Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Michael Winter Reads in Toronto

What's on the go in T.O.? Michael Winter, that's what.

The acclaimed author of The Architects Are Here will be giving a free reading tonight, April 29th, 7PM, at Tinto on Roncesvalles Avenue. Other featured performers are playwright Claudia Dey, comedian Katie Crown and country musician Justin Rutledge.

So if you're in the area, come see what the fuss is all about. You won't be disappointed.


Michael Winter is also the author of The Big Why, a fictionalized version of American artist Rockwell Kent's sojourn on the island of Newfoundland. The Big Why is available as an unabridged MP3 audiobook from Rattling Books, narrated by the incomparable Robert Joy.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Mary Dalton at the Banff Centre for the Arts

Newfoundland poet Mary Dalton is currently a faculty member for the Banff Centre for the Arts' Writing Studio 2008.

To read her bio on the Banff webpage, please follow this link.

As part of her residency, Dalton will be giving a reading with novelist Alan Cumyn on May 23 at 7:30 PM in the Rolston Recital Hall. For more information, see the website.


Mary Dalton is the author of four collections of poetry. Her third collection, Merrybegot, is available as an unabridged audiobook from Rattling Books. It is narrated by famed Newfoundland traditional singer Anita Best and includes trumpet and flugelhorn accompaniment by Patrick Boyle. Merrybegot was, in part, the inspiration for the REDEFiNE iT Dictionary of Newfoundland group.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Word of the Week at REDEFiNE iT for April 27 – May 3 : glauvaun

New word of the week
over at REDEFiNE iT: Dictionary of Newfoundland English:



Each week Rattling Books brings you a Word of the Week at our REDEFiNE iT: Dictionary of Newfoundland English Blog and the original REDEFiNE iT facebook group.

The word of the week is first revealed each Sunday morning on CBC Radio's Weekend Arts Magazine with host Angela Antle.

Friday, April 25, 2008

George Murray's Atlantic Poetry Prize-nominated Collection

Another Newfoundland resident, George Murray, has been given the nod in this year's Atlantic Book Awards. The Rush to Here, Murray's fourth collection of poems, has been nominated for the Atlantic Poetry Prize.

To read some review excerpts, follow this link to the publisher's website.

To visit Murray's popular Bookninja blog, click here.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fred Armstrong's First Book Award-nominated Novel

As you'll have read earlier this week, Fred Armstrong's first novel, Happiness of Fish, has been nominated for the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award.

For a synopsis from the publisher's website, please click here.

To read a review of Happiness of Fish written by a former colleague of Armstrong's, click here.

Fred Armstrong will appear on the "New Voices" panel at the annual Winterset in Summer Festival.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bernice Morgan's Thomas H. Raddall-nominated Novel

As indicated in yesterday's post, Newfoundland author Bernice Morgan has been nominated for the prestigious Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize for her latest novel, Cloud of Bone. For a synopsis of the book from the publisher's website, or to read an excerpt, please follow this link.

To read a review of Cloud of Bone from the website of author Trudy Morgan Cole (incidentally, a relation of Morgan's--she dutifully admits this in the preamble to her review), click here.

For a review from Geist magazine, follow this link.

To read a CBC interview with Bernice Morgan, click here.

For all other inquiries, please hold the line.


from compulsiveoverreader.wordpress.com (Morgan Cole's site):

Cloud of Bone
is another of those books that I’m much too prejudiced to be reviewing, but I will anyway. Bernice Morgan is not only my favourite Newfoundland author, not only a friend and mentor, but also my aunt. I have to tell you that in the interests of full disclosure, and then I have to beg you to believe that even if I knew nothing about her and had just randomly picked Cloud of Bone off a bookshelf, it would still have blown me away...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Newfoundland Writers Nominated for Atlantic Book Awards

The shortlisted authors for the Atlantic Book Awards, administered by the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia, have been announced.

Fred Armstrong has been nominated for the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award for his novel Happiness of Fish.

Nancy Keating has been nominated for the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration for the children's book A Puppy Story.

Bernice Morgan has been nominated for the Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize for her novel Cloud of Bone.

George Murray has been nominated for the Atlantic Poetry Prize for his collection The Rush to Here.

For more details, please follow this link.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Globe Does it Again: "Newfie dialect" is "as impenetrable as the lanscape"

Funny, for a moment there I almost thought we were being taken seriously...

Getting real in Newfoundland

Forget pampering. Or It lists. A growing number of travellers are on the hunt for 'deep authenticity,' flocking to destinations like Newfoundland to get away from such trappings. The only problem: When you can't understand the locals — or crack their inner circles. But one tour company may have a solution. Call it a concierge service with a twist

‘If you're extra lucky, you'll get yourselves invited to a kitchen party,” Terri told us in the days leading up to our Newfoundland vacation. “Friends and neighbours get together and play instruments and sing and tell stories and drink. That's the real deal out there.”

Terri, a close friend who grew up in Gander but now lives down the street in British Columbia, had just “screeched in” my wife and me in her living room. Following tradition, we downed a shot of cheap rum. Then we kissed a frozen salmon – our West Coast stand-in for the cod that's usually pulled out for the ceremony that makes “come from aways” honorary locals.

So we necked with a fish. We had been anointed pseudo-locals. We even had certificates to prove it, downloaded from the Internet. But we knew we were Newfies on paper only. And, like a growing number of travellers, we wanted that real deal.

Along with the 490,000 other visitors that head to Newfoundland every year, we were attracted to a place that seemed largely untouched by the crushing effects of mass tourism. This was a province of genuine outport communities – effectively cut off from one another by fierce winters and a harsh interior of scrubland and ponds known simply as the Barrens, but famous for hospitality and openness.

Or maybe we had seen too many glossy brochures. Because the Newfie dialect can be as impenetrable as the landscape. Then there are the mannerisms: Men greet one another with a quick left-to-right sideways nod that can seem cryptic to outsiders. Which leaves even the most intrepid travellers stranded just on the edge of the authentic – among the locals, but always apart from them.

To read the rest of this article, please click here.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Word of the Week at our REDEFiNE iT facebook group and Blog (April 13 -19) sish

Word of the Week (April 13 -19) sish


definition according to the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:

sish n 1983 WARNER 80 How does an ocean freeze, right before your eyes? Well, first it's patches of gray slush... Ship makes pleasant hissing noise passing through. Germans call it Eisbrei, 'ice porridge'; Newfoundlanders rather onomatopoetically refer to it as 'sish.'

read the rest over at our REDEFiNE iT: Dictionary of Newfoundland English Blog.


Each week Rattling Books brings you a Word of the Week at our REDEFiNE iT: Dictionary of Newfoundland English Blog and the original REDEFiNE iT facebook group.

The word of the week is first revealed each Sunday morning on CBC Radio's Weekend Arts Magazine with host Angela Antle.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Her Majesty's Pen: a collaboration between Joel Thomas Hynes and Gerry Rogers


Saturday, April 12, 2008

At 2 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, the multi-purpose room at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary becomes both a classroom and documentary film set. On this particular week, eight men — inmates from various wings of the jail, many of whom would never otherwise mix — sit around a semi-circle of tables, paper and pens at the ready. At the centre is author Joel Hynes, leader of the weekly creative writing sessions. Some of the men on either side of him have been coming weekly since the classes began in January; there are also a handful of new participants this week.


Joel Thomas Hynes is the author of Down to the Dirt and Right Away Monday.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Griffin Poetry Prize Jury has whittled it down

Out of 509 eligible submissions the Griffin Poetry Prize Jury has whittled it down to the following:

Canadian Shortlist

The Holy Forest: Collected Poems of Robin Blaser • Robin Blaser
University of California Press

Notebook of Roses and CivilizationRobert Majzels and Erin Moure, translated from the French,written by Nicole Brossard
Coach House Books

Why Are You So Sad? Selected Poems of David W. McFadden • David McFadden
Insomniac Press/4 a.m. Books

International Shortlist

Notes from the Air: Selected Later Poems • John Ashbery
HarperCollins Publishers/Ecco

Ripple Effect: New and Selected Poems • Elaine Equi
Coffee House Press

The Complete Poetry: A Bilingual Edition
Clayton Eshleman, translated from the Spanish,written by C├ęsar Vallejo
University of California Press

Selected Poems 1969-2005 • David Harsent
Faber and Faber


The 2007 Canadian winner of the Griffin Poetry prize was Don McKay.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Listen to Joel Thomas Hynes and a panel of others talking about Huck Finn

The Continuing Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

This year, The Globe and Mail has set out to select the 50 Greatest Books ever written. An anonymous jury is picking the books, and each week a well-known expert or author passionate about a particular book writes an article about it. The jury will be revealed at the end of the year, and book-lovers are encouraged to participate.

The very first book in "They're the Greatest" was The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. The newspaper's Books Editor, Martin Levin, wrote the accompanying article: "The book is a bildungsroman, a buddy story, a riverine road novel, a picaresque adventure, a funny and biting satire on American manners and morals..."

It's also a book that has attracted its fair share of controversy. When Twain's novel was published in the 1880s, some critics said it would corrupt youth. More recently, it has been charged with racism at worst and with being inappropriate for young readers at best.

Talking Books' host Ian Brown talked about the enduring appeal and issues of Huckleberry Finn with guests Joel Thomas Hynes, Katherine Ashenburg, and Walter Learning.

Listen to their conversation


The unabridged audio edition of Down to the Dirt by Joel Thomas Hynes narrated by Joel Thomas Hynes, Sherry White and Jonny Harris is published by Rattling Books.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Word of the Week over at REDEFiNE iT (April 5-12) pelt


Definition according to the online Dictionary of Newfoundland English:

pelt n .1 The skin of a seal with the fat or blubber attached; SCULP n; occas the seal itself (see 1891 quot); FAT1 2.1792 CARTWRIGHT Gloss i, xii-xiii ~ The skin of an animal with the fat adhering to it. That term is made use of for the skins of seals, and other such animals, the fat of which lies between the skin and the flesh.

.......read the rest over at our REDEFiNE iT: Dictionary of Newfoundland English Blog.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Vancouver Sun review of The Darren Effect by Libby Creelman

Man dies, leaving two widows
REBECCA WIGOD, Canwest News Service(Review in the Vancouver Sun)

In Libby Creelman's first novel, The Darren Effect, Heather Welbourne appears at the bedside of her lover, Benny Martin. He's in a hospital, dying of cancer.

Although she wasn't sure how she'd be greeted, Benny is glad to see her. But he's also receiving regular visits from his wife, Isabella, who, knowing he doesn't have long to live, is looking for a new place for herself and Cooper, their pre-adolescent son.

Affairs and adultery have long figured in novels, but have you ever read one in which a youngish man who's leading a double life dies in the first half? It's a startlingly fresh premise.

Read the rest of this Vancouver Sun review of Libby Creelman's novel The Darren Effect.


Rattling Books is part of Libby Creelman's fan base.

John Steffler to read at John Abbott College in Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Tuesday April 8

John Steffler, Canada's Third Parliamentary Poet Laureate, will read from his poems and speak about the role of Poet Laureate on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. at John Abbott College (in the agora) in Ste. Anne de Bellevue. Sponsored by the John Abbott Faculty Association. Free. Call 514-457-6610, Local 5171.


John Steffler's classic The Grey Islands, the unabridged audio edition, is available from Rattling Books, Canada's SMALL but fine publisher of unabridged audio books.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Don McKay reading at Hamilton, ON gritLIT event April 3

gritLIT: Readings by Don McKay, Lee Maracle and Marilyn Gear Pilling

Thursday, April 3, 2008 - 7:30pm

Art Gallery of Hamilton
123 King Street WestHamilton, ON
Map to Art Gallery of Hamilton

Poetry readings by Don McKay (Strike/Slip), Lee Maracle (Bent Box) and Marilyn Gear Pilling (Cleavage: A Life in Breasts) at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Thursday, April 3, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Visit the gritLIT website for more details.

Michael Crummey Wins Timothy Findley Award

Michael Crummey has been awarded the Timothy Findley Award, a $15,000 prize given to a male writer in mid career for a body of work.

Jury Assessment: "Death haunts Crummey's books. But so do love and desire, the human ferment that supplies his work with a fundamental generosity, a glowing, wistful hopefulness."

Jury: Joan Barfoot, Douglas Glover, Jack Hodgins

To read the complete list of Writers' Trust winners, click here.


Michael Crummey's poetry collection, Hard Light: 32 Little Stories, is available as an audiobook from Rattling Books--narrated by Michael Crummey, Ron Hynes and Deidre Gillard-Rowlings.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Agnes Walsh Nominated for Prestigious Canadian Poetry Prize

Poets shortlisted for two national prizes; National Poetry Month kicks off
from the Canadian Press

TORONTO — Writers making the short lists for two national poetry prizes were announced Tuesday at a launch event for National Poetry Month.
In the running for the $1,000 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for a first book of poetry: "Radius of Light," by Joshua Auerbach; "Making Bones Walk," by Alex Boyd; "Wolf Tree," by Alison Calder; "Contrary Infatuations," by Dymphny Dronyk; "Ride Backwards on Dragon," by Kim Goldberg; and "The Sweet Fuels," by Erin Knight.
The $1,000 Pat Lowther Award for a book of poetry by a Canadian woman: "Wolf Tree," by Alison Calder; "The Crooked Good," by Louise Bernice Halfe; "Two Hemispheres," by Nadine McInnis; "Shell," by Olive Senior; "Quick," by Anne Simpson; and "Going Around With Bachelors," by Agnes Walsh.
The winners will be announced June 21 in St. John's, N.L.
National Poetry Month, established by the League of Canadian Poets in 1998, brings together schools, publishers, booksellers and other groups to celebrate poetry.


Going Around with Bachelors (as well as Agnes' first collection, In the Old Country of My Heart) is available as an audiobook from Rattling Books.