Thursday Aug 06 2015 7:00 pm - Grant Park in the Atrium, Winnipeg
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Launch of The Outsider's Gaze: Life and Labour on the Mennonite West Reserve 1874-1922.
This is a perspective of Mennonites through the eyes of outsiders from 1874-1922 when about 7,000 Mennonites emigrated from southern Russia and settled in the new province of Manitoba. The collection of papers focuses on the west side of the Red River, known as the West Reserve.
Eleanor Chornoboy (ed.) worked in the public sector to support persons with disabilities and their families. She is widely known for her “Faspa” books, recalling Mennonite family and community life in rural southern Manitoba villages.
Adolf Ens taught in the areas of history and theology at Canadian Mennonite University. His Subjects or Citizens is an account of Mennonite relations with the various levels of government in western Canada, beginning with negotiations of a mass migration in the newly created province of Manitoba.
Jake Peters (ed.) studied Canadian history at the University of Manitoba. Among his earlier publications are several monographs, one on Mennonite private schools in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and another on a history of Mennonite inheritance custom, the Waisenamt.
Wednesday Aug 12 2015 7:00 pm - Grant Park in the Atrium, Winnipeg
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Reading & Signing Painting Over Sketches of Anatolia (Signature Editions) with special guest Sarah Klassen. Hosted by poet Victor Enns.
Painting Over Sketches of Anatolia is Leonard Neufeldt’s seventh book of poetry. In it, we find wars, revolutions, the holocaust, obsolete belief systems, Alzheimer’s and ever-present potentialities of the autistic as well as the illusory in the spoken or written word. A dying Plato tries to fight off intrusions of reality.
Author, editor or co-editor of seventeen books, Leonard Neufeldt was born and raised in the immigrant Dutch-Russian Mennonite hamlet of Yarrow, BC. His grandfather and father, placed under arrest by Bolshevik agents for transport to the Gulag, escaped to Canada via Spain, Cuba and Mexico. Neufeldt graduated summa cum laude from Waterloo Lutheran University (Wilfred Laurier) and received his MA and PhD in the USA. He and his wife have spent most of their professional years in America and abroad, notably in Europe and Turkey. Lecture tours have taken him to India, Germany, Korea and China. Over the years he has been the recipient of numerous awards for his scholarship as well as poetry.
Born in Winnipeg, guest reader Sarah Klassen grew up surrounded by trees, birdsong, silence, and snowstorms of Manitoba’s boreal forest. She left to become a teacher and a traveller. An accomplished poet and fiction writer, she has won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, the High Plains Award for Fiction, the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry, and the National Magazine Gold Award for Poetry. Her work has been nominated for the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, and the Aqua Lansdowne Prize for Poetry. Klassen lives in Winnipeg.
Friday Aug 14 2015 7:00 pm - Grant Park in the Travel Alcove, Winnipeg
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A presentation from Magna Carta expert Carolyn Harris followed by a signing of her book Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada: Democracy, Law, and Human Rights (Dundurn Press).
The year 2015 marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, the Great Charter imposed on King John by his barons in the thirteenth century to ensure he upheld traditional customs of the nobility. Though it began as a safeguard of the aristocracy, over the past 800 years, the Magna Carta has become a cornerstone of democratic ideals for all.
After centuries of obscurity, the Magna Carta was rediscovered in the seventeenth century, and has informed numerous documents upholding human rights, including the American Declaration of Independence, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man, and the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For Canadians, it has informed key documents from the Royal Proclamation of 1763 that shaped the then-British Colonies and their relations with First Nations, to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This book complements the 2015 Magna Carta Canada exhibition of the Durham Cathedral Magna Carta and Charter of the Forest.
Carolyn Harris teaches history at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. She received her PhD in European history from Queen’s University in 2012. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications including the Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Smithsonian Magazine, and the BBC News Magazine, and she is a frequent guest on television and radio. She lives in Toronto.
Sunday Aug 16 2015 2:00 pm - Grant Park in the Atrium, Winnipeg
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Launch of My Life: Not Mine to Control.
Colette Keefe brings us an account of her turbulent childhood in which she was physically, emotionally, and sexually abused. In her adulthood, these traumatic experiences manifested themselves in an array of mental illnesses, including depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. When a tragedy strikes, Colette is forced to confront her issues, despite the stigma and shame associated with these misunderstood problems. What begins is a courageous road to healing, which continues today. Her story of reclaiming her life is intended to serve as an inspiration for anyone who has experienced abuse or dealt with mental illness. It is a book about acceptance, forgiveness, and ongoing recovery.
Colette Keefe and her husband of 35 years have two daughters, one son, nine grandchildren, and are expecting two more grandchildren early in 2015. The family enjoys travelling together often. Colette enjoyed running with her husband for many years, finding that training for marathons and road races served as a release for her emotions and allowed her to focus on competition and getting faster. It was this drive and competitive quest for endorphins that allowed Colette to focus on healing and recovery, always moving her forward to success.
Tuesday Aug 18 2015 7:00 pm - Grant Park in the Travel Alcove, Winnipeg
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Launch of Convince Me the Winter Is Over.
Renee Miller is a reclusive web designer who, after several hours of delirium from flu, wakes up to find a stranger in boxer briefs standing in her bathroom.
John is an archaeologist who finds himself stuck in a stranger's flat in a snowstorm.
Frozen in her neat and clean world of highly functional anxieties and her history of childhood trauma, Renee is perhaps the worst possible host for her flatmate's boyfriend's colleague. Yet, while the fervent gush of life that is John Greaves disrupts her carefully guarded existence, Renee finds herself gradually yearning for more.
Is John the first breath of Spring in her frigid world?
Katya Kolmakov was born and raised in the turbulent post-Soviet Saint Petersburg, Russia, in a posh but whimsical family of a professor of the Russian language and one of the first bankers in the former USSR. Two Master’s degrees, sixteen years of teaching languages, literature and translation, and two tattoos later Katya lives in an odd rented house in Winnipeg with her husband, her five-year old, and a mad assortment of house plants. A baker in a local organic bakery and an aspiring arborist, Katya grows vegetables and herbs in her garden, takes her kid to the zoo, and writes every evening.
Thursday Aug 20 2015 7:30 pm - Grant Park in the Travel Alcove, Winnipeg
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Winnipeg launch of Mouthquake (Arsenal Pulp Press) featuring a guest reading and conversation with Chandra Mayor. Hosted by Bruce Symaka and co-presented by the Winnipeg International Writers Festival.
A boy’s speech starts to fracture along with the cement of le Stade olympique. Do they share a fault line? Daniel Allen Cox’s unconventional fourth novel tells the story of a boy with a stutter who grows up and uses sound to remember the past. A coming-of-age tale that telescopes through time like an amnesiac memoir, Mouthquake finds its strange beat in subliminal messages hidden in skipping records, in the stutters of celebrities, and in the wisdom of The Grand Antonio, a suspicious mystic who helps the narrator unlock the secret to his speech. This is a loudly exclaimed book of innuendo, rumours, and the tangled barbs of repressed memory that asks: How do you handle a troubling past event that behaves like a barely audible whisper?
Daniel Allen Cox is the author of the novels Shuck, Krakow Melt (both Lambda Literary Award finalists), Basement of Wolves, Mouthquake, and the novella Tattoo This Madness In. He co-wrote the screenplay for Bruce LaBruce’s 2013 film Gerontophilia. Daniel is a 2015 writer-in-residence at the ZVONA i NARI Library & Literary Retreat in Linjan, Croatia, the first Canadian writer to be invited. He lives in Montreal, where he is vice president of Quebec Writers’ Federation.
Chandra Mayor is a queer Winnipeg novelist and poet. Her books have received numerous awards, including the Carol Shields (Cherry) and a Lambda (All the Pretty Girls). She has been the Writer-in-Residence at the University of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Public Library, a poetry editor for Prairie Fire and CV2, a theatre critic for CBC and The Winnipeg Review, a Human Library organizer, a textile artist, and a popular creative writing instructor.
Friday Aug 21 2015 7:00 pm - Grant Park in the Travel Alcove, Winnipeg
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Winnipeg launch of Bird's Eye View (Dundurn Press).
Rose Jolliffe is an idealistic Saskatchewan farm girl who joins the air force in World War Two and becomes an interpreter of aerial photographs. She spies on the enemy from the sky and makes several crucial discoveries.
Her British commanding officer Gideon Fowler recognizes her almost supernatural skills, but can he be trusted? Lonely and homesick, she finds comfort in letters from the home front. When tragedy strikes, Rose’s world falls apart. She struggles to rebuild her shattered life – and finds that victory ultimately lies within herself.
Journalist Elinor Florence has written for daily newspapers and magazines including Reader’s Digest. Like her heroine, Elinor grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan and now lives in the mountain resort of Invermere, B.C. Married with three grown daughters, her passions are village life, flea markets, and old houses.
Monday Aug 24 2015 7:00 pm - Grant Park in the Atrium, Winnipeg
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Reading & Signing page as bone – ink as blood (Talonbooks).
Death, desire, and divination are the threads running through Jónína Kirton’s debut collection of poems and lyric prose. Delicate and dark, the pieces are like whispers in the night – a haunted, quiet telling of truths the mind has locked away but the body remembers. Loosely autobiographical, these are the weavings of a wagon-goddess who ventures into the double-world existence as a mixed-race woman. In her struggle for footing in this in-between space, she moves from the disco days of trance dance to contemplations in her dream kitchen as a mother and wife.
Jónína Kirton is a Métis/Icelandic poet and author who lives and works in Vancouver. She graduated from Simon Fraser University’s Writer’s Studio in 2007 and attended the Emerging Aboriginal Writer’s Residency at the Banff Centre in 2008. Actively involved with the Aboriginal Writers Collective – West Coast, she coordinated the first National Indigenous Writers Conference in Vancouver 2013. In 2015 Kirton joined the editorial board of Room Magazine.
Kirton’s work has been featured in numerous anthologies and literary journals. She won first prize and two honourable mentions in the 2013 Royal City Literary Arts Society’s Write On! Contest and was a finalist in the 2013 Burnaby Writers’ Society Writing Contest.
Tuesday Aug 25 2015 7:00 pm - Grant Park in the Travel Alcove, Winnipeg
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Want to talk books with other book lovers - but without the commitment of a regular book club? Joanne Kelly and McNally Robinson Booksellers are pleased to continue their free bookclub open to all readers in Winnipeg.
The choice for August 2015 is James McBride's critically acclaimed The Good Lord Bird (Riverhead Books), Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction. McBride, the bestselling author of The Color of Water and Song Yet Sung, presents the story of a young boy born a slave who joins John Brown’s antislavery crusade—and who must pass as a girl to survive.
Get in touch with Joanne through e-mail at jmkelly (at) rrc.mb.ca or with John at McNally Robinson at events (at) grant.mcnallyrobinson.ca or by calling 204-453-0424, ex 227 if you have any questions.