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PAPER CHASE: Mr. Speaker, on a point of metre

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What rhymes with "Mr. Speaker?"

Canada's Parliamentary poet laureate, Fred Wah, will participate in two days of readings and discussions in Winnipeg, starting with a Tuesday evening event at McNally, starting at 7 p.m. In addition to reading, Wah will have an onstage discussion with Winnipeg International Writers Festival artistic director Charlene Diehl. Wednesday at 7 p.m. he will take part in a poetry roundtable discussion on "poetry and the public realm" at the Millennium Library.

Wah has written an armful of poetry collections and critical writings since the mid-1960s, including Waiting for Saskatchewan, his Governor General's Award-winning collection, published by Winnipeg's Turnstone Press.

The writers' festival will showcase a new audio-visual archive of Manitoba poetry during the Wah visit. Manitoba poets have been recording short original poems for the project, a joint venture with the University of Manitoba's Media Lab and Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture.

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The Amazon Publishing Group is launching a new ink-and-paper imprint focused on literary fiction by an intriguing mix of new talent and established names, as well as a digital-only service focusing on short stories by newcomers.

The first Little A books, by British writers A.L. Kennedy and Jake Arnott, arrive this spring, followed by several other titles, including the fall release of Actors Anonymous, by actor/director/awards-show-ruiner James Franco.

The digital-only series will offer short stories available as downloads.

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Will the future of British literature be revealed on Monday? That's the day when the influential literary magazine Granta will announce the lineup of its fourth Best of Young British Novelists issue.

The magazine has published a once-a-decade issue featuring the work of up-and-coming stars of British letters since 1983. The first roundup proved to be an accurate prediction of the writers who would dominate British literary fiction for the next several decades, including Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, Pat Barker, Julian Barnes and Kazuo Ishiguro.

The fourth BOYBN issue will be published Tuesday.

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An iPhone app that turns your jogging session into a simulated zombie apocalypse will feature one famously deadpan voice mixed in with the cadaverous moans: Margaret Atwood's.

Atwood lends her voice to the app Zombies, Run! as a result of her involvement as mentor to British novelist and game co-creator Naomi Alderman, a connection brought about by the Swiss watch company Rolex.

As described by, the Zombies, Run! game monitors your running pace while motivating you to move with descriptions of zombie attacks. Atwood plays herself, in non-zombie form, in Version 2 of the game, which will be released next week.

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New short works by more than a dozen established and up-and-coming writers will be paired with wine at the annual Wine and Words fundraiser for Theatre by the River.

Company members and local celebrities will read short works by Warren Cariou, Susie Moloney, Ariel Gordon, Chandra Mayor and others tonight starting at 7 p.m. at the University of Winnipeg Asper Centre for Theatre and Film.

Tickets are available online from

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 13, 2013 J8

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