Category Archives: Tour

Short update

This hot place is living her own life now, on the shelves and in the minds of readers.  May she live long!  It’s been an absolutely remarkable couple of years for me, touring my baby from coast to coast.  She and I still need to get north but I’m convinced that will come, eventually!
Vertigo reading series poster 2012feb13
For now I have some reading/performance dates upcoming. One is the SCIC Global Justice Poetry Slam tonight in Regina and the other, also in Regina, is at the Vertigo Reading Series where I’ll read with local poet, Ken Fox and Saskatoon poets, Fionncara MacEoin and Caitlin Ward. Music will be provided by Ryan Anderson and (if we can get a practice in this weekend) Jim Mitchell and me!

Details are on the poster at the right and on the Tours page.

Life goes on, post-book.  Projects keep calling.  I keep writing.  If you’re interested in my political work, have a look at where I’m dogging and blogging the tarsands issue, thanks to Joe Oilver’s screed in the Globe & Mail a few weeks ago.



Filed under Ramblings, Tour, Vertigo Reading Series

One more tour. And some news!

In October, I’ll be making my way to the Maritimes for a couple of readings (details forthcoming), a couple of CD launches and a radio appearance as well as a stop in Ottawa to visit my daughter and give a reading with a group of writers I’ve met through various parts of the writing community, including two of the finest writing schools in the country, the Sage Hill Writing Experience and the Banff Centre.

It’ll be great to finally see eastern Canada as well as to meet and  reconnect with singers and writers!

But before I do that, I’ll be celebrating the success of my new work!  An unpublished excerpt from the young adult fiction I’ve written has netted me First Place in the Children’s Literature category of the Short Manuscript Awards sponsored by the Saskatchewan Writers Guild.

(Do you know how many entries I’ve sent to that competition over the years?)

To say I’m very excited to receive this recognition is an understatement.  When I sat down to write this manuscript, I thought I was going to write a poem about divorce.  But the voice of the main character, Chrissy, took over.  I knew enough about writing to know that I needed to listen to the work, to let it guide me.  And I did.  The working title quickly became Crybaby.  This work quite literally cried its way out of me.  Needless to say, a theme running through Crybaby is the reclamation of crying as a healthy human capacity.

So, yes, of course I cried when I learned the work had placed first.  I laughed and squealed and hollered, too.  And I jumped up and down!

I feel quite privileged to be both a product and a beneficiary of the programs, services and other assorted offerings of the SWG.   I’m thankful the judge, Janet McNaughton, saw fit to single out my work at this time.  It’s a great vote of confidence!  I’m also very grateful to have the support of the Canada Council for the Arts to work on this manuscript.  And, I am truly honoured to be named a winner of a SWG Short Manuscript Award!

It’s been a long time coming!


Filed under Awards, Ramblings, Saskatchewan Writers Guild, Tour, young adult fiction

As time flies…

First, my thanks to the staff, students and community at Marion McVeety School in Regina for hosting an lovely Author’s Night at their school in January. Apologies for my tardiness is expressing how grateful I am for the opportunity to share my work. Here are the writing ideas or prompts some participants submitted:

    skating on an outdoor rink
    an old man on a ship gets lost at sea
    Burrowing Owls
    a funny story
    a magic box that can move people through time
    three people
    a magical object

In other news, my second central Canadian jaunt is getting close and my excitement is rising! Sadly, the Hamilton reading will not go ahead. However, the Winnipeg event is now a League of Canadian Poets Fundraiser on March 23 at Aqua Books. And, the next night, I’ll be presenting a workshop, “Speaking Truth to Power: Writing for Change,” also at Aqua Books.

Then, I’m off to Toronto for a reading at the Art Bar Poetry Series, Canada’s longest running poetry reading series, on the 29th. I’m really looking forward to seeing some old friends and meeting Facebook friends in person!

After that, I’m off to Windsor for a reading at the Bookroom where I plan on meeting some of the Gaia women I sang with in the recording of My Heart Is Moved. And then it’s to Saskatoon to take in the Bruce Cockburn concert. When I get home, around the 4th, I think I’ll collapse for a week!

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The New Year Rolls In!

Happy new year, folks! Mine’s already proving to be wonderful. No less than 48 hours into 2011, I received an invitation to read at the Art Bar Poetry Series in Toronto on March 29. I said a resounding yes before I even checked my calendar.

That’s setting many things in motion, including potential readings at Aqua Books in Winnipeg, at ArtWord ArtBar in Hamilton ON, and at Bookroom in Windsor ON. Here’s hoping they all work out for me!

I’m also working up a new writing workshop I plan to offer in February.  More about that and upcoming readings as details become available.

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Gatherings and blessings

I’m gearing up for gatherings of our extended family over the holidays.  I’ve been wrapping presents, baking goodies, decorating the house.  Tomorrow, friends and family will drop by to welcome my daughter home for the holidays.  Tonight, all members of my immediate family will sleep under one roof.  I like that.  A lot.

My sister-in-law called yesterday to read what had been written about my appearance in Moose Jaw last week.  It was a glowing report, from what I gathered, and I was happy to hear that.  She promised me a copy and, I believe, it will be online eventually.  She also told me that there had been a piece in the Times Herald, so I googled and found it.  Not as glowing, not really much at all, but a photo, a blurb and a good headline.  I’ll take it!

I have now confirmed two bookings have been confirmed for January.  One at the Vertigo Reading Series in Regina on January 23.  The other at McVeety School, as mentioned earlier, on January 27.  The details are here. And the Louis Riel Trail podcast will likely take place in January, too.  We’re trying to find a date that works.

To all who have made this year so very special for me — to Al and Jackie at Thistledown Press, to my fantastic editor, Liz Philips, to Kim Menzies for the beautiful art on my cover, to the incredible organizers of my readings throughout Saskatchewan, western Canada and Ottawa, to the dear friends and family who hosted me, to those who attended the readings and those who bought my book, to the folks at the Saskatchewan Book Awards, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, the Saskatchewan Writers Guild, the Saskatchewan Writers/Artists Colonies, the Sage Hill Writing Experience — to all of you who played some role in making my dream come true — I wish you a happy holiday and bright blessings for the new year.  Peace and love to you and yours.

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Filed under Greetings, Media, Ramblings, Tour

A late night update

To be a nominee at the Saskatchewan Book Awards Gala is really an honour! There I was, dressed in my finery, hair done up and wearing a flower on my lapel, just like all the other nominees. And my table was filled with dear friends and loving family.

Honestly, I could have asked for nothing better than that! Oh, sure, winning the First Book Award would have been nice, but really, it would have been only the gravy. The honour and privilege that night was in being a nominee, in wearing a corsage identical to the ones worn by Dianne Warren, Sandra Birdsell, Arthur Slade, Brenda Niskala, Byrna Barclay, David Carpenter, by all those writers whose work I’ve admired for years! For that evening — at least until the awards were handed out — I was one of them. I was a writer of note. And believe me, after so many years of questioning, of doubting, of persevering, that validation felt so very good!

And so, my thanks to the Saskatchewan Book Awards board and staff for all their work to keep this event going and also to the funders and sponsors who make it possible for the organization to continue. Please continue! I know I am motivated to make my next book every bit as good as This hot place, if not better, so I can again wear the corsage!

For those in the Weyburn area, I’ll be reading at the rescheduled Shortlist reading on December 14, 7 pm at the public library. See you there!

For those in the area of Marion McVeety School in Regina, I’ll be giving a mini-workshop on What Inspires Us: Literacy Through Reading & Writing and I’m thinking we may have to get our hands dirty… We shall see!

Also in the works is a podcast appearance on The Louis Riel Trail. More to come on that.


And now I should think about sleep.

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Filed under Sask Book Awards, Tour, Workshops

Anti-violence work

As regular readers know, I have been invited to be the guest speaker at the Moose Jaw Transition House event to commemorate The National Day of Remembrance & Action on Violence Against Women. When I received the invite to this event I thought, Wow!  Yes! And then I thought, Why me? I’ve never used the services of a T-House or a shelter.  I’ve never been harmed, not really.moose jaw event poster

And then I stopped myself, because I realized that yes, I have been harmed.  I have been sexually abused and sexually assaulted and I have stories — poems — which relate to those experiences.  Yes, they’re embellished, but still, they speak truth, truths which hold true for many women, I’m sure.  We are victims of violence, yes.  And if we can live past the abuse and assault, we become survivors, too.  And we can live rich and full lives.

And so, the focus of my talk will be on our survival and it will be a talk that is both personal and political, prosaic and poetic, as well as earthy and spiritual.  And who knows, I might even break into song!

I hope you can be there.

Here are the details:

A poetry reading and talk to commemorate
The National Day of Remembrance & Action on Violence Against Women
with Bernadette Wagner

5:30 PM, Monday, December 6
Public Library Theatre
Moose Jaw SK

Sponsored by Moose Jaw Transition House

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Filed under Anti-violence, Tour