Vermette, Toews nab new fellowships

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Katherena Vermette and Miriam Toews are among the first group of writers from the U.S., Canada and Mexico to receive a new US$10,000 fellowship intended to “create a community of artists from across the Americas to foster meaningful connections between people, culture and the natural world.”

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/09/2020 (681 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Katherena Vermette and Miriam Toews are among the first group of writers from the U.S., Canada and Mexico to receive a new US$10,000 fellowship intended to “create a community of artists from across the Americas to foster meaningful connections between people, culture and the natural world.”

Recipients of the awards, from the Borchard Foundation Center on Literary Arts, are invited to participate in a writing retreat in January in San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico. Other writers selected for the first batch of fellowships include Rita Dove, former poet laureate for the U.S. Library of Congress, and novelist Valeria Luisella, Mexico-born author of the award-winning Lost Children Archive.

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While this year’s online version of the Winnipeg International Writers Festival is able to feature more out-of-town writers than usual, thanks to the magic of the internet, local lit lovers can still expect a hefty contingent of Manitoba talent.

Katherena Vermette, winner of the Amazon First Novel award for The Break, returns to the festival to read from Northwest Resistance, the latest volume in her graphic novel series, A Girl Called Echo.

David A. Robertson, who won the Governor General’s Award for children’s literature for When We Were Alone, has two new books to discuss: a kids’ book called The Barren Lands about a pair of Indigenous foster children in the city who find a magic portal to another reality, and Black Water, a memoir and family history.

Prolific author Anita Daher has a new young adult novel, You Don’t Have to Die at the End, about a teenage girl who gets the chance to turn her troubled life around by working with horses at a remote mountain ranch.

Best known for his novels, including the Giller Prize-winning The Time in Between, David Bergen has a new Giller-longlisted collection of short stories, Here the Dark, depicting faith, doubt and moral ambiguities in settings from Vietnam to Central America to the Canadian Prairies.

Poet George Amabile’s latest book is a venture into political-thriller territory, entitled Operation Stealth Seed, in which an NYPD detective delves into a high-level conspiracy to use genetically engineered seeds to take over the world’s wheat.

Poet Lori Cayer imagines the fears of Alexandra Feodorovna, the doomed last tsarina of Russia, in her latest book of poetry, Mrs. Romanov.

Singer-songwriter Scott Nolan takes the poetry off the stage and puts it on the page in Moon Was a Feather, his first book of poetry, which grew out of long walks he took while trying to quit smoking.

To watch the authors’ readings and presentations, see thinairfestival.ca.

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Horror, humour and a generous helping of surrealism are on the menu in a new collection of short stories by Winnipeg poet (and Free Press poetry columnist) Jonathan Ball.

The Lightning of Possible Storms (Book*hug Press), the author’s first collection of short fiction, begins when a woman begins to read a book of short stories, dedicated to her, that a customer at a café has left behind.

When she reads them, we’re introduced to a mad scientist who seeks to steal his son’s dreams, a woman who seeks to live inside her dreams, a city block that magically appears out of nowhere, and more.

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Mark Medley, Globe and Mail deputy opinion editor, looks as if he’s going for the Malcolm Gladwell market with his forthcoming book, The Believers: Studies in Perseverance, Encounters with Obsession and the Pursuit of Things that May Never Be.

The title was recently announced as part of a two-book deal with McClelland & Stewart. Medley’s book will look at people who spend their lives pursuing a goal that they think, or others may think, will never be realized.

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