Yukon words, poems and books.  Our Yukon is home to incredible authors, writers, and storytellers. Enjoy our creative works by Yukoners!

A baby in a wash tub

Don’t throw Out The Baby …

For some odd reason, this idiom has popped into my head several times in the past weeks: “Don’t throw out the ‘baby’ with the bathwater.”

An illustration of a boat on the water

Over  The  Water

I  submit  this  poem  as  part  of  my  own  journey  here  in  the  Yukon.  Thankful  for  living  on  the  traditional  territories…

Tedd Tucker's book Yukon Count

The Simple Joys Of Yukon Count

This past Christmas season, Yukoners were introduced to a new children’s book created by local illustrator Tedd Tucker.

Didee didoo

Didee Didoo

You will see Dumbo the elephant You will hear Porky the pig You will touch Bambi You will see Woody the Woodpecker You will hear Kermit the Frog You will touch Snoopy You will see Mickey Mouse You will hear Curious George You will touch Garfield the cat You will see Skipper the penguin You …

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Seeking The Sasquatch

If ever you should find yourself alone in the vast woodlands of the North and you happen upon large, humanoid footprints in the mud…

The cover of A Yukon Mosaic

 A Yukon Mosaic

Eleanor Millard’s story is a familiar one. She came to the Yukon in 1965 and got captured. She has mostly been here since…

didee didoo

Didee Didoo: Underground

Allan Benjamin is a poet, a cartoonist, a fiddle player and a snowshoe racer from Old Crow, Yukon.

A woman standing in front of the mountains

River Meets Wolf

Yukon authors Kay Deborah Linley and Kathryn Couture wrote books about a kayaking tour, as well as a fantasy series about wolves.


Artists Creating A Zine

Yukon Conversation Society (not to be confused with the Yukon Conservation Society) is a group of artists, a creative collective.

A hole in the ice

On Thin Ice

I have fond memories of strapping on skates to glide over the deep-blue, almost-black pond ice on our Saskatchewan farm.

Four bullets

Bite The Bullet

The first mention of “bite the bullet” was, according to Wikipedia, in Rudyard Kipling’s late-1800s novel The Light That Failed.

My Piggy Bank

My Piggy Bank I wonder if I have enough to buy a teddy bearI wonder if I have enough to buy a bubble gumI wonder if I have enough to buy a lolly popI wonder if I have enough to buy jelly beansI wonder if I have enough to buy lemonadeI wonder if I have …

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A group of people sitting around a campfire

Ritual and Ceremony

In my world, ceremonies are a regular thing. I have the honour of leading the people of Whitehorse United Church in worship.

A man standing on a dock under a full moon

In A Moment … ‘In The Twinkling of An Eye’

In the blink of an eye. That is how quickly this idiom of biblical origin (from 1 Cor. 15: 51–52) has been changed, as it describes a mysterious and wonderful moment, at the trumpet sound, when everything will change.

Berry Song, A Story For Us All

Berry-picking season is an amazing time of year. Sweet wild strawberries, Soapberries and Saskatoons are all summer-time treats.

Looking Inside the Insider

Christopher Ross writes about his journalism experiences at the Dawson City Insider from 1997-1999 and what happened after.

Fly Straight Like a Honeybee

The idiom make a beeline for is a bit of a mystery as we watch the erratic dance of bees – So, what’s with bees and beelines?

I’m not even an animal yet …

I’m not even an animal yet …‘Cause I’m not as strong as a grizzly bear ‘Cause I’m not as big as a moose ‘Cause I’m not as fast as a fox‘

She Mooned the Poor Bear

The lady mooned the poor bear And he bit her in the rear The bear bit the poor spouse When she went to the outhouse

Didee Didoo: Due To Covid 19

Didee Didoo: Due To Covid 19. Walmart will be closed in Old Crow Canadian Tire will be closed in Old Crow McDonald’s will be closed…

Didee & didoo:

Didee & Didoo: The caribou wades the creek in silence. Through the river, rocks and barely a ripple mark the caribou passage.

Love your local library!

October is national library month! Libraries across the territory are celebrating Yukon Public Libraries Week October 18-23.

A Yukon Horror Story, So Far

Graphic novels are Gallagher’s favourite art form. This exhibit is an artistic journey to produce a horror graphic novel set in the Yukon.

Theatre in the Bush 2021

Ramshackle Theatre in the Bush “I’m already out in the yard,” Fidler says. “I’ve got my chainsaw out and I’m clearing the paths.”

Regulars and Rooms for Rent

Compared to the Klondike-era poems we’re familiar with, it seems that Tara Borin’s poetry breaks ground by presenting a post-gold rush, post-Robert Service perspective of Dawson.

Spring Cleaning

I shovel dog poop. I shovel moose poop. I shovel caribou poop. I shovel rabbit poop. I shovel wolf poop. I shovel squirrel poop. I shovel ptarmigan poop. I shovel marten poop. I shovel lynx poop. I shovel sheep poop. I shovel crow poop. I shovel weasel poop. I shovel wolverine poop. I shovel mink …

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Didoo survived without these things

Didoo survived without an electric knife. Didoo survived without an electric kettle. Didoo survived without a microwave. Didoo survived without a toaster. Didoo survived without a dryer. Didoo survived without a washer. Didoo survived without a vacuum cleaner. Didoo survived without an electric toothbrush. Didoo survived without an electric egg beater. Didoo survived without an …

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Fall in love…

Love reading? Your local public library would like to make you a proposal – more free access to ebooks, audiobooks and online learning tools.
Throughout the month of February, the Yukon Public Library (YPL) system will be highlighting these new resources, along with ways for Yukoners to access them, with the New Reasons To Love You Library Campaign.

Dublin Gulch

The present book, one of several projects Michael Gates has had on the go since he retired, is one he was commissioned to write by Victoria Gold, the owners of the Eagle Gold Mine.

A Parade of Dreams

Christopher Wheeler has had a long-standing dream to become an author. When COVID-19 arrived, it brought with it the opportunity for him to pursue this dream. The result is his first collection of poetry, A Parade of Dreams. “I’ve put the collection together over COVID,” Wheeler said. “I thought, why not? It’s been something I’ve …

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The Stairs

Thirteen year old Isaiah Silas has had a love for comic books from a young age. This admiration inspired him to teach himself to draw, and has since grown into a talent that he hopes to expand into a successful business, making and selling comic books.

I Always Get High

I get high when I snowshoe. I get high when I canoe. I get high when I mush dogs. I get high when I bike. I get high when I run. I get high when I skate. I get high when I ski. I get high when I fiddle. I get high when I cut …

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They outlived their husbands

Mary Kay outlived Big Joe. Sarah Baalam outlived Baalam. Eliza Steamboat outlived Robert. Annie Fredson outlived Daniel. Sarah Abel outlived Abel. Mary Thomas outlived John. Mary Charlie outlived Peter. Myra Moses outlived Peter. Persis Kendi outlived Julius. Clara Frost outlived Jack. Martha Charlie outlived John. Effie Linklater outlived Archie. Ellen Bruce outlived Robert. Joanne Njootli …

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Jack London imagined a virus

What’s of particular interest to readers in this year of the COVID-19 pandemic, is that London managed to predict the spread of a virulent disease three years before the so-called Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.

A politically-minded family drama

It’s easy to see why Ben Lerner’s The Topeka School (McLelland and Steward, 2019) was among Barack Obama’s favourite reads in 2019. At once a coming-of-age bildungsroman and a subdued political drama, this novel is as much about the nature of language and reason in American culture as it is about the power of memory …

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My Bucket List

I have to pack a bucket of water for Eliza Steamboat I have to pack a bucket of water for Robert Steamboat I have to pack a bucket of water for Sarh Baalam I have to pack a bucket of water for Old Baalam I have to pack a bucket of water for Myra Kay …

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The Klondike Gold Rush Steamers

In these days of highways and 1000-year level flood dikes, it’s easy to forget that the best way to get to Dawson used to be by sternwheelers. While most of the stampeders made their way here in small boats and rafts in 1898, a sizeable number cruised to the fledgling town from St. Michael’s, Alaska, in riverboats and steamers and, once the White Pass chugged into Whitehorse, still more hopped on boats from there.

Running is rocket science

I have to know about gravitational torque I have to know about stride frequency I have to know about running tangents I have to know about dynamic stretching I have to know about static stretching I have to know about drafting I have to know about carbo loading I have to know about cadence I …

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Another Silly Poem

If I were a turtle, I wouldn’t need a bulletproof vest. If I were a kangaroo, I wouldn’t need a pocket. If I were a giraffe, I wouldn’t need a ladder. If I were a bear, I wouldn’t need a fur coat. If I were an elephant, I wouldn’t need a forklift. If I were …

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Authors on Eighth overcome COVID-19

Each year there is a writing contest called Authors on Eighth connected to an annual walk along the Writers’ Block along Eighth Avenue in Dawson City.

John Fogerty

I went down to the Victoria Marathon And I got to see John Fogerty in concert John doesn’t need a cane to walk Because he can still rock I heard CCR songs way back when Songs like “Up Around The Bend” John moves in fast motion When he sings “Commotion” John Fogerty was rockin on …

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Facing Your Fears

Everyone experiences fear at some point in their lives. This universal emotion and our response to it forms the core of Eva Holland’s first book, Nerve.

An ABC Aviation Adventure

There are all sorts of ABC books out there, but they are seldom as focussed on a particular subject as this one, which manages to do the job of introducing all the letters while remaining firmly in the air.

Howls of the past are echoing again thanks to Joanna Lilley

The England-born, Yukon-based writer has just released her third poetry collection, Endlings, in which each poem is inspired by a different extinct animal species. The passenger pigeon is there, as is the Labrador duck, the Chinese river dolphin and the great auk. For Lilley the project is an extension of themes that have percolated for years. “Animals …

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Mosquito Report

Let’s surprise Kelly, But not Martha. Let’s outnumber Peter, But not Stephen. Let’s pick on Tracy, But not on Bertha. Let’s hunt for Michael, But not for Joel. Let’s tickle Sherry, But not Rosie. Let’s bother Robert, But not Joseph. Let’s intimidate Barbara, But not Rosalie. Let’s tease Ronald, But not Freddy. Let’s chase Deanna, …

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Shoo’ii & Sheek’aii – Gwich’in Ginjik Native Language

Gwich’in Expressions:  Ddhah kak vadzaih Tr’anah’in We see caribou on the mountain Dinjik daang nał’in I see four moose Łall tsal nihłàh tsiigīdī’in The pups are playing together Gwiint’lo dzan virh jidthihłii I really wish for boiled muskrat Ts’ĩivii kak dlak nał’in I see a squirrel on the tree Sreendit gwāndōo dats’an jīhtth’ak I hear ducks in the spring Jii tsal …

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Whitehorse poet’s defiant reading marathon

It was the first time Peter Jickling had read a book aloud cover to cover. He reflected that he got a different sense of the book as a whole than you would putting it down and picking it up, as we usually do.

Meals inspired by literature

Many classic stories have food and drinks intrinsically linked to their narratives. The Whitehorse Public Library has taken this idea and run with it, creating Page to Plate – a series of workshops for youth linking literature and cooking.

Crossing your fingers is more than just child’s play

A promise made is a promise kept, as they say. However, as a child, promises that were made were not always kept. And sometimes, shamefully, promises were made with fingers crossed behind our backs, a move that rendered the promise null and void.

Hiking to Siberia

Lawrence Millman has written 16 books, including Hiking to Siberia. The latter is the subject of this column and the source of most of the stories Millman read to an attentive audience at the Alchemy Café when he visited Dawson City.

On vices and vises

What is in a definition, and what if a word is ill-defined? Have you ever told a joke that just seemed to go too far and you wonder if you should have done it in the first place? The choice of a nickname or phrase seems like a whimsical opportunity to express the fun and …

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Let’s Learn Gwich’in: Gwich’in Expressions

Gwich’in Ginjik     Native Language Ch’ivēedzyāa at’iinihthān kwaa I don’t like mushrooms Łuh chīl sheenit kanahée Get wood chips for me Ch’igéechān Agwāł’aii I found a shoulder blade Diik’ee tsal gweejii? Where’s the small gun? Chiitaii ch’ii gōonlii There’s lots of mosquitos outside Khaii juuk’a’ oovīikāt I bought candles Danahch’i’ toh hah nahadĭk The old man is walking with cane Ts’eet’itchĭ hah tr’agwàłdàk I …

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If Bob’s your uncle …

The idiom Bob’s your uncle is commonly heard in Britain. Perhaps you’ve heard it watching British mysteries or British sitcoms.

Didee and Didoo – Gwichin Warrior

There’s a peaceful little townOn the banks of the river.Where the wolf an’ the caribou roamThat’s where he calls his home.In summer there’s no nightsDays are shorter in the winter time.Under the northern lightsHe dances his blues away. CHORUS:He’s a Gwichin warriorOld Crow Yukon is his home.Graceful like an eagleThe apple of his Mommie’s eye.He’s …

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Should auld acquaintance be forgot?

Truth be told, I had always thought that “Auld Lang Syne” was some saintly old soul and it was just this year that I realized and appreciated, for the first time, the depth of meaning beneath these lyrics.

On the Other Side of the Coin

Murray Martin gives WUY permission to share this poem free of charge every holiday. We wish you a safe and Merry Christmas, and please drive responsibly at all times of the year.

The lost camel of an ancient Persian fairy tale

In Persia, there once was a wise king with three sons. He mock-banished the young princes from his kingdom so they could go out and test themselves against the dangers of the real world. Their journey became a fairy tale known as “The Three Princes of Serendip.”

Words are a writer’s tool box

People who write a lot have different perspectives and relationships with words than those who simply read or say them. If the pen is truly mightier than the sword, (as said English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839), a writer’s tools could be favourably compared to the mightiest of weapons if he or she was out …

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The writing’s on the wall…

They’re ookey and they’re spooky …  and perhaps one of the ookiest and spookiest of the household was Thing T. Thing, the disembodied hand affectionately known as “Thing” on The Addams Family. (Baby boomers reading this now have The Addams Family finger-snapping theme song playing in their grey matter). “Thank you, Thing” was heard often as Thing was …

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What’s your story?

The Walk Between Worlds monthly storytelling event provides Yukoners a chance to hone their craft We’re all tellers of stories. Some are one-liners. Maybe you’re with your siblings, and one of you says, “remember the time Grandpa sneezed so hard his false teeth fell in the soup bowl” and you all laugh hysterically. That works …

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Now you know your ABCs

Tedd Tucker’s apartment looks like a bookstore these days. That’s how it goes when you take on every aspect of publishing your first book yourself – from the illustration and the layout, to the printing and the selling. “I live in a box fort now,” Tucker joked in mid-November, the day after 2,000 copies of The …

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Taking flibberties with the (Widdle) English language

How do you solve a problem like “flibbertigibbet?” Unless you had a grandmother like mine, that’s a word you’d probably never heard before Oscar Hammerstein II used it to describe a postulant manquée named Maria in a musical he and Richard Rodgers wrote about a plucky family of Austrian warblers. It’s a fabulous word, especially when one pairs it …

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Didee an’ Didoo were real

Didee’s name was Moses TizyaAn’ Didoo’s name was Martha Tizya.And they both used canes.Didoo Martha wore a hankerchiefAn’ Didee Moses wore Didee’s hat.Didee an’ Didoo both spoke GwichinAnd they live in a tent.Didoo Martha carried her teapotAn’ Didee Moses carried his axe.Didoo Martha wore a long skirtAn’ Didee Moses wore long boots.They don’t know their …

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Missives from One Bucket Creek

For 20 years, from 1994 to 2014, Al Pope produced a regular column for the Yukon News. It was called Nordicity. He said it started because he had written so many letters to the editor that Peter Lesniak, who held that position at the time, invited him to become a regular contributor.  This origin story resonates …

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Literacy is one of the best gifts you can give

Walking past the library on a recent Friday evening, we passed a young woman pushing a stroller with a very young occupant. The baby was contentedly gnawing on one corner of a cloth version of Dorothy Kunhardt’s children’s classic, Pat the Bunny. (sometimes known as Sleepy Bunny.)  Instant nostalgia. “That was one of my favourite books when I …

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Bear words

As I continue my conversations with Joe Copper Jack, I begin to understand that it is not just about the content, or events of the story, but what the story teaches. Traditional stories are the way to learn from the past. When we hear them repeatedly, we can sink into the story. Here, we can …

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Let’s Learn Gwich’in: My working tools

Shigwitrit gwidal My Working Tools Ai shi’ii I have snowshoesDii k’ee shi’ii I have a gunSrii shi’ii I have a knifeVah troo tr’it’ii shi’ii I have a sawGwik’ih shi’ii I have a fileVah Gwīitthàt shi’ii I have a hammerVah Gijiitīi shi’ii I have a drillDachan ch’anttgwàh I have a planeTr’ih shi’ii I have a canoeKhał shi’ii I have a sledDachàavàł shi’ii I have a tobogganTaa’aih shi’ii I …

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A contemporary Yukon storyteller

John Firth’s latest book includes the signature of a ghost. Caribou Hotel, Hauntings, Hospitality, a Hunter and the Parrot.

How I’m Going to Reach 100

  I’m going to snowshow. I’m going to ski. I’m going to canoe. I’m going to bike. I’m going to run. I’m going to walk. I’m going to mush dogs. I’m going to push my wheelbarrow. I’m going to snowboard. I’m going to skate. I’m going to kicksled. I’m going to go camping. I’m going …

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Faro writer nabs excellence award

Wise and wordy Sally Lee Baker weaves wicked words in Toni Tanager, the latest instalment in her series of alliterative children’s books. In doing so, she has also found herself the recipient of a 2019 Book Excellence Award. The Canadian-based Book Excellence Awards is an international book competition that acknowledges the work of both independent and …

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I Trapped With Adam Tizya

The year was January 1975 When I trapped with Andrew Tizya. I was just a young man And Andrew was my teacher. We mushed our dog teams And we walked with snowshoes. L’il Andy showed me how to trap And how to skin animals. We set snares for rabbits And he cooked rabbit stew. Andrew …

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From the cradle to the grave

Well-Read Books celebrates a lifetime of books with its 20th anniversary and it’s a labour of love for the partners that own the store, which has established itself as a venue for the arts community. Over the years, Well-Read has hosted everything from a wedding to a wake, as well as numerous poetry readings, storytellings, …

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This is what I think about that – Just saying

Opinions are like belly buttons. Everybody has one. Except Adam and Eve, reportedly. Even a casual glance at Facebook, Twitter, or similar social media platforms confirms a disturbing fact: opinions are actually far more numerous than belly buttons. Anyone can have an unlimited number of the former, but usually just one of the latter. Many …

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P and Q can make for some perky Saturday hookups

The last entry in this space provided a platform for a more-or-less true tale of undeserved punishment recalled (and still resented) from the mists of time. That column began with an innocent reference to the ancient wisdom about exercising care when using the letters ‘P’ or ‘Q’. While these are both perfectly serviceable, well-established members of …

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Want to win gold for your writing?

The winners of the contest are announced annually at the final stop of the Authors on Eighth Walking Tour, which always concludes at Berton House Berton House during the 2018 walking tour. Anakana Schofield, writer-in-residence at the time, read to the assembled group. The Klondike Visitors Association (KVA) and the Writers’ Trust of Canada have …

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How real life can inform fiction

In the course of his Massey Lecture series in 2013 (published as Blood: The Stuff of Life, from House of Anansi Press), Lawrence Hill used a fair amount of autobiographical information for anecdotal evidence to enliven his research material. In this way, we learned that he once hankered to become a professional runner and was stopped …

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Joanna Lilley feels most herself when she’s writing

Joanna Lilley has always loved reading. She’s one of those people that you’ll find in the theatre reading a book before the movie begins. It fits that she would also enjoy writing. “As a child, I also always loved writing in notebooks and diaries and the physical act of writing with pen and paper.” Later on, that …

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Didee & Didoo: Bush Kid

His name is Dean An’ he’s not even a teen. He’s not even a man But he knows the land. He’ll teach us older guys ‘Cause Dean is wise. Dean is really tough An’ he knows his stuff. His are a gun an’ knife Because he knows bush life. He’s good with a saw an’ …

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Consumed by craft

Heather O’Neill is pleased to be returning to the Yukon this year for another engagement during the Yukon Writers’ Festival and Young Author’s Conference. She was last here In 2016. “I love the sunlight in the Yukon,” she said. “Everything seems surreal to me. I hope to meet more of the people in this strange …

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Sigmund Brouwer says put your character in a problem situation

With over 100 titles and four million books in print, Sigmund Brouwer is a bestselling author of books for children, young adults and adults. He will be one of the mentor authors at this year’s Young Authors’ Conference on May 2 and 3, which is part of the Yukon Writers’ Festival taking place that week. Brouwer …

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David Geary says to “be hungry for other people’s stories”

David Geary is no stranger to the Yukon. He was here to work with Gwaandak Theatre a year ago last February. Now he’s looking forward to seeing what Whitehorse is like when it’s warmer. Geary is originally from New Zealand, where he has mixed roots which he describes as “Maori from the Taranaki iwi tribe, …

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Fear should never be a deterrent

Jan Redford describes herself as a compulsive journal writer who always knew that she would like to be an author. “I remember filling pages with squiggly lines when I was about four or five, pretending I was a writer. As I got older, writing is what grounded me, clarified my experiences, allowed me to trust …

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What is the Yukon Writers’ Festival?

In 1990, a number of organizations joined together to merge the Young Authors’ Conference (YAC) and the National Book Festival into the more far-reaching Yukon Writers’ Festival. The goal was to highlight Canadian literary arts in the Yukon. Five writers, including one from the Yukon, will participate in a week-long series of events (May 1 …

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A Commemoration of the Yukon’s WWI Fallen Soldiers

This slender volume contains brief biographies and photographs of the men from the Yukon who fought and died for Canada between 1914 and 1918. Seven of the enlisted died in 1919, but are recorded as still being in active service. Many of their names are recorded on cenotaphs or memorial plaques in Dawson City or …

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Let’s learn Gwich’in: Wildlife Alphabet

Arctic Fox – ch’ich’yāa Bear – shoh Caribou – vadzaih Ducks – dats’an Eagle – ch’izhìn Fish – tuk Grouse – daih Hawk – chinìitrān Inconnu – tuk Dagāii Jackfish – altin King Salmon – tuk choo Loon – ts’atvit Moose – dinjik sNipe – duh Otter – trūh Porcupine – ts’it sQuirrel – dlak …

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A Trip to the City of the Lost – Returning to Rockton

Somewhere in the Boreal Forest, there is a small community called Rockton. It’s sometimes called the City of the Lost because it’s inhabited by people who, for one reason or another, really wanted to get away from it all. They may be in a witness protection program. They may be running away from some danger in their …

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Didee & Didoo: My Echo

There’s nothing of him to touch And sometimes he talks too much. Sometimes I can hear my own voice An’ answering back is his own choice. He’s like an answering machine, But he has never been seen. He must be my twin brother ’Cause we sound like each other. I wonder if we look the …

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ZHOH – The Spirit of the Wolf

Previews are supposed to pique your interest and entice you to buy the book, not tell you how it ends, but there is no harm in quoting the final sentence if it is a good one:“In the distance, snow-covered peaks rose through the whiteness. Far off, somewhere below in the fog, a wolf howled.

My Aurora Borealis

I had an amazing experience under the Northern Lights as I recall
it was like midnight angels… blanketing full over me

Didee & Didoo: Christmas in Heaven

Merry Christmas to Ellen and Robert Bruce. Merry Christmas to Hannah and Joe Netro. Merry Christmas to Jessie and Charlie Thomas. Merry Christmas to Fanny and Charlie P. Charlie. Merry Christmas to Mary and Lazarus Charlie. Merry Christmas to Alice and Donald Frost. Merry Christmas to Myra and Peter Moses. Merry Christmas to Myra and …

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Not new, but still brave

What’s it like to share the heart and soul of something you’ve written? Peter Jickling, the new host of Brave New Words, said, “It’s right in the title of the event. It’s brave.” Jickling’s goal is to take what can be intimidating—the “pouring out of your soul” and “to create a venue where people where …

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An author’s dream …

Yukon-based writer Joanna Lilley has published her first novel, Worry Stones, after 17 years of working on it. “I wasn´t working on it every day, during that time. There were periods when I put it aside.” She wrote poems and short stories instead. During the past years, she published two collections of poetry and one …

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John Henderson: Celebrating the Great White North

When he arrived in Yellowknife, back in 2004, with his wife, Serena, and baby daughter, Janessa, it didn’t occur to John Henderson that he might still be there 14 years later, have a thriving career as chief operating officer at the Det’on Cho Corporation and a side career in the arts as the editorial cartoonist …

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For those who answered the call …

“Yukon soldiers are buried in more than 50 cemeteries on four continents.” –Michael Gates Lest we forget … This is why Michael Gates (Yukon historian and Yukon News columnist) and D. Blair Neatby (military historian, Yellowknife) have co-authored the memorial book, Yukon Fallen of World War I, a collection of more than 100 biographies that …

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The Northern Seduction

Sebastian Fricke and Rose Seguin share their journey, their “inner compasses” with us as they travel and write on their way through Alaska and the Yukon Having completed our undergraduate degrees, Rose and I were very eager to break free of the bureaucracy and daily grind of city life. We followed our inner compasses north, …

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Where the Trump family fortune got started

“I’m a fifty-pager,” says Whitehorse writer Pat Ellis, commenting on her preference for producing short history booklets. Her latest, Financial Sourdough Starter Stories—“The Trump Family, from Whitehorse to White House,” the “Klondike Gold Rush” and “Harry Truman and the A-Bomb”—tops out at 64 pages, but the concept remains the same. “I’ve done a squatter book …

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A dystopian life near the Blackstone River

The Wolves of Winter is Tyrell Johnson’s first published novel. It’s set in the Yukon, but he hadn’t actually been here until he came to Whitehorse for last month’s Yukon Writers’ Festival.

Magic on the Trail

Visual artist Hilary Lorenz will take hand-crafted cards along her art adventure on the Chilkoot Trail in July.

Investigating lost bull semen

Marcelle Dubé has written the fifth novel of her Mendenhall Mystery Series titled The Forsaken Men. Her Mendenhall isn’t a subdivision of Whitehorse, but rather a fictive place in Manitoba.

The Northern Review looks at literature

The Northern Review, which is published by the School of Liberal Arts at the Yukon College, describes itself as “a multidisciplinary journal exploring human experience in the Circumpolar North.

The Ravenmaster: My life with the ravens at the Tower of London

“Christopher Skaife is both a raven master and a master storyteller. Compulsively readable, I devoured the book in a single sitting!”—Lindsey Fitzharris, author of The Butchering So did I! From 4 p.m. to midnight on the very day I found the last hard copy of The Ravenmaster for sale in Whitehorse. I bought it as …

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Zsuzsi Gartner: Aspiring to the darkly tragi-comic

Zsuzsi Gartner built her early career as a writer in journalism, working as a newspaper reporter, then a TV current affairs producer and then a magazine writer and editor, but has been interested in creative writing from an early age.

Putting Canada 150 between two covers

CBC/Radio-Canada got involved in the Canada 150 sesquicentennial celebrations in a big way, starting about a year earlier with an open call for submissions to be put in a 2017 yearbook.

Michael Winter: Keeping track of things in the world

Newfoundland and Labrador writer Michael Winter will be a mentor at the 2018 Yukon Young Authors’ Conference at F.H. Collins Secondary School May 3, 4 Michael Winter, one of the four mentor writers at this year’s edition of the Young Authors’ Conference, said he was first inspired to become a writer by watching his sister …

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Gearing up to explore ideas and the written word

PHOTO: Dan Davidson   The Yukon Writers’ Festival takes place May 2 through 5, with events throughout the Yukon In 1990, a number of organizations joined together to meld the Young Authors’ Conference and the National Book Festival into a farther reaching Yukon Writers’ Festival to highlight the Canadian literary arts in the Yukon. The …

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Bridging the Divide

Author Kate Harris shucked her space dreams and, with her friend, Mel Yule, picked up the courage to embark on a different trip: to cycle the Silk Road from end to end.

13 Ways to look at Canada

With I Am Canada – A Celebration (North Winds Press) Heather Patterson has come up with a novel way of assembling an overview of special things about our country.

A tale of Arctic exploration

Yukon author Eva Holland has taken advantage of Amazon’s Kindle Singles format to produce what might have been a 45-page volume about the early history of Arctic exploration.

Through dark to the light

Winter Child, the first novel by Virginia Pésémapéo Bordeleau to be translated to English, is a lyrical journey through a mother’s grief of losing and outliving her child.

Yukon writers gear-up for Frankfurt Book Fair

With over 280,000 visitors and 1,000 authors, the Frankfurt Book Fair is the largest book fair in the world and an important event for international trade deals, with over 7 000 exhibitors from 100 nations, according to the fair website.

Drifting Home covers 3 generations of Bertons

In the summer of 1972 Pierre Berton decided to recreate a trip he had taken with his mother, father and sister back in the 1930s and take his family rafting from Bennett Lake to Dawson City.

The Northern Review remembers World War I

Volume 44 of The Northern Review contains the complete list of the papers from The North and the First World War Conference that was held in Whitehorse, and in Dawson City, May 9-12 2016.

Stonecliff brings together a remarkable team of artists (Part 2 of 2)

The new musical drama Stonecliff tells the story of Michael J. Heney, the son of poor Irish immigrants in the Ottawa Valley who went on to build one of the world’s most spectacular railways – the White Pass and Yukon Route – to serve the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898.

Canada’s first superheroine saved from obscurity

There’s no need to be a closet comic nerd anymore. The genre has exploded into accepted popularity over the last 10 years and it’s definitely something worth openly celebrating. If you’re like me, however, and relatively new to the scene, you might be surprised to find the roots of Canadian comic artists went mainstream more …

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At Home at Sea

“Ship’s logs, myths, stories of quiet exaltation and wrenching lamentations can all become poetry when the experience resonates deeply with the rhythm of the human heart…”— Anita Hadley in the introduction to Spindrift: A Canadian Book of the Sea. The sea, in Anita Hadley’s view, may not be a tangible part of your everyday, but …

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Fresh poetic summer reads

Auguries, by Clea Roberts Whitehorse author Clea Roberts newest book, Auguries, is published by Brick Books. The title “Auguries” refers to an ancient practice of The Romans: reading the future from the sky considering the birds in the air and their style of flying. It is her second collection of poems and deals with the …

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Slap on a Hat, Slip into this Book

Every summer, Rose and her family pack up and head to their cottage in Awago Beach. There, the long days melt into lake swims and beach fires, counting stars, five-cent candies, watching movies and running around with her summer-sister, Windy. It’s summertime, and the living is easy, right? But this year something feels off. In …

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There’s Always a Stack of Books Hidden Under Their Quilts

The Yukon Imagination Library — non-profit organization that gives free books to Yukon children from birth to age four — is turning 10 this year. To celebrate the milestone we have collected reading stories from families who have used the library and from a few well-known Yukoners. We will be sharing them over the next …

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From stage to page

When Yukon playwright Patti Flather launched the book of her highly acclaimed play, Paradise, on a warm June evening at Baked Café in Whitehorse, Mac’s Fireweed Books sold out all their copies. “The thing about a play, is after it’s produced it’s done. A book lasts,” says Flather. Flather is a co-founder of Gwaandak Theatre, …

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Memoirs of an Atlin School Marm

Simply stated, the best narrative I’ve read about country lifestyle in the contemporary north and the only one featuring Atlin and the Yukon.

Yukon’s Fictional Geography

Dan Carruthers’ more recent thriller, Anya Unbound (2017), introduces us to Sean Carson, a recovering widower, who stumbles across a 17-year-old Polish girl on the way to his bush cabin. He discovers she is part of a baker’s dozen of girls who have been lured to North America and are bound for the sex trade …

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Imagine the Yukon – Part 1

The Yukon Imagination Library — a local non-profit organization that gives free books to Yukon children once per month from the time they are born until they reach age 4 — is turning 10 this year. To celebrate the milestone we have collected stories from families who have used the library and from a few …

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A book Canadians “must read”

An attack leaves two girls hospitalized. Two families looking for answers. In the Break Metis writer, Katherena Vermette tells the stories.

Beatle Stations

The first volume of Lewisohn’s trilogy The Beatles: All These Years. The main drawback is that at only about 800 pages, it’s over too soon.

North Words

“Exploring the Frontiers of Language” will be the theme of this year’s edition of the North Words Writers Symposium, which will be held in Skagway from May 31 to June 3. This is the eighth annual symposium since the event’s inception. It was originally inspired during a series of walking conversations between Daniel Henry and …

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Playing in the Dark

“Think of magic as a tree. The root of supernatural ability is simply the realization that all time exists simultaneously. Humans experience time as a progression of sequential events in much the same way we see the horizon as flat: our reality is shaped by our limitations.” –excerpt from Son of a Trickster by Eden …

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When the Land Has a Character

Bestselling Canadian author Lawrence Hill pursues a lifelong interest in African diaspora narratives. As a part of the research for a book he’s writing about the contribution of African American soldiers to the construction of the Alaska Highway, Hill is travelling the Highway from northern B.C. through the Yukon. His first Yukon stop was in …

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Good Advice

Jamie Bastedo is not new to the Yukon. He first came to the territory 35 years ago as a biology graduate student. “Think Never Cry Wolf,” he says. “My head full of book knowledge about northern landscapes and cultures.” The Yukon still means a lot to him and he is excited to be coming back. …

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Poetry for Change

Sheri-D Wilson, who calls herself The Mama of Dada, is an award-winning spoken word poet, educator, speaker and activist, who has performed in literary, film and folk music festivals in Canada, USA, England, France, Mexico, Belgium, and South Africa. She is the author of nine collections of poetry. Her most recent – ninth poetry collection, …

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All Her Roads Lead to Poetry

Yukon based writer Joanna Lilley has just published her second collection of poetry If there Were Roads by Turnstone Press; she says that there are no roads to the past. “You can never go back.” Inspired by a childhood memory, she wrote “The Devonian Period,” her first poem in her newest book. Lilley says that …

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Of Breasts and Beyond

Breasts, boobs, tits, tatas. Mind the title, because, yes, this really is a story about tits, but it’s also, oh! so much more than that. Because, what are breasts to women? I won’t overstep boundaries and assume to know everyone’s relationship with their own; however, whether we have them or we don’t, and no matter …

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Chronicling the Vanishing Alaska Highway Lodge Community

I’m very jealous of what Whitehorse based Lily Gontard and Mark Kelly have managed to pull off with their delightful book, Beyond Mile Zero: The Vanishing Alaska Highway Lodge Community (published last month, Lost Moose, 240 pages, $24.95). They’ve taken an idea that I turned into a measly two or three columns in the Whitehorse …

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Writing as a Full Time Profession

James Bernard MacKinnon, commonly bylined as J.B. MacKinnon, will be coming to the Yukon from Vancouver to be the Yukon Public Libraries’ choice as a travelling writer to visit a number of communities during the Yukon Writers’ Festival taking place May 2-7. During his Yukon visit McKinnon will do presentations and readings in the Dawson …

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Using Stories to Make People Think

This is the second of a five part series by Dan Davidson about the professional authors participating in the Yukon Writers’ Festival and the Young Authors Conference during the first week of May. Whitehorse based writer and filmmaker Kelly Milner grew up in the Yukon. She cut her writing teeth doing feature articles for a local …

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Domestic Bliss

Do you or someone you know love books almost as much as their pet? These three books draw on the animals in our outer lives to illuminate the complexity of our inner lives. For the Dog Lover: Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls A boy and his two dogs become much more than …

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Superhero Highschool

Growing up is hard. And the microcosm of high school — with its changing expectations and responsibilities and the push-pull of social dynamics, while, at the same time, you’re trying to establish emotional coping mechanisms and, above all, dealing with the omnipresent questions about the rest of life…? Phew. It’s exhausting just reading that, nevermind …

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A Mentor for Yukon Young Writers

Born in England, but transplanted to Newfoundland when she was very young, Kathleen Winter credits libraries with kick starting her interest in writing. “We moved around a bit and in one village the only library was ‘the bookmobile,’ a van filled with books that came to town once a week – I loved that van,” …

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Books to Spring Forward

It’s (hopefully) coming to the last wintery blows before the ice breaks; the spring will soon rush in and soon after we can cast our mittens aside for a season. Enjoy the longer nights – while they last – by burying yourself in one (or all) of these books, based around the “Three R’s” of …

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History Offers Timeless Perspectives

Stories are invaluable teachers, says B.C. author Caroline Woodward, they have the ability to “give us whole worlds.” Old stories, too, are relevant artefacts that help us gain perspective on how much, or how little, progress we have made. Fictional stories, the writer continues, are able to relate emotive experiences in a way that nonfiction …

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The Grass is Greener Wherever Convenience Resides

“We imagined ourselves free of the hassles and troubles we’d accumulated in Toronto. We imagined a life without rushing, without the subway, without neighbours at each other’s throats, without the noise and frustration of daily commutes. Life with space. Life without the massacre of endless winter, frozen pipes, cracking plaster and mountains of snow to …

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A Fable of Feminist Lore

“… but also they were a family, because this story is all about that. About humans and human-ness. Fathers and daughters, brothers and sisters. Love and betrayal and loyalty and madness. Lovers and heroes and the passing of time and all those marvellous baffling things… those things that make us human.” –excerpt from The One …

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Bringing Yukon literature to the world stage

Each October, the city of Frankfurt in Germany plays host to the second largest literary trade fair in the world, with 7,153 exhibitors representing 106 countries present in 2016. The Frankfurt Book Fair (known as the Frankfurter Buchmesse (FBM), in German,) is a tradition spanning more than 500 years, with the first book fair being …

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A Provocative Gold Rush Mystery From the Other Side of the World

“Mannering was in the august high noon of his life. He was prosperous, and well dressed, and he owned the largest and most handsome building on Revellstreet. There were gold nuggets hanging from his watch chain. He ate meat at every meal. He had known a hundred women — maybe even a thousand — maybe …

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Double Think Twice

Vurt (Jeff Noon, 1993) A mad romp through a Trainspotting-like drug culture, Vurt features virtual-reality ‘feathers’ that take you to bizarre and forbidden worlds, shadow-creatures that exist in between this world and the virtual who can slip in and out of your mind at will, slobbering man-dog hybrids and cybernetic implants that can render a …

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Cedric Wants You

Whoooo the heck is Cedric, anyway? We’ll come back to that later. About a year after Beth Hawkes moved to Salt Spring Island with her husband, she saw a small ad in the Gulf Islands Driftwood about a literary competition for unpublished B.C. writers over the age of 50. “I just looked at the ad, …

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Birdie – Tracey Lindberg

“Maybe she didn’t cry because tears were a currency in her life for so long that holding them back meant she was richer.” Birdie is an experience. Here the written word weaves between oral and written history, dreamtime and shared reality; it wraps and warps time and memory, ancient knowledge and new experiences, into one …

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Writing Down the Soul

Anyone who has ever put pen to paper knows it can be a daunting experience. To stare at a blank page waiting for the strike of inspiration. When something is finally put down on paper, is it something others might want to read? What works? What can be done differently? Brave New Words is a …

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How to Choose a Library Book

Libraries are the most thrilling silent spaces to walk into; to me, they’re goldmines of intrigue. But when going in blind, the variety and selection can seem a bit overwhelming. With so many titles how do you make sure you’re choosing the right one? First off, that’s the magic of libraries: you’re only committed to …

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Yukon / Utopia

In “Spell of the Yukon,” Bobby Service suggests, The realm’s Utopia—snock snarls of forests; Avalanches that out-grumble politicos; Gold that outweighs paper dollars backed by zeroes; Where the cussedest blizzard outlasts even August; And extra white comes snow, pure as a virgin’s Lust; Where dew fanatically lavishes each grass blade; Damned good is muck where …

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Life Lines

Faye Ferguson understands the value of documenting one’s life stories, for both the writer and the eventual reader.  Ferguson is a personal historian based in Victoria, B.C. who helps people fashion their life stories into print or digital forms, either as full-length memoirs or as scrapbook-type snippets that highlight specific remembered moments or stages of …

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Comics capture real life stories

“People always blame strange occurrences on a full moon, but I think shit is weird every single day.” “That’s a lie.” “I’m going to get us some wine.” –excerpt from Time Clock by Leslie Stein Up until a year ago, I was unenthused about graphic novels, but Time Clock by Leslie Stein captured my interest. …

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Birds and Loss

“His mother used to say the soul was a bird that lived in the nape of the neck. At night it flew out of the mouth, and when you woke it returned; and when you died, it flew away forever. The world outside the glass that night seemed entirely an abstraction, a dream. Here, in …

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Writing toward inclusion

Practically unheard of – the top 10 books reviewed last year were evenly split between male and female authors. And never before: the number of men and women reviewing books in Canada is nearly equal. That’s what the Canadian Women in the Literary Arts (CWILA) discovered in its annual investigation of female representation among reviewers …

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Predator and Prey 14,000 Years Ago

Zhoh, the Clan of the Wolf: Fiction of the first humans to inhabit The Yukon. I knew Bob Hayes novel would be physically accurate.

The Collapse of Family

“While a part of me was glad I wasn’t like my brother, no part of me wished to be more fortunate than my mother. To be luckier than her was to be different from her, it was to be apart from her, it was to have a life that would take me away from her. …

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This is Home

Former Yukoner Jerome Stueart and Yukon author Marcelle Dubé will read together form their books on Dec. 13 at Baked Cafe. It will be an evening about fantasy novels.

NaNoWriMo Memoirs

It was one of my former writing students who managed to shame me into signing up for NaNoWriMo this year. If you’re not familiar with that acronym, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. The deal is, each participant undertakes to knock off a 50,000-word novel during the month. No big deal. That’s only 1,667 …

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Write through the winter

While others hunker down against winter’s wrath, the local literary scene is hotter than ever. The winter Writers’ Roundtable organized by the Friends of the Whitehorse Library (FOWL) provides a thorough overview of events for the coming season. Ongoing events include: Every Wednesday writers work from noon to 3 p.m. at Bean North Cafe, kilometre …

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Titles Hot Off the Presses

Every December since 2009, Lise Schonewille, manager of Mac’s Fireweed Books, celebrates Winterval, the start of the holiday season, with local authors in the store. Over the years the event has showcased a diverse collection of Yukon literature, subjects and writers as our literary talent grows. This year is no different with a mix of …

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Book Fair Fever in Frankfurt

British artist David Hockney displayed his latest piece here: a complete collection of his artwork in a huge book. The book costs about 2,500 Euro and contains 62 years of Hockney’s work. It was set up on a stand so visitors could browse through it. The Arts+ exhibition shows that books are not only about …

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F*ck Feelings

“There’s no ‘should’ or ‘should not’ when it comes to having feelings. They’re part of who we are and their origins are beyond our control. When we can believe that, we may find it easier to make constructive choices about what to do with those feelings.“ -Fred Rogers. From, The World According to Mister Rogers. …

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A Good Read for Halloween Night

Do ghosts exist? For some they do.  The main character in Marcelle Dubé´s novel, Shelter, moves into a haunted house in a small town in Ontario. Dubé started the story as a gothic novel and in the end it became a ghost story. Marcelle Dubé is well known in the Yukon and she usually publishes …

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What is it About Newspapers?

My first experience working for a newspaper was immediately out of high school. I was hired to be the receptionist at an office in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. It didn’t last long as I was too curious about the advertising department, so it was easier just to put me there. Although interesting, the job meant …

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Long Live Print! Long Live What’s Up Yukon!

Ever since the advent of the internet, pundits of all description have been predicting the demise of print journalism. Traditional newspapers and magazines, once so prolific and influential in Canada and elsewhere, are undergoing seismic change and downsizing in an age of instant access to news, opinions and images from the most remote corners of …

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Just Write

I have been writing for this paper for three years, now. I remember the day my first piece was published. It was my first publication ever, even though I had been writing a lot in German. I remember holding the issue with my article in my hands at the drugstore. It was wintertime and snowing. …

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The Magical Fall Wind

Boreas always tires of summer on the same day each year, the same day a very special baby girl was born. After a bite off a glacier and a purse of his lips, Boreas draws a deep cold breath and exhales, closing out summer. Like a child blowing a dandelion, his breath sends the trees, …

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Engaging Historical Fiction

I am not one who likes to read dry historical tomes. I like to absorb my history through the sugar coated pill of historical fiction, written by an author whose research is meticulous. And in this genre, Louis de Bernieres is a master. His works include books such as Birds Without Wings and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. …

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Learning how to Live Joyfully

Ever since she was a little girl, Teva Harrison drew. She studied art after high school. But, as it often goes, “needing to make a living, I digressed.” After the explanation, Harrison laughs. A joyful, full, belly laugh. To make a living, she worked as the director of marketing for the Nature Conservancy of Canada. …

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Rooted in the Yukon

Toronto-based poet Claire Caldwell’s role as writer-in-residence at the Berton House in Dawson City ends this month. Caldwell is no stranger to the Yukon. She lived in Whitehorse from ages three to nine. These years had a deep impact on Caldwell. That’s where she found her fascination for nature and the outdoors, she says. “Certain …

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Searching for Inner Truth on the Chilkoot Trail

Whitehorse resident Maureen McCulloch wrote her debut novel to bring a message into the world. She wrote the book under the pseudonym, Maureen Senecal. “I used Angels and Aliens to bring the message that mankind needs to work together for the survival of our planet,” McCulloch says. “The book also points to the critical need to …

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Sharing Words

In 2015 Victoria-based poet Yvonne Blomer paid a visit to Whitehorse and did a reading of her poetry book, As If a Raven. In her poems she described various types of birds and also amused the audience by imitating the call of a peacock. Blomer is returning this month and will read at the Atlin …

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Fresh Words and Deep Roots

Writing poetry since she was a child, Nova Scotia based author Shauntay Grant says she has always loved creative writing. “The oldest poem I’ve kept is from fourth grade,” she says. The vocalist, poet and author began a residency at the Berton House Writers’ Retreat in Dawson City in April. She is working on Proof, …

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The Last Word in Wordsmithing

Most writers would be delighted if something they wrote could survive 10 minutes after they shuffle off this mortal coil. But 400 years? To use just a smattering of the literary inventions credited to William Shakespeare, such a “madcap” thought would be “laughable”, something to “arouse” either “excitement” or sheer “amazement”. According to various reckonings …

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The Joy of Haiku

On May 20 to 22 haiku lovers from across Canada will descend upon the Gold Rush Inn for three days of all-things haiku. The Haiku Canada society formed way back in 1977 and they are still going strong. The group celebrates the art with a conference, called Haiku Canada Weekend, with the event held in …

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Literature in the Kluane Country

Kluane Country has long inspired writers. Three such writers will be doing readings in Haines Junction and Whitehorse on May 17 to 19. Whitehorse writer David Thompson set his adventure novel Haines Junction in the community; Haines Junction author Elisabeth Weigand wrote memoirs about Kluane pioneer Mabel Brewster; and Ottawa, Ontario writer Claudia Coutu Radmore, …

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Nurturing Good Writing

Unlike many a published author, Saskatoon writer Sandy Bonny didn’t study to become one. It just happened. “I haven’t got an English degree,” she says, “and didn’t train or apprentice purposefully with literary mentors before my first publications, but I did always enjoy writing and continued writing recreationally long after it was required for school. …

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In praise of Whistle Bend

As I turn from Mountain View Drive and toward our Whistle Bend home, I am yet again gobsmacked by the sudden and looming sight of the mountains on the far side of the Yukon River. Blue in the mornings, pink at night and otherwise brilliantly lit against a vivid indigo background of so much sky, …

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A Very Literate Year (Part 2)

July: The Ballad of the Sad Cafe by Carson McCullers (American, 1951)  Hopefully hopeless, Anna Karenina details the rise and fall of a Russian beauty who is ultimately destroyed by the strength of her desires and her willingness to seek out her own sexual and romantic happiness. While it has been interpreted as a morality …

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The Craft of Storytelling

Three of the country’s best storytellers will soon descend on Whitehorse for the Northern Lights Writers’ Conference. The conference features Terry Fallis, author of Best Laid Plans; Douglas Gibson, editor and publisher of luminaries such as Alice Munro; and hometown hero Ivan Coyote. The theme is The Storytellers. Douglas Gibson wasn’t always a storyteller by …

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Literary Fisticuffs

Local Yukoners will face-off to defend their favourite books as part of the Northern Lights Writers Conference, running Jan 23-23. Author of Best Laid Plans and 2013 Canada Reads winner Terry Fallis will be “refereeing” the event. The winning book goes home with the glory, the winning contender goes home with money for a charity …

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A Very Literate Year (Part 1)

Dark satire about one of the most hopeful and ultimately oppressive revolutions in history, Animal Farm cuts deep into the heart of Soviet communism while simultaneously exposing disturbing parallels to our own fragmenting culture. Plus, at a slim XX pages, the book fits right into your pocket and can easily be read, say, in an …

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Books for Armchair Mushers

Mushing season has begun. While waiting for the Yukon Quest or the Iditarod, here are some suggestions for armchair mushers. Racing Toward Recovery by Mike Williams and Lew Freedman This book is a set of four true stories from the North. The main story, “Dog Team to Dawson,” is about the author’s sled dog trip …

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The Good Ol’ Days of Squatting

Pat Ellis first arrived in Whitehorse in the early 1950s. She was a 19 year-old art student from Winnipeg and Whitehorse was a much different city then. Ramshackle cabins and tiny derelict homes made up the downtown waterfront replacing today’s S.S. Klondike and Rotary Peace Park. The downtown riverside areas went by names like Whiskey …

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Susanne Hingley

Poetry in Action

Poetry, spoken, plays and short stories at Brave New Words. An evening of music poetry and cocktails. The brave can get up, it’s an open mic.

Three Books for Adventurous Souls

It’s the fall season, which means two things: the slow-creep of cold weather and a near-existential dread of the aforementioned. It also means, for thousands of Yukoners, a frantic dash to enjoy those last, fleeting moments of liveable outdoor weather in the form of fishing, hunting, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking or whatever your outdoor poison …

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Fun fiction from the Klondike

As the crew who came here to film an episode of the Canadian television series Murdoch Mysteries a few years ago told me, Dawson is a place that’s just a perfect backdrop for storytelling. The particular episode was a lot of fun to watch them film and then see it on TV later on. It …

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This place is in my blood

It’s a dark and rainy night, when Kate Williams finds an injured stranger on the Highway. She pulls over to help him, not knowing that she will be soon in danger. That’s how Marcelle Dubé’s short story Night Shift starts. Dubé has recently published her short story collection Night Shift (Falcon Ridge Publishing). Readers who …

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A scientistʼs letters to the future trace a journey to find optimism

What kind of world will be handed down to my daughter’s generation? That question led conservation ecologist Alejandro Frid to write A World for My Daughter: an Ecologist’s Search for Optimism, which is scheduled for publication by British Columbia’s Caitlin Press later this month. Alejandro Frid is an assistant professor in environmental studies at the …

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Review Haiku

“We want to freshen up the image of the library … as the cool place that it is,” Sarah Gallagher tells me with a sideways glance. We both giggle. It’s funny, because she’s a librarian and I have a degree in literary criticism and books are a big part of our lives. The library is …

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Joanna Lilley Shows Her Love for the North in The Birthday Books

Joanna Lilley’s craft extends beyond poetry. With the publication of her new book, The Birthday Books (Hagios Press), the author shows she can write prose too. Lilley’s short story collection is a book like no other. It touches readers and makes them fall in love with the North, but it also shows people in relationships, …

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The Ultimate Guide to Yukon Sport

John Firth’s massive Yukon Sport: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, published in November 2014 by Sport Yukon, is a heavy book. It must weigh 14 pounds. If you’re brain isn’t strong enough to read all of it, mine wasn’t, you can throw out your old barbells and dumbbells and incorporate it into a new fitness program. Little …

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Grief Writing in Dawson

Jacob Scheier wrote his first collection of poems about the loss of his mother; he was 20. She had gotten sick when he was in high school. It was part of his shift from writing as a hobby to writing because it felt very necessary. And, ultimately, writing about his loss was an important part …

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The Sound of Home

I dream of my hometown. Walking through these streets again, listening to music floating from open windows like light. Harmonica, accordion. Walking these streets where I know every corner Like my own body, where I left my thoughts hanging on walls, buildings Like a pair of shoes tossed into a tree I dream taking harmonica …

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Brave Old Words

Compared to what I did last time (playing my banjo and singing in front of a rowdy bar crowd) the prospect of reading poetry to a calm, literary audience does not feel very scary. And yet, though I’ve been writing poetry for most of my life and attending occasional reading events for years, I have …

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Intimidating but Great

“Writing poetry makes me happy,” Joanna Lilley says. “I am somewhere else when I write poetry. I am an intuitive writer.” The Whitehorse based poet will be part of The Edmonton Poetry Festival from April 19 to 26. “Poetry Moves” is the theme, and Lilley is very excited to be part of it. It all …

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Mind Stretching Poetry

What does knitting have in common with writing poetry? Both must be done carefully. One mistake can ruin the whole image. Jamie Sharpe knitted a one meter wide and two storey long scarf and wrote a poem about it. Sharpe’s second book of poetry is entitled Cut-up Apologetic (ECW Press). His work has appeared in …

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A Poem a Day

If you peruse the 365 poems that make up the Tumblr feed from Lori Garrison’s latest poetry project, Today, In the News, you won’t find much in the way of introspection or outpourings of feeling from individual experiences. But you may find lines that resonate, even if you aren’t really into poetry. That was Garrison’s …

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Some Writers

A voice in her periphery, one that was indelibly twisted into her memories, rose above the unfolding dialogue in her mind and, like the instinct to swat away a buzzing fly, she had to look. She’d been occupying a tucked-away booth — her books and writing utensils strewn about the table in an organized mess. …

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One River, Many Maps

At the beginning of his noon hour public lecture David Neufeld said he was working on his book but didn’t want to finish it because then he would lose his excuse to spend so much time on the Yukon River. He said when you say you’re working on a book, you get away with things. …

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The Dream of a Normal Life

Living in the suburbs, having children and a husband, driving a minivan: for some this may sound boring, but it is Cea Sunrise Person’s dream come true. Person’s memoir, North of Normal (published at HarperCollins) describes her childhood with her hippie-family in the wilderness. When she was only a few months old, she came up …

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SMRT Pop Ups

“It’s an exploratory adventure,” says Sofia Fortin, one of the masterminds behind the currently ongoing SMRT Pop Ups initiative at Rah Rah Gallery. “A bunch of us were getting together to talk politics, talk shop,” she says. “An opportunity as young professionals to share what we’ve been learning. It turned into random acts of volunteering.” …

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Neil Young’s Wild Ride

If there is anyone left in Canada still interested in figuring out how Neil Young’s brain functions, his second memoir Special Deluxe, A Memoir of Life & Cars, is not likely to clear up the fog. Young, 69, is just not wired like the rest of us. He may possess too many talents to be …

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Up Ghost River Without a Paddle

When Edmund Metatawabin’s (Ed) residential school memoir, Up Ghost River, jumped off the new-books shelf of the Yukon Public Library and landed in my book bag on top of Bobby Orr and Gordie Howe, I was tempted to blow my whistle and send him to the penalty box for obstruction. I was hunting for some …

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Death of the American Dream

Dr. Hunter Stockton Thompson was a champion of fun. If he is remembered at all, it is through exaggerated shades of his personality. Bill Murray in Where the Buffalo Roam, and Johnny Depp in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas are examples of this. Although these are hilarious depictions of the man himself, he was …

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Tibetan Peach Pie

It’s not often I give myself an impossible writing assignment but I’m doing so now because I’m intrigued by the challenge. Book reviews often have aim to provide a concise summary and make the reader want to read the book. Not this time. I’m only halfway through Tom Robbins’ non-autobiography called Tibetan Peach Pie, and, …

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People Will Always Need Stories

 “ One hundred writers from around the world in 86 events”, was the motto of the 2014 Vancouver Writers Festival. It kicked off with an author many were looking forward to hearing from: Karl Ove Knausgaard, a literary sensation from Norway, who has published an autobiographical six-book-series called My Struggle. He writes about big issues …

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Creativity Boot Camp

Writing a first draft of a novel is like the beginning of a romantic relationship: Everything is exciting, new, and there is a lot to explore. Your heart beats fast; you are in love with your characters and the world you creating. Every fiction author knows that feeling. Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo, refers …

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On Cursive

Cursive writing has gravity, compared to printed writing. Cursive is used for special occasions, like thank you cards and letters to lovers, or to grandparents at Christmas. It denotes formality. A letter written in careful, swirly cursive is a letter to save, folded up in a box with dried roses, collected, re-read. One has to …

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