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PAPER CHASE: Ringo, Carrey pen kids books

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Further diminishing the supply of celebrities who have not yet written kids books, Ringo Starr and Jim Carrey both have fall book releases lined up.

The funny Beatle's book, inspired by the song Octopus's Garden, will be released by Simon & Schuster, according to The Independent newspaper. The less funny Canadian will release a philosophical tale this September, through Perseus Distribution, about a wave who's afraid to wash up on the beach.

Paperchase

Somewhat lower on the celebrity wattage scale, Disney Channel star Bella Thorne and How I Met Your Mother's Jason Segal have also inked book deals, for, respectively, a teen fantasy series and a middle-grade series called Nightmares!

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The new series by Lemony Snicket will get a big push this summer when his publisher airs ads on The Cartoon Network to promote the paperback release of his new novel, Who Could That Be at This Hour?

According to the website The Bookseller, publisher Egmont predicts the new series will be just as big as his A Series of Unfortunate Events, a bestselling series of campy kids' books that was deprived of a Potteresque run at the multiplexes by the inexplicable casting of Jim Carrey in the only film instalment.

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Neechi Commons on Main Street will be the setting for an evening billed as "a celebration of the Cree imagination in story, drama and poetry" on Monday, starting at 7 p.m.

Poets Louise Halfe, Duncan Mercredi and Rosanna Deerchild will be joined by University of Manitoba professor Emma LaRoque for a free evening of readings and discussion, sponsored by several U of M programs, including the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture and the Native Studies department.

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What do you call a leading Canadian poet who has produced only one poem in two years?

While the more prosaically inclined may say "a role model for his peers," the actual answer is Canada's Parliamentary Poet Laureate.

Fred Wah, the Governor General's Award-winning current occupant of the position, lamented at a recent literary festival that in nearly two years he had only once been asked officially to write a poem. In a story in the National Post, Wah is quoted as saying he wished he'd been asked to compose poems on the Idle No More movement, Canada's "complicity" in the Middle East or the Enbridge pipeline.

The one official request he received, he says, was for a "mediocre" poem for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

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A federal plan to work with a not-for-profit consortium to digitize material in Canada's archives appears to be dividing Canadian writers, archivists and librarians.

The Ottawa Citizen recently reported that Library and Archives Canada intends to work with Canadiana.org, a consortium of Canadian university libraries, to digitize documents and make them available online, for a fee.

The plan has been harshly criticized by Canada's former chief librarian and archivist, questioned by the Writers' Union of Canada, and applauded by the Canadian Library Association.

booknewsbob@gmail.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 22, 2013 A1

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