The winners of the Vancouver International Writers Festival's 13th Annual Poetry & Short Story Contest have been announced. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/get-involved/writingcontest
UPCOMING VIWF EVENTS
Just announced! Pico Iyer will appear in a special Incite event on February 20 at the Improv Centre on Granville Island, admission is by donation. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/incitefebruary20
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.
Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author Richard Ford appears with his latest novel, Canada. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/richardford.
AWARDS & LISTS
2012 marks the fifth anniversary of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, which brings contemporary Arab voices to an international audience through translation. Five authors have been short-listed; the winner will be announced in March.
The Arab spring was foreshadowed in fiction, writes Khaled Hroub.
Amitav Ghosh is one of seven authors short-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize. The winner will be announced mid-March in Hong Kong.
The Scottish poet John Burnside has won the most controversial TS Eliot poetry prize in years, for Black Cat Bone, a collection described as "haunting". Burnside beat a notably strong surviving list, including the poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.
The Alcuin Society has announced that Stan Bevington, C.M., founder of Coach House Press, will be the recipient of the 2012 Robert R. Reid Award and Medal for lifetime achievement in the book arts.
NEWS & FEATURES
Evelyn Lau, the City of Vancouver's third Poet Laureate, invites emerging poets to apply for a free one-to-one manuscript consultation at VPL's iconic Central Library. The requirements for consultation consideration are here:
In partnership with publisher HarperCollins, U.K. McDonald's will hand out 9 million book vouchers for titles by Michael Marpurgo, entitling holders to buy a copy of the books for only £1 at WHSmith Stores. National Literacy Trust research reports one in three British children—nearly four million—do not own a book.
Publishers are convinced that ardent viewers of Downton Abbey will want to read stories about Edwardian and wartime England, not least stories about the grandeur of British estates. The British melodrama has become a marketing tool for booksellers and publishers.
Angered by the decision of a rising fascist group called CasaPound to name itself after her father in honour of his support for dictator Benito Mussolini, Ezra Pound's daughter Mary De Rachewiltz is seeking through the courts to force the group to drop the name.
The opening lines of Reginald Hill's first novel, Fell of Dark, were prophetic: "I possess the Englishman's usual ambivalent attitude to the police. They are at once protectors and persecutors:" a perfect description of Dalziel and Pascoe. Hill died last week, aged 75.
A quintet of writers is showing that Pakistan can produce fine writing. But largely out of fear, they publish only in English, writes Stephanie Nolan.
A literary punch-up has arisen between readers, authors and agents on Goodreads reviews in the YA field, with readers clashing with publishers. Are reviews a sales promo tool or an honest assessment by someone who has read and digested the work?
The resurgence of the controversy over the death of Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda reflects the suspicions haunting the nation nearly 40 years after the coup. Some claim natural causes; others, Neruda was murdered. Suspicions have lingered for decades.
Arizona's ban on ethnic studies proscribes Mexican-American history, local authors, and Shakespeare's The Tempest.
Geist is pleased to announce that Lauren Turner is the first Emerging Writer of the Month. Her poem Accuracy can be found at geist.com. Online guidelines for submissions here:
Sparked by an article Zadie Smith had written about Liberia, which caught the attention of George Soros, Open Society Foundation's founder and chairman, ten writers were selected, a group name—Writers Bloc—selected, and all sent to different countries to write education-related articles.
To celebrate the publication of The Wind Through the Keyhole, the latest episode in Stephen King's fantasy series The Dark Tower, the publisher (Hodder) has offered lucky entrants to have their faces featured on the back of the jacket artwork. An invitation to help make literary history, they state.
Are hard copy materials bad for the environment? Less efficient to produce? Not so, according to Rediscover Print, a new project that is collecting data and case studies in support of the effectiveness and value of printed media.
There's still time to enter the Geist Postcard Story Contest. Get your entries in before February 15, 2012 for a chance at literary fame and fortune. Contest submissions guidelines and Postcard FAQs can be found on the Geist website.
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
In his review of Guy Vanderhaeghe's A Good Man, Ron Charles writes: “Vanderhaeghe offers a chance to survey our history and our national myths from the more nuanced perspective of our giant, wary neighbor. An enlightening end to his trilogy."
P.D. James brings a murder mystery into Jane Austen territory with Death Comes to Pemberley. The characters are Austen's, but the novel reflects James's sensibility and preoccupations, writes Kenneth Turan. A violent death the night before the annual ball: most inopportune.
In Distrust That Particular Flavor, a collection of nonfiction pieces, the novelist William Gibson reveals our own world to us as a science-fictional marvel, writes Pagan Kennedy. William Gibson's future is now, says Kennedy.
Greg Quill states that Gibson's Distrust That Particular Flavor reveals the sci-fi guru's human side.
William Gibson talks about his first-ever collection of non-fiction and the ‘unutterable weirdness' of living in our time.
Gregory Maguire gave the world a new take on Frank L. Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, with four sequels. Out of Oz provides a satisfying conclusion to Maguire's series, writes Kelley Armstrong.
In January 2011, The Guardian asked Arab writers, including Tamim Al-Barghouti, Hisham Matar and Mourid Barghouti, to react to the uprisings. Their reflections on that extraordinary year are here.
Alberto Manguel describes Tomás Eloy Martínez's efforts to write about the Argentinian dictatorship without descriptions of atrocities, but a recreation of what it felt like "to breathe in the contaminated air" of the time. The novel Purgatory is the successful result.
Chan Koonchung's novel The Fat Years portrays a China of the very near future that can best be described as slightly off-kilter, writes Jason Beerman. Between a good hell and a counterfeit paradise, which one would people choose?
Initially tentative about Vanessa Diffenbaugh's The Language of Flowers, Tracy Sherlock became caught up in the book, reading it in two sittings. The meaning of flowers' names mixes well with a second theme, the theme of foster children, says Sherlock.
Gillian Steward describes Christopher Evans and Lorene Shyba's 5,000 Dead Ducks: Lust and Revolution in the Oilsands, as a darkly funny, satirical novel. The Calgarian authors situate the book in the city of Bos Taurus (Latin for cow).
Don DeLillo's The Angel Esmeralda provides a representative sampler of DeLillo's narrative strategies and thematic range. It comes as something of a shock to realize that he is only now publishing his first story collection, writes Ian McGillis.
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/.
NOWHERE ELSE ON EARTH
Book launch and reading by Caitlyn Vernon from her new book Nowhere Else on Earth: Standing Tall for the Great Bear Rainforest. Thursday, January 19 at 7:00pm. Rhizome Cafe, 317 East Broadway. For more information, visit http://www.sierraclub.bc.ca/events/nowhere-else-on-earth-1.
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.
SHE-DEMONS: A MISTER JINNAH MYSTERY
Local author Don Hauka will read from his new book She-Demons: A Mister Jinnah Mystery, about a flirtatious and resourceful detective who has to use his investigative genius to solve a crime and make a few dollars on the side. Thursday, January 19 at 7:00pm, free. Burnaby Public Library McGill Branch, 4595 Albert Street, Burnaby. More information at www.bpl.bc.ca.
Talon Books and READ Books launch Carl Peter's new book, textual vishjuns: image and text in the work of bill bissett. Also reading is bill bissett from his latest book, novel. Thursday, January 19 at 7:30pm. READ Bookstore, Emily Carr University, 1399 Johnston Street, Granville Island. More information at talonbooks.com/events.
VANCOUVER POETRY SLAM
All youth poetry slam featuring Magpie Ulysses. Monday, January 23 at 8:00pm. Cost: $6/$3. Cafe Deux Soleils, 2096 Commercial Drive. More information at www.vancouverpoetryhouse.com.
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 WRITERS SERIES
Second anniversary celebration with Angie Abdou, Zsuzsi Gartner, David Lester, Arley McNeney, Garry Thomas Morse, Jen Neale, Ayelet Tsabari. Tuesday, January 24. W2 Media Cafe, 111 West Hastings Street. More information at talonbooks.com.
Reading by the author of his debut poetry collection, Embouchure. Featuring percussionist Nicholas Jacques. 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 email@example.com.
For the first time ever, Canada Reads 2012 is a battle of non-fiction books! CBC Radio's North by Northwest is running a special writing contest celebrating the themes of the two BC books in the battle, and the winners will receive all the 2012 Canada Reads books, plus the Canada Reads book bag! To enter, describe in 400 words or less: your own true life experience with an amazing animal OR your own true life experience with being in personal danger. For all the details, go to www.cbc.ca/nxnw. Contest closes January 29 at midnight.
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.
KRANKY READING SERIES
Readings by Cathy Stonehouse, Daniel Zomparelli, and Catherine Owen. Thursday, February 2 at 7:00pm. Kranky Cafe, 16-228 4th Ave. East, Vancouver. More information at talonbooks.com/events.
Poets E. D. Blodgett and Susan McCaslin will be reading from their recent volumes of poetry. Thursday, February 9 at 7:00pm, free. Cadboro Bay Book Company, 3840B Cadboro Bay Road, Victoria. More information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Jennifer Kramer will sign copies of the catalogue written to accompany the exhibition Kesu': The Art and Life of Doug Cranmer. Tuesday, February 14 at 4:00pm. Museum of Anthropology, UBC, 6393 NW Marine Drive. More information at www.moa.ubc.ca/events.
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.
HOME FRONT, A READING SERIES
Reading by Sharon Thesen, author of The Serial Poems. Saturday, February 18 at 8:00pm. Cost: $5/pay what you can. 3966 Ontario Street, Vancouver. More information at 604-879-5200.
GALIANO LITERARY FESTIVAL
Third annual literary festival featuring George Bowering, Patrick Friesen, Susan Juby, Rhea Tregebov and many others. February 24-26, 2012. Galiano Island. More information at galianoliteraryfestival.wordpress.com.
CAMPBELL RIVER WRITERS' FESTIVAL
Eleventh annual Words on the Water Festival featuring Gurjinder Basran, Trevor Herriot, Daphne Marlatt, Garry Thomas Morse and others. March 23-24, 2012. Tickets on sale starting February 1. Maritime Heritage Centre, Campbell River. Details at www.wordsonthewater.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.