Archive for the ‘Friends of WOTS’ Category


Historic Joy Kogawa House Announces 2012 Writer-In-Residence

February 2, 2012

Deborah Willis reading at The Word On The Street

Historic Joy Kogawa House has announced their 2012 writer-in-residence: Victoria author Deborah Willis. Deborah read from her first book, Vanishing and Other Stories, at The Word On The Street during our 2009 festival, and we are very pleased to have her back in Vancouver!

Until April 15, 2012, Deborah will reside at Historic Joy Kogawa House where she will work on her second collection of stories. During her residency she will also work with a number of community groups, offering them reading and writing programs and workshops.

Welcome back to Vancouver Deborah!


On Thursday, September 15, Historic Joy Kogawa House will welcome Toronto author Susan Crean as 2011 writer-in-residence.

September 15, 2011

Historic Joy Kogawa House announces 2011 Writing for Social Change readings series

On Thursday, September 15, Historic Joy Kogawa House will welcome Toronto author Susan Crean as 2011 writer-in-residence. (As part of The Word On The Street Vancouver, meet Susan Friday night, September 23, at Historic Joy Kogawa House. And make a collage button with Laura Bucci at the same time!)

Susan Crean is a lifelong non-fiction author and journalist who will live at Historic Joy Kogawa House while working on a major new book of literary non-fiction that combines memoir, history, and social comment to tell the story, in part, of head-tax payer, Wong Dong Wong, who came to Canada in 1911. Crean will live and work at the house for three months while creating this new work. During this period, she will offer local writers and readers a number of opportunities to meet with her as an author in one-on-one consultations.

Crean will also engage in a series of conversations during her residency with writers who use their work as a means of social change. Writers in this series include the following:

– poet Evelyn Lau, in conversation Sunday, October 2

– journalist Eric Enno Tamm, Sunday, October 16

– playwright Tara Beagan, Sunday, October 30

– essayist Betsy Warland, Sunday, November 5

– writer Wayde Compton, Sunday, November 27

– artist Shirley Bear, Sunday, December 4

Crean will also lead writing workshops from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 29, and Saturday, November 19, and she will participate in a craft sale and open house event with other local writers from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 11.

Crean is an accomplished teacher and editor and her ability to work with other writers distinguished her application from others received in a cross-Canada call for proposals. Among the applicants received, Susan Crean was judged the most skilled writer and the applicant with the most clarity around the public programs to be presented. Crean lives in Toronto, Ontario, but will live and work at Historic Joy Kogawa House throughout her residency, from September 15 to December 15, 2011.

To make an appointment for consultation with Susan Crean, and for further information, please visit or call (604) 263-6586.


Geist Magazine Writing Workshop with Caroline Adderson

April 28, 2011

Writing the Narrative Scene: Workshop with Caroline Adderson

The scene is the dramatic heart of fiction, where plot, setting and character come together on the page. In this intensive workshop we will study examples of successful narrative scenes, analyze their elements, including the effective use of dialogue, and, of course, write them. Write lots of them!

This workshop is useful for both short-fiction writers and novelists. It is led by Caroline Adderson, a fiction writer and teacher.

Caroline Adderson is the author of three novels, The Sky Is Falling, A History of Forgetting and Sitting Practice (winner of the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize in 2004), and two collections of short stories, Bad Imaginings and Pleased to Meet You. She lives in Vancouver.

Writing the Narrative Scene
Location: Listel Hotel, 1300 Robson Street, Vancouver BC
Date: Saturday, May 21, 2011
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Price: $50 (includes a one-year subscription to Geist for yourself or a friend)

To register click here or call Geist at 604–681–9161


Celebrate National Poetry Month at the Robson Reading Series with Susan Musgrave and Matt Rader

April 20, 2011

Tomorrow, April 21 at 7:00 pm, the Robson Reading Series will be celebrating National Poetry Month with three visionary poets: Jacob McArthur Mooney, Susan Musgrave and Matt Rader.

The event takes place at the UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square (800 Robson Street, Plaza Level) between Howe and Hornby.

Doors will open at 6:45pm. Admission is free. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Coffee/tea and treats will be served.

Jacob McArthur Mooney is the author of two books of poetry: the much-acclaimed The New Layman’s Almanac (McClelland & Stewart, 2008), and the recently released Folk (McClelland & Stewart, March 2011). Taking as its inciting incident the 1998 crash of Swissair Flight 111 off the coast of Nova Scotia, before moving to the neighbourhoods around Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, Folk is an elaborately composed inquiry into the human need for frames, edges, borders, and a passionate probe of contemporary challenges to identity, whether of individual, neighbourhood, city, or nation. Mooney was the winner of the inaugural Open Poetry Stage at Harbourfront Centre in 2009, as well as a finalist for the 2008 CBC Literary Award in Poetry. His work has also received the Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Award. Originally from Nova Scotia, he now lives in Toronto, ON.

Susan Musgrave has published fourteen books of poetry, as well as works of fiction, non-fiction, and writing for children. Her most recent book Origami Dove (McClelland & Stewart, March 2011) is her first book of new poems in more than a decade. Previous titles include When the World Is Not Our Home: Selected Poems 1985-2000 (Thistledown, 2009), You’re in Canada Now . . . A Memoir of Sorts (Thistledown, 2005), and the bestselling novel Cargo of Orchids (Knopf, 2000). She has been a finalist for numerous awards including the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, the Stephen Leacock Award and the Governor General’s Award for both poetry (twice) and fiction. She has won a BC Book Award, the CBC/Saturday Night/Tilden Award for Poetry and the Vicky Metcalf Short Story Editor’s Award. She divides her time between Victoria and Haida Gwaii, BC.

Matt Rader launches his third book of poetry, A Doctor Pedalled Her Bicycle Over the River Arno (House of Anansi Press, 2011), and lures us into a luminous, demanding, particularized realm of wildflowers and weeds, newspaper archives and illness, hostels and hostiles. He is also the author of two previous collections, Miraculous Hours (Nightwood Editions, 2005) and Living Things (Nightwood Editions, 2008), as well as the fine press chapbook, The Land Beyond (Greenboathouse Books, 2003). His poems, stories, and non-fiction have appeared in journals and anthologies across North America, Australia, and Europe and have been nominated for numerous awards including the Gerald Lampert Award, the Journey Prize, and two Pushcart Prizes. He lives in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, BC.


North Shore Writers Festival

April 11, 2011

This week marks the 12th annual North Shore Writers Festival organized by North Shore public libraries including North Vancouver City Library, North Vancouver District Library and West Vancouver Memorial Library.

They’ve got a great line-up all week long:

Monday, April 11, 7:00 pm
John FurlongPatriot Hearts

Tuesday, April 12, 7:00 pm
Grant LawrenceAdventures in Solitude: What Not to Wear to a Nude Potluck and Other Stories from Desolation Sound

Wednesday, April 13, 7:00 pm
Ryan KnightonC’mon Papa: Dispatches from a Dad in the Dark

Thursday, April 14, 7:00 pm
Timothy TaylorThe Blue Light Project

Friday, April 15, 7:00 pm
Caroline AddersonThe Sky is Falling

Saturday, April 16, 2:00 pm
Dianne WarrenCool Water (winner for the 2010 Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction)
Meeru DhalwalaVij’s At Home: Relax, Honey (cookbook)


BC Historical Federation announces the Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing

April 11, 2011

The BC Historical Federation annually awards the Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing to authors of British Columbia history.

1st Place: Sylvia Olsen, Working with Wool: A Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater
2nd Place: Dan Savard, Images from the Likeness House
3rd Place: Dorothy Faulkner, Elaine Park and Cathy Jenks, Women of Pender Harbour: Their Voices, Their History
Honourable Mentions:
• Alan Twigg, The Essentials: 150 Great BC Books & Authors
• Robert Budd, Voices of British Columbia: Stories from Our Frontier
• Jane Stevenson, The Railroader’s Wife: Letters from the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway

Congratulations to all the authors!


bill bissett and Susan Musgrave at the Vancouver International Poetry Festival

April 8, 2011

Just the Two of Us, an Intimate Night with bill bissett and Susan Musgrave

Two legendary BC poets put on a show together. bill bissett and Susan Musgrave present their poems, which have influenced generations of West Coast poets with the independent spirit of their rule-bending poetic approaches.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011
7:30pm doors open, 8pm show starts
Havana Theatre, 1212 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
$10 | Buy Tickets

Forget what you learned about spelling and grammar, in fact chop it to pieces and push it down the garburator because there’s no room for rules when bill bissett hits the stage. A university drop-out, runaway and internationally acclaimed poet, bissett refutes conventional interpretations of language, creating a unique style of concrete poetry based in phonetics and barren grammatical states. West Coast based, bissett is more literary wizard than traditional poet, and was honored for his endeavors in 2007, when he became one of a distinguished many to receive the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to literature in British Columbia.

Publisher of 20 books, Susan Musgrave promises to offer an equally thrilling poetic performance alongside bissett. With a life that reads like a piece of fiction itself, Musgrave is a runaway, a drop-out, a drug smuggler’s divorcee, wife to a bandit, mother of two and finally, a poet. This wild sea-witch of the West Coast has been short listed four times for the Governor Generals Award, and is a winner of the National Magazine Award as well as the R.P. Adams Award for Short Fiction and b.p. nichol Poetry Chapbook Award.