And if you're looking for some non-instructional events, here's the Nook's top 3 picks for Wordfest 2014:

    Wordfest and Writers’ Guild of Alberta Present Rudy Wiebe

    Tuesday, October 14. Details at Wordfest.com.

    Writers and Mixtapes: Pechakucha Style

    Featuring Jonathan Auxier, Andrew Kaufman, Mark Lavorato, Sean Michaels, and Samantha Warwick. Details.

    ONE-ON-ONE WITH SJÓN

    Saturday, October 18. Details.

    **event descriptions lifted off Wordfest.com

    Write Brain Muscles

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    With the passing of Labour Day our 2014 Writer In Residence program is now rolling into action. While Rosemary Nixon's official 'Welcome & Program Launch' won't take place until Thursday, September 18, Memorial Park Library is now openly accepting manuscripts to begin scheduling consultation appointments. For free, professional feedback on your work all you need is a library card and the submission guidelines.

    On top of invaluable one-on-one time with a highly experienced, award-winning author, the Writer In Residence service also features a long list of public programs designed to inspire, teach, and connect communities of aspiring writers. These are filling quick so make sure to get registered now.

    Rosemary will also be offering 3 opportunities to 'Exercise Your Imaginative Muscle', all of which will take place at Memorial Park Library from 6 - 8 pm. Here are the dates:

    Tuesday, September 16
    Tuesday, October 7
    Tuesday, November 4

    These are drop-in. No registration required. Spend an evening triggering "your imagination through writing prompts ranging from creating defamiliarized characters to developing suspense" and learning new tools to strengthen your writing skill.

    Unable to make it down to Memorial Park on Tuesdays? Try these books out for working out those writing muscles...


    Architectures of Possibility, by Lance Olsen The Writer's Workout, by Christina Katz Wired For Story, by Lisa Cron Fire Up Your Fiction, by Jodie Renner

    The 'Nook Program Picks

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    If you've been anywhere near a library in the last week you've no doubt encountered the new, thicker than usual Program Guides outlining all of the wonderful ways to connect with us this Fall. For writers, no matter what stage you're at, no matter what genre you find yourself drawn to, the Library has the inspiration, guidance, and expertise to help keep your projects moving forward.

    September will feature a visit from Calgary's Poet Laureate, the kick-off of our Writer In Residence service, and a team of U of C researchers coming to crack codes of science fiction. In October two fantastic Calgary authors launch new books at Memorial Park. In November it's all about Walls, as local author Marcello Di Cintio's 'Travels Along the Barricades' has been chosen for One Book One Calgary.

    Here are the Nook's top programming picks for Fall 2014:

    An Evening with Poet Laureate derek beaulieu

    (see page 8)

    An evening of poetry, art, and the unexpected. Poet Laureate derek beaulieu shares his experiences combining poetry and art.

    Friday, September 26

    REGISTER

    Creative Writing Club

    (see page 50)

    A monthly meeting of aspiring writers.

    Engage in fun exercises and share your writing.

    Starts September 8

    REGISTER

    NaNoWriMo Workshops: Dynamic Dialogue & Striking Settings

    (see page 48)

    Learn how to make your characters sound less like robots and more like real people and write conversations that you'd actually want to listen to.

    Learn how to bring background details alive and make your settings sparkle.

    Saturday, October 25

    REGISTER

    Inside A Good Sentence

    (see page 49)

    One good sentence after another. Like rogue waves, rogue sentences roil with energy, their whole greater than the sum of their parts.

    Saturday, October 25

    REGISTER

    From the Authors: Marcello Di Cintio and Rosemary Nixon

    (see page 28)

    One Book One Calgary author Marcello Di Cintio and 2014 Writer In Residence, Rosemary Nixon, as they discuss the similarities and differences of writing fiction and non-fiction and how they capture the attention of readers of both genres.

    Saturday, November 15

    REGISTER

    After You've Gone

    (see page 50)

    Lori Hahnel launches her new novel, After You've Gone. The story of a Regina jazz guitarist and her Seattle record producer granddaughter.

    Thursday, October 9

    Motherwild

    (see page 50)

    Ken Rivard launches his tenth book, Motherwild, a work of beauty, a coming-of-age story and the eventual healing of a mother-son relationship.

    Thursday, October 2

    Download the full Program Guide PDF.

    You can also register over the phone. Call 403-260-2620.

    Rosemary Nixon

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    September through the end of November is a special time at Memorial Park Library. For three glorious months Calgary Public Library cardholders have access to the guidance and expertise of their very own Writer in Residence. If you haven't taken advantage of this wonderful service in the past, go directly to our 2014 Writer-in-Residence page to meet this year's resident - Rosemary Nixon.

    Not only does this program offer Calgary's aspiring writers free manuscript consultation, but also ninety days of public programs designed to inspire, teach, and connect. Registration for Rosemary's workshops, presentations, and readings will begin next Monday, August 18, and are likely going to fill up quick.

    For individual manuscript consultation, we can begin submitting work at Memorial Park Library after September 1, according to the submission guidelines. Two weeks later, on Thursday, September 18, join us for the 2014 Writer in Residence "Welcome & Program Launch" as we kick things off at historic Memorial Park Library. Starting at 7 p.m. Rosemary will read from a selection of her works and outline plans for her residency. A reception will follow.

    As always with the delicate act of absorbing writing wisdom from a professional, knowing a teacher's work will multiply a student's grasp by inordinate amounts. To get the most out of this year's Writer in Residence, here's your homework:

    Are You Ready to be Lucky?

    Are You Ready to Be Lucky? If so, meet Roslyn, a spirited divorcée eager for new beginnings.

    Meet Duncan, a British conman with a penchant for collecting ex-wives. Meet Floyd, a hard-living contractor who can fix anyone’s house but his own. Irritating, vulnerable, hopeful, they ricochet off one another, trailing a mess of family and friends, all of them trying to beat the odds and find happiness. With razor-sharp wit, Rosemary Nixon takes on the chaos and absurdity of friendship, marriage, divorce, and betrayal—and the heart-pounding, breathtaking, always astonishing complexities of luck and love.

    Kalila

    Kalila chronicles the lives of Maggie and Brodie, whose joy collides with devastation when their daughter’s birth also heralds the news of her congenital heart condition.

    In this startlingly inventive novel, Rosemary Nixon braids light and darkness into a narrative chain pulled exquisitely taut. Through Maggie and Brodie’s shifting viewpoints; the isolating impenetrability of hospital life; and the mediation of physics, music, and family, Nixon propels the reader into unmapped emotional terrain where a shell-shocked family grapples with the horror, joy, and mystery of impermanence. The result is a spellbinding tale, provocative for the emotions and the intellect.

    The Cock's Egg

    Magic and witchcraft are as much a part of the African landscape as are ghostly white egrets fluttering into blue jungle clearings, or copper-coloured frangipani blossoms growing against white-washed mud walls. Dislocation, isolation, and desire are hauntingly encompassed in these wonderful stories of Canadians living in a foreign landscape. And always the witchcraft of the cock’s egg shapes myths, permeates lives, and maps a country whose changing face finds its inhabitants stealing power through the transformation of the body.

    *Available only in Central Library's CHFH Local History room.

    Mostly Country

    With this first collection of short stories, Rosemary Nixon’s Wadden joins Manawaka and Agassiz on the landscape of Canadian fiction. Wadden, where farm and town, church and post office draw the limits of experience and escape. In prose of unnerving clarity, the individual lives of interwoven families unfold and overlap. There are: Fay Leichty, who lives at the very centre of the community in shamed silence; Kevin McClancy, unable to cross the boundaries of the Mennonite church and family; Rita Steckley, who during an encounter with a boy and the town tough, discovers the cruelties of desire. And many more. Through memory, through fantasy, through differing versions of events and places as far away as Zaire, Mostly Country creates the people of Wadden. A reading experience to be enjoyed.

    *Available only in Central Library's CHFH Local History room.

    *book summaries lifted off rosemarynixon.com

    The 'P' Word

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Tell someone you're a "writer" and there's a 99% chance you will encounter the same exact series of questions from whoever you're talking to.

    "What do you write?"

    "Uhh... fiction?"

    "Oh. Have you p******** anything?"

    For most unpublished writers the answer to this comes out as a sigh, followed by some mumbled list of unquantifiable chapbooks or blog work or estimate on the number of rejection letters piling up in the bottom drawer. Whether or not the validation of that 'P' word is important is entirely subjective but like any other career path becoming a writer is subject to the tired catch-22 of experience. I can't get p******** because I have no CV. My CV is empty because I haven't been p********.

    Breaking this cycle usually requires a lot of patience, hard work, and study. And after all that mastering of craft and process is established there remains that mysterious obstacle of HOW to approach submitting work, and to WHOM? The answers are different for every writer but are all out there for the taking. The Canadian Writer's Market is one really good resource to start with (it's also available to borrow from the library as an OverDrive eBook). On top of providing tips on the nuts and bolts of submitting work for publication, the 'Market is mainly a directory listing the diverse places willing to accept unsolicited submissions. One listing you will find right here in Calgary is for filling Station magazine, "a literary and arts magazine publishing innovative poetry, fiction, [and] non-fiction". I point out fS not only because the quarterly is always a great read, not only because they will be launching issue 59 at Shelf Life books on August 7, but because on Friday, August 8, the magazine's current fiction editor Emily Ursuliak is offering a workshop titled How to Submit to Literary Journals. The workshop aims to help you find destinations that suit your work, make the best first impression, avoid mistakes, write cover letters, get organized, and deal with rejection.

    For complete details on the "How to Submit to Literary Magazines" workshop check out the listing on the AMPA website.

    And when unique, specialized workshops like this aren't running, the library opens everyday with tons of helpful resources like these:

    Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript

    Producing Canadian Literature: authors speak on the literary marketplace

    eBook too!

    Editor-Proof Your Writing: 21 Steps to the Clear Prose Publishers and Agents Crave

    eBook too!

    The Canadian Writer's Market: the Essential Guide for Freelance Writers

    eBook too!

    Tender Buttons, 100 Years

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)
    Every Way Oakly: homolinguistic translations of Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons, by STEVE MCCAFFERY

    Pick up a copy of Tender Buttons, any edition of the countless reissues published since 1912, turn to any page, and you are bound to encounter some of the most strange, beautiful, and wise combinations of the English language you will ever read. It doesn't seem possible for a century old book of poetry to come off the page as fresh and vibrant as the most innovative work being produced today, but Stein's welcoming and accessible approach only seems to brighten as the 20th century grows distant in the rear view.

    When it comes to classic literature the notion of timelessness (seems like this could've been written yesterday!) is automatic, a given necessity of its survival, but out of all the world's most bonafide 'classic' authors very few have had the same sort of magical ability "to capture 'moments of consciousness' independent of time and memory". The act of reading Gertrude Stein doesn't feel the same as what we normally refer to as 'reading'. It starts with the word on the page but somewhere along the way Stein gives readers complete freedom to fly off in their own direction.

    100 years later poets from all over the world continue to respond to Gertrude Stein's resounding, foundational masterpiece. This Sunday, on the 68th anniversary of Stein's death, July 27, Calgary's Poet Laureate derek beaulieu hosts an evening dedicated to poetic responses to Stein's work.

    100 TENDER BUTTONS: CELEBRATING GERTRUDE STEIN

    The event takes place at Loft 112 - 535 8 Avenue SE. Starts at 7 p.m.

    The lineup of poets will include readings by Christian Bök, Natalie Simpson, Nikki Sheppy, Rachel Shabalin, Anj Fermor and Helen Hajnoczky.

    You can read the full text of Tender Buttons at Project Gutenberg.

    For a list of upcoming events at Loft 112, check out the full schedule, which includes dates and times the Loft is open for 'drop-in' - a place to get out and write and meet other writers and share ideas.

    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.

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