Here at my house, we're on count down till the TD Canadian Children's Literary Awards, which are given out October 4th. Plain Kate is up for the big prize! This is the nomination that saw me pop out to Vancouver to tape a session with the CBC Book Club. That's just gone up as a podcast, so you can listen to it here! (The link is right under my picture.)
If you're in Lethbridge, Alberta, tomorrow, you can catch me at the newest location for Canada's coast to coast literary festival, Word on the Street. I'll be beaming in via Skype to talk to teens (and anyone else who cares to come!) about writing, publishing, and Plain Kate. 12:00 Mountain Time. Check out the teen author line up: it's impressive.
And tomorrow at Kitchener's Word on the Street, I'm talking science and poetry for the local launch of the quarc project, a joint offering of the New Quarterly and ARC magazine. (This write-up (including the entertaining biography of me) shamelessly stolen from the TNQ blog, the literary type.)
The New Quarterly is celebrating The QuArc Issue this Sunday, September 25 at 4pm in the Arts & Culture tent at Word On The Street Kitchener (in beautiful Victoria Park).
Three of the many terrific QuArc writers will be reading from their work in the issue, talking about their writerly process and about how their interest in science informs their work (in this instance at least). In other words, they will tell the story behind the story (or poem, or literary experiment...). Our writers are:
Erin Noteboom Bow trained as a particle physicist and worked briefly at CERN and at Los Alamos National Labs, before switching gears and making a career as a writer. She has been struck by lightning, survived a brain tumor, and was excommunicated from the Catholic church (Lincoln, Nebraska diocese) for campaigning for the ordination of women. She has also written four books: two volumes of poetry, a memoir, and a young adult novel, and won the CBC Literary Award for Poetry. Erin's contributions to the QuArc issue include a comic discourse on the history and behavior of quarks and a poem, "Why A Bride Wears White," which draws its metaphors from scientific principles.
Sound poet Christian Bök was born "Christian Book" but changed his name "to avoid unseemly confusion with the Bible." He has published three collections--Crystallography, Eunoia, and Pataphysics: The Poetics of an Imaginary Science--but by his own reckoning is best-known for holding the world record for the fastest rendition of Kurt Schwitters' "Ursonate." Eunoia won the 2002 Griffin Prize (Canada's most prestigious award for poetry) and the book went on to sell 20,000 copies in Canada (no small feat for a book of poetry!). It was a best seller in the UK as well. Bök is a conceptual artist and has worked in science-fiction television creating alternative languages. Christian's contribution to QuArc describes his current project: creating a "living poem" by encoding it in the DNA of a long- lived virus and watching it evolve over time (really!).
Miranda Hill is a writer of short fiction and poetry. Her work has appeared in The New Quarterly, The Dalhousie Review, and The Fiddlehead and will soon be published in the 23rd volume of The Journey Prize Stories. Her first collection of short stories, Sleeping Funny, is forthcoming from Doubleday Canada. Hill is also the founder and executive director of Project Bookmark Canada, a national charitable organization that installs plaques bearing text from stories and poems in the exact physical locations where the literary scenes take place. The organization is working to build a cross-Canada network of installations that celebrate place, fiction, and poetry, enticing Canadians and visitors to read their way across the country. Miranda's contribution to the QuArc issue, a story called "Rise: A Requiem," is an interesting turn on the age-old tension between science and religion.