The first Incite of 2012 features William Gibson reading from Distrust That Particular Flavor, his new collection of nonfiction writings. Also appearing at Incite in the next few months are Tess Gallagher, Merilyn Simonds, Linden MacIntyre, Richard Wagamese, Anne DeGrace, Will Ferguson, Richard Stursberg, John Boyne, Yasuko Thanh and Robert Hough, among others.
AWARDS & LISTS
Vancouver poet Fred Wah has been named the Parliamentary Poet Laureate, a two-year appointment.
Among those most recently appointed Officers of the Order of Canada are authors Stuart McLean and Tim Wynne-Jones. Newfoundlander poet and teacher Thomas (Tom) Dawe was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.
W.P. Kinsella has won the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame's Jack Graney Award for his 1982 novel Shoeless Joe. The Jack Graney Award is for a significant contribution to the game of baseball in Canada through a life's work or a singular outstanding achievement.
Andrew Motion, the former UK poet laureate, selected Australian poet Mark Tredinnick as winner of the $50,000 Montreal International Poetry Prize. A second poem was selected from the shortlist by U.S. painter and sculptor Eric Fischl as the basis for a "broadside," or illustrated poem. All the poems were judged "blind". The competition was initiated to help raise the profile of Montreal's anglo arts scene.
2011 Costa book award winners include Canadian-born (New Westminster) Moira Young, for her debut novel, dystopian thriller Blood Red Road (children's books); Matthew Hollis for Now All Roads Lead to France: The Last Years of Edward Thomas (biography); and Andrew Miller for Pure (best novel prize). Carol Ann Duffy won for The Bees (poetry), and Christie Watson, for Tiny Sunbirds Far Away (first novel). Each winner receives £5,000 and a chance of the £30,000 overall Costa book of the year prize, announced in three weeks' time.
NEWS & FEATURES
Czech émigré, novelist, poet, U of T lecturer, and publisher, Josef Skvorecky has died, at 87. Among his works is The Engineer of Human Souls, which won the Governor-General's Award in 1984. He and his wife founded 68 Publishers, an important western outlet for dissident writers.
Artist and cartoonist Ronald Searle, best known for his illustrations of the St. Trinian's and Molesworth books, has died aged 91. He sold his first sketch at 15.
Global economic meltdown, the euro crisis, Occupy protests: this year has been dominated by financial issues. The Guardian invited writers and artists including Jonathan Franzen, Margaret Atwood, Sebastian Faulks, and Naomi Klein to invent/design new currencies and banknotes for modern times.
Christopher Hitchens has died, age 62. Ian McEwan writes of Hitchens' last weeks, and how his love of journalism and literature, and his finishing touches on the Chesterton work, sustained him to the end.
Award-winning Spanish novelist Lucía Etxebarria claims that the illegal downloading of ebooks has forced her to give up writing. "More illegal copies of my book have been downloaded than I have sold", she said, claiming politicians are too scared to act.
The Star's graphic novel and comic book expert, Jonathan P. Kuehlein, has chosen the best of 2011, including a couple of Canadian favourites.
Scott McIntyre, D&M Publishing's co-founder, talks about literary idealism, digital realism and why 'it's the wild west' now.
A furious row has broken out in American poetry circles, after Helen Vendler attacked former poet laureate Rita Dove's The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry, for its focus on "multicultural inclusiveness" rather than quality.
Both Vendler and Dove have written separately on the subject in the New York Review of Books.
American poetry circles, says the Chronicle of Higher Education, "have seen nothing like this since the teeth-gnashing of the Foetry skirmish in 2004".
Is the year's best novel a western? asks Katherine A. Powers, referring to Patrick deWitt's deadpan novel The Sisters Brothers.
The Toronto Public Library has provided a round-up of 2011's hottest titles, according to their popularity among TPL users: ten fiction titles; ten nonfiction.
The Writers' Trust of Canada is accepting submissions for the Bronwen Wallace Emerging Author Award, which is awarded to authors under the age of 35 whose work has been published in a magazine or anthology. The deadline for submissions is January 30, 2012. Full submission guidelines here:
The Writers Union of Canada has announced the jury and the submission deadlines for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, which will be awarded to the best first short fiction collection by a Canadian writer. The submission deadline is January 31, 2012 and submitted words must have been published in 2011.
BOOKS & WRITERS
A December issue of The New Yorker includes Stone Mattress, a story by Margaret Atwood that was inspired by a geologist and a trip to the Arctic.
Margaret Atwood talks with New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman about Stone Mattress.
Born in Massachusetts to a Quebecois family, Raymond Beauchemin's Everything I Own is a love song to a complicated Quebec, writes Anne Chudobiak. Chudobiak describes the structure of the book as "amazing" and highly recommends it to book clubs.
In her review of Scottish poet Robin Robertson's "delightful" ‘versions' of the poems in Nobel prize winner Tomas Tranströmer's The Deleted World, Barbara Carey explains that Robertson calls them "versions" rather than translations, to emphasize that he has taken liberties.
All of the Conan Doyle Holmes stories are in the public domain. Nonetheless, his estate "commissioned" author Anthony Horowitz to write The House of Silk. Horowitz's efforts will please those who crave more of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, says Leslie S. Klinger.
Gary Geddes' Drink the Bitter Root: A Writer's Search for Justice and Redemption in Africa, documents his travel across sub-Saharan Africa to explore forgiveness and the redemptive powers of imagination, and how it altered his ideas about justice.
If the publishing industry had the equivalent to baseball's end-of-season awards, Chad Harbach would be the odds-on favourite to win rookie of the year, writes Mark Medley. Harbach's The Art of Fielding, is the buzz book of the fall, says Medley.
"If I don't laugh, I'll cry" is the leitmotif of Robyn Levy's medical memoir Most of Me, the account of her voyage through Parkinson's disease and cancer. She did survive. Kathleen Byrne calls the book "the world's happiest misery memoir".
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is remembered as a literary giant, a magisterial witness to, and activist against, the crimes of the Soviet regime. Solzhenitsyn's Apricot Jam belongs on the literary table for us all to taste, writes Janice Kulyk Keefer.
Graham Swift's novels and stories have been chronicling a traditional but decidedly untrendy strain of Britishness. Wet weather and grey skies notwithstanding, James Grainger writes that Wish You Were Here is a worthy addition to that body of work.
75 YEARS OF CONTROVERSY
75 Years of Controversy: The Governor-General's Literary Awards come to UBC for all of January. The UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, located on the first floor of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, will display a number of the Literary Award-winning books. The exhibition is open to the public Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. More information at: http://wire.arts.ubc.ca/events/75-years-of-controversy-the-ggs-come-to-ubc/.
DEAD POETS READING SERIES
Reading featuring David Zieroth, Diane Tucker, Miranda Pearson, Garry Thomas Morse, and John Donlan. Sunday, January 8 at 3:00pm. Project Space, 222 East Georgia Street. More information at http://www.deadpoetslive.com.
75-YEAR RETROSPECTIVE ON THE GG AWARDS
This talk by Andrew Irvine will give a short history of the awards and an overview of many of the books and authors that have won over the past 75 years. Tuesday, January 10 at 5:00pm. Coach House, Green College, UBC. Details at www.greencollege.ubc.ca.
Come hear about forgotten Chinatowns and stories about growing up Chinese in Vancouver and in Mexico. Meet authors Rebeca Lau, Chad Reimer, and Larry Wong and learn more about the new book series Gold Mountain Stories. Wednesday, January 11 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye Rooms, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street.
GRACE LI XIU WOO
Author of Ghost Dancing with Colonialism discusses her new book. Thursday, January 12 at 7:00pm, free. Alma vanDusen room, lower level, Central Branch, 350 W. Georgia Street.
A HUNT TO THE DEATH
John Vaillant takes you to the dangerous Siberian wilds with a show of photographs and reads from his book The Tiger. Thursday, January 12 at 7:30pm, free. West Vancouver Memorial Library, 1950 Marine Drive, West Vancouver. More information at www.westvanlibrary.ca.
TWS READING SERIES
Come and hear established and emerging writers read their poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and help support the writing community. This month, guest author will be Heidi Greco, whose novella, Shrinking Violets, was published in 2011 by Torontos Quattro Books after it was selected as co-winner of their annual manuscript competition. Friday, January 13 at 7:00pm. Take 5 Cafe, 429 Granville Street.
WRITING FROM REAL LIFE
Madeline Sonik, award-winning author and university teacher of writing, will teach autobiographical writing techniques, structure and theme. Saturday, January 14 at 1:00pm, free. Alma vanDusen room, lower level, Central Branch, 350 W. Georgia Street. More information at www.vpl.ca.
Meet Brian Herbert as he signs Sisterhood of Dune, the newest addition to this amazing legacy and the first installment in a new and exciting trilogy. Sunday, January 15 at 2:00pm. Chapters Metrotown, 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby. More information at 604-431-0463.
BETTY JEAN MCHUGH
Please join the author as she reads from My Road to Rome: The Running Times of BJ McHugh, the story of how she became the world's fastest senior long-distance runner. Monday, January 16 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye Rooms, Lower Level, Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street.
Readings by bill bissett and Alex Leslie. Wednesday, January 18 at 5:00pm. Piano lounge, Graham House, Green College, UBC. More information at talonbooks.com.
ROBSON READING SERIES
Readings by Sachiko Murakami (Rebuild) and Nick Thran (Earworm). Thursday, January 19 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. More information at www.robsonreadingseries.ubc.ca.
AFRICA'S FIRST FEMALE PILOT
Kucki Low talks about her memoir This Is Kucki Your Pilot Speaking, which recounts the challenges, triumphs, and joys of being a twentieth-century aviation pioneer. Registration required. Tuesday, January 24 at 7:00pm, free. Parkgate Branch Library, 3675 Banff Court, North Vancouver. More information at 604-929-3727.
REAL VANCOUVER WRITER'S SERIES
Second anniversary celebration with Angie Abdou, Zsuzsi Gartner, David Lester, Arley McNeney, Garry Thomas Morse, Jen Neale, Ayelet Tsabari. Tuesday, January 24 at 8:00pm. W2 Media Cafe, 111 West Hastings Street. More information at talonbooks.com.
Reading by the author of his debut poetry collection, Embouchure. Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 2:00pm. Rm301, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre 1961 East Mall, UBC.
Spoken word and music mash up where poets create new work based on songs from Gordon by the Barenaked Ladies. Friday, January 27 at 8:00pm. Tickets: $10. The Kosmik Zoo, 53 West Broadway. For more information, phone 604-215-9230.
Vancouver Book Club presents an intimate conversation with the author of Eating Dirt. Saturday, January 28 at 2:00pm. Project Space, 222 East Georgia Street. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ROBSON READING SERIES
Readings by Lynn Coady (The Antagonist) and Anne Perdue (I'm a Registered Nurse Not a Whore). Thursday, February 2 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. More information at www.robsonreadingseries.ubc.ca.
Author reads from Cinder, the first novel in the Lunar Chronicles series. Saturday, February 11 at 2:00pm. Chapters Metrotown, 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby. More information at 604-431-0463.
ROBSON READING SERIES
Readings by Steve Burgess (Who Killed Mom?) and Daniel Griffin (Stopping for Strangers). Thursday, February 16 at 7:00pm, free. UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square, 800 Robson Street. More information at www.robsonreadingseries.ubc.ca.
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/.
The author will talk about his new novel In One Person on Friday, May 18th, 2012 at 7:30 pm at the North Shore Credit Union Centre for the Performing Arts. Capilano University, 2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver. Ticket price of $30 includes a copy of the new novel available for pick up at the event. More information at 604.990.7810 or http://www2.capilanou.ca/news-events/nscucentre.html.