5714 Medusa in Sechelt, BC
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A series of author readings is held throughout the year courtesy of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Literary Committee of the Sunshine Coast Arts Council.
Readings are held at the Arts Centre and admission is free. Donations are gratefully accepted in support of Sunshine Coast Arts Council programs.
Readings run for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, followed by a break for coffee and goodies, and then the author's return to the podium to read a little more and/or answer questions.
CURRENT SERIES ~ starting time 8:00 pm
Friday, May 31~ Alissa York
Saturday, May 4 ~ Marlyn Horsdal
Saturday, April 13 ~ Madeline Sonik
May 31 2013
This reading is a collaboration with Coast Cultural Alliance, which annually concludes the Artesia Coffee House season with a spoken word event. Thanks to this collaboration, we're looking forward to a whole new audience for our readings.
Alissa York's spoken and written words command attention. Canada's foremost literary magazine, Quill & Quire, proclaimed her most recent book, Fauna (2010), "An extraordinary novel . . . daring and exceptional." York was an enthusiastic participant in the "life-changing trip" she and four other writers took to Torngat Mountains National Park in 2011, with Shelagh Rogers and the Northwords film crew, as part of a co-production with FilmCan, CBC, and Anansi Press. York's novel, Effigy (2007), short-listed for the Scotia Bank Giller prize, has been described as "almost frighteningly real." Her publications also include the novel, Mercy (2003), and a collection of short fiction, Any Given Power (1999). Born in Athabasca, Alberta, she has lived all over Canada and now resides in Toronto. (alissayork.com)
May 4, 2013
Horsdal's second novel The Judge and the Lady (2012), takes on the life of the notorious British Columbia judge Matthew Begbie, whom history has often (and wrongly) called, The Hanging Judge. Horsdal's first novel, Sweetness from Ashes, was named one of the Best Fiction Titles of 2010 by January magazine. Called "a confident and accomplished debut," the novel is an exploration of family feuds and secrets, a saga of familial discovery ranging from Canada and to parts of Africa. A longtime resident of Salt Spring Island, Horsdal co-founded Horsdal & Schubart Publishers in 1984, and ran the company until it was sold in 2002. (marlynhorsdal.ca/Mar)
April 13 2013
Sonik's work includes a novel, short fiction, poetry and essays. Her 2011 collection of essays, Afflictions and Departures won the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize last October. It was short-listed for the 2012 Charles Taylor Prize and long-listed for the 2012 BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. Afflictions and Departures is a work of experimental, literary non-fiction. She chronicles the connections between the daily events of her childhood and adolescence, and the social, historical, and scientific trends of the late 1950's and early 1960's. Sonik was born in Detroit, Michigan and educated at the University of Western Ontario in London and at UBC. At present, she teaches in the department of writing at the University of Victoria. (click here for website)
ARCHIVES: ~ click on author's name for more info
Saturday, December 1 ~ Alison Pick
Saturday, November 3 ~ JJ Lee
Saturday, September 29 ~ Greg Hollingshead
Saturday, May 5 ~ Suzette Mayr
Friday, April 20 ~ Marina Endicott
Friday, March 23 ~ David Zieroth
Saturday, February 18 ~ George Fetherling
Saturday, Nov 19, 2011 ~ Billie Livingston
Saturday, Nov 5, 2011 ~ John Gould
Saturday, Oct 15, 2011 ~ Steven Heighton
Friday, Sept 23, 2011 ~ Patricia Young
Saturday, May 7, 2011 ~ Lisa (Hobbs) Birnie
Saturday, May 20, 2011 ~ Sandra Birdsell
Saturday, March 26, 2011 ~ Heather Menzies
Saturday, March 12, 2011 ~ Rachel Wyatt
Saturday, November 27, 2010 ~ Michael Turner
Saturday, October 30, 2010 ~ George Bowering
Saturday, September 25, 2010 ~ David Arnason
Friday, June 26, 2010 ~ Joan MacLeod NEW AUTHOR/DATE
Saturday, April 24, 2010 ~ Theresa Kishkan
Saturday, April 10, 2010 ~ Annabel Lyon
Saturday, April 10, 2010 ~ Annabel Lyon
Saturday, March 27, 2010 ~ Lorna Crozier
Saturday, March 13, 2010 ~ Daphne Marlatt
Saturday, November 20, 2009 ~ Margaret Horsfield
Saturday, November 7, 2009 ~ Ivan E Coyote
Saturday, October 17, 2009 ~ Mary Rubio
Saturday, September 26, 2009 ~ David Bergen
Friday, May 15 ~ Frances Itani
Friday, March 20, 2009 ~ Alice Major
Friday, February 20, 2009 ~ Sharon Butala
Saturday, February 7, 2009 ~ Gary Geddes
November 21 2008 ~ Andreas Shroeder
November 14 2008 ~ Patrick Lane
October 24 2008 ~ Mary Swan
May 3 2008 ~ Sheila Munro
April 11 2008 ~ Elizabeth Philips
March 14 2008 ~ Thomas Wharton
February 9 2008 ~ Howie White Salute
Nov 9 2007 ~ Marie Clements
October 19 2007 ~ John MacLachlan Gray
September 28 2007 ~ Terry Glavin
June 23 2007 ~ Sue Wheeler
May 18 2007 ~ Timothy Taylor
April 20 2007 ~ Rebecca Godfrey
March 9 2007 ~ Bill New
February 9 2007 ~ Keith Maillard
December 1 2012
Alison Pick has published four books, her most recent being the novel, Far to Go (2010), long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and winner of the Canadian Jewish Book Award. Far to Go was included in lists of the top books of 2010 by NOW Magazine and the Toronto Star, and has been optioned for film. Born in Toronto in 1975, Pick grew up in Kitchener, Ontario and in Quebec's Eastern Townships. Currently on faculty at the Humber School for Writers' Creative Writing by Correspondence Program, Pick lives in Toronto, where she is at work on a memoir. (alisonpick.com)
November 3 2012
JJ Lee, who was an audience favourite at the 2012 Festival of the Written Arts. His first book is The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit (2011). It was a finalist for the 2011 Governor General's Literary Awards and the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction. Part personal memoir, part social history of the suit, it tells a universal story about fathers and sons. His memoir started life as radio documentary for CBC's Ideas series. Lee is the menswear columnist for the Vancouver Sun and broadcasts a weekly fashion column for CBC Radio in Vancouver. JJ has promised to pitch his Arts Centre presentation to people who have a family story or personal memoir waiting to be told. (jj-lee.com)
September 29 2012
Launching the fall series Saturday, Greg Hollingsheadis the author of four novels, two collections of short fiction and numerous essays, which have appeared in a wide variety of journals. His 2004 novel, Bedlam, was cited by The New York Times books section in 2006, the year it was published in the US. The Healer (1998) was awarded the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, while The Roaring Girl (1995) won the Governor General's Award for Fiction. In 2007, Hollingshead received the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Gold Medal Award for Excellence in the Arts. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta and directs writing programs at the Banff Centre. (click here for website)
May 5 2012
An author of four novels: Monoceros, which was longlisted for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize; Venous Hum, which was long-listed for the Relit Award; The Widows, a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book in the Canada-Caribbean region; and Moon Honey, a finalist for the Writers Guild of Alberta's Best Novel and Best First Book Awards. She was a senior-artist-in-residence with Theatre Junction (Calgary) in 2006-2007, is a former president of the Writers Guild of Alberta, and was the Markin-Flanagan Writer-in-Residence at the University of Calgary in 2002-2003. Her poetry and short fiction have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies across Canada. She currently lives in Calgary in a 1950s bungalow and teaches creative writing at the University of Calgary, and likes to watch a lot of tv. (suzettemayr.com)
April 20 2012
Marina Endicott's latest book The Little Shadows, follows a theatrical sister act touring the prairies in polite vaudeville in 1912. The novel was on the 2011 Scotia Bank Giller Prize long list; it was a finalist for the Governor General's Award; and was included on the Globe & Mail 100 Best Books of 2011 list. Later in the spring, it will be also be published in the UK and Australia. Endicott was born in Golden, BC, and grew up with three sisters and a brother, mostly in Nova Scotia and Toronto. She worked as an actor and director before going to England, where she began to write fiction. After London she went west to Saskatoon, where she was dramaturge at the Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre for many years before moving farther west to Mayerthorpe, Alberta; she now lives in Edmonton. Her first novel, Open Arms, was short-listed for the Amazon/Books In Canada First Novel award in 2002. Her second, Good to a Fault, was a finalist for the 2008 Giller Prize and won the 2009 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, Canada/Caribbean region. She is at work on a new novel, Hughtopia.
March 23 2012
Governor General's Award-winning poet, a resident of North Vancouver, has published 14 books of poetry, including latest publication is a chapbook, Hay Day Canticle (Leaf Press, 2010), The Fly in Autumn (Harbour, 2009) won the Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry in that year and was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and the Acorn-Plantos Award for People's Poetry in 2010. He has also published The Village of Sliding Time (Harbour, 2006), a long poem; Crows Do Not Have Retirement (Harbour, 2001), poems; and The Education of Mr. Whippoorwill: A Country Boyhood (Macfarlane Walter & Ross, 2002), a memoir. He won the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for How I Joined Humanity at Last (Harbour, 1998); his work has been shortlisted for a National Magazine Award, and his poems have appeared in over thirty-five anthologies, including A Matter of Spirit: Recovery of the Sacred in Contemporary Canadian Poetry (Ekstasis, 1998). (davidzieroth.com)
February 18 2012
Launching the series Saturday, February 18 Fetherling has written and/or edited more than 50 books, including two novels and at least a dozen books of poetry. A prolific travel writer, his work also includes memoirs, travel, criticism and history. Most recently, Fetherling published the novel Walt Whitman’s Secret and The Sylvia Hotel Poems, both in 2010. Of the former, one reviewer wrote, "Resolutely unfashionable, utterly convincing, it is a resonant, shimmering work that stakes a claim on posterity." Fetherling was awarded a D. Litt (honoris causa) by St. Mary's University, Halifax in 1997, Toronto's Harbourfront Festival Prize "for substantial contribution to Canadian literature" in 1995, and he was short-listed for the Trillium Award for Travels By Night (1994).
November 19 2011
Billie Livingston writes fiction, poetry, and essays. Her latest (both in 2010), are Greedy Little Eyes, short fiction, and a young adult novel, The Trouble with Marlene. Of her two novels, Going Down Swinging, published in 2001, and Cease to Blush (2006), the latter was chosen one of the year's best books by The Globe & Mail, January Magazine, and The Tyee. The Chick at the Back of the Church (2001) was nominated for the Pat Lowther Award for poetry. Livingston has been widely published in magazines and anthologies in North America, the UK and Australia. She lives in Vancouver. (billielivingston.com)
November 5 2011
John Gould is the author of the novel Seven Good Reasons Not to Be Good, and of two collections of very short stories, most recently Kilter, which was a finalist for the Giller Prize and a Globe and Mail Best Book. His fiction has appeared in literary periodicals across the country, and has been adapted for short films. Gould has written freelance nonfiction, and has worked as an environmental researcher, tree planter, and carpenter. As an arts administrator he created and coordinated writing programs for the BC Festival of the Arts and the Victoria School of Writing. He has led writing workshops in various venues, and teaches in the Department of Writing at the University of Victoria, where he also serves on the editorial board of the Malahat Review. (johngould.ca)
Oct 15 2011
One of Canada's most celebrated young writers of both prose and poetry, Steven Heighton's first fiction, the short story collections Flight Paths of the Emperor (1993) and On Earth as it is (1995), received enthusiastic praise, and no less a judge than Al Purdy hailed Steven as "one of the best writers of his generation." The subsequent novels, Shadowboxer, Afterlands, and Every Lost Country, have been similarly acclaimed; all have been selected in best book of the year listings in Canada and abroad. Last year saw the publication of Heighton's third novel, Every Lost Country and his fifth book of verse, Patient Frame. Heighton's poetry has been no less celebrated and has appeared in magazines and anthologies in North America and the UK. His third collection, The Ecstasy of Skeptics, was short listed for the Governor General's award, while poems from the fourth, Address Book, won the Petra Kenney Prize in London, England. Steven lives in Kingston, Ontario. (stevenheighton.com)
Sept 23 2011
An exuberant exploration of sexuality inspired or provoked by the work of Havelock Ellis, Young's latest poetry collection, An Auto-Erotic History of Swings, was published in 2010. It is said to include even a word from God. With nine collections of poems since 1983, Patricia Young is a prominent Canadian poet whose poems have won numerous awards including the Dorothy Livesay Award, the National Magazine Award, the League of Canadian Poets National Poetry competition, and Arc's Poem of the Year contest. Her collections have been twice short listed for the Governor General's Award. In addition, her collection of short fiction was named one of the Globe and Mail's best books. (patriciayoung.ca)
May 7 2011
LISA (Hobbs) BIRNIE
English-born Birnie is the author of nine books of non-fiction, of which her best known in Canada is The Death and Life of Sue Rodriguez (1994). Her I Saw Red China (1966) was a NY Times best seller. She is a recipient of a Professional Journalism Fellowship to Stanford University, a gold medal from the National Magazine Foundation (1992), and the Hubert Evans Award for B.C. non-fiction (1995). She was a writer-in-residence at Monash University, Melbourne (1998). Her latest book, In Mania's Memory (August 2010; Red Leaf imprint of Simply Read Books) concerns the stories of two women, one a child in Auschwitz, the other a Nazi guard, whose lives are reconnected decades later.
April 16, 2011
DATE CHANGE to May 20 2011
Born in Manitoba Birdsell emerged as a mature talent in her first two books of short stories, Night Travellers and Ladies of the House, later combined as Agassiz Stories (1987). Her Métis and Mennonite heritage has informed her fiction with a sense of the histories of the prairie West. Birdsell's novels and short stories have been short-listed for the Giller Prize and the Governor General's Award and have won numerous other awards including the W.H. Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award and Saskatchewan and Manitoba best book awards. Her latest novels are Children of the Day (2005) and Waiting for Joe (2010).
March 26, 2011
She is the author of seven books, including the 1996 best seller, Whose Brave New World?. Her 2005, No Time: Stress and the Crisis of Modern Life, was the winner of the 2006 Ottawa Book Award (non-fiction). Menzies most recent book, Enter Mourning: A Memoir on Death, Dementia, and Coming Home, was featured in The Globe and Mail's 2009 "Globe 100." The reviewer noted that "constant psychological tension" and "Menzies' exploration of self and language" elevate this book "from a lament to a magnificently memorable memoir." Menzies is a long-time activist in the women's movement, social justice and cultural politics. She has served on the board of the National Council of the Writer's Union on three occasions and is currently co-Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee. She contributes articles to international and North American journals and newspapers and is adjunct professor (School of Canadian Studies and Women's Studies) and lecturer at Carleton University, Ottawa.
March 12, 2011
Rachel Wyatt is the author of six novels and four collections of stories. Her most recent novel is Letters to Omar published by Coteau Press (September 2010). She has written over a hundred radio dramas for the CBC and the BBC. Her stage plays have been produced across Canada and in the UK and the US. For 10 years she was Director of Writing at the Banff Centre for the Arts. She is a member of the Order of Canada and in 2003 was awarded a Queen's Jubilee Medal. Rachel and her late husband immigrated to Ontario from Britain in 1957 and brought up their four children there. She now lives in sunny Victoria.
November 27, 2010
Award-winning Vancouver writer, Michael Turner is scheduled to read November 27. His first book, Company Town, was nominated for the 1992 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. His second, Hard Core Logo, became an acclaimed feature film for which he received a Genie Award for his contribution to the movie's soundtrack. In 1998, his screenplay-cum-novel, American Whiskey Bar, was produced as a live television special on CityTV. His 1999 novel, The Pornographer's Poem, was winner of the BC Book Prize Ethel Wilson Award for fiction in 2000. Currently writer in residence at Simon Fraser University, Turner has in his 2009 book, 8 X 10, created a work controversial both in style and subject matter, its characters, "familiar yet implacable, are both no one and everyone."
October 30, 2010
George Bowering, a leading figure in Canadian Literature since the days of the fondly remembered TISH magazine, reads for us on October 30. His more than eighty books include poetry, fiction, criticism, biography and history. He has won numerous awards, including Governor General's awards for both poetry (Rocky Mountain Foot and Gangs of Kosmos, 1969) and fiction, (Burning Water, 1980). He was inducted in to the Order of Canada (2002) and the Order of British Columbia (2004). In 2002, Bowering was named Canada's first Poet Laureate. His latest book of short fiction, The Box, is alive with Bowering's characteristic inventiveness and wit. Most recently he has co-edited The Heart Does Break: Canadian Writers on Grief and Mourning.
September 25, 2010
Manitoba author David Arnason will read in the Doris Crowston Gallery at the Arts Centre on Saturday, September 25 at 8 p.m. Arnason has been a force in Canadian writing and publishing for decades, his versatile, innovative style ranging over all genres of imaginative writing. He will read from his new novel, Baldur's Song: A Saga, set in the Manitoba Icelandic community in the 19th Century and today
June 26, 2010
JOAN MACLEOD replacing Robert Kroetsch
These days, MacLeod has nine acclaimed plays behind her, as well as a rich history of mentoring dramatists, poets and every sort of storyteller. Before her arrival in 2004 as a member of the University of Victoria faculty, she enjoyed a series of professional appointments that spanned Canada and Britain.
Joan Macleod’s style has been praised for clarity, humor, emotional honesty and a steadfast moral dedication to the empathies that transform us. Her dramas are profoundly rooted in real-life challenges to the human spirit, but always avoid sermons and transcend political viewpoints. She uses current events as a staircase to create universal narratives that search out and celebrate our strangenesses, excesses and redemptions.
As well as having been awarded Canada’s Governor General’s Award in Drama for Amigo’s Blue Guitar (1990), she has received both the Jesse Richardson and Betty Mitchell Awards for The Shape Of A Girl (2001). Little Sister (1994) received the Chalmers’ Canadian Play Award, and was nominated for the Governor General's Award. Her achievements have further been recognized by several grants from the Canada Council and BC Arts Council.
April 24, 2010
known for novels, poetry, and the masterful essay collection Red Laredo Boots–says curiosity fuels her nonfiction. Kishkan will read from her new novel The Age of Water Lilies, and perhaps works in progress. She in Madeira Park and operates High Ground Press with her husband John Pass, is the accomplished author of nine books of poetry and prose.
April 10, 2010
The author of the much-acclaimed The Golden Mean, Annabel Lyon, will read for us on Saturday, April 10. Winner of the 2009 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, Lyon was also a finalist for the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award. Here’s what the Rogers Writers’ Trust jury had to say of the book: “In this alarmingly confident and transporting debut novel, Lyon offers us that rarest of treats: a book about philosophy, about the power of ideas, that chortles and sings like an earthy romance.” This reading marks the second time our series has been graced by Annabel Lyon—she read for us shortly after the publication of her first book, Oxygen, (2000) a collection of short stories. She lives with her husband and two children in New Westminster
March 27, 2010
Two-time winner of the Pat Lowther Award and a Governor General’s Award recipient, Lorna Crozier has written sixteen volumes of poetry, including two others nominated for GG’s. Summer 2009 marked the release by Greystone Books of her prose volume, Small Beneath the Sky: A Prairie Memoir. Among Crozier’s disparate admirers are Ursula K. LeGuin, calling her “this marvelous Canadian poet, storyteller, truth-teller, visionary,” and Alberto Manguel, who confessed himself captivated by the “astonishing coherence and beauty” of her poetry. Lorna Crozier lives with her husband Patrick Lane near Victoria, where she teaches and serves as chair of the writing department at the university.
March 13, 2010
This stellar program begins with Vancouver writer Daphne Marlatt, winner of the 2009 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for her “haunting and multilayered” long poem, The Given, Marlatt is the author of two acclaimed novels, Ana Historic and Taken. She is perhaps better known for her formally innovative books of poetry, including Steveston, Touch to My Tongue, Salvage, and This Tremor Love Is and can be regarded as a major figure in the feminist movement in Canada. She was awarded the Order of Canada in 2006.
November 20, 2009
Margaret Horsfield, author of Voices from the Sound: Chronicles of Clayoquot Sound and Tofino 1899–1929. Published in 2008, this book is based almost entirely on letters and diaries that have never been published, and it contains over a hundred previously unpublished photographs. Her earlier book about Vancouver Island’s west coast, Cougar Annie’s Garden, was published in 1999, and received the BC Book Prizes Roderick Haig-Brown Prize for best book about British Columbia in the year 2000. Horsefield’s other books include Biting the Dust (1997), Beyond Golgotha (1993) and Beyond Bethlehem (1989), For 15 years Horsfield made radio features and documentaries the BBC in England, and for CBC Radio’s Ideas. She has written for a number of magazines and newspapers, both in Canada and in England.
November 7, 2009
IVAN E COYOTE
Ivan Coyote was born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. An award-winning author of four collections of short stories, one novel, two CD's, four short films and a renowned performer, Ivan's first love is live storytelling, and over the last thirteen years she has become an audience favourite at music, poetry, spoken word and writer's festivals from Anchorage to Amsterdam. The Globe and Mail called Ivan "a natural-born storyteller" and Ottawa X Press said "Coyote is to CanLit what k.d. lang is to country music: a beautifully odd fixture." Toronto Star praises Coyote's "talent for sketching the bizarre in the everyday", and Quill's Magazine says Ivan has a "distinctive and persuasive voice, a flawless sense of pacing, and an impeccable sense of story." Ivan is a columnist for Xtra West magazine, writes regularly for The Georgia Straight and CBC Radio, and pops up in periodicals all across the continent. Her first novel, Bow Grip, was released in the fall of 2006, and was awarded the Relit award for best fiction and named by the American Library Association as a Stonewall honor book in literature.
October 17, 2009
Mary Henley Rubio, biographer of Lucy Maud Montgomery, has spent a large part of her academic career under the spell of the creator of P.E.I.'s and Canada's gift to the world, Anne of Green Gables. Her recently published Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Gift of Wings, reveals the complicated history of a complicated woman, whose soaring imagination has brought joy to millions of readers and some kind of emotional relief to herself, an escape from the many obstacles encountered throughout her life. Sadly that life ended in a drug induced fog of the sort we usually associate with debauched rock stars not someone whose work featured the innocently bucolic pleasures of turn-of-the-twentieth-century Maritime Canada. Henley Rubio, University Professor Emeritus at the University of Guelph will read Saturday, October 17, at 8 pm.
September 26 2009
David Bergen, acclaimed author of the Giller award-winning novel, The Time In Between (2005) will inaugurate the Arts Council's fall series of literary readings on Saturday, September 26, at 8 pm. Recently named Carol Shields Writer in Residence for 2010 at the University of Winnipeg, Bergen is at three-time winner of the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award and as well has won the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction and the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award. His most recent novel, The Retreat (2008) was also nominated for a Giller. Like The Time in Between, it explores a clash of cultures, but in a setting far different from the Viet Nam of the latter, for The Retreat is set in and around Kenora, Ontario.
May 15, 2009
A veteran author, Itani has published eleven books in various genres and, among other accolades, won two CBC Canadian Literary Awards. Her work has been described as “loving and serene,” and is perhaps best known for her novel Deafening, winner of the Commonwealth Prize for Best Book (2003), and her more recent, Remembering the Bones (2007), which was shortlisted for the same prize. Born in Belleville in 1942, Itani grew up on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River, near Ottawa, the middle child of five. She boasts a dual BA (in English and psychology) and an MA in English lit and has worked as a nurse in hospitals across the country. She speaks English, French, German, and some Japanese and Spanish.
March 20, 2009
Alice Major emigrated from Scotland at the age of eight, and grew up in Toronto before coming west to work as a weekly newspaper reporter in central British Columbia. She has lived in Edmonton, Alberta since 1981, where she has served as president of the Writers Guild of Alberta and of the League of Canadian Poets, as well as chair of the Edmonton Arts Council. She won the Malahat Review’s long poem contest (2001)and has been short-listed for the Pat Lowther Award, the City of Edmonton Book Prize (twice) and three times for the Stephan G. Stephanson Award, (presented by the Writers Guild of Alberta). In July 2005, she was named the first poet laureate for the City of Edmonton. Her eighth collection of poetry, The Office Tower Tales, was published in spring 2008, by the University of Alberta Press. The UAP also published her last collection, The Occupied World, in 2006. Both books are very much focused on her home city – its geology, history and mythology and have received much favorable critical attention.
February 20, 2009
Sharon Butala is the second of five daughters born of a French Canadian father and an Irish-Scots Canadian mother in an outpost hospital in Nipawin, Saskatchewan. She began life on a sawmill at the edge of the boreal forest, then lived in a series of small towns before moving to Saskatoon in 1953. She has lived all but five years of her life in Saskatchewan. Her most recent non-fiction work The Girl in Saskatoon: A Meditation on Memory and Murder, is on The Globe & Mail's 2008 list of "100 reasons to read books". Sharon Butala is well known to Coast residents, especially for her Perfection of the Morning: An Apprenticeship in Nature.
February 7 2009
Gary Geddes was born June 9, 1940 in Vancouver. He completed his MA and PhD at the University of Toronto. Geddes has taught in the Department of English at Concordia University, BCIT, and the University of Victoria. He was awarded the BC Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence and author of Falsework, an account of the 1957 collapse of the Second Narrows Bridge and the internationally acclaimed Kingdom of Ten Thousand Things, has been called one of Canada's most important men of letters. His poetry is often political in its thematics and has been translated into five languages, including French, Spanish and Chinese.
November 21 2008
Popular Roberts Creek writer, Andreas Schroeder's new book, Renovating Heaven, a trilogy of adult novellas, is just about to be released. Schroeder's 39-year writing career has produced poetry, fiction, non-fiction, translations, journalism and literary criticism. Among his 20 titles is Shaking It Rough (non-fiction), finalist for the 1976 Governor-General's Award. Schroeder has also published three popular collections, Scams, Scandals & Skulduggery; Cheats, Charlatans & Chicanery (winner of the 1998 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Non-Fiction); and Fakes, Frauds & Flimflammery. His two works of non-fiction for young adults, Thieves! and Scams!, each won the Ontario Library Association's Red Maple Award. Schroeder holds the Maclean-Hunter Chair in Creative Non-fiction at UBC.
November 14 2008
Celebrated for his poetry, novels, and memoir. His new novel is titled Red Dog Red Dog, and a new collection of poems is also expected soon. Lane has produced more than 20 books of poetry, fiction and essays since he started writing in 1961, winning most of Canada's top literary awards, including the Governor General's Award, the Canadian Authors Association Award, and two National Magazine Awards. His 2005 book, There is a Season - A Memoir, received the inaugural British Columbia Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. As a teacher and writer-in-residence, he has worked in universities across Canada.
October 24 2008
Guelph, Ontario writer Mary Swan, whose début novel,The Boys in the Trees, was released this past spring to critical acclaim. Called "mercurial and mesmerizing, dark but thrilling," the story is set in a fictitious late 19th-century Ontario town. Swan is the winner of the 2001 O. Henry Award for short fiction and is the author of the collection The Deep and Other Stories. Her work has appeared in several Canadian literary magazines, including The Malahat Review, the Ontario Review, and Best Canadian Stories, as well as U.S. publications such as Harper's magazine.
May 3 2008
Sheila Munro will continue our spring series of author readings at the Arts Centre on May 3rd. Now living in Powell River, Munro has been a bookseller, reviewer and journalist, and her writing career has featured a special interest in parent-child relationships, with books including How to Enjoy Being a Parent, and, most notably, Lives of Mothers and Daughters: Growing Up With Alice Munro, which has recently come out in an American edition.
Sheila will read from Lives, which offers a rare, privileged view of one of Canada's, and the world's, finest short story writers as well as insights into Munro's fiction and the ways in which her life has informed that fiction. But Lives is a memoir more than a biography. As one reviewer says, "What saves Lives of Mothers and Daughters from being of interest only to those familiar with Alice Munro's body of work are the questions it raises about being the child of an artist, a child who is seen through art, used by art." Sheila candidly explains the challenges of relating to her artist mother, her mother's art, and her own aspirations as a writer. In Lives, she finally manages to escape the shadow of her brilliant mother.
The reading will be in the Crowston Gallery of the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre in Sechelt at 8 p.m., Saturday, 3 May (note that this is not our usual Friday evening). Admission is free, courtesy of the Canada Council.
April 11 2008
Saskatchewan lyric poet Elizabeth Philips reads from her collections of verse - Torch River (2007), and A Blue with Blood in it and Beyond My Keeping, both of which were winners of the Saskatchewan Poetry Award in their respective years. Philips, who lives in Saskatoon, edited the literary magazine Grain from 1998 to 2003. The editor of a number of poetry collections, she has taught creative writing at the Banff Wired Studio, the Banff Writing with Style program and the Sage Hill Writing Experience. Philips' publisher, Brick Books, claims that in Torch River the poet "takes us down into the swirling core of planetary energies, the central mystery of life itself," using "a language of tremendous immediateness and authority." For fellow poet George Murray, Philips is someone who is "successfully re-imagining the Canadian landscape for a new century," employing "an impressive supply of fresh imagery and perspective, as well as a fine control of pacing and rhythm."
March 14 2008
Nominated by Steve MacLean as one of the contestants on this year's CBC Canada Reads, Thomas Wharton is a writer and teacher. Born in Grande Prairie, Alberta, he has lived in a string of cities across the province, including Edmonton, Peace River, Calgary and Jasper. He now resides in Edmonton. His first book, Icefields (1995), won the Writers’ Guild of Alberta Best First Book Award, the Best Book at the Banff Mountain Festival and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book, Canada and the Caribbean.
Having Icefields chosen for Canada Reads is a bit like having a new book come out without having to do all the work of writing one. It’s every writer’s dream. But it’s also given me the opportunity to look back at the novel and where it came from: to realize how the writing of it shaped me while I thought I was shaping it. Hard to believe it’s been 12 years since the book was first published. That was in the last century, for heaven’s sake!
February 9 2008
Host for the evening is writer/editor Shane McCune. Other participants will include friends and colleagues who represent the many facets of Howie's life and career(s) on the Coast. The evening is a particular celebration of his 2007 elevation to the Order of Canada. It is also a fundraiser for the Arts Centre and it's literary activities.
Howard White was born in 1945 in Abbotsford, British Columbia. He was raised in a series of camps and settlements on the BC coast and never got over it. He is still to be found stuck barnacle-like to the shore at Pender Harbour, BC. He started Raincoast Chronicles and Harbour Publishing in the early 1970s and his own books include A Hard Man to Beat (bio), The Men There Were Then (poems), Spilsbury's Coast (bio), The Accidental Airline (bio), Patrick and the Backhoe (childrens'), Writing in the Rain (anthology) and The Sunshine Coast (travel). He was awarded the Canadian Historical Association's Career Award for Regional History in 1989. In 2000, he completed a ten-year project, The Encyclopedia of British Columbia. He has been awarded the Order of BC, the Canadian Historical Association's Career Award for Regional History, the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, the Jim Douglas Publisher of the Year Award and a Honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree from the University of Victoria. In 2007, White was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. He has twice been runner-up in the Whisky Slough Putty Man Triathlon.
November 9 2007
Evoking the traditions of her Aboriginal roots and drawing from her experience as a radio news reporter in the 1980s, Métis playwright Marie Clements has mastered a unique style of storytelling by linking the past with the present.
She currently lives on Salt Spring Island and her most recent play, which premiered this past spring at the National Arts Centre, is titled Copper Thunderbird and its subject is the Ojibway artist Norval Morrisseau.
October 19 2007
JOHN MACLACHLAN GRAY
Novelist, composer, performer, columnist John MacLachlan Gray will bring his multiple creative personalities to the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre in Sechelt, Friday, October 19th for a 8 p.m. reading sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Sunshine Coast Arts Council. Admission is free.
For several decades, Gray produced stage musicals, such as Billy Bishop Goes to War, Rock and Roll, 18 Wheels and Don Messer’s Jubilee; musical satire for CBC Television’s The Journal, magazine journalism, screenplays, and columns for The Globe and Mail and The Vancouver Sun. In recent years, Gray has turned his literary attention to thrillers set in 1850s Victorian London, including The Fiend In Human and A White Stone Day. His latest title, Not Quite Dead, is set in Philadelphia, where Charles Dickens and Edward Allen Poe are held hostage by an Irish gang with political ambitions.
Gray was born in Ottawa and raised in Nova Scotia, where he obtained a BA at Mount Allison University. He received an MA at The University of British Columbia, and founded Tamahnous, an experimental theatre company, which is still in existence. In 1975 he joined Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille, first as a composer, then a director, then a playwright-composer. Gray holds honorary doctorates from Mount Allison and Dalhousie universities, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.
September 28 2007
According to Ronald Wright, author of A Short History of Progress, "Terry Glavin is a wise and eloquent writer whose clear-eyed intelligence explores our conflicted relationship with nature and our fellow man. In Waiting for the Macaws he shows how we have shaped and disrupted the world we depend on. What Glavin has to tell us is urgent, important, and well said".
Gavin's science and travel journalism has won Western Magazine Awards, National Magazine Awards, the Jack Webster Award for Science and Technology, and the "Science in Society" prize from the Canadian Science Writers Association. The Last Great Sea: A Voyage Through the Human and Natural History of the North Pacific Ocean, won the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize in 2000 and was short-listed for the Bill Duthie prize and the Roderick Haig-Brown prize. This Ragged Place: Travels Across the Landscape in 1996 was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award for non-fiction.
June 23 2007
Wheeler has published three books of poems, the latest being Habitat (Brick Books, 2005). In that collection she bends her ear toward the language of the natural world. “Consummate evesdropper, she exults in the inventive riff and range of the speech of birds, flowers, ferns, and trees—and in that strangest of all songs, the human tongue.” Her books have been shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and the Dorothy Livesay BC Book Prize for Poetry). She was born in Texas, immigrated to Canada in 1972, and lives and works on a seaside farm on Lasqueti Island.
May 18 2007
You may have noticed that Stanley Park, the celebrated first novel that brought Taylor to our attention—and to the 2005 Festival of the Written Arts—was one of the five books chosen this year for CBC’s “Canada Reads” debate. What Taylor did in that novel for foodies and the restaurant business, he does for the world of architecture in his second novel, Story House, where two brothers literally fight for their legitimacy and their claims on the legacy of their famous architect father. Again, Taylor takes us into the heart of Vancouver with a narrative that is urban and hip as well as intelligent and stylistically precise and compelling. In addition to the novels and the brilliant short story collection, Silent Cruise, Taylor may also be willing to discuss his unfinished next novel, about which he has said almost nothing publicly. Don’t miss this opportunity at the Centre at 8pm Friday, 18 May. Admission is free, courtesy of the Canada Council and the Sunshine Coast Arts Council.
April 20 2007
Rebecca Godfrey's Toronto home 'harboured Ghanian jazz musicians, radical nationalists, draft dodgers and an undercover FBI agent.' At age nine she moved to Victoria with her father, House of Anansi founder Dave Godfrey, and her mother, mystery writer Ellen Godfrey. She attended Mount Douglas High in Saanich, before moving to attend the University of Toronto. She received a Creative Writing MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her first novel The Torn Skirt (HarperFlamingo, 2001) is about a sheltered teenager, exposed to the Victoria underworld. In the late 1990s Godfrey moved to New York City where has been a freelance journalist, and has worked in film and publishing. She investigated the beating death of 14-year-old Reena Virk of Victoria for Under the Bridge: The True Story of the Murder of Reena Virk (HarperCollins, 2005), a non-fiction investigation of the various characters involved in the story. It received the second annual $25,000 British Columbia Award for Canadian Non-Fiction in 2006, among the largest non-fiction prizes in Canada, and the only national prize to originate in British Columbia.
March 9 2007
Born in Vancouver on March 28, 1938, William Herbert (Bill) New is one of the most prolific and versatile literary critics in Canada, having written and edited more than 40 books. He enrolled at the University of British Columbia in 1956 and received degrees from UBC in English and Geography (B.Ed. 1961, M.A. 1963), followed by a doctorate from the University of Leeds in 1966. His dissertation was on the modern Bildungsroman as a social paradigm. He taught English course at UBC from 1965 to 2003, specializing in the English literatures of the Commonwealth. In 1966, Bill New became assistant editor of Canadian Literature, working with George Woodcock and Donald Stephens. Quietly remarkable, New edited the review publication Canadian Literature, from 1977 to 1995--for 17 years--almost as long as his predecessor and friend, George Woodcock-—18 years. (He was replaced in the position by Eva-Marie Kroller, who was succeeded by Laurie Ricou in 2003.) In 2004, New renewed his affiliation with Canadian Literature by becoming Editor Emeritus on the masthead.
Bill New has been as prolific as he has been enduring. In one year New, as editor, published the Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada, released his fourth poetry collection, as well as his second collection of rhyming verse for children, Llamas in the Laundry, plus a book-length essay on irony in Commonwealth literature, Grandchild of Empire. New has also been influential as editor for the New Canadian Library series. He has lectured and taught in Australia, India, Italy, China, France and the United States, and held the Brenda & David MacLean Chair in Canadian Studies at UBC. He has increasingly turned his hand to poetry and children's books. According to Oolichan Books, his seventh collection of poetry, Touching Ecuador, is "a long poem in four voices, following the interconnected observations of a modern-day tourist-traveller, a struggling castaway, a disillusioned preacher, and an Everyman weaver who tries to come to terms with mountain histories and a mountain home. Everywhere these four observers find a landscape rich in words: guidebooks and notebooks, calendars and woven letters, alphabets and beaded rituals, children's verses and the stories that populate place."
February 9 2007
The first of the spring series of Canada Council supported readings will be held at the Arts Centre in Sechelt on Friday, February 9, 2007 at 8 pm. Keith Maillard, professor and co-chair of Creative Writing in the Department of Theatre, Film and Creative Writing at UBC will read from his four-volume work, Difficulty at the Beginning, comprising four separate but linked novels, which he has released between September 2005 and September 2006.
Born in Wheeling, West Virginia in 1942, Maillard became a Canadian citizen in 1976. He has published numerous novels to considerable acclaim, among them, Motet, which won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize in 1990; Hazard Zones was short listed for the Commonwealth Literary Prize in 1996 and Gloria for the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction, 1999. Maillard's one volume of poetry, Dementia Americana, won the Gerald Lampert Award for poetry in 1995. Keith Maillard read from the award winning The Clarinet Polka when he read for us last at the Sechelt Arts Centre.