Tag Archives: University of Alberta Press

Dedicated Reading … My New TBR List: Part 1

As some of you may know, I recently moved A LOT of my personal library from Calgary, where it had been stored for a number of years, to my trailer in Ontario. I’ve spent the past few weeks sorting through what arrived, have enjoyed reacquainting with lots of old friends, and tried to figure out how to sort and shelve all the books in this limited space that is my summer home. (That’s part of the fun of book ownership though … being a custodian to all these great books I’ve accumulated over the years – decades, actually – and revisiting with them, remembering why they are important to me and why I am still planning on keeping them.)

I really do have limited space! Even if I were to find another bookshelf it’s doubtful I’d be able to fit it in anywhere … unless I were to move out the pull-out couch in the sunroom. But then, where would overnight guests sleep? So I currently have stacks of books in various places, books that I couldn’t shelve or that are eventually going to be shipped to Bequia (which is another problem … How many more books can I possibly fit on the bookshelves there? None, would be Dennis’s reply).

So, the books I did manage to shelve on the two bookshelves I do have are the real keepers, and mainly signed copies written and published by authors (and publishers) who I know personally, have met, or promoted at some time in my career. The smaller shelving unit I’ve earmarked for Children’s books and Cookbooks on the top shelf, with the rest of the space being dedicated to authors who have not only signed books for me, but who I’ve met, been taught by, or become friends with over the years – and who I also felt to be influential throughout my career in books. These are my mentors and author-heroes. (Not all their books are here though, because there are many authors who have been equally influential but whose books have resided on Bequia for a couple of decades. More on that group of authors and the importance of their books later when I return there in October.) What I’ve done for this first blog post on dedicated reading – because that’s what I’m calling this exercise – is to pull one book written by each of the authors on these shelves, and I plan to these books (alphabetical, according to author’s name) over the next while. Here’s the first stack:

First on the pile and read already is Billy Collins‘s The Trouble With Poetry and Other Poems. I met Collins when he was the Calgary Distinguished Writer at University of Calgary and I was on the selection committee. At that time, I bought this and five other books he’d published, and he signed them all. (There are many videos of Collins reading his own poetry posted to YouTube and, if you’ve never read his poetry or heard him read, you’re in for a treat!)

Second is a novel by Jack Hodgins, The Master of Happy Endings. When I was a new bookseller in the late 70s, Hodgins had just published his first books, Spit Delaney’s Island and The Invention of the World. I loved his writing from the very beginning! I met him in Edmonton at a conference (where I also met a couple of other writers listed below) and bought the book I plan to read next. He signed this copy, and I also have a signed copy of Distance, an earlier novel, although I’m not sure now whether I had it with me to be signed at the same time. Hodgins wrote an excellent book on the craft of writing, A Passion for Narrative that has become a standard text book in Canada, and he taught fiction writing at the University of Victoria. One of his students there was Ann Ireland (see below). I have other books by Hodgins in my Bequia library.

Coincidentally, next on the stack is a novel by Ann Ireland! I studied a number of writing courses through Ryerson University (online) with Ireland and she was an excellent teacher, always a great champion of me and my writing as well. We did meet in person a few times in Toronto, at her request, for coffee and to just talk writing and the book business. Unfortunately, Ann Ireland died in Sept. 2018. While I own copies of all her novels, the only one that may be a signed copy is down in Bequia. I’ll have to check that one for a signature. This time around, I’m reading Exile, which was published by Dundurn, a Toronto publisher I repped. I also featured Ann Ireland on my promotion blog, Reading Recommendations.

Next up is another emotional one for me … Robert Kroetsch. It wasn’t until I moved west in ’78 and began work as a bookseller that I learned about a number of very important Western Canadian authors (several of them on this list, in fact), but over the years I discovered what my Eastern Canadian University degree in literature hadn’t taught me – there’s a wealth of great writing that’s been published for decades coming out of the West! Thankfully, I also had the opportunity to meet many of these authors over the decades, and Robert Kroetsch is certainly one of the most memorable. (I first met Kroetsch at that same conference in Edmonton, mentioned above under Hodgins.) I’ve been tearing up in preparation for writing this short piece about the man, so I decided instead to just post what I wrote about him a number of years ago on this blog, when I’d heard he had died in a car crash.

Another of the famous Western Canadian Authors I only heard about after moving to Calgary was Grant MacEwan, and the book I have of his to read is a old tattered edition of Eye Opener Bob (a Calgary classic!), which I suspect may have come to me from the library of publisher, Dennis Johnson (but that’s another story). I do remember hosting MacEwan for signings when I worked at The Guild Gallery in Calgary, and he was extremely popular (especially with the eldery ladies …), having also been the Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta. Then later, when I worked at Sandpiper Books, his granddaughter came to work with us. While I sold many of MacEwan‘s books at those two bookstores and as sales rep for his publisher, I’m embarrassed to say that this will be the first of those books I’ve read. Looking forward to this slice of Calgary history! I also have a copy of Between the Red and the Rockies.

The next author on my list is still writing and publishing and still in contact with me through Facebook. Alice Major writes poetry, for the most part, and lives in Edmonton where she was the city’s first poet laureate and continues to support other writers and the poetry scene. I have four of Alice Major‘s books, all published by the University of Alberta Press, which I was repping and the reason I first met this author. (Again, I believe I met her first at that Edmonton conference!) Alice also participated in a literary salon I organized in Calgary that was generously sponsored by UAP. I will be reading her collection of poetry, Memory’s Daughter, this time around.

I was just a new bookseller in Calgary the year that Sid Marty published his first book, Men for the Mountains, which proved to be a bestseller in Canada. I know we would have hosted him at The Guild Gallery at the time of that publication, but it wasn’t until decades later, at the Fernie Writers’ Conference, that I got to know Sid Marty much better. He’s a musician – a singer/songwriter – a poet, and writer of some very fine non-fiction. I have a more recent collection of his poetry, The Rider With Good Hands, published by Calgary’s Frontenac House, to read.

To Be Continued … Dedicated Reading … My New TBR List: Part 2

Zika, we hardly knew you …

And thank goodness for that, I say!

I’ll be leaving Bequia in less than two weeks, after having been here for nearly 6 months. When I arrived last October, everyone was extremely concerned about a new mosquito-borne virus making its way through South America and that was expected to pose a threat shortly within the Caribbean region.

We all did what we could (well, most people on the island did) to clean up our properties, to make sure there was no standing water in which mosquitoes could breed. There were island-wide cleanups organized, and people really did seem to be consciously trying to combat the threat of a new virus (too many of us had suffered from Chikungunya two years ago and we didn’t want a repeat!), so it looked as though we might have it beat.

Unfortunately, the government’s way of dealing with mosquitoes is to fog with chemicals … which they have done far too many times this past year. It’s an unnecessary expense and the mosquitoes are still here. Everything else, though is effectively affected, including the honey bees. I spoke with a Bequia apiarist last week who told me he had lost more than a third of his bee population and honey production has been way down. He hasn’t been able to supply local stores at all lately. He also said he noticed the Bequia Sweet birds (grackles) had disappeared from his part of Bequia, but there was one in a tree by our verandah just now, so I know they have not been decimated.

There have been attempts made to breed out the particular type of mosquito carrying all these viruses, but that’s more of a long-term proposition. The one way to ensure the immediate eradication is to clean up the island. We did go through a period earlier in the winter, when the Christmas winds blew strong, that we saw fewer mosquitoes around our house … but recently the numbers have been increasing again. A neighbour did discover a large source of standing water filled with mosquito larvae at a property that has been sitting empty for a number of years. Once that was dealt with we noticed the numbers of mosquitoes are dwindling again.

Anyway, that’s my report – and it’s why I’ve written so little about Zika over the past few months. It’s been a non-issue in SVG, with only one case reported, on Union Island, about a month or so ago. This “new” virus certainly did not ravage the population as Chikungunya did.

And speaking of which … I’ve been experiencing Chikungunya-related pain again recently in my shoulder, and I’ve spoken with and heard from others who still have not shaken the symptoms of that nasty virus. No wonder we were all so worried about another virus threat! I for one don’t think I could ever go through that agony again. That was totally debilitating!

So it was with great joy and relief I discovered the following article about a possible means of combatting these pesky mosquitoes. Ironically, it’s a method developed at Laurentian University, in Sudbury where Dennis and I both lived for a time. It’s cheap, it uses recyclable materials, and it’s proving to be more effective than other methods. I’ve passed on the article to people on Bequia who are committed to finding a way of permanently dealing with this mosquito problem.

Here’s hoping it will work on Bequia!

Canadian team set to turn tires against Zika virus

The ovillanta design. Photo courtesy Daniel Pinelo.

The ovillanta design. Photo courtesy Daniel Pinelo.

And now, a word or two (and a few videos) from my friends …

I have spread out this week’s offering of interesting links over three posts – because there were so many good articles, videos, and posts I wanted to share with you and it was too much to post them all together. I’ve already posted Parts 1 & 2, and here is Part 3, comprised of links to a number of friends’ sites, either people I know or, at least, have met. Please read what they have to say and consider subscribing to their blogs and sites. Enjoy!

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From my good friend and Alberta Author, Betty Jane Hegerat, comes Family Recipes.

Ken McGoogan, who blurbed the back cover of my novel, offers information about a one-week intensive writing workshop this summer in Toronto: Would you take a writing workshop with this man?

My long time Caribbean friend, Gwenith Whitford (who also graduated from Queen’s!), lives on, and writes about, the island of Dominica in her blog, Ti Dominik Tales. Recently, she talked of Teaching ESL on the Nature Island: Class One – Dominica’s Environment

From Hazel Hutchins, an award-winning Alberta Author of children’s books, there’s a newly designed website.

My good friends at The University of Alberta Press have maintained an informative blog for quite a while, titled There’s a Hole in the Bucket. In this post, they report on the recent Alberta Book Awards Gala held in Edmonton and include a list of the winners as well as a slide show of the festivities!

Another Alberta Author who maintains an excellent blog is Thomas Wharton. Tom often writes about what it means to be a writer, how he writes, as well as what he writes. In this post, he gives us a visual version of A writer’s journey

And … LOOK OUT! Eugene Stickland – playwright, publisher, teacher, bon-vivant, and man-about-Calgary – warns us of The Long-awaited Return of Mr. Grumpypants!

Someone I had the great opportunity to meet is Billy Collins, former United States Poet Laureate. I was a member of the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program Steering Committee that invited him to Calgary in 2012. Bob Chelmick, host of CKUA’s The Road Home regularly plays recordings of Collins reading his poetry. So when I heard Ballistics the other day I knew I had to share it with you. Then the poem Forgetfulness was played as well, and it seemed like a good idea to include that, while I was at it. You can never have enough Billy Collins …

And finally, from a Bequia “friend” I have yet to meet in person, here’s a post on the relatively new blog written by Jay Yurkiewicz linking to an article about a friend of Jay’s who “gives back globally.” I will be writing more about this concept in the near future.

I have recently figured out how to make videos using my new camera and have set up a YouTube channel so that I may post these online to share with fans and followers. No cat videos … yet, but I will not promise there won’t be any cat videos in the future. For now, you’ll have to make do with three videos of Admiralty Bay. All are available to view on this blog post. I hope they will give you a brief taste of Bequia, especially those of you who have read my novel but have not yet visited the island. Yes, this place really does exist!

Have you recently discovered any interesting articles or blogs dealing with the topics on this blog? (Writing, Editing, Publishing, Promotion, eBooks, Bookselling) Please post a link in the comments section, and tell us why you think it’s important.

2012 – A Year of Alberta Books Canada Literary Salons

Since Nov. 2011, Alberta Books Canada hosted a series of literary salons in Calgary that brought together readers with Alberta authors in the intimate setting of a private home for readings and discussions about books and writing. Now that this series has come to an end, I wanted to recap all the salons and share with everyone a list of the authors who took part.

What made these salons different from the usual readings in bookstores and libraries, besides being held in private homes, is that they were based on the model of music house parties where the audience is charged an admission fee and all money collected is paid to the artists. My intention in setting up the salons in this way was so the authors would receive payment for having entertained us, and the audience would realize they should not expect authors to perform for free. After all, the amount any author receives from the royalties of book sales is a mere pittance. We need to show our appreciation for their work in more ways than just by buying a copy of their book – although that does help. As one author said when asked how much she made from each book: “I’m lucky to see a dollar, if that.” And we all know that a book published in Canada these days is considered as selling well if it passes 500 copies. 200 copies for poetry.

We experimented with Skype at a couple of these salons, with audience members able to attend and participate from a distance. Pearl Luke of Book Club Buddy took an active part during one discussion while still in her Thailand home. I also read from, and sold (through the cooperation of Monkeyshines), my new eBook that was not yet available in print at that time. At one salon, two of the authors showed videos they had created. And we invited two musicians to join the authors at two other salons and play some of their own music.

Thanks to everyone who was involved in this series. To Sue Hill of Monkeyshines Children’s Books for selling books at each of the salons, and to all the hosts who graciously opened their homes to us so we could enjoy these get-togethers in the true fashion of a traditional European artistic salon.

But a special thanks to Anne Sorbie for creating and publishing limited edition chapbooks that offered a commemorative collection of writing by the authors involved in each of the salons.

And a huge THANK YOU to our very dedicated audience (some of you attended every salon we offered!!) for being so attentive, for buying the books, and for reading! And, as well, to all the authors who participated. We could not have done any of this without your fine writing and generosity in sharing that writing with us!

Nov. 29, 2011

Betty Jane Hegerat
Lori Hahnel
Rosemary Griebel
Bob Stallworthy

Dec. 14, 2011

Aritha van Herk
Anne Sorbie
Gordon Sombrowski
Tom Phillips, singer/songwriter

Jan. 18, 2012 – Current and former Calgary Distinguished Writers’ Program Writers-In-Residence

Jeramy Dodds
Rosemary Nixon
Marcello Di Cintio
Richard Harrison

Mar. 27, 2012Self: No longer a four-letter word

Claudette Brown
Derek Donais
Collin Paulson
Susan M. Toy
Andrew Riches, musician

June 13, 2012 – New offerings by established authors

Barb Howard
Maureen Bush
Steve Owad
Weyman Chan

Sept. 30, 2012 – Mentors and Mentoring

Barb Howard and Sudhir Jain
Betty Jane Hegerat and Ali Bryan
Discussion led by Robyn Read and Pearl Luke (via Skype)

Nov. 18, 2012 – Working with a publisher’s editor (cosponsored by University of Alberta Press)

Alice Major
Kath MacLean
Geo Takach
Peter Midgley

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From our final salon, Back L-R – Peter Midgley, Kath MacLean, Susan Toy, Geo Takach; Front L-R – Sue Hill (Monkeyshines), Alice Major, Cathie Crooks (UofA Press)

All you need for gift-giving are books by MORE Alberta Authors!

On December 12th, I compiled a list of Alberta authors, creating a blog post in which I suggested that books by these authors would make great gifts or be enjoyed if borrowed from the library.

Now I’d like to add more books, as well as Publishers, to that list and encourage you to check out these titles as well. There’s something here for everyone! So buy, give, borrow – but, most important… READ!

Books by Alberta Authors of interest to Adults

5000 Dead Ducks by CD Evans and LM Shyba
An Accidental Advocate: a mother’s journey with her exceptional son by Kathryn Burke
Beyond the Rear View Mirror: Navigating the unexpected Detours on the Road of Life by Shelley Streit
Eco-yards: How to Build Them DVD with Laureen Rama
Eco-yards: Simple Steps to Earth-Friendly Landscapes by Laureen Rama
Embedded on the Home Front: Where Military and Civilian Lives Converge ed. by Joan Dixon & Barb Howard
Hearts, Minds, & Vision: Roots of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta
Hope in the Colour of Orange: Dutch Civilian Memories of War and Liberation by Susan Raby-Dunne et al
Horses, ink: A Collection of Horse Cartoons by Dave Elston
Inspiring Life Stories: 100 Years of Calgary Public Library by Brian Brennan
Lifeworth: Finding Fulfillment Beyond Network by Dana and Hal Coulliard
Living in the Wonderful by Marilyn Halvorson
No Guff Vegetable Gardening by Donna Balzer and Steven Biggs
On Toby’s Terms by Charmaine Hammond
A Portrait in Pluralism: AgaKhan’s Shia Ismaili Muslims by Mansoor Ladha
Pulpit and Politics: Competing Religious Ideologies in Canadian Public Life by Dennis Greunding
Searching for Heaven on the Road Through Hell: The Memories of a Brain Tumour Survivor by Claudette Brown
Rest Your Head on the Wind: Tales of Trials, Transformation and the Open Road by Susan Raby-Dunne
A Sky Full of Dreams by Victor Carl Friesen
Wakeful Nights, Stephan G. Stephansson:Icelandic-Canadian Poet By Vidar Hreinsson

Books by Alberta Authors of interest to Children, Tweens and Teens

Birds, Bugs, and Beasts … in verses Apt to Zany by Victor Carl Friesen
Ice Rose by Alison Neuman
Just Because: A Collection of Light Verse and Nonsense by Gwen Molnar
Laurel’s Miracle by Nancy Marie Bell
Leaf by Maxine Spence
Shifters by Halli Lilburn
Sir Princess Petra by Diane Mae Robinson
Toby and His Hospital Friends by Charmaine Hammond

Publishers and some Alberta books they publish for Adult Readers

Athabasca University Press

Dustship Glory by Andreas Schroeder
Kindness Colder Than the Elements by Charles Noble
The Metabolism of Desire: the poetry of Guido Cavalcanti trans. By David R. Slavitt
Working People in Alberta: A History by Alvin Finkel et al
Controlling Knowledge: Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection in a Networked World by Lorna Stefanick
kiyam by Naomi McIlwraith
Voices of the Land: The Seed Savers and Other Plays by Katherine Koller
How Canadians Communicate IV edited by David Taras and Christopher Waddell

CPRC Press (Canadian Plains Research Centre)

Human Ecology of the Canadian Prairie Ecozone ed. by B.A. Nicholson
The Patriation Minutes by Howard Leeson
Agricultural History – History of the Prairie West Series ed. by Gregory P. Marchildon
New Directions in Saskatchewan Public Policy ed. by David P. McGrane
Awakening the Spirit: Moving Forward in Child Welfare ed. by Don Fuchs et al
The Salt Lake Loonie and Other Stories Every Sports Fan Should Know by Brett Matlock & Jesse Matlock
west-words: Celebrating Western Canadian Theatre and Playwriting ed. by Moira J. Day
The Identities of Marie Rose Delorme Smith: Portrait of a Metis Woman 1861-1960 Doris Jeanne MacKinnon
Business & Industry – History of the Prairie West Series Ed. by Gregory Marchildon
Inside the Ark: The Hutterites in Canada and the United States by Yossi Katz & John Lehr
Nenapohs Legends: Memoir 2 – First Nation Language Readers
First in Canada: An Aboriginal Book of Days by Jonathan Anuik
The Science, Impacts and Monitoring of Drought in Western Canada: Proceedings of the 2004 Prairie Drought Workshop by David Sauchyn et al
Managing Changing Prairie Landscapes by Glenn Sutter & Todd Radenbaugh
Changing Prairie Landscapes by Todd Radenbaugh & Patrick Douaud
A Dry Oasis: Institutional Adaptation to Climate Change on the Canadian Plains by Gregory P. Marchildon
620 Wild Plants of North America (Fully Illustrated) by Tom Reaume
Water and Wetland Plants of the Prairie Provinces by Heinjo Lahring
The New Normal: The Canadian Prairies in a Changing Climate by David Sauchyn et al
Defying Palliser: Stories of Resilience from the Driest Region of the Canadian Prairies by Harry P. Diaz & Jim Warren

Chizine Publications

Napiers Bones by Derryl Murphy

Coteau Books

Blood and Salt by Barbara Sapergia

Douglas & McIntyre Ltd.

America, But Better: The Canada Party Manifesto by Chris Cannon & Brian Call
The Energy of Slaves: Oil and the New Servitude by Andrew Nikiforuk
Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug Are Killing North America’s Great Forests by Andrew Nikiforuk
The Ice Pilots: Flying With the Mavericks of the Great White North by Michael Vlessides
1494: How a Family Feud in Medieval Spain Divided the World in Half by Stephen R. Bown
Canada At War: A Graphic History of World War Two by Paul Keery and Michael Wyatt

Frontenac House

33 Million Solitudes by Ali Riley
Any Bright Horse by Lisa Pasold
Goddess, Gone Fishing For a Map of the Universe by Sheri-D Wilson
The Rider With Good Hands & Sky Humour by Sid Marty
In This Place: Calgary 2004-2011 photographs by George Webber & text by Aritha van Herk
‘Tis Pity by David Bateman

Goose Lane Editions

GWG: Piece by Piece by Catherine C. Cole
Walls: Travels Along the Barricades by Marcello di Cintio

Playwrights Canada Press

The Forbidden Pheonix by Marty Chan
Mrs. Dexter and Her Daily by Joanna McClelland Glass
Penny Plain by Ronny Burkett
Inspiration Point by John Garfield Barlow
Almighty Voice and His Wife by Daniel David Moses

Thistledown Press

Nobody Cries At Bingo by Dawn Dumont
hearth wild/ post cardiac banff by Charles Nobel
The Sometimes Lake by Sandy Bonny
Gaits by Pauline Dube
more than Three Feet of Ice by Brenda Schmidt
Interwoven Wild: An Ecologist Loose in the Garden by Don Gayton
The Eye in the Thicket: Essays at a Natural History ed. by Sean Virgo
Memoir of a Good Death by Anne Sorbie

University of Alberta Press

The Grads Are Playing Tonight! by M. Ann Hall
Wells by Jenna Butler
Dear Hermes… by Michelle Smith
continuations 2 by Douglas Barbour & Sheila E. Murphy
Imagining Ancient Women by Annabel Lyon
Baba’s Kitchen Medicines: Folk Remedies of Ukrainian Settlers in Western Canada by Michael Mucz
Alfalfa to Ivy: Memoir of a Harvard Medical School Dean by Joseph B. Martin
The Man in the Blue Pyjamas, A Prison Memoir by Jalal Barzanji
Pursuing China: Memoir of a Beaver Liaison Officer by Brian L. Evans
Civilizing the Wilderness: Culture and Nature in Pre-Confederation Canada and Rupert’s Land by A.A. den Otter
J.B. Harkin: Father of Canada’s National Parks by E.J. (Ted) Hart
Culturing Wilderness in Jasper National Park: Studies in Two Centuries of Human History in the Upper Athabasca River Watershed by I.S. MacLaren et al
People of the Lakes: Stories of Our Van Tat Gwich’in Elders/Googwandak Nakhwach’ànjòo Van Tat Gwich’in by Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation & Shirleen Smith

University of Calgary Press

Hearts and Minds: Canadian Romance at the Dawn of the Modern Era 1900-1930 by Dan Azoulay
Always An Adventure, An Autobiography by Hugh Dempsey
A Century of Parks Canada 1911-2011 ed. by Claire Elizabeth Campbell
In the National Interest: Canadian Foreign Policy and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade,
1909-2009
ed. by Greg Donaghy and Michael K. Carroll
Promoters, Planters, and Pioneers: The Course and Context of Belgian Settlement in Western Canada
by Cornelius J. Jaenen
Cultural Memories and Imagined Futures: The Art of Jane Ash Poitras by Pamela McCallum
The Art of John Snow by Elizabeth Herbert
Happyland: A History of the “Dirty Thirties” in Saskatchewan, 1914-1937 by Curtis R. McManus

Wood Lake Publishing

Cause for Hope: Humanity at the Crossroads by Bill Phipps
Practicing Reverence: an ethic for sustainable earth communities by Ross L. Smillie

Publishers and some Alberta books they publish for Children, Tweens and Teens

Coteau Books

Veil Weavers, Crow Boy and Nexus Ring by Maureen Bush
Outcast of River Falls and Ghost Messages by Jacqueline Guest
Shade and Sorceress by Catherine Egan
The Piper of Shadonia by Linda Smith
Drummer Girl, Run Like Jager and Summer of Fire by Karen Bass

Leap Books

Second Skin, Skinned: Book 2 by Judith Graves
Under My Skin, Skinned: Book 1 by Judith Graves
Spirited, 13 haunting tales ed. by Kat O’Shea

Second Story Press

Dear Baobab by Cheryl Foggo

Thistledown Press

Barnabas Bigfoot – a Close Shave! By Marty Chan

Wood Lake Publishing

A World of Faith: Introducing Spiritual Traditions to Teens by Carolyn Pogue

ABC Friday Reads – University of Alberta Press Authors!

Alberta Books Canada and the University of Alberta Press are hosting a literary salon on Sunday afternoon this weekend at a private house in Calgary. There will be readings and presentations by all four guest authors followed by a discussion of the topic, Working With a Publisher’s Editor.

UAP’s acquiring editor, Peter Midgley, who is himself a published author and professional storyteller, will be joined by Alice Major, Kath Maclean and Geo Takach. Each will read from their work, show videos and book trailers, or tell us a story. Should be a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon in November!

For Friday Reads this week, I’m recommending you click on the links above, discover more about these Alberta authors and their books, and join us by settling in to read one or more of these great books published by University of Alberta Press!

Alberta Books Canada Literary Salon – November 18th, 2012

Alberta Books Canada is pleased to be hosting the final literary salon of 2012 alongside the University of Alberta Press! UAP will be sending three of their Edmonton authors and an editor, as well as several staff members, to Calgary to take part in this November salon on Sunday the 18th for readings and a discussion of the topic, Working With a Publisher’s Editor. Here are the details:

UAP Invitation – Literary Salon Nov. 18, 2012

Please join us! Seating is limited, however, so send me an email asap to reserve your ticket.

Alberta Books Canada Literary Salon – November 18th, 2012

Alberta Books Canada is pleased to be hosting the final literary salon of 2012 alongside the University of Alberta Press! UAP will be sending three of their Edmonton authors and an editor, as well as several staff members, to Calgary to take part in this November salon on Sunday the 18th for readings and a discussion of the topic, Working With a Publisher’s Editor. Here are the details:

ABC Nov. 2012 Literary Salon

Please join us! Seating is limited, however, so send me an email asap to reserve your ticket.

ABC Friday Reads – Myrna Kostash

Myrna Kostash has just delivered her keynote address to the Northern Lights Library System Conference, so I am recommending her books for this week’s Alberta Books Canada Friday Reads.

I’ve known of Myrna’s writing since I first moved to Alberta in 1978 and began working at The Guild Gallery of Artists and Authors in Calgary. She had published a very successful book with Hurtig Publishers of Edmonton, All of Baba’s Children, that we could not keep on the shelf. It sold out almost as soon as we unpacked new stock. As Myrna told us today, that book still remains in print.

Her most recent book, The Prodigal Daughter, A Journey to Byzantium, was published by University of Alberta Press in 2010 and follows a return to her spiritual sources in Byzantium and the Eastern Christian Orthodox Church.

Myrna is an acclaimed writer of literary and creative nonfiction and she lives in Edmonton. For a complete bibliography and biography, please visit her website.

An excellent speech, by the way. Almost like a mini-writing lesson in many ways. Another time I met and spoke with Myrna was when she taught the nonfiction class at the Fernie Writers’ Conference.

ABC Friday Reads – Robert Kroetsch

One of the most influential Canadian authors, Robert Kroetsch wrote about this place called Alberta, even though he spent much of his life living outside of the province. The number of Alberta authors, in particular, who were mentored, instructed, encouraged, or even just befriended by this man are far too many to list. He touched all of us in different ways – but I can attest that even a slight touch from Kroetsch was enough to make a difference in the way we write and approach this business of publishing. Readers, as well, were introduced to this place called Alberta, a place that Kroetsch’s eastern publishers (and that would be Toronto) thought he must have made up. It couldn’t exist, they told him. (Click here to listen to many archived podcasts of wonderful interviews conducted by Bob Chelmick on his The Road Home programme on CKUA.)

Well, he did make up some of what he wrote, because that’s what all good fiction writers do – they lie. But he was one of the first to actually write about this place we call home, and write about it very well.

We lost Robert Kroetsch in a car accident last year, on my birthday. The entire book community was stunned, shocked, when we realized that this wonderful man was no longer with us. I wrote a blog post about this, and of my experience of having known the man.

In recent years, University of Alberta Press had been working with Robert Kroetsch in reissuing all his earlier works, and they published what turned out to be his last collection of poetry, Too Bad in 2010. Cathie Crooks, Sales and Marketing Manager at UAP, was also creating a dedicated website for Kroetsch and all of his books at the time of his death. This comprehensive site has finally been launched, so to help celebrate, I am recommending the writing of Robert Kroetsch for this week’s Alberta Books Canada Friday Reads selection.

We still miss you fiercely, Robert Kroetsch!