Real straight talk about souls

It was all completely serious, all completely hallucinated, all

‘It was all completely serious, all completely hallucinated, all completely happy’

Beginning July 9, a collection of my paintings, Real Straight Talk About Souls, will be on display at the Woodcroft branch of Edmonton Public Library.
The exhibit is part of a larger, ongoing body of work in which the titles of the paintings are borrowed from beat poet Jack Kerouac’s writings — mostly from Dharma Bums and On The Road.

The exhibition’s title is from On The Road:

“Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together; sophistication demands that they submit to sex immediately without proper preliminary talk. Not courting talk — real straight talk about souls, for life is holy and every moment is precious.” – Jack Kerouac

The show will be on display through October 2017. Woodcroft library is located just north of Westmount Shopping Centre at 13420 114 Ave.

The Ma-Wink fallopian virgin warm stars reflecting on the outer

‘Ma-Wink fallopian virgin warm stars reflecting on the outer channel fluid belly waters’

2017 Alberta Literary Awards winners

R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature 

  • Georgia Graham (Lacombe) – Cub’s Journey Home, Red Deer Press

Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction 

  • Gisèle Villeneuve (Calgary) – Rising Abruptly, University of Alberta Press

Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction 

  • Sydney Sharpe and Don Braid (Calgary) – Notley Nation: How Alberta’s Political Upheaval Swept the Country, Dundurn Press

Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama 

  • Vern Thiessen (Edmonton) – Of Human Bondage, Playwrights Canada Press 

Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry 

  • Richard Harrison (Calgary) – On Not Losing My Father’s Ashes in the Flood, Wolsak and Wynn

James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction

  • Austen Lee (Edmonton) – “Among Cougars and Men,” Glass Buffalo 

Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story 

  • Laurie MacFayden (Edmonton) – “Haircut,” Alberta Views

Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award 

  • Rona Altrows (Calgary) – “Letter of Intent”

WGA Golden Pen Award for Lifetime Achievement 

  • Candas Jane Dorsey

Youth/Emerging Writing Award

  • Katie Bickell, “Angels in the Snow”

the lights are off but i still have a cyber home

sweetwater

Sweetwater, acrylic on canvas, 60×72, by Edmonton artist Laurie MacFayden

If you’ve tried to visit lauriemacfayden.com lately, you’ll have discovered that my artist/writer website is not accessible at the moment. It’s getting a long overdue facelift but will be back up shortly.

In the meantime, I’m happy to remind you that my third collection of poems, Walking Through Turquoise, will be published in September as part of Quartet 2017, the annual four-pack of poetry titles from Frontenac House. Stay tuned for details about Alberta launch events.

And for those of you who couldn’t make it to my recent art sale, here’s a gallery of some of my paintings.

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Alberta Literary Awards shortlist

wgalogoI’m honoured to be among the writers on this year’s Alberta Literary Awards shortlist. My short story Haircut
(published in Alberta Views) is a finalist for the Howard O’Hagan Award. Winners will be announced at the Alberta Literary Awards Gala
on June 10 in the Lister Centre at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

The Writers Guild of Alberta is presenting two readings featuring shortlisted authors:
An Afternoon with the Authors, Sunday, May 28, at 2 pm at Audreys Books, 10702 – Jasper Ave., Edmonton; and An Evening with the Authors, Wednesday, May 24, at 7 pm at Shelf Life Books, 1302 – 4th Street SW, Calgary.

Here is the complete list of finalists:

R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature (Picture Books)  

  • Paige Feurer (Calgary) – And Then It Rained on Malcolm, Sky Pony Press
  • Georgia Graham (Lacombe) – Cub’s Journey Home, Red Deer Press
  • Alison Hughes (Edmonton) – What Matters, Orca Book Publishers

James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction

  • Austen Lee (Edmonton) – “Among Cougars and Men,” Glass Buffalo
  • Omar Mouallem (Edmonton) – “Welcoming Omar Khadr,” University Affairs
  • Shelley Youngblut (Calgary) – “House of Cards,” The Walrus

Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story

  • Laurie MacFayden (Edmonton) – “Haircut,” Alberta Views
  • Gisèle Villeneuve (Calgary) – “Nuit Blanche with Gendarme,”
    University of Alberta Press
  • Thomas Wharton (Edmonton) – “Bestiary,” Hingston & Olsen

Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry

  • Nora Gould (Consort/Edmonton) – Selah, Brick Books
  • Helen Hajnoczky (Calgary) – Magyarázni, Coach House Books
  • Richard Harrison (Calgary) – On Not Losing My Father’s Ashes in the Flood, Wolsak and Wynn

Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award

  • Rona Altrows (Calgary) – “Letter of Intent”
  • Mary Graham (Calgary) – “The Plight, and the Power, of the Stoney Nakoda”
  • Lee Kvern (Okotoks) – “Heavy Weight for Silence”

Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama

  • Ellen Close & Braden Griffiths (Calgary) – My Family & Other Endangered Species
  • Mieko Ouchi (Edmonton) – I Am For You
  • Vern Thiessen (Edmonton) – Of Human Bondage

Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction

  • Marty Klinkenberg (Edmonton) – The McDavid Effect: Connor McDavid and the New Hope for Hockey, Simon & Schuster Canada
  • Myrna Kostash (Edmonton) – The Seven Oaks Reader, NeWest Press
  • Sydney Sharpe & Don Braid (Calgary) – Notley Nation, Dundurn Press

Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction

  • Lauralyn Chow (Calgary) – Paper Teeth, NeWest Press
  • Lisa J. Lawrence (Edmonton) – Rodent, Orca
  • Gisèle Villeneuve (Calgary) – Rising Abruptly, University of Alberta Press

Richard Harrison book launch

Poetry reading and book signing to launch Richard Harrison’s new book,
On Not Losing My Father’s Ashes in the Flood (Wolsak & Wynn). 
Also reading: Nasra Adem, Laurie MacFayden, Thomas Wharton
WHEN: ThursdayDec. 1, 2016; 7pm-830pm
WHERE: ChVrch of John, 10260 103 St, Edmonton

THE READERS


Richard Harrison – On Not Losing My Father’s Ashes in the Flood
Richard Harrison is an award-winning poet, essayist and editor. His six books of poetry include Big Breath of a Wish, poems about his daughter’s acquisition of language, and Hero of the Play, poems in the language of hockey. He has published writings on literary criticism, comic culture, creative writing and mathematics. Richard also contributes to the scholarship on the superhero: with MRU colleague Lee Easton, he co-authored the book of essays, Secret Identity Reader (2010). Richard teaches composition, creative writing (poetry), and comics and graphic novels. After 11 years, Richard Harrison returns to poetry with a moving tribute to his late father in On Not Losing My Father’s Ashes in the Flood.

The great Alberta flood of 2013 slides through Richard Harrison’s latest collection, its rising waters pulling his books of poetry off their shelves, washing the ink from letters kept in boxes in the basement and threatening to carry off his father’s ashes. On these waters float Harrison’s mourning for his father, who suffered a form of dementia later in life but never forgot the poems he’d memorized as a young man. Alongside these, the waters also carry Harrison’s love of comic books, his struggles with the haiku and his willingness to stay in the game, “to try again.” Combining elements of memoir, elegy, lyrical essay and personal correspondence, On Not Losing My Father’s Ashes in the Flood is a generous and enchanting book, one that leaves you, like the poet, thinking about the way “characters in a novel can escape anything/except their story.”

Nasra Adem
Nasra Adem, 22, is a multidisciplinary artist and current Youth Poet Laureate of Edmonton. She has performed at poetry and spoken word festivals across North America. Nasra studied musical theatre at MacEwan University and is  the founder of Sister 2 Sister: a monthly showcase of women artists of colour and the curator for Black Arts Matter, Edmonton’s first all-Black arts festival. Devoted to creative and spiritual authenticity, Nasra is uses her artistic practice as a way of breaking barriers, reimagining realities and creating forward momentum within her communities.
Laurie MacFayden
Laurie MacFayden is an Edmonton-based poet, visual artist and journalist. In addition to two award-winning books of poetry, Kissing Keeps Us Afloat and White Shirt, her writing has appeared in The New QuarterlyFreeFall, Queering the Way, Alberta Views, and online at canadianpoetries.com and DailyHaiku. Her work has been performed in Edmonton’s Loud & Queer Cabaret, Skirts Afire herArts Festival, Read and Write With Pride, and Calgary’s Q the Arts cultural festival. Her third book with Frontenac House, You Can’t Tell, will be released in September 2017.
Thomas Wharton  
Thomas Wharton’s most recent book is Rutherford the Time-Travelling Moose, a children’s story about the history of Edmonton. His first novel, Icefields, won the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best First Book, Canada/Caribbean division, and the inaugural Banff Mountain Book grand prize. His second novel, Salamander, was shortlisted for the Governor-General’s Literary Award and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. He has published a three-volume fantasy for younger readers, The Perilous Realm. He is currently working on a collection of short fiction.