Alison is the winner of the CBC Literary Awards.
"From stanzas to bonanza: CBC Literary Award winner Alison Pick makes the leap from poetry to novels" by Vanessa Farquharson, National Post
It might seem the best way for a poet to become a novelist would be to test the waters of the short-story genre. But when Alison Pick waded in, she didn't get very far.
"It's one of the most difficult forms because it requires the density of poetry but the narrative of fiction," she says, adding, "I wrote some really crappy short stories."
But instead of running back to the safety of stanzas, she decided to dive head-first into the fiction pool instead. It paid off. Her new book, The Sweet Edge, is a seamless marriage of poetic language and engaging dialogue. So far, it's received nothing but positive reviews.
Later in the article Pick says, "I think of my poetry and fiction as separate but complementary," she adds. "It's not uncommon to hear poets say you can't do both, like there's a feeling that if you move to fiction you're selling out ... But for me it definitely felt like an organic, real pull. It's the same muscle being exercised, just in different ways."
Quick facts about Alison Pick:
She won the CBC Literary Award for her book Question & Answer (Raincoast), a collection of poetry.
Pick recently embarked on the 60-day canoe trip in the Arctic that her Sweet Edge protagonist takes.
She studied at the University of Guelph and was writer in residence at the Wallace Stegner House, S.K.
Alison Pick is the 2002 Bronwen Wallace Award winner for most promising unpublished writer under 35 in Canada.
Excerpt of The Sweet Edge
Click the link to read a PDF excerpt of The Sweet Edge. Or see below for the excerpt featured in the National Post:
Adam's roommates leave for the weekend and he invites Ellen over for dinner. They've known each other for months but this is the first time they've been alone together in one of their houses. Adam has a copy of the Dating Survival Handbook.
If your date is choking, do the Heimlich, Ellen reads aloud.
Nobody has a date. A date is so old fashioned.
How do you know if you're on a date or a date?
Good point, agrees Adam.
And then there's the blind date. A truly bizarre and tortuous social ritual.
Have you ever been on a date?
Ellen has been on several dates. No, she says.
Me neither. I usually just hang out with the person.
And they look at each other, they can't look away, they can't wipe the grins from their faces.
Ellen is used to boys having a crush on her. She knows the things that all very beautiful women know. How to say no. Be kind, very kind, turn them down without acknowledging that they have asked. Never ever sit them down and say you aren't interested. They do not want to hear this, they do not want to feel rejected. All the silly computer boys, the fawning boy from Spanish 101, the boys from boarding school with their penny loafers and golf clubs. She has an equanimity code, a standard set of procedures to enact as though all boys are equal but what she really likes is a boy who takes control. She likes to ask questions--she has another question and another--she likes to tip her head back and laugh. Adam is confident and not too swayed by her looks. He has words to fill a silence. He has an opinion, always, and strong advice to give. You should grow your hair again, Ellen, he says.
You saw me with longer hair?
I liked it.
You liked it better?
You're one of those women whose hair gets shorter as they get older.
The ripe old age of twenty-seven.
by monique t
February 24, 2006
Relaxation Consultant Darrin Zeer travels around the world encouraging people to stay calm and be successful.
Whether it is office yoga, travel yoga or a full-on office spa treatment, Darrin can ease the ache and pain of any day's work.
You can also relax on Darrin's website. Try this break,
If chaos is your natural state, try Darrin's funny blog,
For all Darrin Zeer books visit, Raincoast.com
Vancouver Historic Society and Rex Weyler, author of Greenpeace: The Inside Story, are holding an event at the Vancouver Planetarium this Thursday on "Vancouver's history of peace and ecology."
Thursday evening, February 23
7:30 at the Planetarium
About the event:
Learn how the Vancouver peace and ecology movements grew from the influence of Dukabours, Mennonites, Quakers, Buddhists, Unitarians, First Nations, Christians, Visionary city councils, American War Resisters, beat poets, End the Arms Race organizers, BC Voice of Women, the BC labour movement, Provos from Amsterdam, Diggers from San Francisco, and dedicated neighbourhood activists.
Set your timers! Raincoast's own sales rep Saffron Beckwith will be opening the doors to her home on Colour Confidential, Canada's premiere make over show.
Thursday February 23rd on the Women's Network, 9 pm EST
The show will feature the Beckwith-McIntosh family in its world premiere.
Make it over to the TV for the make over.
And then unleash your inner decorating diva with one of Saffron's recommended design and decorating books:
Kids' Rooms by Jennifer Levy (Chronicle Books)
52 Ways to Make a House a Home by Lynn Gordon (Chronicle Books)
Paint Magic by Jocasta Innes (Frances Lincoln)
Colour in Decoration by Annie Sloan and Kate Gwynn (Frances Lincoln)
Are you a hockey fan? Are you looking forward to the Olympic Ice Hockey games?
Win a Table Hockey Game and a copy of Uncle John's Shoots and Scores.
To enter visit:
Or submit your entry into the comments field of this post.
Also include your guess for the final score of either the Women's or Men's Olympic gold medal game.
One entry per family please.
Contest begins on February 10, 2006 and ends on February 25, 2006.
Open to legal residents of Canada. Void where prohibited.
Winner will be chosen in a random drawing conducted on February 27, 2006.
Need more hockey? Check out CBC.ca, which has a great website covering ice hockey at the 2006 Torino Olympics.
The gold medal game in women's ice hockey is on Feb. 20. The gold medal game in men's ice hockey is on Feb. 26.
How do you spot a robot mimicking a human? How do you recognize and then deactivate a rebel servant robot? How do you escape a murderous "smart" house, or evade a swarm of marauding robotic flies? Worried? Roboticist Daniel H. Wilson teaches humans the keys to quashing a robot mutiny.
Hopefully those robotics researchers from the UK and Japan are prepared.
"Robot Piloted by a Slime Mold" was one of the headlines on Slashdot on Tuesday.
In brief, robotics researchers from the UK and Japan have linked up a slime mold to remotely control a robot. The mold is naturally light-sensitive and is able to make the robot hide in dark corners.
Options for fighting back are plentiful. Know what they are.
On Saturday, Feb 11, The Land Conservancy of BC along with the Save Kogawa House Committee hosted an up-close and personal reading & book signing with award-winning Canadian author and poet, Joy Kogawa.
Kogawa read from her second novel Emily Kato (formerly Itsuka).
Other guest authors included Roy Miki, Governor General Award Winner for Poetry, reading from Redress: Inside the Japanese Canadian Call for Justice (published by Raincoast) and Daphne Marlatt, Vancouver poet, novelist and oral historian, reading from Steveston. Retired school teacher and counsellor, Ellen Crowe-Swords also spoke to her family's past experience of being interned at Hastings Park.
Thanks to all who attended the event.
This event was part of TLC's awareness and fundraising campaign to save Joy Kogawa's childhood home in Vancouver as a historic symbol, helping to educate the public about the internment of Japanese-Canadians during the Second World War. For more information or to donate, call (604) 733-2313 or visit www.conservancy.bc.ca.
(photos courtesy of Derek Moscato)
Raincoast author Paul William Roberts had an excellent and thorough piece in the Saturday Globe and Mail (Feb 11) dealing with the controversy about the depictions of Mohammed in Danish newspapers.
Paul William Roberts is the recipient of the PEN Canada Paul Kid Courage in Journalism Award. He is also a classical scholar and the author of several books including River in the Desert: A Modern Traveller in Ancient Egypt, A War Against Truth: An Intimate Account of the Invasion of Iraq, Journey of the Magi: In Search of the Birth of Jesus, and Empire of the Soul: Some Travels In India (available later this year).
In his Globe and Mail article, "A profile of the prophet," Paul William Roberts says:
In reacting to the outrage over the cartoons, it helps to remember there was a time when Islam represented the most civilizing force on Earth. Europe was still a dark, barbaric wasteland when the followers of Mohammed conquered Spain, bringing with them music, science, architecture and a literature that included all the treasures of the ancient Greco-Roman world. Without these, there would have been no Renaissance, and today's world might look very different ...
... If outsiders practised the fairness they preach, they would attempt to be a little more understanding, if only because history has a way of repeating itself. Like Jesus and ancient Jewish scholar Hillel, Mohammed urged his people to treat others the way they would like others to treat them. If everyone could remember this part of their common heritage, we would all be so much better off.
Hearts of Gold by Lorne Zeiler is an inspiring collection of stories from over 20 Canadian Olympic athletes--stories of the commitment, dedication and risk involved in a life in sport.
These are stories of athletes who have overcome extraordinary physical and mental adversity to achieve personal triumph. They tell of a particular challenge faced by each athlete--physical adversity, political conviction, technical complications--and how he or she found the courage and integrity needed to rise above.
Or read about the 20 athletes featured in the book, including
Sport: Cross-country Skiing
Birth: August 1, 1974; Vermilion, Alberta
Beckie Scott received her first medal in a World Cup event in the 1.5-kilometre sprint at Soldier Hollow, U.S. She received a bronze medal for the women's 5-kilometre Free Pursuit at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. Her medal was later upgraded to gold when Lazutina and Danilova were stripped of their medals for doping.
“I still believe that there are clean athletes who are successful and can reach the top, regardless of the doping that goes on. I have to."--Beckie Scott, 2001
Congratulations also to Beckie Scott and Sara Renner on their silver medal in Women's Team Sprint, cross country skiing, at the 2006 Torino Olympics.
Congratulations also to Gold medalist Jennifer Heil (Women's Moguls, freestyle skiing) and Bronze medalist Cindy Klassen (Women's 3,000 m, speed skating).
by monique t
February 14, 2006
Love, Luck, and Lore (Conari Press) by Theresa Hoiles and Elizabeth Carr is a guide to superstitions, prayers, spells, and taking chances in the pursuit of love.
It is Valentine's afterall.
Love, Luck, and Lore blends old-world traditions, lucky charms and fortune-telling rhymes with modern chic techniques for meeting men.
For example, did you know that in Genoa, Italy, a yearly celebration commemorates the generosity of Count Fieschi of Lavagna who, in 1240, threw a party with a 30-foot cake. Townsfolk remember him with a parade and a little romance: they pin to their clothing a piece of paper--blue for men, white for women--on which a specific word is written. When they find someone wearing the same word, the couple is given a piece of cake. And the rest is up to them!
Charming practice. But don't rely on charm alone.
Put a two-leaf clover in your shoe and try this rhyme to snag a guy:
A clover of two,
Put it in your right shoe.
The first young man you meet,
In field, street, or lane,
You'll have him or one of his name.
Sure, you can try a more scientific approach to dating, following rules written by someone with a Ph.D. in Interpersonal Relations from Boring U. But that's no fun! Use the carefree and whimsical approaches in Love, Luck, and Lore to bring that love into your life!