Vol. 7 No. 12
Give the gift of great writing and ideas! If your mom is a reader, we bet she’d love a membership to the Vancouver International Writers Festival! Just $35 – and we’ll put it in an attractive gift envelope too! To purchase, call the office at 604-681.6330 x109.
UPCOMING VIWF EVENTS
At the next Incite on April 18, Irish novelist John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, reads from The Absolutist, Buffy Cram reads from her debut collection of short stories, Radio Belly, and Owen Laukkanen shares his debut thriller, The Professionals. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/inciteapril18. Also appearing at Incite in the next few weeks are Linden MacIntyre, Vincent Lam, Richard Stursberg and Trevor Green.
Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author Richard Ford appears with his latest novel, Canada. A visionary novel of vast landscapes, complex identities and fragile humanity. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/richardford.
AWARDS & LISTS
Leonard Cohen has been awarded the 2011 Glenn Gould Prize. Dubbed by some as the "Nobel Prize of the Arts," it is presented biennially to "an individual for a unique lifetime contribution that has enriched the human condition through the arts."
Ken Babstock, Jan Zwicky and Phil Hall are shortlisted for the $65,000 Griffin Poetry Prize, along with four international nominees.
The City of Edmonton has named Judy Schultz's Freddy's War winner of the 2012 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize.
Don McKay's The Shell of the Tortoise has won the $10,000 BMO Winterset Award, the first ever essay collection to win. The award celebrates writing by authors from Newfoundland and Labrador.
Four authors' books are on the shortlist for The Donner Prize.
SuperCellaBella writes: I like the book Matilda because it is by one of my favourite authors, Roald Dahl. It is funny like all Roald Dahl books. It's about a girl called Matilda who has a very horrible family and goes to a horrible school—and survives! Ages 8-12
Award-winning author Nicola Morgan recommends two books by Laurie Halse Anderson: Speak and Catalyst. Both books are raw portrayals of the anguish that some teenagers suffer on their way from the protection of childhood to the independence of adulthood. Ages 12 and up
New Mexico folk artist Nicholas Herrera is known for his amazing sculptures and paintings. But readers of his memoir High Riders, Saints and Death Cars will learn that his path to success was a difficult one. Art has become the centre of his life. The book is lavishly illustrated. Ages 10 and up
"Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse," Auggie says of his face as the book begins. By the time Wonder, a rich first novel by R.J. Palacio is over, it's not just Auggie but everyone around him who has changed, says Maria Russo. Ages 8 to 12
NEWS & FEATURES
Saskatoon has arrived in the Big Apple. The Prairie city is making a cheeky cameo appearance on the April 16 cover of the New Yorker magazine, thanks to Canadian artist Bruce McCall, who now lives in New York.
The Hunger Games, a young adult book set in dystopian future, was No. 3 on the American Library Association's list of most challenged books—those that face complaints by parents and library patrons because of "unsuitable" content—for 2011.
While much has been made of Katniss Everdeen as a new generation of girl hero, Jen Doll reminds us that such great girl characters as Meg Murry, Laura Ingalls, Claudia Kincaid, Nancy Drew, Anne Shirley and Pippi Longstocking set the stage.
Many of us know of The Cellist of Sarajevo through Steven Galloway’s book. This week, the cellist, Vedran Smajlovic, returned to Sarajevo from Northern Ireland, where he now lives, to play his cello at one of the ceremonies marking the 20th anniversary of the start of the siege of Sarajevo.
The controversy surrounding Günter Grass's poem What Must Be Said escalated with the declaration that Grass was now banned from Israel, writes Robert Sharp. English PEN suggests the Israeli literary community respond with poetry of their own, parodying and picking apart Grass's offering.
The Walrus Foundation is launching a book imprint. The Walrus Books will publish Margaret Atwood's short story I Dream of Zenia with the Bright Red Teeth in a limited-edition run of 2,000 copies, the first 100 of which will be signed and numbered by Atwood.
Each issue of the Safety Pin Review is a very short story written on a piece of fabric in bold lettering, pinned on someone's back, who walks around wearing it. The person who stands behind them—that's the readership.
George Fetherling describes the range of literary presses—including the mighty University of California Press—that publish poetry. When you enjoy a collection from Publisher X, you’re likely to be interested in their other poetry titles, as well.
Yes, you CAN buy e-books and support your local indie bookstore, writes Laura Miller.
The Boston Globe lists 10.5 ways local bookstores beat Amazon.
Americans who have recently read an e-book read 60% more books than those who read only print books, reported the Pew Research Center. The study was based on three surveys of at least 2,000 people, each over age 16.
Admirers of Charles Dickens can brush shoulders with chimney sweeps at a Dickens World theme park in England.
Elif Shafak is Turkey's most widely read woman writer, with her work translated into 30 languages. In an interview with William Skidelsky, she talks about why she writes her novels twice.
Fifty years after the publication of Doris Lessing's Golden Notebook, four generations of writers reflect on what it means to them.
Britain’s Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy has been commissioned to write a poem based on the story of eight women and two men who were hanged for witchcraft in Lancashire 400 years ago.
April is National Poetry Month and CBC Reads is having a contest. Tell them what your favourite collection of poetry is and why, and you could win one of four prizes. Deadline for entry is Sunday, April 29, at midnight ET. Complete rules and regulations are here:
The Canada Writes Poetry Prize competition is open. Deadline for entries of original poetry is May 1 at 11:59 pm ET. More information at:
Geist has announced the Second Annual Geist Erasure Poetry Contest. Writers are asked to create their own poetic masterpiece from an excerpt of How Should a Person Be? a creative non-fiction novel by celebrated author Sheila Heti . Visit geist.com/erasure for more details and to read the excerpt.
The Aspiring Poets Contest is for unpublished Canadian poets, and begins in April, national poetry month. Vancouver's Poet Laureate Evelyn Lau is the honorary patron. Submissions will be accepted, beginning April 1. More information at:
BOOKS & WRITERS
Read my mind, writes Diana Fitzgerald Bryden, Heidi Julavits' The Vanishers is terrific: wild, funny and macabre, with the propulsive energy of a good mystery but without the sense of foregone conclusions.
When Gerbrand Bakker's first book, The Twin, won the Impac Award, it was clear that an assured and mature new voice had emerged in European fiction. Its successor The Detour is even more powerful, writes John Burnside.
Anne Tyler's latest novel, The Beginner's Goodbye, is a classic mix of the author's themes, most especially oddball characters and the turbulent nature of families and marriages, writes Mary McNamara. As always, it's set in Baltimore.
There are many new Titanic books, writes John Kalbleisch. including two biographies of John Law Hume, a violinist in the ship's eight-man ensemble. The bravery displayed by Jock Hume and the ensemble contrasts with Hume's musician father, a truly unpleasant man.
To read Nadine Gordimer's No Time Like the Present is to plunge into the cauldron that is South Africa today, a chaotic now which cannot avoid the dark shadow of a heavy past, writes Martin Rubin.
Hugh Brewster's RMS Titanic: Gilded Lives on a Fatal Voyage skillfully weaves the sinking with the backstories of the first-class celebrities aboard the doomed ship. Behind those formal black-and-white photos of the Titanic elite lurked colourful scandal and gossip galore, writes Doug Grant.
In the preface to his Titanic text, the late Walter Lord writes of the then-unabated interest in the ship and how she has proved unsinkable. Lord's words could just as easily describe the Titanic fever now gripping the media, writes Billeh Nickerson.
In his review of David Scheffer's All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals, Michael Ignatieff reminds us that "Affirming belief that America is an exceptional nation has become a test of patriotism in American politics." Still, in some cases, justice was done.
John Grisham's legal thrillers are dense and hefty, full of twists, turns and tension. Calico Joe, however, is a fable with a moral: good can come out of evil. And, says Steven V. Roberts, Grisham knows baseball as well as he knows crime.
Nancy Richler‘s accomplished new work, The Imposter Bride, is rooted firmly in Montreal and elaborates Richler's essential themes: Jewish history, maternal absence, female experience and the significance of the word. This novel serves as a gut-wrenching education, writes Donna Bailey Nurse.
Dee Hobsbawn-Smith's Foodshed is a rich encyclopedia of facts, farm-gate lore and original recipes. And a politically engaging narrative in which Hobsbawn-Smith articulates the challenges and joys faced by small-scale producers. This is not Charlotte's Web, warns Patriicia Dawn Robertson.
Donna Britt's Brothers (& Me) tells of her brother's killing by police. Reading the memoir amid the outcry over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin shows the timelessness of this narrative—that black male life is treated as disposable, writes Danielle Evans.
Gregor von Rezzori was born into a vanishing world, writes Michael LaPointe. In An Ermine in Czernopol, von Rezzori sent his nameless narrator in search of lost time, to recover what vanished of Europe, and himself, between world wars.
ON EDGE READING SERIES
Presents readings by Kaie Kellough and Cornelia Hoogland. Thursday, April 12 at 7:00pm, free. SB301, Emily Carr University, 1399 Johnston Street. More information at http://www.ecuad.ca/about/events/198108.
Launch of the new anthology V6A: Writing from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Featuring readings by Cathleen With, Henry Doyle, Phoenix Winter and My Name is Scot. Thursday, April 12 at 7:00pm. The Waldorf, 1489 East Hastings.
US poets Sharmagne Leland-St. John and Ellaraine Lockie, and BC poets Sandy Shreve and Kate Braid read from the newly published poetry anthology Villanelles (an Everymans Library Pocket Poets book). Friday, April 13 at 7:00pm. People's Co-op Bookstore, 1391 Commercial Drive.
THE WRITER'S STUDIO READING SERIES
An evening of storytelling poetry, lyric prose, and personal essays related to the theme of travel. Guest author is writer and photographer Tayu Hayward who will show a collection of his photographs and share his stories. Friday, April 13 at 7:00pm, free. Take 5 Cafe, 429 Granville Street.
LIT FEST NEW WEST
All day event featuring speakers, authors, workshops, readings and more. Saturday, April 14 at 9:00am. Douglas College, 700 Royal Avenue, New Westminster. More information at artscouncilnewwest.org.
POETIC JUSTICE READING SERIES
Readings by Rob Taylor, Daniela Elza, Jeff Park, and Timothy Shay. Sunday, April 15 at 3:00p. The Heritage Grill, 447 Columbia Street, New Westminster.
Author reads and presents a slideshow from his new book Adventures in Solitude. Monday, April 16 at 7:00pm. Admission free for members; $5 for non-members. Capilano Public Library, 3045 Highland Blvd., North Vancouver. For more information or to register, visit www.nswriters.bc.ca.
PEN-IN-HAND POETRY/PROSE READING SERIES
Readings by Chris Hutchinson, Teresa McWhirter and Billeh Nickerson. Monday, April 16 at 7:00pm. Cost: $3. Serious Coffee, 230 Cook Street, Victoria. More information at email@example.com.
Author reads from his most recent book My Year of the Racehorse: Falling in Love With The Sport of Kings. Books will be available for purchase. Tuesday, April 17 at 7:00pm, free. Tommy Douglas branch, Burnaby Public Library, 7311 Kingsway, Burnaby. More information at 604-522-3971.
Launch of the new publisher of many young adult books. Meet authors Jay Asher, Hiromi Goto and Carrie Mac. Tuesday, April 17 at 7:00pm, free. Chapters Metrotown, Burnaby.
Reading by Daryl Stennett, author of Behind the Steam, the essential history of Gastown's Steam Clock. Tuesday, April 17 at 8:00pm. La Fantana Caffe, 101-3701 East Hastings, Burnaby.
Meet the author of the A Dream of Eagles series and the Templar Trilogy. Wednesday, April 18 at 7:00pm. Register at 604-598-7426. City Centre Library, Surrey Public Library, 10350 University Drive, Surrey.
AT THE WORLD'S EDGE
Author Claudia Cornwall discusses her new book At the World's Edge-Curt Lang's Vancouver: 1937-1998. Wednesday, April 18 at 7:00pm, free but registration required. Parkgate Branch library, 3675 Banff Court, North Vancouver. More information at 604-929-3727.
NVCL LOCAL AUTHOR SERIES
Readings by Gerhard Winkler and the Rogue Writers. Wednesday, April 18 at 7:00pm, free. Dr. G. Paul Singh Study Hall, North Vancouver City Library, 120 14th Street W., North Vancouver. More information at 604-998-3450.
SALISH SEA PRESENTS
Readings by poets Daniela Elza and E.D. Blodgett from Salish Sea Presents: A Balancing Act in Two Voices. Wednesday, April 18 at 7:30pm. Ocean Park Library, 512854 17th Avenue, Surrey.
VOICES OF LOCAL POETS
Celebrate National Poetry Month with Mission poets Heidi Greco and Marion Quednau. Thursday, April 19 at 4:00pm. Clearbrook Library, 32320 George Ferguson Way, Abbotsford. More information at 604-859-7814.
CANADIAN CRIME WRITING
BC members of Crime Writers of Canada will present a lively panel discussion about Canadian crime writing, followed by announcement of nominees for this years Arthur Ellis Awards. Thursday, April 19 at 7:00pm, free. Alice MacKay room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at 604-331-3691.
Two appearances by the author of Box of Shocks. Friday, April 20 at 10:00am at Semiahmoo Library, 1815 152 Street, Surrey. More information at 604-592-6900. Also Friday, April 20 at 1:00pm at Fleetwood Library, 15996 84 Ave. Surrey. To register, call 604-598-7340. More information at www.spl.surrey.bc.ca.
LIT! QUEER WRITERS DRINKING
Queer writers read their best works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Friday, April 20 at 8:00pm. $5-$10 sliding scale. Rhizome Cafe, 317 East Broadway.
NORTH SHORE WRITERS FESTIVAL
13th annual festival of writers and readers, this year featuring Marina Endicott, Anita Rau Badami and Daniel Kalla. Saturday, April 21, free. From 11:30am to 8:30pm. West Vancouver Memorial Library, 1950 Marine Drive, West Vancouver. Complete details at northshorewritersfestival.com.
the weight of dew
Launch of Daniele Elza's new book. Saturday, April 21 at 4:00pm. Mother Tongue Publishing Letterpress Studio and The Porch Gallery, 290 Fulford-Ganges Road, Salt Spring Island.
VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL POETRY FESTIVAL
Second annual festival and poetry slam championship. April 23-28, 2012. Registration deadlines and complete details here: http://www.vancouverpoetryhouse.com/vipf-2012-is-coming/.
Reading by the author of Stanley Park and The Blue Light Project. Wednesday, April 25 at 7:00pm, free. Chilliwack Library, 45860 First Avenue Chilliwack. More information at www.fvrl.bc.ca.
Book launch of the author's latest novel, Darkest Light. Thursday, April 26 at 7:00pm, free. Rhizome Cafe, 317 East Broadway.
John Gold discusses his novel Seven Good Reasons Not To Be Good. Thursday, April 26 at 7:00 PM. Christianne's Lyceum. 3696 W. 8th Ave. $20 (includes refreshments). To reserve your space call 604.733.1356 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. More information at www.christiannehayward.com.
TWO WOMEN POETS
Showcase of work by Diana Hayes (This is the Moon's Work) and Daniela Elza (The Weight of Dew). Thursday, May 3 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at 604-331-3716.
ROBSON READING SERIES
Readings by Stephanie Bolster (A Page from the Wonders of Life on Earth) and Theresa Kishkan (Mnemonic: A Book of Trees). Thursday, May 3 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. More information at www.robsonreadingseries.ubc.ca.
Author presents his latest book, The Serpent's Shadow. Thursday, May 3 at 7:00pm. Tickets: $25 (includes book). Hellenic Centre, 4500 Arbutus Street, Vancouver. For complete details and to purchase tickets, visit www.kidsbooks.ca.