Monday, April 16, 2012

May We Bend Your Ear?

May is one of Lit Live's best months, with the flowers blooming and the writers visiting. On May 6th, at 7:30 p.m. Lit Live presents six outstanding writers for your enjoyment. The thrills (and erudition!) are at Homegrown Hamilton, 27 King William Street in Hamilton. Don't be late! We'd hate to have to start without you.

Karen Connelly will recount Burmese Lessons: a love story, published by Nan Talese.

John B. Lee selects from a variety of recent and forthcoming publications, including his poetry collection Let Us Be Silent Here, from Sanbun Publishing (2012).

Matt Lennox reads from his first novel The Carpenter, recently released by Harper Collins Canada.

Alexander MacLeod brings his acclaimed collection of short fiction Light Lifting, published by Biblioasis.

Sara Ries presents her first poetry collection Come In, We're Open, published by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, in 2010.

Claire Tacon takes us into her first novel In the Field, published in 2011 by Biblioasis.

Karen Connelly

Karen Connelly is the author of nine books of non-fiction, fiction, and poetry, the most recent being Burmese Lessons, a love story, a memoir about her experiences in Burma and on the Thai-Burma border. She has won the Pat Lowther Award for poetry, the Governor General’s Award for non-fiction, and Britain’s Orange Broadband Prize for New Fiction for her first novel The Lizard Cage. Published in 2005, The Lizard Cage was compared in the New York Times Book Review to the works of Orwell, Solzhenitsyn, and Mandela, and hailed in the Globe and Mail as “one of the best modern Canadian novels.” Her other books include Grace and Poison, One Room in a Castle, This Brighter Prison, The Disorder of Love, and The Small Words in My Body. Married with a young child, she divides her time between a home in rural Greece and a home in Toronto.

John B. Lee

John B. Lee is the author of over sixty published books. His most recent book, Let Us Be Silent Here, recounts an eighteen-day journey through Israel and Jordan. Israeli poet and Novelist Yosef Gotlieb praises these poems as "highly laudable... resonant with transcendence ...soulful wanderings amidst the ruins of Israel." 2012 will also see the publication of:

  • Lee's memoir on his experiences as an enthusiastic player of pickup hockey, "You Can Always Eat the Dogs: the hockeyness of ordinary men" (Black Moss Press)
  • An Unfinished War, an anthology of War of 1812 literature (Black Moss Press)
  • Beyond the Seventh Morning, an anthology co-edited by Cuban poet Manuel Leon, (Hidden Brook Press)
  • In This We Hear the Light, a collection of poems written in Cuba with photographs by Tai Grove (Hidden Brook Press).

Lee lives in Port Dover where he serves as Poet Laureate of Norfolk (2011-2014). He is also Poet Laureate of Brantford in perpetuity.

Matt Lennox

Matt Lennox is the author of a collection of short stories (Men of Salt, Men of Earth, Oberon Press) that was shortlisted for the 2010 ReLit award; the title story was published in Best Canadian Stories for 2006. His latest book is a novel, The Carpenter, which came out in 2012. His nonfiction has appeared in Toronto Life and The National Post. He is a recent graduate of The University of Guelph's MFA in creative writing, and continues to serve and train as an officer in the Canadian Forces Army Reserves. Lennox enjoys travel, carpentry, and amateur boxing. He lives in Toronto, and is working on his next novel.

Alexander MacLeod

Alexander MacLeod was born in Inverness, Cape Breton and raised in Windsor, Ontario. His bestselling fiction debut (Light Lifting, Biblioasis 2010) was shortlisted for the Frank O'Connor Award, and was the winner of an Atlantic Book Award. Light Lifting was also shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Commonwealth Prize. Macleod holds degrees from the University of Windsor, the University of Notre Dame, and McGill; he currently lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

Sara Ries

Sara Ries was born in Buffalo, New York, where her parents have owned a diner since she was two years old. She holds an MFA from Chatham University, where she received the Best Thesis in Poetry Award. Her first poetry book, Come In, We're Open, won the Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition and was published in June 2010 by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (USA). Her poem, “Fish Fry Daughter,” was selected by Ted Kooser for his American Life in Poetry column. She currently hosts the Poetry & Dinner Night Reading Series at the Woodlawn Diner and teaches at Erie Community College.

Claire Tacon

Claire Tacon is the winner of the 2010 Metcalf-Rooke award for her first novel, In the Field. Her fiction has been short-listed for the Bronwen Wallace Award and the CBC Literary Awards and has appeared in journals such as The New Quarterly and sub-TERRAIN. Several of her works were anthologised in recent editions of Coming Attractions and Best Canadian Short Stories. She is a past fiction editor of the magazine PRISM international and is a lecturer at St. Jerome’s University. You can learn more about Claire at her website.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lit Live and gritLIT Make a Crowd

Pictures speak almost as well as the words of the writers who came to Lit Live and the gritLIT Literary Festival on April 1, 2012. Book-lovers make quite a crowd, don't they? Some folks have their back to the camera, but we can see Bryan Prince chatting with Stuart Ross (left side), Pamela Hensley (almost centre), and in the foreground we see (left to right) Glen Downie in red jacket, Chris Banks planning his reading, and gritLIT volunteer Adam Getty beside him. Click on the image for a larger view.