Tag Archives: Rosemary Griebel

A-R International: Rosemary Griebel

Rosemary Griebel
Authors-Readers International

Photo credit: Monique de St. Croix

Born in the farming community of Castor, Alberta, Rosemary Griebel grew up on the prairies. Currently Special Projects Manager with the Calgary Public Library, where she has worked for 20 years, Rosemary’s poems have been published on CBC’s radio program Anthology, in national journals, in the Calgary Transit’s “Poetry in Motion” series of in-vehicle posters, and in chapbooks by Leaf Press. Her poems have won FreeFall Magazine’s national poetry contest three times – in the second year of the contest, two of her poems, unknown to the judges to be by the same author, tied for first place.

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Dennis and I both met Rosemary Griebel’s husband long before I ever got to know Rosemary herself. Richard Harvey was managing one of the two private wine stores that had been newly opened in Calgary, and it was located, conveniently, on our drive from our jobs downtown to our house in the southwest. Everyone should have a personal wine merchant! It wasn’t until many years later, When Rosemary had launched her book of poetry and was reading at a bookstore as part of a Freefall Magazine event that she came up and introduced herself to me, saying, “I think you know my husband!” Rosemary was also a librarian, working for the Calgary Public Library, so it was a given that I would want to promote her book of poetry, Yes., at the various library conferences where I was displaying books and speaking about Alberta authors. Rosemary was also one of the authors who took part in the first literary salon I organized.

The truly lovely connection though that I maintain with Rosemary Griebel is that while I’m living at my house in the Caribbean during the winter months, I listen to Bob Chelmick’s radio programme The Road Home that is available online. Bob reads poetry and plays lovely music, and prerecorded poetry read by the poets themselves. It has never ceased to amaze me how often I turn on The Road Home and hear … Rosemary Griebel’s voice! I recognize her immediately! And, believe it or not, Rosemary, I even heard you reading “St. Stephen’s Church, December Night” while I’ve been preparing this promotion for you! (I wrote a blog post about this connection I have through The Road Home with authors back in Canada. Another of these authors will be appearing here in a few days’ time.)

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Yes.
“Witness” is a fine word to describe Rosemary Griebel’s attitude to life, to writing. Not just witness in the sense of one who sees what anyone in the same place would see, but witness in the religious sense as well – one who understands and speaks of the miracles that linger in the day-to-day. An intensely reflective poet, Rosemary’s work calls on the stink of the pig sty, the luminous words of Basho, the hoarse prayers of Walt Whitman. Yes is Rosemary Griebel’s long-awaited first book, an intimate journey through love and loss, an affirmation of the importance of curiosity, passion and vision.

Yes. is published by Frontenac House. Please see their website for purchasing the book.

Something very exciting happened recently for both Rosemary Griebel and the entire writing community of Calgary – Project Bookmark Canada “planted” a plaque, the first in Alberta, as part of their “putting pieces of stories and poems in the exact, physical locations where literary scenes are set” – in this case, “Walking with Walt Whitman Through Calgary’s Eastside on a Winter Day,” by Rosemary Griebel!

Photo provided by Shaun Hunter

Here’s an article from The Calgary Herald about the unveiling event.
And a map of all the bookmarks that have been placed across Canada.

Another project in which Rosemary Griebel has been instrumental in its execution is the new Central Branch of the Calgary Public Library that opened just over a year ago. As Rosemary explained, “There were so many people who worked on the New Central Library project so I don’t feel I deserve special mention. That said, I did work as the Assistant Project Manager for 10 years, and was involved in programs and curated displays that promote reading. I am particularly proud of the TD Great Reading Room, and the reverence that the room bestows on books, reading and the creative realm of silence.” I had the opportunity to see this new library when I was in Calgary last May and, as far as I’m concerned EVERYONE who had anything to do with executing this project should stand up and take a bow. It’s magnificent! Take a look at these two videos, from the library itself and the CBC News, and try to imagine just how spectacular it is in real life!

ABC Friday Reads – Three Calgary Poets

This week, as part of my Friday Reads promotion of Alberta authors, I am recommending collections by Calgary poets. All three have been faithful supporters of Alberta Books Canada since the beginning, and I thank them for that! But each is also an exceptional writer, and I have no hesitation in suggesting that you pick up copies of their books and sample the writing of all three poets, if you’re looking for a wonderful way to spend your weekend. Enjoy!

I have known Bob Stallworthy for many more years than either of us cares to admit. Bob was beginning his career as a poet while I was working at Books ‘n’ Books on 17th Ave. in Calgary, sadly long-since closed. Bob was publishing his poems in chapbooks and working at learning his craft. He would often drop by the store in those days, because Books n Books promoted local writers, and especially supported poets, such as Robert Hilles, Ken Rivard, Chris Wiseman, Yvonne Trainer, Murdoch Burnett, and many others who later went on to publish and realize success. When I first set up ABC, Bob was among those few Calgary authors who immediately signed on to have his three books displayed at library conferences, and he’s supported my efforts ever since. Thanks, Bob!

Things That Matter Now 978-1-897181-26-3
From A Call Box 978-0-968490-31-0
Optics 978-0-968490-06-8

All published by Frontenac House

Deborah Miller also signed up for promotion at the very beginning. I hadn’t known of her work before that time, but have enjoyed working with her to not only promote her three collections of poetry, but also her children’s book, Grappling with the Grumblies, for which she wrote the text. Deborah gives a great presentation of this book and was awarded the inaugural Steffie Award for it! Her three books of poetry were well-received when first published.

I will Burn Candles 1-896209-16-5
Landing At Night 978-1-896209-94-4
Grandmother’s Radio: Echoes From the Holocaust 1-896209-74-2

All published by Bayeaux Arts and available to purchase from the author.

I knew Rosemary Griebel‘s husband a couple of decades before I actually, and finally, met Rosemary – since he was our friendly, neighbourhood wine merchant! So when Rosemary and I did connect-the-dots at one of her readings and realized we’d both been hearing about each other all those years from her husband, it was as though we did already know each other. Once her first book of poetry, Yes., was released in 2011, Rosemary became an ABC author. And what a debut book this has been, with nominations for three major poetry prizes this year alone! Good luck, Rosemary! And these nominations are well-deserved, too. I believe this is the beginning of a very long and successful career. Click here for a link to a video of Rosemary reading at the launch party held at The Auburn Saloon in May 2011.

Yes. 978-1-897181-49-2, 84
Published by Frontenac House