Vol. 9 No. 22


Just announced! - Stickboy: From Page To Stage

Join us for an enlightening conversation about the process of transforming Stickboy, a book by world-renowned spoken word artist Shane Koyczan, into a contemporary opera. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/stickboy.

Tuesday, October 7 at 7:30pm
Frederic Wood Theatre, UBC
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=12580&type=rentals

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/stickboy) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.

Just Announced! - Conrad Black

From the acclaimed biographer and historian Conrad Black comes Rise to Greatness, a major new reexamination of the history of Canada—a revealing, groundbreaking account of the people and events that shaped a nation. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/conradblack.

Thursday, November 13 at 7:30pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=12599&type=rentals

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/conradblack) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.

An Evening with Louise Penny

New York Times bestselling author, Louise Penny is back with her latest Chief Inspector Gamache book, The Long Way Home. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/louisepenny.

Wednesday, September 3 at 7:30pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=12377&type=rentals

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/louisepenny) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.

Join in a group re-read of the first nine books of Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache series to prepare for the release of the latest book, The Long Way Home, http://gamacheseries.com/.

An Evening with David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell talks to Hal Wake, the Vancouver Writers Fest's Artistic Director, and reads from his new novel, The Bone Clocks.

Saturday, September 27 at 7:30pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=12382&type=rentals

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/davidmitchell) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.

Bruce Cockburn

Legendary Canadian singer and songwriter Bruce Cockburn talks about his long-awaited memoir, Rumours of Glory.

Monday, November 10 at 7:30 pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=12385&type=rentals

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/brucecockburn) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.

Alan Doyle

Alan Doyle, singer-songwriter and front man of the Canadian band Great Big Sea, talks about his new memoir, Where I Belong.

Thursday, November 13 at 7:30 pm
Waterfront Theatre (1412 Cartwright Street, Granville Island)
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=12388&type=rentals

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/alandoyle) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.


The 32nd annual Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts runs from August 14-17, 2014. The festival features established literary stars and exciting, new voices including Angie Abdou, Steven Galloway, Linda Holeman, Heather O'Neill and Miriam Toews and a finale event with spoken word artists Jillian Christmas, Zaccheus Jackson and Brendan McLeod. Complete details at writersfestival.ca.


Last week, the longlist (containing American authors for the first time) for the Man Booker Prize was released...which means that it's now also time to vote for the shortlist for the more democratic "Not the Booker prize!" Several Canadians, including Joseph Boyden and Lisa Moore, are in contention.

To Kill a Mockingbird has topped a vote for the "most life-changing" books written by women. "The selection of 20 titles was voted for by the public after the Baileys women's prize for fiction launched a campaign to find the novels, by women, 'that have most impacted, shaped or changed readers' lives.'"

The winners of the 2014 PEN Literary Awards have been announced. "The winners of the more than a dozen awards that were announced include poet Frank Bidart, playwright David Rabe and essayist James Wolcott."


Lydia Davis has modernized obscure dialects in a new edition of the 1898 children's book, Bob, Son of Battle. The project arose out of Davis' concern that the novel, which has been described as "probably the greatest dog story ever written," was disappearing from reading lists.


Vancouver is looking for its next Poet Laureate. "The People's poet," as the position is known, is an honourary position that begins in October 2014, and lasts for two to three years. Nominations are open until August 27.

Do you have Canadian novels pegged? Here's a list of "every Canadian novel ever", which includes such titles as Will the Cod Return, Or Must We Move to Toronto? and The Next Three Chapters Are Set in the 1830s Bush For No Reason But Then We'll Be Back to This 1970s University Women's Studies Department.

A concerning trend has arising in the world of book selling (and book giving). Nine million fewer books were given as gifts in 2013.

What do Stephen Colbert, Lena Dunham and James Franco have in common? Besides the fact that they're famous, they have all been responsible in recent years for the promotion of books, including those of the more serious variety. Welcome to the era of celebrity booksellers!

On that note, Jack White, the lauded musician, has launched a book publishing company called Third Man Books. Their first title will be a poetry collection with a musical twist. Besides the book, the release will include five broadsides of poems intended for framing and two vinyl records.

According to book cover designer Peter Mendelsund, "dead authors get the best book jackets," since the living ones can often be so demanding. Now he's become his own worst nightmare: he's started writing a book. Here's the story of the creative art of selling a book by its cover.

Three early JD Salinger stories have been published after being out of print for seventy years. The Young Folks, Go See Eddie and Once a Week Won't Kill You were all allowed to be published after an indie imprint discovered that the rights were still available.


Alexi Zentner's novel, The Lobster Kings, was written with the purpose to "engage in conversation with King Lear. I like to say that all literature is in conversation with all of the literature that came before it. Rather than just parroting Shakespeare, I was hoping to advance the discussion."

A folktale from Haruki Murakami's new novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, has been published in this week's Slate Book Review. Check it out here:

Or, if you prefer, here's an interactive introduction to Murakami's new novel. It's called Tsukuru Tazaki's puzzle. Turn your sound up!

In Austin Clarke's latest collection of short fiction, They Never Told Me and Other Stories, the author "presents a vision of Canada as a country more preoccupied with the appearance of multicultural enlightenment than with its actual practice." Clarke's vision comes from his own experience as an immigrant from Barbados.

R.H. Slansky's winning entry in the 2013 International 3-Day Novel-Writing Contest is about to be published as a novella by Anvil Press. Called Moss-Haired Girl: The Confessions of a Circus Performer by Zara Zalinzi, you can read an excerpt, here:

Mark Ford is a "reticent poet. He musters a book a decade. So far there have been three, each better than the previous." His newest collection, Selected Poems, contains both old and new work, and illustrates his "stethoscopic ear for the sounds disappointment can squeeze from a human heart."

Emily Abendroth's new book of poetry, ]exclosures[, tackles "prison work, political poetry and research in creative writing." She's interviewed by the Rumpus poetry book club, here:

Samantha Irby is the "rare comedian who touches you deeply as she cracks you up with straight talk about everything from her middle-aged thumb-sucking and Crohn's disease (how very much it makes sex and dating suck) to condescending white people and her dead parents." Her debut book is called Meaty.


Readings by the Thursdays Writing Collective and guest author Clint Burnham. Thursday, July 31 at 7:00pm, free. Mount Pleasant branch, VPL, 1 Kingsway, Vancouver. More information at thursdayswritingcollective.ca.

Reading by 2014 Roderick Haig-Brown Regional finalist with his book Svend Robinson: A Life in Politics. Thursday, July 31 at 7:00pm. Central Branch, VPL, 350 W. Georgia St. More information and additional dates can be found here, www.bcbookprizes.ca/news/article/graeme-truelove-west-coast-book-tour/.

The Shishosetsu (also known as Watakushi Shosetusu or I-novel) emerged in the early part of the 20th century in Japan. The genre is distinguished by self-revealing narrative with the author as the central character, allowing for the author to enter their narrative on an intimate level. Featuring Leanne Dunic, Lydia Kwa, Marie Mutsuki Mockett, and Sally Ito. Sunday, August 3 at 1:30pm. Firehall Arts Centre, 280 East Cordova, Vancouver. More information at powellstreetfestival.com.

This week's featured poets are Fran Bourassa, Franci Louann and Bonnie Nish with host, Kyle McKillop. Wednesday, August 6 at 6:30pm. Queens Park Band Shell, New Westminster. More information at rclas.com/poetry-park.

Vancouver author reads from her new kidsbook The Indigo Queen. Sunday, August 10 at 2:00pm, free. Please RSVP to http://eepurl.com/XSBz9. Seating is limited! Y'S Books, 4307 Main Street at 27th, Vancouver. More information at ysbookstore.blogspot.ca.

R.J. Harlick, author of the wilderness-based Meg Harris mystery series, will be discussing and reading from her latest book. Various dates and locations between August 12 and August 16. For more information, visit vpl.ca.

Crime writers E.R. Brown, Sam Wiebe, and R.J. Harlick discuss how B.C.'s dark side plays into their most recent novels. Saturday, August 16 at 2:00pm. Book Warehouse, 4118 Main Street, Vancouver.

Author presents the finale to her trilogy with the last book, The Book of Life. Monday, August 18 at 7:00pm. Chapters Metrotown, 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby. More information at 604-431-0463.


Author Sam Wiebe launches his latest book Last of the Independents. Tuesday, September 2 at 7:00pm. Shebeen Whiskey House, 212 Carrall Street, Vancouver.

Fantasy author reads from his swashbuckling adventure novel Traitor's Blade and gives a talk on the use of swordplay in fantasy and historical literature. Thursday, September 4 at 7:00pm, free. Peter Kaye room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at vpl.ca.

An evening of fiction and poetry with Ann Eriksson reading from her new novel, High Clear Bell of Morning, and Gary Geddes reading selected poems from,"What Does a House Want? Monday, September 8 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at vpl.ca.

An evening of poetry with three award-winning B.C. poets: Garry Gottfriedson, Pamela Porter and Henry Rappaport—all with new collections to showcase. Wednesday, September 10 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia. More information at vpl.ca.

Five poets/readers/poetry-lovers/writers with extensive public reading experience read poems from one of their favourite dead poet's work. Sunday, September 14 at 3:00pm, free. Alice MacKay room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at vpl.ca.

Diane Tucker reads from her new poetry collection, Bonsai Love. Tuesday, September 16 at 7:30pm, free. la Fontana Caffe, 101-3701 East Hastings Street, Burnaby. More information at burnabywritersnews.blogspot.ca.

Christopher Levenson, poet and author, will present with Peter Braun, Master Printer of New Leaf Editions, and Sigrid Albert, graphic artist, a discussion about the genesis of producing a rare book of poetry and etchings. Sunday, September 21 at 3:00pm, free. Alice MacKay room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at vpl.ca.

Vancouver Is Ashes is the first detailed exploration of a landmark, yet seldom revisited event in Vancouver's history. Lisa Anne Smith uses eye-witness accounts to investigate events of that pivotal day. Monday, September 22 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at vpl.ca.

Festival promoting books and authors with free exhibits, performances, and hands-on activities for a wide range of ages and interests. September 24-28, 2014. Complete details at wordvancouver.ca.