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    Loft 112

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    If you pay attention to Calgary's writing community, you've likely already heard of the exciting new center for writers almost ready to open in the East Village, Loft 112. Even before the official grand opening the loft is well on its way to becoming the creative hive it's designed to be. The 'Nook blog recently had an opportunity to connect with Lisa Murphy-Lamb, leader of the Loft team, and we asked some questions...


     

    Lisa Murphy-Lamb
    derek beaulieu
    Scrawl-A-Thon

    NOOK: In Calgary, the concept of a center for writers and artists of all kinds to meet and develop ideas seems long overdue and essential. What is it about Loft 112 that allowed you and your team to make it a reality?

    LISA: The idea has percolated in my mind for about four years now. I used to be a classroom teacher and when I left the CBE I missed having a space of my own to work with students. I have felt welcomed in Calgary’s coffee shops, libraries and independent book stores like Pages and Shelf Life, but sometimes noisy discussion or asking students to take chances needs a less public space. I often got requests to help nonprofits or other teachers find spaces to hold events that didn’t cost a lot to rent. During a CADA discussion about Calgary’s creative spaces a few people talked about opening up a community writing centre, a private donor stepped forward and a few months later Loft 112 opened its doors (unofficially). We will have a grand opening when the place finishes some renovations like an accessible bathroom and an apartment within the loft for visiting writers and artists and we get an official sign on the exterior.

    NOOK: I’m a big fan of derek beaulieu’s work and saw in Loft 112’s schedule for March that something called a ‘Typing Pool’ was coming up, with details not yet released. Very curious. Any chance we can have an exclusive teaser?

    LISA: As part of derek beaulieu's ENGL214 class at ACAD, he has gathered antique typewriters from all over the city. Students have been exploring the poetic possibilities of outdated technology in poetry and prose, text art and assignments. On MARCH 9th, a number of those strange old devices will be available for exploration. Derek proposes by using dead technology we are in fact learning how we interface with the tools we have now.

    6-8 typewriters (manual and electric) in working order will be set up at LOFT 112 for writers to use from 1-3pm. Go to derek beaulieu's wordpress site for complete details, and check out derek's books at the Library.

    NOOK: The upcoming Scrawl-A-Thon fundraiser sounds like a lot of fun - basically a writing marathon with pledges coming in for this summer’s WordsWorth writing residency. How can Calgarians get involved?

    LISA: We have writers who have signed up to participate in this fundraiser for The Writers’ Guild of Alberta summer youth writing residency. These writers, in order to participate in the Scrawl-A-Thon need to each raise $200 in pledges. On March 15 we will write for six hours in support of this fine youth residency. The public can help out in these ways:

    Go to our bio page and pick a writer (or 15!) and support their efforts through pledges.
    We need food and drink to keep us fueled. If you want to sustain the writers, please contact me at lisa.murphylamb@writersguild.ab.ca to make arrangements.
    Inspire us. Ideally I’d like a poet, musician, tap dancer, juggler, masseuse .... to inspire us on the hour every hour. If you would would to provide inspiration, please contact me at lisa.murphylamb@writersguild.ab.ca
    Learn more about the Scrawl-A-Thon. We even have room to take on more writers.
    Send a young writer our way. Find out what WordsWorth is all about and who our instructors are this year.

    A 'Nook tip - stay in touch with all of Loft 112's busy action by joining their Facebook page.

    March Flywheel

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Every month, on the second Thursday, filling Station magazine puts together an exciting showcase of literary talent for their Flywheel Reading Series. While supporting the work of local writers, emerging and beyond, Flywheel also hosts accomplished poets and authors from all over the world. This month, the Flywheel will land on Thursday, March 13, and the lineup of readers is rather exciting.

    It all takes place at Pages Books on Kensington, starting at 7.30pm, featuring readings by the U of C's 2013-14 Writer-in-Residence Sara Tilley, debut novelist Carrianne Leung, and 3rd place winner of the library's Just Write! contest, April Tian. You can read April's winning story on our Teen Zone blog.

    For more on the wonderful work of filling Station, there's no better place to start than the upcoming launch of issue #58. The launch will take place this Friday, March 7, at Shelf Life Books. Visit the filling Station for complete launch details.

    And find the books of Flywheel readers on the shelves of your local library...

    Skin Room, by Sara Tilley The Wondrous Woo, by Carrianne Leung

    Pressed Into Silence

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    The day before the opening of Sochi's Olympic games 217 prominent writers from around the world signed an open letter to condemn Russia's anti-gay laws. "As writers and artists," the letter states, "we cannot stand quietly by as we watch our fellow writers and journalists pressed into silence or risking prosecution and often drastic punishment for the mere act of communicating their thoughts."

    The full letter letter can be read courtesy of The Guardian.

    So now Putin falls to his knees, apologizes, and repeals the laws, right?

    Of course not. But that's not the letter's intention. Among prominent Canadian authors who signed the letter (including Lawrence Hill, Jane Urquhart, Margaret Atwood, and Michael Ondaatje), Yann Martel appeared on CBC news from his basement in Saskatoon to explain why. Martel's hope is to "remind Russians that they can do better" and also to remind Canadians that "nations thrive the freer they are. Every nation needs to be reminded of that. Not just in Russia, but also here in Canada."

    The campaign, unfortunately, is not unique. Since 1921 PEN International has been promoting and fighting for the global freedom of expression. Since the letter to Russia was posted on February 6, PEN has posted 22 other headlines in the span of two weeks. It may seem far away from us here, but as the open letter to Russia eloquently states, these issues contribute "to the political and intellectual shape of the world far beyond their country's borders."

    Calgarians looking to celebrate freedom of expression, or just looking for an inspiring night out, have a lot to choose from during the Freedom To Read Week (February 23 – March 1). On Thursday, February 27th, at 7:00pm, the library will be at Owl’s Nest Books to present the winners of the Calgary Public Library’s Freedom to Read Contest.

    The following night Wordfest and the Writer's Guild of Alberta present GUILTY (READING) PLEASURES. Local artists Rosemary Griebel, Christian Bök and Jeff de Boer will discuss what they read purely for pleasure and the topics that obsess them the most. That's Friday, February 28, at Shelf Life Books. Reception and presentations from 7pm onwards.

    And of course — the #1 way to celebrate... READ!

    Local Lookout

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    If you couldn't get your hands on a ticket to see Neil Gaiman's sold-out appearance on February 24 as the U of C's Distinguished Visiting Writer, don't worry, the second half of February is chock-full of some seriously interesting literary events to stimulate our oh so ready-to-thaw brains. Both events listed below will take place at Shelf Life Books (100, 1302-4th Street SW).

    Thursday, February 20, at 7:30pm

    2014 SINGLE ONION LECTURE SERIES (Part 2)

    "The Thinkership of Conceptual Literature"

    The Single Onion offers part two of the 2014 Lecture Series, with an event featuring a lecture by Christian Bök and readings by derek beaulieu, Gregory Betts, and Ken Hunt.

    Click here for complete details.

    Friday, February 28, 2014, 7pm

    GUILTY (READING) PLEASURES

    Join the Writers Guild of Alberta, Wordfest and Shelf Life Books for an interactive evening of laughter, wine and storytelling in celebration of Freedom to Read Week. Local artists Jeff de Boer, Christian Bök and Rosemary Griebel will discuss what they read purely for pleasure and the topics that obsess them the most.

    The recipient of the 2014 Freedom to Read Award, presented by The Writers’ Union of Canada, will be announced and honoured at the event. Hosted by Shelley Youngblut


    Find all the poets' work on the shelves of your local library...

    Loud in the Library

    by Phil

    Calgary's 4th Annual Literary Vaudeville is gonna a be loud one.

    This Thursday, join host Ken Cameron as he presents 4 wonderful writers at the historic Memorial Park library - Rita Bozi, Kris Demeanor, Naomi K Lewis, and Marika Smythe. This year's Vaudeville will also feature a special guest - the 2013-14 Writer-in-Residence from the University of Calgary Distinguished Writer's Program: Sara Tilley.

    It all gets started at 7:00pm. Memorial Park is located at 1221 - 2nd street SW

    You can read teasers from this year's lineup at the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program page.

    And you can find the performers' work on the shelves of your local library:

    Skin Room, by Sara Tilley Harvest & Other Plays, by Ken Cameron I Know Who You Remind Me Of, by Naomi K Lewis The Guilt and the Shame, by Kris Demeanor

    Calgary Stories

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Aerial view of Calgary looking north across downtown and Victoria Park. 1924.There's a natural hunger growing in this city for stories to help us understand and celebrate our past, and this weekend the library is shovelling up loaded spoonfuls. Heritage Weekend 2013 runs from October 25 - 27 and all of the events are potential gateways for any aspiring Calgary writer to discover characters, stories, and hidden corners of history capable of breathing real life into your work.

    The one event I've got circles around for us writers is taking place at the Central library on Saturday, October 26, at 2pm. Historian Laureate Harry Sanders will host a crew of distinguished historians and storytellers for "Calgary Stories" as they serve up some of their favorite tales from the past. Harry's guests will be John Gilpin, Lorna Crowshoe, and David Finch.

    They've already done the research!

    All we have to do is sit back and let the inspiration soak in.

    And if you really do want to see the past come to life, stick around for "Calgary: An Improv History", starting at 3:30pm.

    While it's convenient to have all this spoon-fed heritage on one weekend, remember that the library is your go-to spot for local history research, year round. The local history room on the 4th floor of the Central Library is filled with treasures, and when you can't come downtown but need a history fix in the middle of the night, there's the Community Heritage and Family History Digital Library, where you will find postcards like the 1924 beauty included above, as well as digitized historic maps, Century Homes, the Judith Umbauch photograph collection, and more. Do beware though, Calgary's history can be addictive, habit forming.

    The Shuffle

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    I've always thought the best way to experience poetry was on the page, in a book, examining how the poem comes to life from its own structure. Something about hearing a poem read aloud is far too fleeting, new lines coming at me too quick. I need to savour and pause at my own pace, turning to the next poem only when I'm ready.

    Saturday may change all that.

    House of Blue Skies, the RE:act Collective, filling Station magazine, and Poet Laureate Kris Deameanor have teamed up for 'The Poetry Shuffle'- a leisurely 5 km stroll down the banks of the Bow with poetry readings and pit stops along the way. From Kensington to Inglewood in the company of some our city's finest poets. Everyone is welcome to shuffle the whole way, or join up at any of the nine destinations:

    DESTINATION**

    POETS

    A. 11:00 a.m.

    Pages in Kensington (1135 Kensington Rd NW)

    Anne Burke, Cassy Welburn, Sheri-D Wilson

    B. 11:30 a.m.

    Poetic Park Plaza (at 4th Ave SW + 9th St SW)

    Bob Stallworthy, Cecelia Frey

    C. 12:00 p.m.

    Peace Bridge (Prince’s Island Park)

    Kirk Ramdath, Diane Guichon

    D. 12:30 p.m.

    Prince’s Island Park (Festival Stage)

    Kris Demeanor, Dymphny Dronyk

    E. 1:00 p.m.

    Sien Lok Park

    Vivian Hansen, Lori Roadhouse Haney, Max (Danny)

    F. 1:30 p.m.

    Central Library (616 Macleod Trail SE)

    Kris Demeanor, Samantha Baldwin, Emily Ursuliak, Richard Harrison

    G. 2:30 p.m.

    East Village (in front of Simmons Mattress Factory, Confluence Way & 5th St SE)

    Weyman Chan, Wakefield Brewster, Adrienne Adams

    H. 3:00 p.m.

    Fort Calgary

    Tara Scaglione, Ian Kinney, Chick Hurst

    I. 4:00 p.m.

    Inglewood – Alexandra Writers’ Centre Park (922 9th Ave SE)

    Caitlynn Cummings, Rosemary Griebel

    **Times of arrival at each destination are estimated.

    At some spots the Shuffle will stop just long enough for the poetry and at other spots there will be time to rest and recharge. The most exciting stop, of course, will be STOP F - the Central Library!! where we will welcome shufflers with refreshments. Don't forget to bring your library card and check out our vast collection of local poetry.

    Join the Shuffle. Breathe in the river. Celebrate areas and businesses recovering from the flood. And get involved in an Invest YYC campaign for a forthcoming anthology, The Calgary Project - A City Map in Verse and Visual.

    Keep up to date on this highly changeable event on its Facebook page.

    WWC in YYC

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Karma is biting this blogger big time. Last week I dissed the month of August whole-heartedly and now August is taking every chance it gets to tell me I was so wrong. This weekend is the third When Words Collide festival, known for bringing a wide variety of guest authors, publishers, and passionate fans together for "a sharing of information, for learning, and to build a sense of community."

    The festival runs from August 9 – 11.

    Get full details from the When Words Collide website, including the complete list of presenters & panelists. This list includes local author Axel Howerton, who will appear on the panels "Pushing the Limits of Traditional Mystery" and "Violence in Literature". This week's FFWD features an interview with Howerton. Read it.

    You can find the books of this year's guest authors at your local library. Click the book covers to place a hold.

    SHIRLEE SMITH MATHESON

    PATRICIA BRIGGS

    BARBARA FRADKIN

    DAVID B. COE / D.B. JACKSON

     

     

     

     

     

     

    JAMIS PAULSON

    MICHAEL CASSUTT

    Calgary's Book of the Year

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Calgary"s Book of the YearIt's been a rewarding spring for the author of Walls: Travels Along the Barricades. After receiving the 'Shaugnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing' in March, Marcello Di Cintio double-dipped into the Alberta Literary Awards, winning both the Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction and the James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction. And then on June 12, as if there was any room left on the mantle, Walls was awarded The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize.

    Established in 1996 in honour of renowned Calgary writer W.O. Mitchell to recognize literary achievement by Calgary authors, Di Cintio is the 17th writer to take home the prize. The two authors up against Walls were Theanna Bischoff, for her second novel, Swallow, and 2001 W.O. Mitchell Book prize winner Andrew Nikiforuk, for The Energy of Slaves: Oil and the New Solitude.

    Click here for a complete list of all winners and nominees since 1996.

    As for Walls, there's a UK edition set for release next month and a US edition coming out in the Fall, so it's really just beginning. You can keep up with all of Marcello's work, including some summer workshop opportunities, at his website Elsewhere.

    The Double Launch

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Anyone looking for some fresh local talent to go crazy for must see these two new releases from Insomniac Press. Jani Krulc and Jason Christie have already taken The Jesus Year and Unknown Actor to the other side of Canada and now it is finally our turn to get in on the double launch fun. Pages Bookstore (1135 Kensington Rd NW) will host the event this Friday, June 7, at 7:30 pm. And tune in to Writer's Block on CJSW radio (90.9 FM) tonight at 8 pm for an interview with the 'launchers'.

    Click to Place Hold
    Click to Place Hold

    When poetry meets theatre in the mind of Jason Christie, a smashing performance results! Then as the curtains close, Christie sneaks off the stage, through the scenery, and out into the wilds of the Internet — and straight into the footlights and teleprompters of human experience.

    Like a method actor in character long after the credits have rolled, off-set, off his rocker, Christie runs wild from Goethe's Faust to Burton's, through 1984 and B-movies from the 80s and back again. Beneath his offerings to the actor — questionable acting lessons, dubious plot treatments — lurks a deep unease at our accepted practices of looking at each other, kid.

    Get out the popcorn and turn on your mobile device. This is going to get dramatic.

    The Jesus Year explores the space between joy and tragedy, happiness and despair, sincerity and absurdity.

    A husband won't throw his wife a party for her thirty-third birthday; a woman becomes obsessed with re-decorating her familial cabin; a couple's west coast elopement turns dangerous; a father must talk his daughter out of cancelling her wedding; a mother meets her thirty-year-old daughter for the first time; three friends' lives collide at an annual Christmas party; and a downtown couple drive to a prairie church to plan the perfect wedding.

    In these stories, the banal details of life crash against momentous occasions, revealing what is hidden, and re-casting what is already in plain sight.

    book descriptions lifted off insomniacpress.com


    Jason Christie grew up in Milton, Ontario. He studied at York University and the University of Calgary. In 2007, he joined the Kootenay School of Writing. His poetry has appeared in many journals and magazines, including filling Station, dANDelion, Poetry Is Dead, Action, YES!, The Capilano Review, West Coast Line, and Interim. He edited, alongside a.rawlings and derek beaulieu, the anthology Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry (Mercury 2005). His two previous collections of poetry are Canada Post (Snare 2006) and i-ROBOT (EDGE 2006).

    Jani Krulc is a writer and editor; her fiction has appeared in filling Station and nOd. She holds an MA in English and Creative Writing from Concordia University and a BA (Hons) in English from the University of Calgary. The Jesus Year is her first book.

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