25th Trillium Award

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Focus on: Kingston
A Guide to Kingston?s Literary Scene
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Kingston, Limestone City, could just as easily be called Literary City. So many writers live within a single neighbourhood that the area is known as Writers Block. Students hone their skills at the excellent Creative Writing program at Queen's University. Readers and writers cross paths at lively events and book clubs hosted by the Kingston Frontenac Public Library. Thrive Reading Series and Poetry at the Artel welcome a wide variety of authors at all stages of their careers. And every September, the city's downtown fills with book lovers who travel from near and far to attend the unforgettable Kingston WritersFest, a volunteer-driven celebration of words that marks a highlight of our literary calendar.
Special thanks to Pamela Cornell for permission to publish her photos as part of this series.

Kingston News

Writing, fatherhood (fragments,

By rob mclennan

Writing. As the baby sleeps. As baby feeds. I type with one hand. Learn to think in short bursts. Pockets.

Think of William Carlos Williams, composing poems on prescription pads between patients. Patience. Short lines quick on paper scraps. How the when of his writing helped shape the what. My thinking exists in shards, in pieces. Fragments.

To write, one must continue to evolve, improve. These fragments of attention.

Therefore, to embrace. If I am to write at all.

A Profile of Nina Berkhout

By rob mclennan

Profile: Danielle K.L. Grégoire

On Sunday, March 30, 2014, poet, performer and organizer Danielle K.L. Grégoire and Ottawa poet, editor, publisher and provocateur Amanda Earl will each be acknowledged at the fourth annual VERSeFest poetry festival as part of the second annual Verse Ottawa Hall of Honour.

Poets in Profile, with Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang

Award-winning writer Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang?s most recent book, Status Update (Oolichan Books), is a collection of poems written in response to real Facebook status updates. Author Ian Williams calls Tsiang?s poems ?strangely illicit.? He writes, ?You wonder about your own conduct. Should you be reading / so closely / the lives of others??

The Proust Questionnaire, with Christian McPherson

Ottawa writer Christian McPherson is the author of four books of short stories and poetry, but it was in his 2010 debut novel Cube People (Nightwood Editions) that he introduced us to would-be writer/government office worker Colin MacDonald. The often hilarious and occasionally terrifying misadventures of Colin continue in Christian?s follow-up, Cube Squared (Nightwood Editions), in which Colin faces off against middle age, an enemy far more threatening and volatile than the slow smothering of bureaucratic and domestic ennui.

In his answers to the Proust Questionnaire, Christian McPherson coins a useful phrase, explains his beverage schedule and reveals a soft spot for little plastic bricks.

The Proust Questionnaire was not invented by Marcel Proust, but it was a much loved game by the French author and many of his contemporaries. The idea behind the questionnaire is that the answers are supposed to reveal the respondent's "true" nature.


Barbara Bell Named Artistic Director of Kingston WritersFest

Congratulations to Barbara Bell, who has been named to the top position at Kingston WritersFest!

Barbara Bell has been with Kingston Writersfest since its launch in 2009 as Producer, and in 2013 as Associate Director. In addition to her many contributions to KWF, Barbara is an award-winning actor, a playwright, director and producer, a freelance editor and she has hosted several seasons of Page Turners for TVCogeco in Kingston.

Kingston Writersfest 2013: Something for Everyone

In Other Worlds: Margaret Atwood, Corey Redekop, moderated by Merilyn Simonds

Put Margaret Atwood, Corey Redekop, and Madeline Ashby on the stage together and you?re asking for it. When told it was his turn to read, Corey joked, ?Aw, I was hoping she?d read first. Then I could say, ?Yeah, Atwood opened for me.??

Read Ontario, with Laurie Lewis

Ontario has a wealth of fantastic writers and amazing stories. This October the Ontario Book Publishers Organization is highlighting a selection of Ontario's finest writing from some of the great Ontario publishers. Pick up an Ontario book and ?Read Ontario!?

But just where does the magic happen? Visit the Open Book: Toronto and Open Book: Ontario websites over the next few weeks to find out how living in Ontario has influenced some of our best authors.

Laurie Lewis has led no ordinary life. In Little Comrades (The Porcupine's Quill), her first memoir, she writes about the new life that she and her mother discovered in post-war New York City, fleeing a childhood in Depression-era Alberta with Laurie's alcoholic father. She navigated Greenwich Village and Little Italy as a young socialist at a time when that was a very dangerous thing to be. Her newest book, Love, and all that jazz (The Porcupine's Quill), is the sequel to her fascinating life story, beginning with her doomed marriage to Jazz aficionado Gary Lewis and following her return to Canada as a single mother determined to make her way in the publishing industry.

Although readers of these spellbinding memoirs might disagree, Laurie asserts that after writing two memoirs, she's a touch sick of herself. This is why she flees the sanctuary of her Kingston home and nestles herself in with the breakfast crowds in the coffee shop — at least when she's between projects, or versions of herself.

Visit a participating Read Ontario independent bookstore to purchase your copy of Love, and all that jazz, or click here for details on how you can enter to win The World of Niagara Wine and 41 other Read Ontario books.

Grace O?Connell, Alex Porco, Gillian Savigny, Carolyn Smart and Moez Surani on Finding A Voice

Coming up Fri. Oct 11th, from 4-6pm on CFRC 101.9fm's 'finding a voice?, the show will feature a recent event held on Queen?s campus, Sept 21, called ?The Alumni Return, Triumphant!?

In the first hour, you?ll hear the introduction to it by Shelley King, the Head of the Department of English at Queens, as host/moderator - followed by the readings from that event by Grace O?Connell, Alex Porco, Gillian Savigny, Carolyn Smart and the very first portion of a reading by Moez Surani.

The Kingston WritersFest Interview Series, with Wayne Grady

It's here! The Kingston WritersFest is in full swing, and writers and readers alike are already buzzing about what's on. Open Book: Ontario has been giving you a virtual behind-the-scenes tour of the festival all month long, so that when you finally meet some of your favourite authors face-to-face, you'll know everything from what books they've got in their bags to how they're calming their nerves.

In our final Kingston WritersFest interview, we speak with Wayne Graday, the Kingston writer who published his first novel, which has been percolating for 15 years, this summer. Emancipation Day (Doubleday Canada) is the fictionalized story of his father, a black man who passed as white in 1950s St. John's and later in Windsor.

Wayne will moderate Friday's session The Cathedral & the Courtesan, featuring Gina Buonaguro and Janice Kirk. On Saturday, September 26, he'll be presenting a sold-out Writers Studio class about Writing Family into Fiction and will later be reading and conversing with Saleema Nawaz in the afternoon event Writing Through Race. You can also find Wayne at the Saturday Night SpeakEasy.

For more details, please visit the Events page. You can purchase your tickets here.

The Kingston WritersFest Interview Series, with Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

It's here! The Kingston WritersFest begins this week, and the writers are already beginning to arrive. Open Book: Ontario has been giving you a virtual behind-the-scenes tour of the festival all month long, so that when you finally meet some of your favourite authors face-to-face, you'll know everything from what books they've got in their bags to how they're calming their nerves.

In today's Kingston WritersFest interview, we speak with Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, a writer, academic and Idle No More activist of Mississauga Nishnaabeg ancestry. Leanne has two new books out this fall: The Gift Is in the Making (Highwater Press), a collection of re-told Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe) stories, and Islands of Decolonial Love (Arbeiter Ring Publishers), which is her debut collection of original short stories.

Leanne will appear along with Thomas King in Storytelling and Redemption, a reading and conversation moderated by Shelagh Rogers on Friday, September 27 at 4:30 p.m.

For more details, please visit the Events page. You can purchase your tickets here.

Recommended Reads for Younger Readers: Kingston

By Ginger Pharand

In Part 2 of Recommended Reads: Kingston, we focus on local authors of children?s and young adult books. From picture books to teen novels, Kingston writers offer as many literary options for the younger set as for the adults. In this list, explore Canada?s past, the surreal imaginings of bedtime, Victorian London, urban Japan and countless other destinations. Whatever a young mind?s fancy, there?s likely a story waiting among the creative offerings found here.



Photo credit: Pamela Cornell

The Kingston WritersFest Interview Series, with Andrew Kaufman

It's here! The Kingston WritersFest begins this week, and the writers are already beginning to arrive. Open Book: Ontario has been giving you a virtual behind-the-scenes tour of the festival all month long, so that when you finally meet some of your favourite authors face-to-face, you'll know everything from what books they've got in their bags to how they're calming their nerves.

In today's Kingston WritersFest interview, we speak with Toronto writer Andrew Kaufman, who hails from Wingham, Ontario. Andrew's new novel, Born Weird (Random House Canada), takes the old "blessed at birth" fairy tale starter out for a romp. The novel opens at the deathbed of Annie Weird, who bestowed a "blessing" on each of her five grandchildren when they were born. But the blessings, which range from instant forgiveness to constant safety, have been ruining the siblings lives.

Andrew will participate in the panel discussion Born Weird on Saturday, September 28 and will run the Writers Studio session Writing for the Screen later that afternoon. He'll also be at the sold-out Saturday Night SpeakEasy.

For more details, please visit the Events page. You can purchase your tickets here.

A Writer's Kingston, with Elizabeth Greene

Poet, educator and arts advocate Elizabeth Greene explores the meaning of place and home in her poetry collection, Moving (Inanna Publications).

Today Elizabeth opens up about the city she calls home for Open Book Ontario?s Focus On: Kingston series, A Writer?s Kingston.

The Kingston WritersFest Interview Series, with Corey Redekop

It's time! The Kingston WritersFest is only a week away, and now is the time to start snapping up your tickets. Open Book: Ontario will be giving you a virtual behind-the-scenes tour of the festival all month long, so that when you finally meet some of your favourite authors face-to-face, you'll know everything from what books they've got in their bags to how they're calming their nerves.

In today's Kingston WritersFest interview, we speak with Corey Redekop, a multi-talented publicist who tirelessly promotes books for the Fredericton-based Goose Lane Editions when he isn't writing his own. His latest novel, Husk (ECW Press), is about the misadventures of a gay Toronto actor who finds that death is only the beginning of his problems.

Corey will present the sold-out Writers Studio session Writing Zombies the morning of Thursday, September 26 and will appear on stage with Madeline Ashby and Margaret Atwood for a Writing Other Worlds discussion later that afternoon. You can also catch him at the Writers Studio Session Writing the Surreal on Friday, September 27 and at the panel discussion Born Weird on Saturday, September 28.

For more details, please visit the Events page. You can purchase your tickets here.

Kingston Events

Macdonald at 200: An Exclusive Book Launch by Patrice Dutil & Roger Hall

When

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - 5:00pm

Where

Kingston Frontenac Public Library
130 Johnson St.
Kingston, ON
K7L 1X8

Details

SirJohnA2015: A Project of SALON Theatre hosts:

An exclusive book launch of Ryerson University Professor Patrice Dutil?s new book at the Kingston Frontenac Public Library featuring Dutil, co-editor Roger Hall and contributor David A. Wilson.

The Stories We Tell: A Night Of Historical Fiction Featuring authors Gordon Henderson & Roy MacSkimming

When

Thursday, January 8, 2015 - 7:00pm

Where

Kingston Frontenac Public Library
130 Johnson St.
Kingston, ON
K7L 1X8

Details

SirJohnA2015: A Project of SALON Theatre hosts:

The Stories We Tell: A Night Of Historical Fiction Featuring authors Gordon Henderson and Roy MacSkimming.

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