Purdy, Al

Haig-Brown meets Al Purdy


“I want to catch some kind of Haig-Brown essence with the halo slightly askew.” — Al Purdy. FULL STORY

Who’s Who


Abel, Jordan b&w

Jordan Abel

A is for Abel
Award-winning Nisga’a poet Jordan Abel is set to release his second collection of poetry, Un/inhabited (Talonbooks 2014) this Fall. Published as a special limited-edition artist book by Project Space Press in collaboration with Talonbooks, Un/inhabited maps the terrain of the public domain to create a layered investigation of the interconnections between language and land. Abel compiled 91 complete western novels found on the website Project Gutenberg, an online archive of public domain works. Using his word processor’s Ctrl-F function, he then searched the document in its totality for words that relate to the political and social aspects of land, territory and ownership. Each search query represents a study in context (How was this word deployed? What surrounded it? What is left over once that word is removed?) that accumulates toward a representation of the public domain as a discoverable and inhabitable body of land. Abel’s debut poetry collection, The Place of Scraps (Talonbooks, 2013), was awarded the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Abel is an editor for Poetry Is Dead magazine and the former poetry editor for PRISM international and Geist. His work has been published in many journals and magazines across Canada, including CV2, The Capilano Review, Prairie Fire, dANDelion, ARC Poetry Magazine, Descant, Broken Pencil, OCW Magazine, filling Station, Grain and Canadian Literature. His chapbooks Scientia and Injun have been published by above/ground Press and JackPine Press, respectively.

B is for Bauder
Greg Bauder published Spilt Coffee (Solstice Publishing 2014) a novel about three aging schizoaffective men who are lost and disillusioned and live vicariously for the love of a beautiful, young Filipino nurse who looks after them. Himself a schizoaffective sufferer, Bauder earned a BA in English from the University of British Columbia and has been published in various Canadian literary magazines such as The Existere, Vallum, and Quills Poetry. He lives in Surrey, B.C.

C is for Craig
Jennifer Craig’s self-published novel of humourous, social commentary, Mary-Lou’s Brew (Friesen $17.99), sounds a bit like Harry Potter for adults. It is a whimsical tale of a contemporary academy, rooted in ancient Greek culture, “written by a Yorkshire woman who knows her science and her brews.” The future of the Academy of Sophists is in jeopardy. Faculty members vanish, an assistant causes a unique traffic jam, lab creatures escape, and a disenchanted junior professor tries to alter the Dean’s Gravity Quotient. Life gets more complicated for everyone when Mary Lou stirs up her brew, spelling more trouble for the Dean of the Academy of Sophists. According to Craig’s publicity, “The Dean’s Academy of Sophists contributes to humanity in its own whacky way, using ancient practices similar to witchcraft, but with a scientific basis. Although Sophistry and witchcraft parted ways in the fifteenth century, the Dean must defend the Academy against those who see these goings-on as decidedly witchy–with hilarious results. 978-1-4602-4484-5

Marcotte, Danielle in Surrey's Chapters, 2014

Danielle Marcotte with books at Surrey Chapters

D is for Danielle
In May of 2014, Danielle Marcotte attended the Salon du Livre de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue in her hometown of Amos, in Québec. Amos was celebrating its 100th birthday. Her grandparents were amongst its pioneers. Also in 2014, English versions of her three children’s books were made available for the first at bookstores in B.C., all newly published by Midtown Press, an imprint operated by former publishers’ sales representative Louis Anctil. Inspired by her son’s piloting adventures and her daughter’s artistic output, Marcotte writes adventure stories about dogs and planes for a 6-to-10-year-old audience. These have now been published in both of Canada’s official languages. For 30 years, Danielle Marcotte worked as a radio host for Radio-Canada, interviewing artists, political figures and ordinary citizens from all walks of life. Now retired, she has put down roots in Tsawwassen, B.C. where she continues to write for both French and English newspaper and magazines. BOOKS: Scamper and the Airplane Thief — Book 1 (Midtown Press/Sandhill 2014) $6.95 978-0-9881101-3-7 / This Airplane Can Dance — Book 2 (Midtown Press/ Sandhill 2014) $6.95 978-0-9881101-4-4 / Why Does My Dog Smile? (Midtown Press/ Sandhill 2014) $5.95 978-0-9881101-5-1

E is for Eleanor
Eleanor Millard of Carcross left home at age 14, gained two Masters degrees, worked as a social worker and was elected to the Legislative Assembly for the Yukon Territory where she became Minister of Education at the end of a four-year term. Her third book is a self-published novel, Summer Snow (Lupindog Press $20) based on her experiences with adopting a First Nation child who is affected with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, brain damage due to the mother’s drinking while pregnant. It explores the main character’s gradual understanding of the condition which is painful and challenging, but also joyful as her daughter’s disabilities and abilities are revealed. The novel is set in Northern Canada and in the ambiguity of cross-cultural relations. Her 19 interwoven stories in her first story collection, River Child (Caitlin, 2002), are set in Dawson City. A protagonist named Selena MacLean struggles against sexual abuse and tries to find her way between two distinct cultures of the Yukon: Indian and White. In 2007, Millard published Journeys Outside and In, a collection of memoirs. Each chapter is a self contained short-story, discussing subjects ranging from Millard’s travels to Cuba, her time spent as a social worker, and her appointment as Minister of Education.  River Child (Caitlin, 2002) 0-929576-94-X / Journeys Outside and In (Self-published, 2007) 0-9782817-0-5 / Summer Snow (self-published, 2013) Snow 978-0-9782817-2-4

F is for Ford
Cathy Ford has published fifteen books of poetry and numerous chapbooks and folios, including poetry, long poems, fiction and memoir that were published by blewointment press, Intermedia Press, Caitlin Press, Véhicule Press, Harbour Publishing, gynergy books, Mother Tongue Publishing and others. In her latest work, Flowers We Will Never Know the Names Of (Mother Tongue Pub. $18.95), she marks the 25th anniversary of Montreal’s L’École Polytechnique massacres in a long poem written in the language of flowers and an alphabet re-imagined. It is a memento of love amid violence and loss. Cathy Ford was born in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, and grew up in northern B.C. She has a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. from the University of British Columbia. She has worked as a poet and fiction writer, publisher, editor, and teacher. She was President of the League of Canadian Poets in 1985 and 1986, and was a founding member of the League’s Feminist Caucus in 1982. From 1984 to 1986 she was a member of a national task force of Women and Words, working to create a draft constitution for a Canadian association of Women and Words. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Literary Storefront from 1980 to 1982. Ford lived for 18 years on Mayne Island before moving to Sidney B.C. She is married, with one son.

Gough, Barry

Dr. Barry Gough

G is for Gough
Victoria-based Dr. Barry Gough is one of Canada’s foremost maritime historians and author of the first book published by UBC Press in 1971, The Royal Navy and the Northwest Coast of North America, 1810–1914. His latest book, The Elusive Mr. Pond: The Soldier, Fur Trader and Explorer who Opened the Northwest (Douglas & McIntyre, $34.95) is about someone whose legend has been forgotten in favour of those who came after him. Peter Pond mentored the more well-known Sir Alexander Mackenzie and mapped much of northwestern Canada before him. Pond became a notable figure in the founding of the empire of the St. Lawrence. And he was both an entrepreneur and pioneer–venturing into the unexplored expanse of the far distant Arctic watershed. His exploits in the fur trade were legendary and elevated him to become a founding partner in the North West Company. These experiences, combined with his reputed violent temper and implication in two murders, make him a compelling historical figure. Dr. Gough has created a definitive portrait of this captivating character. His research re-examines Pond’s surviving memoirs, explorers’ journals, letters written by acquaintances of Pond, publications in London magazines and many other sources to create the most complete biography of this eccentric, industrious, aggressive and secretive fellow ever published. Dr. Gough is the author of many critically acclaimed books, including Fortune’s a River: The Collision of Empires in Northwest America (Harbour, 2007), which won the John Lyman Book Award for best Canadian naval and maritime history and was shortlisted for the Nereus Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize. Over four decades, his contributions to Imperial, Commonwealth and Canadian studies have earned him many honours at home and abroad. 978-1-77162-039-0

Horsfield, Margaret blue sweater

Margaret Horsfield

H is for Horsfield
In Tofino and Clayoquot Sound: A History (Harbour $36.95), Margaret Horsfield, with Ian Kennedy, explores the rich heritage and captivating past of the Vancouver Island regions of Clayoquot Sound and Tofino. Starting with the dramatic geological upheavals of nature, Horsfield delves into the people, events and industries that shaped the area. Horsfield’s most high profile work has been her self-published, bestselling coffee table book and biography called Cougar Annie’s Garden, winner of the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize. It was followed by Voices from the Sound: Chronicles of Clayoquot Sound and Tofino 1899-1929 (Salal Books, 2008), based on long-forgotten letters, diaries and memoirs. “In my research,” she writes, “I unearthed so many obscure documents in so many unlikely locations that at times I felt nearly deafened by all the chatter, all the voices. I met many characters who have become part of my life, and I learned an enormous amount about the underlying social and economic realities of the West Coast. Because the research was so intensive and detailed–and because I am so slow–this book has occupied seven years of my life.” Her collaboration with Kennedy affords an opportunity to refine her preceding research. 978-1-55017-681-0

Ivan, Henry with David Milgaard

David Milgaard with Ivan Henry

I is for Ivan Henry
Lawyer Joan McEwen first heard about the plight of Ivan Henry in 2010 following his acquittal by the BC Court of Appeal. Her first book, Innocence on Trial: The Framing of Ivan Henry (Heritage House $22.95) investigates how failings of the justice system—police, lawyers, prosecutors, judges, politicians, etc.—forced Henry to spend 27 years in prison for crimes for which he was later excused, but never declared not guilty. Over three years in the making, McEwen hopes that her book will lead to fair compensation for his wrongful incarceration. McEwen inherited her passion for social justice from her staunchly NDP father and her morbid fear of prison from a childhood glimpse of a jail. In 2008, determined to conquer that fear, Joan began writing a (fiction) book about a prisoner and his (female) parole officer. What began as research ended up with her volunteering to teach a creative writing program in Matsqui Institution. Since then, she has become a volunteer/advocate for prisoners, helping long-term offenders reintegrate back into society. Along the way, she discovered the work that “innocence projects”–the first of which was established in New York in 1992–do to represent, free, and assist the wrongly convicted throughout the world. 978-1-772030-02-0

J is for Johnston
In the metafictions and flash fictions of Sean Johnston’s forthcoming collection We Don’t Listen to Them (Thistledown $18.95) we enter a world in which a bank teller will hand a patron his bank robber note. In some fiction, the fact that anything can happen justifies that it will happen…. In Johnston’s follow-up to his recent novel, Listen All You Bullets (Gaspereau $27.95) — an outgrowth of the Jack Schaefer’s 1949 Western novel Shane that was made into a famous 1953 movie starring Alan Ladd and Jean Arthur — the Kelowna-based Okanagan College professor often veers into writing about writing. In one of his stories elaborate footnotes delineate the characters and their actions. We Don’t Listen to Them is due in September. 978-1-927068-92-2

K is for Kyi
A shipwreck on a remote island. A plane crash in the Peruvian jungle. Trapped deep in the earth with 33 others in a Chilean mine.When the Worst Happens: Extraordinary Tales of Survival (Annick $14.95) is Tanya Lloyd Kyi’s collection of true, action-packed stories about young people around the world who have had death-defying experiences. The accounts reveal how the youthful survivors used their unusual courage, skills and ingenuity to survive. Ilustrated by David Parkins, it’s her 23rd book. 978-1-55451-682-7

Leggett, Julia

Julia Leggett

L is for Leggett
Although born in Calgary, Alberta, Julia Leggett grew up in Zimbabwe. Her years there influenced her book Gone South and Other Ways to Disappear: Eight debut short stories (Mother Tongue, $19.95), a collection of short stories focusing on the relationships women have with their bodies, lovers, female friends and health. Eufemia Fantetti, author of A Recipe for Disaster & Other Unlikely Tales of Love describes Leggett’s collection as “A smart, surefooted collection that will steal your heart. Julia Leggett’s debut offers engaging stories about the choices between love and despair with swift and sharp insights, page after page.” Leggett has served on the poetry editorial board for Prism magazine. Her work has appeared in Force Field: 77 Women Poets of British Columbia, edited by Susan Musgrave (Mother Tongue 2013). She lives in Victoria, BC, where she is working on her masters in counselling psychology and a book of poetry. She also holds a MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. Gone South is her first book.978-1-896949-39-0

Main, Kirsteen_and_sister_Cat_Main_medium

Cat Main (left) helps her sister to write.

M is for Main
Born with severe cerebral palsy, unable to walk or talk, Kirsteen Main began writing poetry at the age of 12. She records her words through ‘facilitated communication’, which involves someone holding her arms while she points to letters on an alphabet board, spelling out what she wants to say. She has now published a collection of poetry, Dear Butterfly: 50 Poems  (self-published, 2014) described by poet and literary catalyst Mary Billy as a rare example of “a writer talking about what it felt like to be a disabled child, from the inside. That is, not someone else writing about her.” Much of the poetry is uplifting, even optimistic. “We live in such a ‘doing’ society that people with disabilities are automatically pitied because they usually can’t ‘do’ in the same way as everyone else, instead of seeing the potential inner benefits of their lives. Just because you can’t do, can’t work, don’t produce, don’t have a career, doesn’t mean to say that you are not valuable… Even though I live with cerebral palsy (and cannot walk or talk or do anything for myself), my life is still rich and fulfilling. And I am not unique. There are many others like me.” But Main is not one to simply see life through rose-tinted glasses. Two poems entitled ‘Hospital Blues’ recall the ordeal of encountering a condescending physician and being intubated several times during a difficult hospital stay in 2010. “I’m staggered by Dear Butterfly,” says documentary filmmaker and disabled author Bonnie Sherr Klein, “and grateful to Kirsteen and her collaborators who bring it to us. I thank Kirsteen for offering us her grief and pain so baldly and boldly.” Kirsteen Main has presented her poetry at the Kickstart Festival of Disability Arts and Culture and performed at open MIC nights in East Vancouver where she holds centre stage while her poems are read to the audience by her workers or family members. Some of her work has been published by the Poetry Institute of Canada as well as in the 2004 We’Moon datebook. Kirsteen collaborated with her sister Cat in writing a script for a piece called ‘sistershow’, which they performed at the Firehall Theatre for BCBuds in May 2008, and subsequently at other locations. Kirsteen Main also paints at her home in Vancouver. “I’m lucky,” she writes. “No one expects anything of me. It’s like being given an ideal life for inner exploration.” Dear Butterfly is available via the PLAN online bookstore.  https://plan-31.myshopify.com/collections/books/products/dear-butterfly-50-poems-by-kirsteen-main

Dan Neil photo

Danial Neil

N is for Neil
Moby Dick, the white whale, and the character of Ahab in Herman Melville’s classic novel serve as the leitmotif in Danial Neil’s second novel, my June (Ronsdale $18.95)– and, yes, there is no capital M in that title, by design. Set in the fictional town of Seaside on the Sunshine Coast, and on waters offshore, it’s the story of man named Reuben Dale who must overcome the sudden death of his wife named June after she suffers a stroke. Having recently retired with the expectation of sailing, Reuben wanders aimlessly in a town that could easily be mistaken for Sechelt while his sailboat named “my June” remains tied to the dock. A marina operator eventually encourages Reuben sail once more, but Reuben’s past brings forth new and entirely unexpected challenges. He tries to retain his loyalty to his deceased wife but seeking new friendship and joy seems to contradict that impulse. And, yes, Danial is correctly spelled without an e. Danial Neil was born in New Westminster in 1954 and grew up in North Delta. He began writing in his teens journaling and writing poetry. He made a decision to be writer in 1986 and took his first creative writing course in Langley with Rhody Lake. From that time he went on to write ten novels, mostly after work (never quitting his day job as a Sr. Development Technologist for local government). His short story, Grace, was published in the 2003 Federation of BC Writers anthology edited by Susan Musgrave. 978-1-55380-335-5

O is for Olga
Bruce Grierson has written the biography of Olga Kotelko (2 March 1919 – 24 June 2014), the remarkble nonagenarian track and field athlete. She held over 30 world records and won over 750 gold medals in various age categories, including 17 of them in the 90-95 age categories. What Makes Olga Run? (Henry Holt and Co. 2014) explores what drove this remarkable 94-year-old woman to compete. Grierson studied everything from Kotelko’s diet and sleep patterns, to personality tests, and spare time activities, to try to puzzle out what made this track star tick. What Makes Olga Run? examines the extent to which our health and longevity is determined by DNA, and how much can we shape our destiny. Kotelko, a B.C. resident, was the seventh of eleven children born to Ukrainian immigrant farmers Wasyl and Ann Shawaga in Vonda, Saskatchewan. Bruce Grierson also works as a Contributing Editor to Adbusters magazine; he is also a writer for The New York Times Magazine. He has been nominated for eight Canadian National Magazine awards, and is the co-author of Culture Jam. He lives in Vancouver with his wife and daughter.

Peters, Sheila at Nuchatlitz

Sheila Peters at Nuchatlitz Provincial Park on Nootka Island

P is for Peters
Sheila Peters’ fifth book is a murder mystery set in her home town of Smithers. Shafted: A Mystery (Creekstone $18) follows an auxiliary cop named Margo Jamieson as she investigates a strange death with the help of a local historian. The town’s picturesque façade is sullied by the conflicting agendas of an old prospector, a rich eco-activist, and a mess of misplaced desire in this mountainous region of northern British Columbia. The time period is the early 1990s when there are no cell phones or the Internet and the death must be solved with the use of old-fashioned paper files, face-to-face meetings and land line-based telephones. Jamieson, the protagonist must untangle a web of festering grudges, phony mineral claims, blackmail and murder. Sheila Peters will be doing a week-by-week serial release on her website (http://sheilapeters.com/books/shafted-a-mystery/shafted-the-serial-release/) beginning Friday, August 1. She will also read a chapter a week on the Smithers Community Radio station (www.smithersradio.com) at10:00 am and listeners can tune in online. Sheila Peters has worked as a reporter, weaver, human-rights activist, and English instructor at Northwest Community College, where she also teaches creative writing. Her non-fiction book, Canyon Creek: A Script (1998) was published by her Smithers-based Creekstone Press. She later collaborated with artist Perry Rath for The Weather from the West (2007).

 Q is for Quirk-e
“Every brave voice deserves a hearing,” according to Wayson Choy, in response to the sixth anthology from the Quirk-e collective, The Bridge Generation: A Queer Elders’ Chronicle from No Rights to Civil Rights (self-published  $16). The anthology of short prose and graphic memoirs reflects upon the shared journey of homosexuals in Canada who can recall times when gays were “once defined as sick outlaws, imprisoned in jails and mental institutions, strapped down and ‘cured’ with electric shocks.” Edited by host artists Claire Robson and Kelsey Blair, with introductions by Dr. Elise Chenier, Department of History at SFU, The Bridge Generation has been published in collaboration with Simon Fraser University’s Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. The members of Quirk-e describe themselves as a “discordant and unruly choir, insisting, despite the odds, on showing the height, depth and breadth of their experiences.” 978-1-4834-0635-0.

R is for Richards
Linda Richard’s 2009 novel Death Was in the Picture won the Panik Award for Best Los Angeles-Based Noir ficiton. Now, with If It Bleeds (Orca $9.95), Richards enters the Rapid Reads niche. Her new heroine Nicole Charles didn’t attend journalism school to become a gossip columnist, but with jobs scarce she takes on the beat with the Vancouver Post. As Nicole struggles with the stigma attached to her type of journalism, she begins to think she’ll never have a real reporting job. When she discovers the body of an up-and-coming artist in a dark alley–stabbed in the throat with an antique icepick–she finds herself in the middle of the biggest story of the year. Sorta Yaletown meets Trotsky. 9781459807341

Shidmehr, Nilofar garden

Nilofar Shidmehr

S is for Shidmehr
Born and raised in Iran, Nilofar Shidmehr came to Canada in 1997 and has earned her MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. Before leaving Iran, Shidmehr translated Toni Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye, from English to Farsi. Due to Iran’s divorce laws, Shidmehr’s daughter must remain in Iran. Shidmehr hopes one day to bring her to Vancouver. Her new poetry collection Between Lives (Oolichan $17.95) brings to light the violence and injustice of women’s lives in Iran and in the diaspora. “These poems,” writes Rachel Rose, “are the untold stories of contemporary Persian women’s lives, lives portrayed with intimacy and lyricism, despite their subjugation. These are poetics meditations that only a poet simultaneously intimate with a place, and exiled from it, can offer. In this book, men and women are like ‘fire and cotton,’ and must be kept apart; they are ‘flammable with the slightest spark.’ Nilofar Shidmehr’s poems burn with a fierce, haunting fire.” Shidmehr’s novella in verse in 2008, Shirin and Salt Man (Oolichan $17.95), depicts a contemporary young woman from Kermanshah in the modern Islamic Republic of Iran who is under the thumb of her fundamentalist husband Khosro. To escape from his dominance, she imagines herself to be a princess depicted in an ancient Persian story called Shirin and Khosro. Gradually she decides to emancipate herself by running away from her husband in favour of Farhad, the mythical lover of princess Shirin, who takes the form of a 1700-year-old mummy from the Iranian National Museum in Tehran, the Salt Man. This book was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Shidmehr has since earned her Ph.D in Education at the Center for Cross Faculty Inquiry in Education. Her next scholarly project is to investigate “how the lyrical and performative modes of inquiry can be included in discourse analysis, literary criticism, and critical reading and writing practices to integrate and advance literacy.” She lives with her husband in Yaletown, Vancouver, where she is writing a collection of short stories about the lives of Iranians in Iran and Canada. Nilofar Shidmehr’s first book of poetry in Farsi, Two Nilofars: Before and After Migration, also reflects her concerns as educational activist within the Iranian women’s movement.978-0-88982-301-3

Toews-Andrews, Agnes

Agnes Toews-Andrews

T is for Toews-Andrews
Under her pen name Agnes Toews-Andrews, Elizabeth Blakely has moved to the Kootenays and published a “paranormal novel,” 2113 AD: The Future is Here! (Isis Moon $21.95), in which she takes the reader on a journey across North America 100 years from now. Throughout the book are flashbacks to the present Earth changes including solar flares, increased cosmic rays, galactic alignments, CME’s and geomagnetic changes resulting in psychological and physical human changes. “The good news is the Ascended Masters have held special equipment within Mt. Shasta for they knew a time was coming when the planet would require these objects and technology.” Also the author of a book about goddess worship, Elizabeth Blakely is a macrobiotic cooking and Reiki instructor who has credited a six-week diet of watermelon, wheat, greens and potatoes, followed by a macrobiotic regime, with curing her ovarian, breast and uterine cancer. She has travelled to the Middle East, south-east Asia and the Caribbean to research the potato and self-published The Original, The Incredible Potato: A Cookbook and History (Isis Moon/Centax Books 2000). Further travels abroad resulted in a memoir called Garbage and Flowers: My Year’s Sojourn in the Holy Land (Isis Moon 1997), a chronicle of her multi-dimensional journeys of mind and emotions. She is currently a director of the Kootenay Literary Society. 978-0-9686765-8-5

U is for Ujjal
B.C.’s premier from 2000 – 2001, Ujjal Dosanjh was born in a small village in Dosanjh Kalan, Punjab, India in 1947. He migrated to England at the age of 17 and moved again to Canada in 1968. He worked at a sawmill in Vancouver while studying political science at Simon Fraser University and later earned a law degree from the University of British Columbia. These seem like humble beginnings for a man who rose to hold the top political office in the province but Dosanjh was born into a politically active family as both his father and maternal grandfather were involved in India’s independence movement from Britain. Following in their footsteps, Dosanjh became involved in civil rights during his student years and never stopped. He hit the news several years after establishing a private law practice when he publicly denounced using violence in the campaign to secure an independent Sikh homeland in India. This followed from the terrorist bombing of Air India flight 182 in 1985. Dosanjh was beaten by a man with a metal bar outside his law office and almost killed. But he continued to speak out against extremism. A new book by Douglas P. Welbanks, The Ujjal Dosanjh Story Unbreakable (Chateau Lane/Sandhill, $19.95) chronicles his years as B.C.’s Attorney General when he battled for the rights of immigrant women, just treatment for farm workers and social justice, while standing against racial discrimination and religious persecution. Dosanjh served as a Member of Parliament for the Liberal Party from 2004 – 2011. 978-0-9784824-4-2

V is for Varney
Based in Royston on Vancouver Island, veteran publisher and Intermedia Press co-founder Ed Varney has continued to write, print and sell “strange and beautiful handmade books for advanced readers” from out of Courtenay, including Perro Verlag’s alluring The Book of Nada, a petite philosophical treatise that Varney initially described as being found in his archives dating back to the early 1970s. He later revealed he had written it in the Seventies and updated it for publication under a pseudonym. “I ascribed it to an unknown author because I thought that was an amusing frame to put around it. Apparently everyone fell for it. If you are interested, I have a manuscript of the Diaries of Adolf Hitler….” Varney has also recently produced 300 copies of his own prose for Dreaming With One Eye Open (Vortext #3 $9). His most recent chapbook of poems is Bird (Poem Factory, 2011). Nada 978-1-897243-80-0; Dreaming 0-9738334-2-4; Bird 1-895593-29-5

Wiebe, Sam b&w

Sam Wiebe

W is for Wiebe
Sam Wiebe’s novel Last of the Independents (Dundurn $17.99) won the 2012 Unhanged Arthur Award for Best Unpublished First Novel, and was subsequently published in 2014. The novel introduces readers to a 29 year-old private investigator, named Michael Drayton who runs an agency in Vancouver that specializes in missing persons. Characters range from a local junk merchant, a crooked private eye, and a drug-addicted car thief to a necrophile and a disreputable psychic trying to bilk the mother of a missing girl. Sam Wiebe’s stories have appeared in Thuglit, Spinetingler and Criminal Element’s Malfeasance Occasional e-collection. He lives in Vancouver. 9781459709485

X is for Xwemelch’stn
The texts in Colin Browne’s The Properties (Talon $19.95) range from a twenty-first-century visitation by Herman Melville at a diner in New York City to an unknown history of the Lions Gate Bridge that begins in the Coast Salish village of Xwemelch’stn and ends with an assassination in Egypt. Igor Stravinsky, Sigmund Freud, Duke Ellington, Jeanne d’Arc, Walter Guinness, George Bowering, André Breton and more appear. 9780889226852

Y is for Yahgulanaas
Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas spoke at Indian Summer: A Festival of Arts, Ideas and Diversity in Vancouver this July as part of the “ARTPOLITIK” event in which three presenters discussed the graphic novel as an extension of an older form of storytelling. The other presenters were Orjit Sen—one of India’s most renowned graphic artists—and David Wong—a Vancouver-based architect and author of Escape to Gold Mountain. Yahgulanaas also participated in a speakers’ series at the festival called “5 x 15” (Five brilliant speakers—fifteen minutes each) at the Fox Cabaret (2321 Main Street) on July 10. Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas is most widely known as the originator of a new genre of cartoons he calls Hadia Manga, or Manhwa, with his graphic novel, Red: A Haida Manga (D&M, 2009). The hardcover version was nominated for a Bill Duthie Booksellers Choice Award, a Doug Wright Award for Best Book and 2010 Joe Schuster Award for Outstanding Canadian Cartoonist. Manga is the Japanese word for comics; Mahwa is the Korean word for comics. Yahgulanaas uses the term to establish that his Haida cartoons are positioned somewhere between two continents. Set somewhere off the northwest coast of B.C., his Red: A Haida Manga (D&M $19.95) is the story of an orphan named Red and his sister, Jaada, who captured and taken away when their village is raided. Seething with rage, Red wants to find his sister and take revenge on her captors. A paperback version was released in May, 2014.

Zilm, Jennifer

Jennifer Zilm

Z is for Zilm
Yet another former student of SFU Writer’s Studio who has published a book, Jennifer Zilm was born in Terrace, grew up in Surrey and—-after sojourns in Toronto, Hamilton, Jerusalem and Tang Shan, China—-currently lives in East Vancouver with an M.A. in Religious Studies from UBC. Zilm was a doctoral candidate in Early Judaism and Christianity at McMaster University and her poems have appeared in various journals such as Arc Canadian Poetry Magazine, Prism International, The Antigonish Review, Vallum and Contemporary Verse 2. She works in libraries and social housing. Her collection is The Whole and Broken Yellows: Van Gogh Poems and Others (Frog Hollow Press $20) 9781926948140

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