Alan Twigg’s tribute to Rudolf Vrba

Rudolf Vrba, who escaped Auschwitz and co-authored a report saving 200,000 lives, remains unrecognized in Vancouver despite his significant historical impact. Alan Twigg (l.) seeks to change this.” FULL STORY


Morton & Fertig deserve OBCs

June 09th, 2014

Mona Fertig

B.C. authors are everywhere…

First of all, it’s nice to see an online poll from The Tyee people inviting public input as to who is deserving of the Order of British Columiba—and see two B.C. bookpeople are on top of that poll. Top vote-getter to date is the piscatorial poop-disturber and author Alexandra Morton, followed in second place by longtime literary lioness Mona Fertig, called, “For many years a devoted contributor to the cultural scene in B.C. and latterly the publisher of a monumental series of beautifully produced art books recognizing many of our very fine but ‘unheralded’ B.C. artists. This is an act of personal sacrifice and total dedication, and should be recognized.” Amen to that. – See more at The Tyee.

Arthur Joyce’s blog describes the candlelight ceremony at New Denver to mark the loss of four local teens.

Arthur Joyce’s blog describes the candlelight ceremony at New Denver to mark the loss of four local teens.

Meanwhile B.C. authors are writing some of the best blogs on the net. The proof can be seen on numerous websites by established writers. Take, for instance, New Denver writer Art Joyce and his very touching posts about the recent drowning tragedy on Slocan Lake, wherein he confirms just what we suspected: those four kids were dangerously crammed into a 2-person canoe:

“It’s not every day you wander into tragedy when you’re out for your evening walk. But that’s what happened to me last night. We’d heard the sirens earlier around dinnertime. And in a small village, when you hear sirens you start to mentally run your friends and acquaintances through your mind. Wondering, who could it be? And hoping it’s none of them. But chances are, even if they aren’t one of your friends, you know them to see them. It’s that kind of place.”

Andrew Nikiforuk, the Alberta anti-tar sands campaigner, has landed in Campbell River as the 2013-14 writer in residence at Haig-Brown House. He has a great piece in The Tyee about the Haig-Brown library, Haig-Brown, books, and the contemplative life:

“Haig-Brown, who was an early and largely unrecognized Canadian version of the renowned U.S. writer Wendell Berry, thought that if you liked reading books, ‘a library begins to happen to you.’ Well, one happened to Roderick and Ann, lovers of books. Their collection eventually grew into a special room with ceiling-high shelves containing 3,000 volumes in red, green and gold colours. Paisley drapes and a fireplace bedecked with a wooden orca carving by Sam Henderson just added to the décor…”

Gail Anderson-Dargatz operates one of the most active writer blogs in BC with plenty of writerly advice. She also features many guest bloggers, this week’s contributor being the indefatigable, not to say equally hyphenated Mark Leiren-Young who theorizes on the tricky business of “finding the funny.” To wit:

“It’s never too soon. The closest thing I’ve ever heard to a mathematical formula for humour is that it equals tragedy plus time. In the age of Twitter there’s no such thing as “too soon” — although when someone groans at a joke feel free to use “too soon” as a generic “get out of humour jail” free card. When someone even remotely famous dies there will be a comic spin put on that death by late night comics, topical stand-ups and everyone who likes to crack wise on social media before the body is cold … People have every right to be offended — but that doesn’t mean they get to take away your right to offend.”

Novelist and poet Theresa Kishkan is one of BC’s most regular bloggers and her blogging is always thoughtful, well-crafted and well-illustrated. This week she was enjoying the spring birdsong at her country home by SakinawLake and thinking thoughts about song:

“This morning I woke at five and lay for a time listening to birdsong — robins, Swainson’s thrushes, at least one varied thrush, a western tanager, and others I couldn’t identify. I found myself thinking of Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark. I bought a copy in New Mexico, in the lovely Tome on the Range in Las Vegas, and brought it home to be savoured over during the course of a week. Cather noticed landscape and how it shaped people. Shaped her, no doubt — no one notices the geography and weather of a place so much as one who has felt the imprint of that place on skin, the soles of feet walking its contours, eyes opened to its sky. I haven’t read all her books but certainly My Antonia and O Pioneers are full of Nebraska and Death Comes For the Archbishop is like a map of New Mexico, the arroyos and piñons lovingly recorded…”

Lawrence, Grant at BC Book Prizes. Monica Miller photo.

Grant Lawrence at BC Book Prizes. M. Miller photo

Hockey is ingrained on the brain of many BC writers (Grant Lawrence, The Loneliest End of the Rink) but there is a small but determined coterie of scribes who wouldn’t take 100 pucks for one baseball. George Bowering (Pinboy) is such a fixture at Cap Stadium (as we fossils persist in calling it) the Canadians issued him a team business card titled “Official Loudmouth Fan” and Rod Mickleburgh (The Art of the Impossible) and Tom Hawthorne (Deadlines) are equally dedicated to the great American game you can’t play in the rain. Today Rod is blogging about a weekend foray to Seattle to watch the Mariners:

“I enjoyed watching the Mariners’ skyscraper of a starting pitcher, 6’ 10” Chris Young, the second tallest player in big league history… What I loved about Chris Young was the fact that, despite his imposing height, his “blazing” fastball never rose above a paltry 87 mph. Instead, despite his prodigious height and 255 pounds, he bamboozled batters, expertly nibbling the corners of the plate with curves, change-ups, sliders and slow-moving fastballs. A 6’10” junk baller. What will they think of next?

“You want more about Chris Young? He is married to the grand-daughter of legendary Hockey Hall of Fame pioneer Lester Patrick! It was Patrick, who co-founded, with brother Frank, the Pacific Coast Hockey League that produced the Vancouver Millionaires, winner of the city’s only Stanley Cup in 1915. It’s a small world, after all.”

For more information on any of these authors, visit their entries on the ABCBookWorld public reference site.


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