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    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  

     

     

    Spur

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    An exciting new festival is set to grip the city this weekend.

    Spur is a festival of "politics, art and ideas and is a catalyst for change in Canada". It was founded last year and is already spreading to five cities across the country. It's Calgary's turn starting tonight and the lineup of events and speakers looks truly amazing...

    The Opening Reception will take place at the ConocoPhillips Theatre in the Glenbow Museum tonight at 8:30 p.m., following Borders and Geopolitics: The World in Seven Years with Diane Francis, author of Merger of the Century: Why Canada and the U.S. Should Become One Country. After that the lineup of events for Saturday and Sunday will surely live up to Spur's namesake, offering Calgary the opportunity to join "today's most provocative thinkers and scholars, artists and activists, journalists and entrepreneurs - from across the country and beyond - to share ideas worth spurring into action."

    Go to the Spur festival website for complete details and ticket information. Go to your local library for the authors' work, such as Terry Fallis, who you can have coffee with on Sunday at Hotel St Germain, where he will read from and discuss his forthcoming novel, No Relation.

    Terry Fallis

    Diane Francis

    New Program Guides

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)
    CAFE

    Spring-Summer Guides are now out and that means a brand new season of opportunity to take advantage of our free, super wide-ranging programs. Registration starts Monday, April 21.

    A highlight for writers comes up very quick with 'Self-Editing 101' - a workshop on revision and editing techniques - on Saturday May 10. Susan Forest from the Calgary Association of Freelance Editors (CAFE) will be at the Central Library from 1:30 - 3 p.m. to help give your writing shape and professional polish.

    Two days later put your self-editing lessons to the test by joining the library's Creative Writing Club. The club will meet monthly on Monday nights starting May 12. Meet aspiring writers, engage in exercises, and share your writing.

    In June take a visual trip to Oxford University's Christ Church College with Carole Marion as she explores the world of Jane Austen's heroines. The Oxford Experience: In Search of Jane Austen's World is offered at Louise Riley on June 12, at Shawnessy on June 13.

    In August the Fish Creek library will host bestselling authors Diana Gabaldon, Jacqueline Guest, Brandon Sanderson, and D.J. McIntosh for readings, Q & A, and an autograph session. It's all part of WHEN WORDS COLLIDE and this year WWC is offering pre-festival workshops for the first time. A ways away but the opportunity for intimate, hands-on workshop experience will surely fill up quick.

    Oh, yes, and superfoods, The Power of Superfoods. Not necessarily tailored for writers, but what writer wouldn't benefit from a little boost to their brain function? The new Program Guides are already all over the city but if you haven't got your hands on one you can always download the PDF version and read it right now.

    Creative Nonfiction Collective

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    The Creative Nonfiction Collective Society (CNFC) is a Canadian organization for writers of creative (or literary or narrative) nonfiction. From May 2–4, the CNFC's 10th Anniversary Conference will be held right here in Calgary at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel. This is a unique and irresistable opportunity for writers of creative/literary/narrative nonfiction and Calgarians don't even have to travel to get to it! The $100 registration offer will end April 18th, so make sure to register before next Friday.

    For complete details and registration go to CNFC Conference Page, where you can also find the full 2014 Program Outline. If the 3-day commitment is a bit much you can still get in on the action on Sunday, May 4, with a completely FREE event open to the public: "A Literary Walk with George Melnyk" from noon to 1:30 p.m. Not sure where this walk will take us but it will feature a smashing lineup of guest readers: Myrna Kostash, Fred Stenson, Chris Turner & Aritha van Herk.

    The 2014 Keynote Speaker is acclaimed historian, novelist, essayist and award-winning author Ronald Wright. Find his books on the shelves of your local library:

    What Is America? A Short History of the New World Order Stolen Continents: Conquest & Resistance in the Americas An Illustrated Short History of Progress

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