Michael Van Rooy likes to pretend he knows EVERYTHING a.k.a. The Weekly Update…

November 12, 2010 Weekly Writers Collective Update:


Aqua Landsdowne Series Reading – in partnership with Aqua Books and the Writers’ Collective – featuring Slam poet Skip Stone, with Aaron Simm and Nereo II

Date: November 25, Thursday

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: Aqua Books, 274 Garry Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 1H3, Phone: 204-943-7555.

Event: Aqua Landsdowne Series Reading

Cost: Free!

The Aqua Lansdowne is Manitoba’s largest poetry prize. Based around the award and hosted in conjunction with the Writer’s Collective, this series celebrates the best in Manitoba poetry.

Skip Stone is a Winnipeg born writer who has represented for the Winnipeg Slam team on their away missions to both Toronto and Halifax. He teaches B-boying to kids at the Osborne Street Dance Club and the School for Contemporary Dancers under the alias Drypht 2, and he tells people to stay away from the word ‘Breakdancing’. When he’s not dancing or writing he lives happily under the name Jon Surla with his lovely girlfriend Donna, who is all the poetry he needs.

Aaron Simm is a local poet, born and raised in Winnipeg. He has spent numerous years writing hip-hop and poetry in basements, but only recently began performing on stage. Having completed his first season within the Winnipeg Poetry Slam, Aaron has qualified to represent this fine town at the upcoming Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Ottawa. Aaron is a Sociology major at the University of Winnipeg, and also plays drums in a folk-punk band.

Nereo II has been active in the local spoken word and hip hop community since the early 2000s and has shared his performances across North America at events such as the 10th Annual Scribble Jam Hip Hop Festival, the 2nd and 3rd annual Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, The Toronto International Poetry Slam, the Speak Series in Halifax, Thin Air Winnipeg International Writers Festival and the 4th Annual Storytelling Festival. His work has appeared in the Filipino Journal, on CBC Radio’s Content Factory, and Branch Magazine. His performances have inspired, and touched many among the spoken word community. In May of 2008, Nereo won the Winnipeg CBC Poetry Face Off. Nereo is a renaissance man, who asides from writing and performing, is multi-disciplined in many different fields of art.



Debbie Strange (Writers’ Collective Member) will have her abstract photography exhibit, The Poetry of Light, hosted at the Assiniboine Park Conservatory from December 6, 2010 to January 10, 2011.



An Initiative by Michael Van Rooy (Writers’ Collective Member), the Literary Arts Ambassador for the Winnipeg Cultural Capital of Canada Project 2010 ARTS FOR ALL Program!

Winnipeg has produced some of the best writers in the world and here’s the proof!

To celebrate Winnipeg’s well-earned designation as Cultural Capital of Canada for 2010 we have chosen books by Winnipeggers to offer to other Winnipeggers. These are interesting, smart, funny, touching, scary . . . just plain good books! Fiction, non-fiction, it’s all here. And there’s something for both the dedicated and casual reader!

There are several copies of each of these books and we are giving them away to anyone on a first come, first served, basis. There are only three things we ask in return:

First: Read the book! If you decide it’s not for you then hand it back or hand it forward to someone who might like it!

Second: Tell us what you think of the book! Write us a letter, send us an email or go onto Facebook and write what you think! Tell us you love the book or you hate it, whatever. We want to know!

Third: When you’re done with the book, pass it along to someone, anyone, with the same instructions. Share the wealth, share the stories. Opinions and reviews will all be posted anonymously on the Facebook page for everyone to read!


Crown Fire by David Annandale

The Dragon and the Dry Goods Princess by David Arnason

The Imagined City: A Literary History of Winnipeg edited by David Arnason and Mhari Mackintosh

Exploits of a Reluctant (But Extremely Goodlooking) Hero by Maureen Fergus

Juliana and the Medicine Fish by Jake MacDonald

Cherry by Chandra Mayor

Yuletide Bandit by Mike McIntyre

A Dry Spell by Susie Moloney

In Search of April Raintree by Beatrice (Culleton) Mosionier

Bonheur d’occasion by Gabrielle Roy

Be Wolf by Wayne Tefs

An Ordinary Decent Criminal by Michael Van Rooy

How to Comment on the Books or Ask for Another!

You can reach Michael by email at .

You can reach Michael by regular mail at About the Stories at 103-110 Princess Street,

Winnipeg, MB, R3B 1K7.

You can go onto Facebook at the Cultural Capital Literary Arts 2010 Program page.



This week the quotes come from an assortment of poets talking about life. QUOTE: Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes. Oscar Wilde


The votes have been tallied . . . Juliana and the Medicine Fish, by Jake MacDonald, is the On the Same Page selection for 2010-2011!
For more information check out:
About Jake MacDonald:

Jake MacDonald is an award-winning author of eight books, a short story writer and a journalist. His memoir, Houseboat Chronicles, won three awards, including the Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize. His feature articles have been published inSaturday Night, The Walrus,The Globe and Mail, Maclean’s and Canadian Geographic, among others. Jake MacDonald is regarded as an expert on Manitoba/Ontario lake country and divides his time between Winnipeg and Toronto and a rustic retreat in Minaki, Ontario. His most recent books include Grizzlyville: Adventures in Bear Country and Human Nature: the Fort Whyte story.


TONIGHT!!! Bob Rae

Date: November 12, Friday

Time: 12:00-1:00 pm

Location: In the Atrium of McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 2A6, Phone: 204-475-0483, Toll Free 1-800-561-1833.

Event: Speaking & Signing Exporting Democracy

Cost: Free!

The way most Western politicians talk, democracy is the pinnacle of civilization, the best political system there is. Many think it’s the system the rest of the world ought to adopt. Bob Rae is not one of them. He is too well informed about the difficulties and dangers of implanting democracy in foreign lands. Exporting Democracy is an eloquently argued book in which Rae brings his lively, nuanced understanding to bear on the history and current fortunes of this powerful idea. A former Rhodes Scholar, and a leading politician of his generation, Bob Rae has been elected to federal and provincial parliaments ten times and served as Ontario’s twenty-first premier in the early 1990s. In 1999, he helped found the international Forum of Federations and served as its chair for seven years and has advised and worked on federalism and constitutional matters in many countries worldwide. Since 2006, Rae has been a prominent member of the federal Liberal Party. He is the party’s foreign affairs critic and the Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre. He is the author of three previous books, From Protest to Power, The Three Questions, and Canada in the Balance, as well as two major studies in public policy on higher education and the Air India bombing of 1985.

TONIGHT!!! Home Place: Writing From Around Manitoba

Date: November 12, Friday

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: Travel Alcove of McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 2A6, Phone: 204-475-0483, Toll Free 1-800-561-1833.

Event: Reading and Launch

Cost: Free!

This issue of Prairie Fire Magazine features the latest in the popular Home Place series, Home Place: Writing From Around Manitoba, which is being released to coincide with our province’s 140th anniversary. After publishing four issues in three years celebrating the writers of Winnipeg, for this one the decision was made to turn the spotlight on writers from other Manitoba communities. While some of them are old friends of Prairie Fire, others are new to their pages.

Featured readers on this special night include Sharron Arksey, Fran Bennett, Donna Besel, Laurie Block, J.L. Bond, Di Brandt, Lois Braun, Paul Krahn, Dale Lakevold, Fisher Lavell, Talia Pura, and Laurelynn Whitt.


BLUE PENCIL SESSIONS – Rosanna Deerchild
Date: November 13, Saturday

Time: 1:30 pm

Location: Burns Family Classroom, 218-100 Arthur Street, Winnipeg, MB, R3B 1H3, 204-944-8013

Event: Blue Pencil session

Cost: Free!

It’s time for The Manitoba Writers Guild Fall/Winter Blue Pencil sessions! To sign up for these limited-seating workshops, please send an e-mail to  or call 944-8013 and indicate your name and which session you’d like to attend. Sessions are available to members only. We are pleased to announce that there will be no charge for these sessions. Participants will each bring a short piece of work to share with the group and receive feedback from both the facilitator and the group as a whole. Due to expected popularity and limited space, we ask that you sign up for only one of these workshops.
From Voice to Page to Poetry with Rosanna Deerchild
What is the poetic voice? Where does the muse live? Are poets just writers too lazy to write a novel? Come and explore these questions in this poetry play shop.
Rosanna Deerchild is Cree from South Indian Lake, Manitoba.She lives and works in Winnipeg. Her first book of poetrythis is a small northern town was published in fall 2008 by The Muses Company (J. Gordon Shillingford Press). It won the 2009 Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry/prix Lansdowne de poésie. Rosanna was also nominated for the 2009 John Hirsch Award for most Promising Manitoba Writer and long-listed for the ReLit Awards 2009. She has been published in literary magazines and anthologies, Post-Prairie: Anthology of New Poetry, Talon Books, edited by Jon Paul Fiorentino and Robert Kroetsch; Strong Women Stories: Native Vision and Community Survival, Sumach Press, edited by Kim Anderson and Bonita Lawrence; and How The Light Gets In: an anthology of poetry from Canada, Waterford Institute of Technology,Ireland, edited by John Ennis. Rosanna is a member of the Aboriginal Writers Collective, which produced two chapbooks, urban kool and Bone Memory and a spoken word CD, Red City.


THROUGH THE WINDOW OF A TRAIN; A Canadian Railway Anthology

Date: November 13, Saturday

Time: 2:00-3:00 pm

Location: Carol Shields Room, Millennium Library

Event: Reading

Cost: Free

The Library has put up a great display for the Nov 13 event. It’s in the display case opposite the Reference Desk on the main floor.


Andrew Unger

Date: November 14, Sunday

Time: 2:00 pm

Location: In the Atrium of McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 2A6, Phone: 204-475-0483, Toll Free 1-800-561-1833.

Event: Launch of Inches from America

Cost: Free!
As the ashes of the Twin Towers rise into the Manhattan skyline, cynical university student Markus Dumont sits coldly in front of his television. A Canadian, living in small town America, he soon becomes disgusted with the vulgar displays of patriotism he sees all around him, and decides to take action. Told from the perspective of a dead man, Inches From America is as much a darkly humorous examination of a young man filled with hatred and derision for everyone around him as it is a genre-bending existential mystery that paints a gripping portrait of the struggle to maintain individuality in a country united in tragedy and begging for conformity. Andrew Unger is a high school teacher and writer in Manitoba, Canada. His work has appeared in Every Day PoetsCBC.caThe Winnipeg Free Press and The Winnipeg Sun among others. Inches from America is his first novel.

Ken Kowal

Date: November 14, Sunday

Time: 2:00 pm

Location: At the Cash Desk at McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 2A6, Phone: 204-475-0483, Toll Free 1-800-561-1833.

Event: Signing Gimp Crow

Cost: Free!

A quirky little set of rhymes about a crow with a bad leg blossoms into a free-flying grace of words as the clumsy bird tears free from his boring life in the prairies and his nagging ol lady in search of a bigger destiny. Along the way, Gimp Crow collects a magpie from Alberta and a raven from the West Coast, and learns about love and loss. This collection takes Turnstone Press back to its original poetry roots in the grand (or rather modest) tradition of Dennis Cooley, evoking prairie simplicity of language and an unpretentious approach to the age-old themes of self-discovery and yearning for a different life. Evoking dust-bowl prairie, Hank Williams songs of yearning, and a simple, but meaningful life, Kowal’s story poems bring to life a character that speaks to the heart of any prairie-dweller. Turns of phrase and constant, light-hearted word play make this collection enjoyable to read and accessible to non-poetry readers. Ken Kowal is a Winnipeg resident who has long been involved in the city’s poetry scene. His chapbook I dream of my father’s hands (1997) was short listed for the Heaven Chapbook award in 1998, and his poems have been featured in the Poetry in Motion project in several cities. He has published two smaller collections of poetry.


Charles Foran

Date: November 15, Monday

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: In the Atrium of McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 2A6, Phone: 204-475-0483, Toll Free 1-800-561-1833.

Event: Reading& Signing Mordecai: The Life & Times

Cost: Free!

Charles Foran’s biography is a definitive, detailed, intimate portrait of Mordecai Richler, the lion of Canadian literature, and the turbulent, changing times that nurtured him. It is also an extraordinary love story that lasted half a century. The first major biography with access to family letters and archives. Mordecai Richler was an outsized and outrageous novelist whose life reads like fiction. Charles Foran was born and raised in Toronto. He has published eight books, including four novels, and writes regularly for magazines and newspapers in Canada and elsewhere. He is a contributing reviewer for The Globe and Mail. He has won awards for his work. Charlie Foran has also made radio documentaries for the CBC program Ideas on subjects ranging from Hong Kong cinema to contemporary Indian writing. He lives in Peterborough, Ontario, with his family.

Connie Lynne

Date: November 15, Monday

Time: 7:30 pm

Location: In the Travel Alcove of McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 2A6, Phone: 204-475-0483, Toll Free 1-800-561-1833.

Event: Launch of Failure’s Not an Option…It’s a Necessity

Cost: Free!

Motivational speaker and author, Connie Lynne, introduces Failure’s Not an Option… It’s a Necessity. Connie’s personal examples of failures will guide you through your own struggles to new growth. This book is designed to impact your life, letting no reader walk away unchanged. Connie is a resident of Winnipeg and a self-proclaimed expert on failure. As a single mother of two, she has faced many hardships. She overcame seemingly impossible odds which has culminated in a book and speaking career to help others face their adversities. Her purpose in opening herself up to the perceived shame of failure is to take the shame out of failure. Failure’s Not an Option… It’s a Necessity presents a new paradigm of thinking… a new way to look at failure.


Harry Karlinsky

Date: November 15, Monday

Time: 8:00 pm

Location: In the Prairie Ink Restaurant of McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 2A6, Phone: 204-475-0483, Toll Free 1-800-561-1833.

Event: Reading& Signing The Evolution of Inanimate Objects

Cost: Free!

In the archives of Ontario’s London Asylum, psychiatrist Harry Karlinsky comes across a familiar surname in the register. Could Thomas Darwin, involuntarily admitted to the Asylum as a “danger to others,” be a relative of the great Charles Darwin? And what might have brought him to this place, where he died alone, a world away from home? In this factitious biography Karlinsky gives us a Nabokovian tale of Darwinian theory gone wrong. Harry Karlinsky was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and obtained his Masters in Neuroscience degree from the University of London, England. He currently lives and works in Vancouver where he is a Clinical Professor in the University of British Columbia’s Department of Psychiatry.


Margaret Atwood and Ron Mann In the Wake of the Flood

Date: November 21, Sunday

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: IMAX Theatre at Portage Place

Event: Reading and Film

Cost: $35.00, $30.00 with THIN AIR Club Card

On Sunday, November 21, THIN AIR Director Charlene Diehl will introduce Margaret Atwood, who will read a short excerpt from her novel, The Year of the Flood. Her reading will be followed by a screening of In the Wake of the Flood, Ron Mann’s documentary film based on Atwood’s 38-city book tour. After the film, Charlene Diehl will conduct an informal interview with both artists about the book, the tour, and the film.
The evening will close with a reception in the IMAX lobby (9:00 – 10:00pm). McNally Robinson will be on-site with Atwood’s books and Mann’s DVDs, and both writer and film-maker will sign copies of their work.
Tickets can be purchased at McNally Robinson Booksellers; through the office at 927-7323 or on-line by clicking our Ticket Information option on the left hand menu. $30.00 Club Card option is not available for on-line purchase. Please purchase your tickets through the office or at McNally Robinson Booksellers.

Special thanks to The Forks-North Portage Partnership for venue support.



We cannot guarantee any of the opportunities below! Please be careful and do your research. QUOTE: The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live. Flora Whittemore



The Collective Consciousness is the journal of the Writers’ Collective and it is published four times a year. We are always seeking submissions by members of the Collective, in fact any interested writers can submit!

Simply submit to [email protected]

NOTE: Okay, I can guarantee this one . . .



Entries are now being accepted for the Manitoba Book Awards.

The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, December 7, 2010. Please see www.manitobabookawards.com and below, for more information.

Established in 1988, the Manitoba Book Awards celebrate Manitoba writers, publishers and books. There are 13 diverse awards categories this year. Each award will be judged by a jury of 3 writing and/or publishing professionals, 2 of whom will be from out of province. Short-lists will be released in early March.

The winners will be announced at the Manitoba Book Awards gala, organized by the Manitoba Writers’ Guild, on Sunday, April 17, 2011 at the Centre culturel franco-manitobain (CCFM), 340, boulevard Provencher. For more information about the gala, please contact the Manitoba Writers’ Guild at .

The Manitoba Writers’ Guild and the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers are currently accepting entries which can be sent to the AMBP office (404-100 Arthur St. Winnipeg, MB R3B 1H3).

Please visit www.manitobabookawards.com for a list of awards, the criteria and an entry form. Forms can be down-loaded in French or English. Please note that individual criteria vary.

The Manitoba Book Awards gratefully acknowledges the support of the following partners: Aqua Books, The Canada Council for the Arts, Friesens, the Manitoba Arts Council, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, and Tourism, the Manitoba Foundation for the Arts, McNally Robinson Booksellers, the Winnipeg Arts Council and the Winnipeg Foundation.

For more information, please contact: The Manitoba Writers’ Guild at  or (204)-944-8013.


Saskatchewan Writers Guild Winter Retreat

The Saskatchewan Writers Guild will be holding a winter retreat at St Peter’s Abbey February 4-25, 2011. Cost is $275 per week for Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild and CARFAC SASK members and $350 per week for non-members. Deadline for receipt of applications is 4:30 pm, Friday, November 30, 2010.
Please send completed applications to: Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild, Attention Retreat Coordinator, Box 3986, Regina, SK, S4P 3R9. To apply online please visit:http://www.skwriter.com/?p=2010retreatapplicationform
For more information, please contact the retreat coordinator, Anne Pennylegion, at 



Bliss Carman Poetry Award The poetry first prize is in part donated by the Banff Centre for the Arts, who will also award a jeweller-cast replica of poet Bliss Carman¹s silver and turquoise ring to the first prize winner. (1-3 poems per entry, maximum 150 lines per entry), Judge: Christian Bök

Short Fiction (one story per entry, maximum 10,000 words), Judge: Joan Thomas

Creative Non-Fiction (one article per entry, maximum 5,000 words), Judge: Hal Niedzviecki

All Categories: 1st prize $1,250, 2nd prize $500, 3rd prize $250
Contest Rules – Entry fee is $32 (per category). This entitles you or your designate to a one-year (4 issues) subscription toPrairie Fire. Make cheque or money order payable to Prairie Fire and enclose with your entry. You may also use all major credit cards.
Deadline for all contest entries:Postmarked November 30, 2010.

Do not identify yourself on your entry. Please enclose a cover letter with your name, address, telephone number and/or e-mail address, the title(s) of your piece(s), and word count (prose), or line count (poetry) along with your entry fee. No faxed or e-mailed submissions, please. Your entry must be typed on 8 1/2 x 11-inch white paper and the pages clipped, not stapled. Prose must be double-spaced. Entries will not be returned. If you want to be informed of results, include a stamped, self-addressed envelope, or check our website at www.prairiefire.ca. Each piece must be original, unpublished, not submitted elsewhere for publication or broadcast, nor entered simultaneously in any other contest or competition. You may enter as often as you like; only your first entry in each category will be eligible for a subscription. Winning pieces will be published inPrairie Fire magazine, with authors paid for publication.
Send entries to: Prairie Fire Press, 423-100 Arthur Street, Winnipeg, MB R3B 1H3. For more information check out our website at www.prairiefire.ca, call (204) 943-9066 e-mail us at .


The Poetic Licence Contest for Canadian Youth 2011

The League of Canadian Poets, a national not-for-profit poetry organization founded in 1966, invites Canadian youth to participate in its Poetic Licence Contest.

There are two age categories, junior (grades 7-9) and senior (grades 10-12).

First place poems in each category will receive a cash prize of $350, second place winners will receive $300 and third place winners will receive $250.

All winning poems will be published in the League of Canadian Poets’ e-zine, Re:verse at www.youngpoets.ca. All winners will receive Poetic Licence certificates and student membership in the League of Canadian Poets for one year.

Deadline: January 15, 2011.

Entry Guidelines

1. All submissions should be sent by e-mail to  with the subject Poetic Licence Contest for Canadian Youth.

2. There are two age categories: Junior, grades 7 – 9 and Senior, grades 10 – 12

3. Poems must be previously unpublished and must be your own work.

4. Length of each poem submitted must not exceed 50 lines. Limit 2 poems per poet.

5. Each submission should include the poet’s name, address, and phone number, age, grade, name of school, and the titles of the poems entered.

6. Poems should not be sent as attachments, but as plain text files in the body of the message.

7. There is no entry fee.

8. Winners will be announced during National Young Poet’s Week in April and posted on the League’s websiteswww.poets.ca and www.youngpoets.ca. Announcements will be sent to the media, and the winners will be notified by mail and email.

Copyright remains with the poet. Winners will be asked for the first rights to publish their work. Should an entry be published elsewhere during the course of the contest, we ask that the entrant notify the League immediately. Revisions on any poem will not be accepted after it has been entered. All decisions of the jury are final. Contest is open to Canadian citizens and landed immigrants. Members of the League’s National Council, staff or the contest judges or their families are not eligible to enter these competitions.

* Incomplete submissions will not be considered, please read guidelines carefully.

Ingel Madrus
Communications & Projects Manager
The League of Canadian Poets
920 Yonge Street, Suite 608
Toronto, ON M4W 3C7
Phone: 416-504-1657 / Fax: 416-504-0096





For more information about McNally Robinson Booksellers check out http://www.mcnallyrobinson.com/home, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 2A6, Phone: 204-475-0483, Toll Free 1-800-561-1833.


To see the current list of Adult Programs at Winnipeg Public Library, please visit: http://wpl.winnipeg.ca/library/pdfs/adultprograms.pdf

Children’s programs:  http://wpl.winnipeg.ca/library/pdfs/childrensprograms.pdf

The Millennium Library is at 251 Donald Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 3P5, 204-986-6450.


For details on Aqua Books store events, go to http://aquabooks.ca/events.php. 274 Garry Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 1H3, Phone: 204-943-7555.


For more information on Literary Arts programs at The Banff Centre, check out:


A truly great mystery bookstore is Winnipeg’s Whodunit? Mystery Bookstore at 165 Lilac Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3M 2S1. Their telephone number is (204) 284-9100 or 1-800-468-421. Their website is at http://www.whodunitcanada.com/home.

Their hours are Mon-Thurs: 10 am to 5 pm, Fri: 10 am to 6 pm, Sat: 10 am to 5 pm and Sun: 12 pm to 4 pm.




QUOTE: For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else. Ralph Waldo Emerson


Good Day Everyone,

I am currently trying to get the update out to everyone EARLY in the week! Please tell me what you think!



QUOTE OF THE WEEK If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there. Lewis Carroll



Michael Van Rooy
Program Coordinator
The Writers’ Collective
University of Winnipeg
4th Floor Library
515 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3B 2E9
(204) 786-9468

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