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  • Nov 19 - Writing Rogues & Rascals - One more chance to get some work done with the Library's 2014 Writer In Residence, Rosemary Nixon
  • Nov 5 - Come Write In - At home where the Wrimotaurs roam
  • Oct 31 - One Book - Marcello Di Cintio launches One Book One Calgary this Saturday
  • Oct 16 - Pre-NaNo Planning - Saturday, October 25: Dig your fingers in for 50,000 words
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    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

    It's All Poetry

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Here are some of the latest titles in Canadian poetry to land on our shelves. For more reading ideas and an in-depth look at the current state of poetry in Canada, check out the April issue of Quill & Quire. The League of Canadian Poets has also just revealed the shortlists for three annual awards, which include a strong showing from Calgary-based publishers Frontenac House (Micheline Maylor for Whirr & Click, Juleta Severson-Baker for Incarnate).

    THE CALGARY PROJECT: A City Map in Verse and Visual

    "How do you get to know a city? What can you learn from a map? The Calgary Project reflects this moment of time: being the Culture Capital, having our very own Poet Laureate, surviving the Flood that redrew the City. It offers a glimpse into the artists' and poets' perception of Calgary right now. The voices of our city include poets and songwriters, rappers and sculptors, painters and fibre artists, photographers and children. The artists featured here are not just the best in our city - they are indeed some of the finest in the world."

    A Bitter Mood of Clouds, by Vivian Hansen

    Begin in Denmark with a strange birth, experience the life of Anne turned Arne, a hermaphrodite. Journey then to Alberta where Vivian Hansen hears her ancestors and the remarkable story of Anne. This intricately braided long poem is delicate, forceful, and unique. A Bitter Mood of Clouds is woven with supernatural voices, history, and the depth of where we come from and how those connections reach into the present.

    Bite Down Little Whisper, by Don Domanski

    From a master poet, meditative lines running like veins through the dark grace of being alive. Governor General's Award-winning poet Don Domanski's new collection, Bite Down Little Whisper, delves into the interconnectedness of all life with spiritual gravitas and powerful mindfulness. These are poems brimming with mythological and scientific energies, with a multi-dimensionality that opens itself to both complexity and clarity. Domanski shows us seams and fastenings that unite our longings with the earth itself, with the nonhuman vitality that surrounds us. The heart's need for unity and reverence is present in these poems as a whisper we hear in occasional moments of quietude, when it's possible to perceive the workings of a larger existence.

    Complicity, by Adam Sol

    A dazzling and exhilarating new collection of poetry from an award-winning Canadian poet. For fans of Ken Babstock, A.F. Moritz, and Karen Solie. Award-winning poet Adam Sol's fourth collection is a meditation on complicity. By turns intimate and lyrical, experimental and outlandish, the collection focuses us on how we cannot escape the troubling structures that determine our lives. How do we identify ourselves with communities - national, cultural, or local - while aware of the violence which underlies their arrangements? How do we pursue love when we know how fraught and imbalanced gender politics is? How do we continue to value art despite the prevailing rhetoric that considers it a marginal discourse? The poems are funny, allusive, off-kilter, and sonically rich, while crucially interrogating, lit with, the contemporary ethos.


    *book summaries lifted off library catalogue

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    Slam Team, Flywheel, Griots, and James Franco

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    It's not like poetry hibernates for the winter, and it's not like winter is anywhere near being over, but the season for poetry is now upon us. Here's a few ideas for maximum poetic indulgence:

    CALGARY SPOKEN WORD FESTIVAL

    The 11th annual CSWF is a week-long celebration of the poetic life from April 1 - 6. A gathering of languages, voices, stories, and song. A week full of slams, workshops, open mics, featuring edgy women and smart men. Here's the full program.

    Don't miss the pre-festival 'Slam Finals' where poets will go head-to-head for a position on the 2014 Calgary Slam Team to go an compete in Victoria for the Canadian title! Finals start Monday, March 31, 8pm, at Wine-Ohs (811—1 Street SW).

    APRIL FLYWHEEL

    Thursday, April 10, 7:30 PM

    Pages Books on Kensington

    filling Station's monthly reading series will feature readings by local authors Carmen Derkson, Samantha Warwick, and Erina Harris launching her first poetry collection, The Stag Head Spoke!

    SprinstART - Griots of All Time

    Friday, April 4 - Banff Centre

    "Griot (pronounced GREE-OH) is a French word that refers to the West African keepers of oral history. They are the poet, storyteller, genealogist, historian, adviser, spokesperson, diplomat, mediator, interpreter, translator, musician, composer, teacher, entertainer, exhorter, warrior, witness, praise-singer and ceremony participant. Join us for a night of great social force as faculty griots Emilie Zoey Baker, George Elliott Clarke, Tanya Evanson and Jean-Pierre Makosso bear witness to the past, interpret the present and oracle the future." (It's a free event!)

    Directing Herbert White: Poems by James Franco

    James Franco's debut poetry collection is set to be released on April 19, published in Canada by House of Anansi. Watch him talk about it on The Tonight Show.

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    The Calgary Project Book Launch

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    THE CALGARY PROJECT: A City Map In Verse & Visual is a beautiful coffee table anthology presenting a vibrant and diverse snapshot of Calgary’s visual and literary arts, and the book launch is going to take place right here at Central Library on Sunday, March 30, from 2 - 4 p.m in the John Dutton Theatre.

    Published by Frontenac House in collaboration with the RE:act Collective and House of Blue Skies, the collection celebrates the 2-year term of our inaugural Poet Laureate, Kris Demeanor, who co-edited the book with Dymphny Dronyk - founding member of the RE:act collective and author of Contrary Infatuations.

    So what does a city map written in verse look like?

    Dronyk describes it best on the book's front flap:

    "How do you get to know a city? What can you learn from a map?

    The Calgary Project reflects this moment of time: being the Culture Capital, having our very own Poet Laureate, surviving the Flood that redrew the City. It offers a glimpse into the artists' and poets' perception of Calgary right now. The voices of our city include poets and songwriters, rappers and sculptors, painters and fibre artists, photographers and children. The artists featured here are not just the best in our city - they are indeed some of the finest in the world."

    The selections include work by nationally (and internationally) prominent poets such as Sheri-D Wilson, Christian Bök, Micheline Maylor, Fred Wah, Anne Burke, and Tom Wayman, and artists such as Jeff de Boer, George Webber, Mandi Stobo and Tina Martel, as well as pieces by newer and younger writers and artists. And even an impressive piece from Mayor-poet Nenshi!

    For more information on all the upcoming launch celebrations for this beautiful book, go to the Blue Skies Poetry website.

    And if you can't wait for Sunday to get your hands on a copy, The Calgary Project is available at your local library. The waiting list continues to grow, but we always have a copy on the shelf in our Community Heritage & Family History Room (4th Floor, Central Library). Or find a copy from your independent bookseller: Owl’s Nest Books, Pages on Kengsington, and Shelf Life Books.

    Tweet by Tweet

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Thanks to everyone who followed along with our little #TwitterFiction Festival experiment last week. For those that missed the story tweets as they ran from March 12 - 16, here's what a team of library writers put together for the festival, using the hashtag #CPLtf.

    Working alone. Sunday morning. Listening to the book chute open and close as people return their items.
    But then a new sound. An unexpected sound. I turn to look. My eyes widen.
    Something is coming down the chute. Like nothing I’ve ever seen before.
    Blob-like and jellyfish-transparent, it rolls over itself, and leaves a shiny dry trail.
    I poke it with a pencil. It goes right through like a drill through butter.
    A puff of colorless vapor steams out of the opening.
    Thick smoke rises slowly upward and spreads across the ceiling forming...numbers?
    A “1” appears then quickly poofs away—regrouping into a “2.” I wait, expecting a 3, craning my neck to the ceiling...
    The cloud forms a “5”.
    125. What does it mean? Part of an address? Or—perhaps a call number?
    What is 125 in the Dewey Decimal system? I quickly look it up.
    Dewey number 125: “125 No longer used—formerly Infinity.”
    I’m confused. Infinity no longer has its own Dewey Decimal number?

    I run through the empty library to check the 125s, my mind spinning.

    Arriving at the shelf, the cloud is already there, hovering, like it's waiting for me.
    Why does it just hover there? What is it doing? What does it want?
    I look at the shelves—a huge empty space sits between ”7 Simple Steps to Personal Freedom” & “The Undiscovered Self”.
    I cup my hands and gather it the same way I would pick up a bird, expecting it to spill between my fingers like sand.

    It’s light as air, yet it takes all my strength to keep it intact.

    I will myself not to blink, thinking maybe my eyes are keeping it together.
    It morphs into the shape of a candle, as if telling me to slow down. A white flame kicks & licks, but doesn’t go out.
    I kneel down in front of the epistemology section, draw my hands away, and finally allow myself to blink.
    Glowing brightly, the shape moves into the empty space on the shelf.
    For the first time since it came down the chute, I take a deep breath.
    They will find you here, I think, my spirits lifting inexplicably.

    Turning, I head back to the book chute, my head clear. Just another day at the Library.

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