Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre as part of the Robson Reading Series.

“In this fluid collection we enter a galactic expanse where absence, distance and fire repel and attract love-bodies in a winged-whirl of magnetic mad flight. Loss, emptiness, space, desire, blood, memory; all devour themselves in the combustions of love without self. The you/other may be interchangeable, never static or frozen or attainable. In these sharp-beaked bird-worlds there is “no going back” – at best, bodies meet only “flame to flame,” mutable and razor-like in feathery, impermanent forms. I find Hunter’s new work a rare melding of Blues, Kabbalah, and personal transcendence– a piercing, hard-won angelic love mantra. A blazing tour de force!”
- Juan Felipe Herrera, California Poet Laureate

“What lies here are the vagaries of a heart wounded, shattered, and redeemed by love. Such generosity of spirit deserves acclaim. A bravura work.”
- Richard Wagamese, author of Indian Horse”

Biography

Al Hunter is an Anishinaabe writer who has published poetry in books and journals around the world, taught extensively, and performed internationally, including, at the International Poetry Festival of Medellin. A member of Rainy River First Nations and former chief, Hunter has expertise in land claims negotiations, and is a longstanding activist on behalf of indigenous rights and wellness, and environmental responsibility. Hunter lives in Manitou Rapids, Rainy River First Nations in Ontario.

Al is also the founder and president of Good Life for Young Peoples


Select Books Available at UBC Library

Hunter, Al. (2001) Spirit Horses. Wiarton, Ont: Kegedonce Press. Link: http://resolve.library.ubc.ca/cgi-bin/catsearch?bid=2556621


UBC Library Research Guides

Aboriginal Studies

First Nations

Literature Reviews



Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre as part of the Robson Reading Series.

Andrew Kaufman’s Born Weird tells the tale of the Weird family who have always been a little off, but not one of them ever suspected that they’d been cursed by their grandmother, Annie Weird. Now Annie is dying and she has one last request: for her far-flung grandchildren to assemble in her hospital room so that at the moment of her death, she can lift these blessings-turned-curses. What follows is a quest like no other, tearing up highways and racing through airports, from a sketchy Winnipeg nursing home to the small island kingdom of Upliffta, from the family’s crumbling ancestral Toronto mansion to a motel called Love.

The title of Camille Martin’s latest book of poetry, Looms, signifies the weaving tool as well as the shadowing appearance of something, These “woven tales” were inspired by Barbara Guest’s statement that a tale “doesn’t tell the truth about itself; it tells us what it dreams about.” The strands of their surreal allegories converse, one idea giving rise to another, and the paths of their dialogue become the fabric of the narrative. In a second meaning, something that looms remains in a state of imminent arrival. Such are these tales, like parables with infinitely deferred lessons.

In Barry Webster‘s latest novel, The Lava in My Bones, a frustrated Canadian geologist studying global warming becomes obsessed with eating rocks after embarking on his first same-sex relationship in Europe. Back home, his young sister is a high-school girl who suddenly starts to ooze honey through her pores, an affliction that attracts hordes of bees as well as her male classmates but ultimately turns her into a social pariah. Meanwhile, their obsessive Pentecostal mother repeatedly calls on the Holy Spirit to rid her family of demons. The siblings are reunited on a ship bound for Europe where they hope to start a new life, but are unaware that their disguised mother is also on board and plotting to win back their souls, with the help of the Virgin Mary.”

Author Biographies

Andrew Kaufman is the author of All My Friends Are SuperheroesThe Tiny Wife, and The Waterproof Bible. He was born in Wingham, Ontario, the birthplace of Alice Munro, making him the second-best writer from a town of 3000. His work has been published in 11 countries and translated into 9 languages. He is also an accomplished screenwriter and lives in Toronto.

Camille Martin is the author four collections of poetry: Looms (Shearsman Books), SonnetsCodes of Public Sleep, and Sesame Kiosk. A chapbook, If Leaf, Then Arpeggio, was recently released from Above/Ground Press. She has presented and published her work internationally. Martin earned an MFA in Poetry from the University of New Orleans and a PhD in English from Louisiana State University.

Barry Webster‘s first book, The Sound of All Flesh (Porcupine’s Quill), won the ReLit Award for best short-story collection in 2005. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award, the CBC-Quebec Prize, and the Hugh MacLennan Award. Originally from Toronto, he currently lives in East Montreal.


Select Books Available at UBC Library

Kaufman, Andrew. (2013). Born Weird. Toronto, Ont: Random House Canada. Link: http://webcat1.library.ubc.ca/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=6524543

Martin, Camille. (2012). Looms. Bristol, UK:  Shearsman Books. Link: http://webcat2.library.ubc.ca/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=6309169

Webster, Barry. (2012). The Lava In My Bones. Vancouver, BC: Arsenal Pulp Press. Link: http://webcat2.library.ubc.ca/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=6435737


UBC Library Research Guides

Canadian Studies

Book, Theatre, and Film Reviews

Literature Reviews

ANDREW KAUFMAN, CAMILLE MARTIN and BARRY WEBSTER

at the Robson Reading Series

Thursday, March 14, 2013, 7pm

UBC Bookstore at Robson Square

Robson Reading Series events are free and open to the public but registration is recommended. To register for this event, please click here.

Photo credit Lee Towndrow

Born Weird (Random House of Canada) tells the tale of the Weird family who have always been a little off, but not one of them ever suspected that they’d been cursed by their grandmother.

At the moment of the births of her five grandchildren Annie Weird gave each one a special power. Richard, the oldest, always keeps safe; Abba always has hope; Lucy is never lost and Kent can beat anyone in a fight. As for Angie, she always forgives, instantly. But over the years these so-called blessings ended up ruining their lives.

Now Annie is dying and she has one last task for Angie: gather her far-flung brothers and sisters and assemble them in her grandmother’s hospital room so that at the moment of her death, she can lift these blessings-turned-curses. And Angie has just two weeks to do it.

What follows is a quest like no other, tearing up highways and racing through airports, from a sketchy Winnipeg nursing home to the small island kingdom of Upliffta, from the family’s crumbling ancestral Toronto mansion to a motel called Love. And there is also the search for the answer to the greatest family mystery of all: what really happened to their father, whose maroon Maserati was fished out of a lake so many years ago?

Andrew Kaufman is the author of All My Friends Are SuperheroesThe Tiny Wife, and The Waterproof Bible. He was born in Wingham, Ontario, the birthplace of Alice Munro, making him the second-best writer from a town of 3000. His work has been published in 11 countries and translated into 9 languages. He is also an accomplished screenwriter and lives in Toronto with his wife and their 2 children.
.

LOOMS CAMILLE MARTINThe title of Looms signifies the weaving tool as well as the shadowing appearance of something, These “woven tales” were inspired by Barbara Guest’s statement that a tale “doesn’t tell the truth about itself; it tells us what it dreams about.” The strands of their surreal allegories converse, one idea giving rise to another, and the paths of their dialogue become the fabric of the narrative. In a second meaning, something that looms remains in a state of imminent arrival. Such are these tales, like parables with infinitely deferred lessons.

Camille Martin is the author four collections of poetry: Looms (Shearsman Books), SonnetsCodes of Public Sleep, and Sesame Kiosk (out of print). A chapbook, If Leaf, Then Arpeggio, was recently released from Above/Ground Press.

She has presented and published her work internationally. One of her current poetry projects is “Blueshift Road.” She’s also working on “The Evangeline Papers,” a poetic sequence based on her Acadian/Cajun heritage and her participation in archaeological digs at an eighteenth-century village in Nova Scotia, where her finds included ancestral pipes and wine bottles. Martin earned an MFA in Poetry from the University of New Orleans and a PhD in English from Louisiana State University.

BarryWebster_creditMaximeTremblay

Photo credit Maxime Tremblay

Lava In My BonesIn Barry Webster‘s latest novel, The Lava in My Bones (Arsenal Pulp Press), a frustrated Canadian geologist studying global warming becomes obsessed with eating rocks after embarking on his first same-sex relationship in Europe. Back home, his young sister is a high-school girl who suddenly starts to ooze honey through her pores, an affliction that attracts hordes of bees as well as her male classmates but ultimately turns her into a social pariah. Meanwhile, their obsessive Pentecostal mother repeatedly calls on the Holy Spirit to rid her family of demons. The siblings are reunited on a ship bound for Europe where they hope to start a new life, but are unaware that their disguised mother is also on board and plotting to win back their souls, with the help of the Virgin Mary.

Told in a lush baroque prose, this intense, extravagant magic-realist novel combines elements of fairy tales, horror movies, and romances to create a comic, hallucinatory celebration of excess and sensuality.

Barry Webster‘s first book, The Sound of All Flesh (Porcupine’s Quill), won the ReLit Award for best short-story collection in 2005. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award, the CBC-Quebec Prize, and the Hugh MacLennan Award. Originally from Toronto, he currently lives in East Montreal.

AL HUNTER

at the First Nations Longhouse

Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 6:30pm

Robson Reading Series events are free and open to the public but registration is recommended. To register for this event, please click here.

This event will take place at the First Nations Longhouse at UBC and is located at 1985 West Mall, Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z2.

Al, Beautiful Razor portrait 2010

Photo credit Stephan Hoglund

beatifulrazor-coverfrontjpg1

In this fluid collection we enter a galactic expanse where absence, distance and fire repel and attract love-bodies in a winged-whirl of magnetic mad flight. Loss, emptiness, space, desire, blood, memory; all devour themselves in the combustions of love without self. The you/other may be interchangeable, never static or frozen or attainable. In these sharp-beaked bird-worlds there is “no going back” – at best, bodies meet only “flame to flame,” mutable and razor-like in feathery, impermanent forms. I find Hunter’s new work a rare melding of Blues, Kabbalah, and personal transcendence– a piercing, hard-won angelic love mantra. A blazing tour de force!
- Juan Felipe Herrera, California Poet Laureate

What lies here are the vagaries of a heart wounded, shattered, and redeemed by love. Such generosity of spirit deserves acclaim. A bravura work.
- Richard Wagamese, author of Indian Horse

Al Hunter is an Anishinaabe writer who has published poetry in books and journals around the world, taught extensively, and performed internationally, including, at the International Poetry Festival of Medellin.

A member of Rainy River First Nations and former chief, Hunter has expertise in land claims negotiations, and is a longstanding activist on behalf of indigenous rights and wellness, and environmental responsibility. Hunter lives in Manitou Rapids, Rainy River First Nations in Ontario.

Al is also the founder and president of Good Life for Young Peoples (www.goodlifeforyoungpeoples.com).

WALID BITAR, BASMA KAVANAGH and MISSY MARSTON

at the Robson Reading Series

Thursday, February 21, 2013, 7pm

UBC Bookstore at Robson Square

Robson Reading Series events are free and open to the public but registration is recommended. To register for this event, please click here.

 

    They have no maps. Ours, I’ll redraw.
    Isn’t itself, their neck of the woods;
    needs a rest – something more than a nap,
    and less than death, though death wouldn’t hurt.

In Divide and Rule, Walid Bitar delivers a sequence of dramatic monologues, variations on the theme of power, each in rhymed quatrains. Though the pieces grow out of Bitar’s personal experiences over the last decade, both in North America and the Middle East, he is not primarily a confessional writer. His work might be called cubist, the perspectives constantly shifting, point followed by counterpoint, subtle phrase by savage outburst. Bitar’s enigmatic speakers are partially rational creatures, have some need to explain, and may succeed in partially explaining, but, in the end, communication and subterfuge are inseparable – must, so to speak, co-exist.

Walid Bitar was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1961. He immigrated to Canada in 1969. His previous poetry collections are Maps with Moving Parts (Brick Books, 1988)2 Guys on Holy Land (Wesleyan University Press, 1993)Bastardi Puri (Porcupine’s Quill, 2005) and The Empire’s Missing Links (Véhicule Press, 2008). From 1990 to 1991, he held a Teaching-Writing Fellowship at the University of Iowa. His newest work, Divide and Rule (Coach House Books, June 2012), is a collection of dramatic monologues. He lives in Toronto.

Basma Kavanagh’s debut collection, Distillō, engages the natural world and seeks to explore our relationship to it. Hers is a poetics of description which subverts scientific observation and the authoritative language of nomenclature for mythopoetic ends. In the opening section (“Moisture”), precipitation is dissected and categorized, but ultimately the deluge of “rain making rain, /making rain” overwhelms controlled interrogation and undulating imagery saturates everything. Nomenclature reappears elsewhere in the book, attempting to anchor object poems about west-coast flora and fauna–salmon, elk, bear, bigleaf maple, bog myrtle–which otherwise drift toward the mythworld and gesture in the direction of the ethereal and the totemic. Understanding that language can be most precise when it harbours ambiguity and surprise, Kavanagh experiments with pattern poems and the layering of multiple voices in her attempt to express “a fullness /an absence /of self.” This is a book which turns over rocks and looks under them in search of truth in its soft, damp hiding places, poems which instruct us to “[d]escend. Blend /your knowing with the breath of earth”.

Basma Kavanagh is a painter, poet and letterpress printer living in Kentville, Nova Scotia. She produces artist’s books under the imprint Rabbit Square Books. Her poems have appeared in the chapbook A Rattle of Leaves, published by Red Dragonfly Press, and included in anthologies in the United States.

The Love Monster is the tall tale of one woman’s struggle with mid-life issues. The main character, Margaret H. Atwood, has psoriasis, a boring job and a bad attitude. Her cheating husband has left her. And none of her pants fit any more. Missy Marston takes the reader on a hilarious journey of recovery. Hope comes in the form of a dope-smoking senior citizen, a religious fanatic, a good lawyer and a talking turtle (not to mention Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Warren Zevon, Neil Armstrong and a yogi buried deep underground). And, of course, hope comes in the form of a love-sick alien speaking in the voice of Donald Sutherland. More than an irreverent joyride, The Love Monster is also a sweet and tender look at the pain and indignity of being an adult human and a sincere exploration of the very few available remedies: art, love, religion, relentless optimism, and alien intervention.

Missy Marston‘s writing has appeared in various publications, including Grain and Arc Poetry Magazine. She was the winner of the Lillian I. Found Award for her poem, “Jesus Christ came from my home town.” As explained in her National Post Afterword columns, Missy Marston loves Margaret Atwood, aliens and Donald Sutherland. Her first novel, The Love Monster, is an ode to all three. She has been called “an irreverent Canadian” by Commentary Magazine and “weird, funny and moving” by The Globe and Mail. She is fine with that. The Love Monster is her first novel. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

 

Naomi Beth Wakam reads at the Robson Reading Series

Naomi Beth Wakan reads at the Robson Reading Series. Photo credit: Elias Wakan  

For more than 10 years, the Robson Reading Series has helped the University share knowledge and engage communities at UBC and beyond. The series featured seasoned and debut writers reading from their works in various genres, and gave them a platform to discuss their works with the audience in a warm and welcoming environment – indeed, our motto has been “live literature and cozy conversation.”

We have been very fortunate to host Canadian talents such as Wayson Choy, Ian Ferguson, Annabel Lyon, Ray Tsu, Evelyn Lau, Esi Edugyan, Steve Burgess, C.E. Gatchalian, Alix Ohlin and Grant Lawrence. While the series is winding down, we encourage everyone to continue to support new and emerging works from Canadian writers. UBC Bookstore and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre remain committed to providing books by Canadian authors to the community. In addition, readings remain scheduled until the end of March – please visit the Robson Reading Series for more information.

We would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts for its generous support over the years, the wonderful authors who have charmed us with their works, the publishers for their invaluable contributions, and the staff at UBC Bookstore and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre who have worked tirelessly to bring fantastic talent to the Robson Reading Series. Lastly, we thank you – our audience – for attending the readings and making the series such a success.

JULIE DEVANEY and GARY GEDDES

at the Robson Reading Series

Thursday, January 24, 2013, 7pm

UBC Bookstore at Robson Square

Robson Reading Series events are free and open to the public but registration is recommended. To register for this event, please click here.

“In giving us her rage, humour and fallibility, Devaney has perfectly highlighted our cultural fear of frankly discussing the reality of illness.” – The National Post

Julie Devaney is a patient-expert based in Toronto. She is the author and performer of the critically acclaimed show, educational workshop series, and book, My Leaky Body (Goose Lane Editions, September 2012). According to the National Post, “While this memoir is an uncompromisingly detailed account of one woman’s medical experiences, it acts as a sort of Everyman tome, a handbook on the rights of the patient to dictate their own path to wellness.” Devaney was named a Woman Health Hero by Best Health Magazine in 2011 and has been profiled on CBC Radio’s White Coat, Black Art and The Current, Chatelaine and the Toronto Star. Her writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Life and numerous anthologies. Find her on Twitter: @juliedevaney

Her weakest moment spawned a crusade for change. Julie Devaney takes us on a journey through the health care system as she is diagnosed and treated for ulcerative colitis. In and out of emergency rooms in Vancouver and Toronto, she’s poked, prodded, and abandoned to a closet at one point, bearing the helplessness and indignities of a system that seems hell-bent on victimizing the sick.

Raw, harrowing, and darkly funny, Julie Devaney argues convincingly for fixes to the system and better training for all medical personnel. As she recovers, she sets out to do just that: setting up a gurney on stage at workshops and conferences across the country to teach Bedside Manners 101 and to advocate for repairs to the system.

Part memoir, part love story, part revolutionary manifesto, My Leaky Body is politically astute, gooey like cake batter, and raw like ulcerated bowels. Devaney writes the book that will heal her aching heart and relax her strictured rectum as she weaves stories from professional and public interactions with tales from her gurney.

“Geddes has produced a work well worth reading for both its content and its call to action.” – The National Post

Drink the Bitter Root is a provocative, emotionally charged account of one writer’s travels in sub-Saharan Africa. Haunted by the 1993 murder of a Somali teenager by Canadian soldiers in what became known as the Somalia affair, and long fascinated by the “dark continent,” Gary Geddes decides at age 68 to make the trip. His explorations are guided by questions: How can a tribunal in a suburb of Europe change things on the ground in Africa? Is international aid improving the lives of ordinary Africans or contributing to their suffering?

Geddes’s search takes him first to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. In Rwanda and Uganda, he attends grassroots criminal courts and encounters rescued street kids, women raped and infected with HIV during the genocide, and victims mutilated by the Lord’s Resistance Army. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Somaliland, with the help of fixers and the occasional armed guard, Geddes finds himself in the instructive—at times redeeming—presence of child soldiers, refugees and poets-turned–freedom fighters. Of particular note is his time in Somaliland, where he learns about the country’s concern with poetry as “a healing and a subversive art”; Somalia is known as a nation of poets, and Geddes attends various events that bear that appellation out, including a four-hour extravaganza of poetry devoted to celebrating the camel attended by 500 people.

The stories Geddes brings back are haunting, uplifting, stark and sometimes unbearable, but all are presented with the essential lightness Jean-Paul Sartre insisted is so crucial to good writing. This masterful blend of history, reportage, testimonial and memoir is a condemnation of the horrors spawned by greed and corruption and an eloquent tribute to human resilience.

Set across Africa, this is a deeply engaging investigation of trauma, justice and the redemptive powers of imagination from an internationally acclaimed author.

Gary Geddes has written and edited more than 45 books of poetry, fiction, drama, non-fiction, criticism, translations and anthologies and won more than a dozen national and international literary awards, including the National Magazine Gold Award, Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Americas Region), the Lt.-Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence and the Gabriela Mistral Prize from Chile. His recent titles include two books of poetry, Falsework (Goose Lane, 2007) and Swimming Ginger (Goose Lane, 2010), and two works of non-fiction, Kingdom of Ten Thousand Things (HarperCollins, 2005) and Drink the Bitter Root: A writer’s search for justice and redemption in Africa (Douglas & McIntyre, 2011).

NYLA MATUK, ALIX OHLIN and MATTHEW TIERNEY

at the Robson Reading Series

Thursday, December 13, 2012, 7pm

UBC Bookstore at Robson Square

Robson Reading Series events are free and open to the public. To register for this event, please click here.

Make no mistake, Sumptuary Laws is a signpost book deserving of wide attention” – The Urge

Sumptuary Laws, Nyla Matuk’s first full-length collection, is a work of irresistible originality. Taking as her inspiration the feudal rules that once enforced social rank by legistating what a person was permitted to wear and eat, Matuk discovers a new metaphor for contemporary desire and explores, in wildly imaginative and linguistically daring poems, the 21st century “sumptuary laws” that dictate our divisions of luxury and necessity, splendour and squalor. A poet of immense gifts, Matuk has written a book of lasting impact.

Nyla Matuk is the author of the chapbook, Oneiric, published in 2009. Her poems have appeared in Maisonneuve, The Walrus, Canadian Notes and Queries, ARC Poetry, the Literary Review of Canada, and other publications. Her first full-length collection, Sumptuary Laws, was published in Fall 2012 with Signal Editions/Véhicule Press. She was nominated twice in 2012 for The Walrus Poetry Prize.

“Alix Ohlin: A writer who should be famous.” – The Globe and Mail

In Alix Ohlin’s Inside, we follow four compelling, complex characters from Montreal and New York to Hollywood and Rwanda, each of them with a consciousness that is utterly distinct and urgently convincing. When Grace, a highly competent and devoted therapist in Montreal, stumbles across a man in the snowy woods who has failed to hang himself, her instinct to help immediately kicks in. Before long, however, she realizes that her feelings for this charismatic, extremely guarded stranger are far from straightforward. At the same time, her troubled teenage patient, Annie, runs away and soon will reinvent herself in New York as an aspiring and ruthless actress, as unencumbered as humanly possible by any personal attachments. And Mitch, Grace’s ex-husband, a therapist as well, leaves the woman he’s desperately in love with to attend to a struggling native community in the bleak Arctic. With a razor-sharp emotional intelligence, Inside poignantly explores the manifold dangers and imperatives of making ourselves available to, and indeed responsible for, those dearest to us.

Alix Ohlin is the author of two novels, Inside and The Missing Person, and Babylon and Other Stories. Her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, Best New American Voices, and on NPR’s “Selected Shorts.” Born and raised in Montreal, she is currently on leave from Lafayette College and will spend the year in Los Angeles.

“Lots and lots of the poems in Probably Inevitable are good poems… only Tierney could come up with something so beautiful, so linguistically earned, so sweetly charming and weird.” – The National Post

Matthew Tierney follows his celebrated collection The Hayflick Limit with, Probably Inevitable, a new group of high-energy poems riddled with wit and legerdemain and jolted by the philosophy and science of time. “Time’s not the market, it’s the bustle; / not the price but worth,” he muses, sailing through the rhythms and algorithms of a world made concrete by Samuel Johnson, before it was undone by Niels Bohr. Tierney’s narrators grapple with the gap between what’s seen and what’s experienced, their minds tuned to one (probably) inevitable truth: the more I understand, the more I understand I’m alone.

What continues to set Matthew Tierney’s poems apart is their uncanny ability to find within the nomenclature of science not mere novelty but a new path to human frailty, a renewed assertion of individuality, and a genuine awe at existence.

Matthew Tierney is the author of two books of poetry. His second, The Hayflick Limit (Coach House Books, 2009) was shortlisted for a Trillium Book Award. He is a former winner of the K.M. Hunter Award, and has placed his poems in numerous journals and magazines all across Canada. His next book, Probably Inevitable, considers the science and philosophy of time and will come out in Fall 2012. He lives in Toronto.

 

at the Robson Reading Series

Thursday, November 22, 2012, 7pm UBC Bookstore at Robson Square

“Julie Wilson’s book riffs on…the indefinable connection between reader and watcher and the muddling of private and public spaces.” – Geist

Seen Reading is the exciting debut collection of microfictions from Canada’s pre-eminent literary voyeur, Julie Wilson. Based on the beloved online movement of the same name, Seen Reading collects more than a hundred fictions inspired by sightings of people reading on Toronto transit, each reader re-invented in a poetic piece of short fiction. Tender, poignant, and fun, Seen Reading offers readers an inspired fictional map while charting an urban centre’s cultural commitment to books and literature.

Julie Wilson is The Book Madam, a self-professed “professional publishing fan” living in Toronto and working in media and publishing. She’s the past Online Marketing Manager for House of Anansi Press, past Host of the CBC Book Club, and present host of 49thShelf.com. Her writing has appeared in or at: The National Post, The Globe and Mail, CBC.ca, Taddle Creek, Maisonneuve. The online component of Seen Reading as been featured on or at: CBC (“Here and Now,” “Q”), The National Post, The Globe and Mail, Quill & Quire, The Galley Cat, and more.

Last minute update: We are sorry to announce that Dani Couture will not be able to come to read at this event. (Last updated on: Nov 21, 2012)

“The author displays a deft hand with dialogue and a good understanding of how families interact.” – Quill & Quire

In Dani Couture’s heart-breaking novel, Algoma, twelve-year-old Ferd is obsessed with the idea that he can persuade his dead brother to come home through a campaign of letters. Plaintive notes appear around the house—folded squares of paper in the rain reservoir, kitchen sink, and washing machine. Ferd’s mother, Algoma, is also unravelling; attempting to hide her son’s letters, reconnect with her increasingly distant husband, and rebuild her life.

Dani Couture is the author of two collections of poetry: Good Meat (Pedlar Press, 2006) and Sweet (Pedlar Press, 2010). Sweet was named one of Maisy’s Best Books of 2010 by Maisonneuve Magazine, was nominated for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, and won the ReLit Award for poetry. In 2011, Couture also received an Honour of Distinction from The Writers’ Trust Dayne Ogilvie Prize. Couture’s short story “The Port-Wine-Stain-Removal Technique” won first place in the fiction category of This Magazine’s Great Canadian Literary Hunt, and her poetry has been included in the Best of Canadian Poetry in English series. Her debut novel, Algoma, was published in fall 2011 by Invisible Publishing. Couture now lives in Toronto and is currently at work on a second novel.

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