World of Words

World of Words columnist Jessica Simon covers the literary beat for What’s Up Yukon

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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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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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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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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On Booksellers and Bestsellers …

Lise Schonewille, bookbuyer at Mac’s Fireweed Books, pegs Northern books as her biggest sellers, followed by general fiction, sci-fi/fantasy, mystery and crime. Her counterpart, in Anchorage, Angela Lebeau of Title Wave Books, agrees. They sell primarly used books, Alaskana discovered in attics and sheds throughout the state. For mass market titles, however, a bestseller is …

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Imagine Success …

Imagine that this is a story about you and a poem – 25 delicious lines about gathering pancake berries at Moosehide that you submitted to the 2009 Yukon Young Authors Contest. On the strength of your writing, Robert Service School sent you to the two-day Young Authors Conference at F.H. Collins starting April 30. Too …

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Writers North and South, Merge

For Barb Dunlop and Marcelle Dubé, organizers of Yukon Writers’ Conference, distance and destination were real advantages to attract editors, agents and publishers north for this weekend’s event. Howard White of Harbour Publishing knows the territory. Years ago, Harbour bought Lost Moose Publishing from founder Max Fraser. In 2006, they published Dick North’s book, Sailor …

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The Sourdough Who Created the ‘SourToe’

Yukon legend Dick Stevenson earned his status honestly, which, according to Captain Dick’s Au’toe’biography: One Toe of a Tale, is a rarity for the captain of the Yukon Lou and the creator of the SourToe Cocktail. The “au’toe’biography” answers frequently asked questions such as this one: What is the history of the wooden-hulled barge commissioned …

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World of Words: Poetry Festival reached for the stars

When local poet Michael Reynolds reads at the 2009 Whitehorse Poetry Festival, he’ll join a closely connected group of guests that includes Michael Ondaatje, Don McKay, CD Wright, Adam Sol and Erin Mouré. “It’s exciting that we will all meet in Whitehorse!” said Mouré from Montréal. Organizer Clea Roberts said the June 19-21 festival attracts …

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Starting and Staying Strong

Why does Snoopy always stop typing after “It was a dark and stormy night”? Lily Gontard, former editor of Yukon, North of Ordinary would suggest that the sentence, accepted as the worst opening line in the English language, doesn’t establish a character. Author Shyam Selvadurai would say it raises no expectations. And editor for Mira …

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World of Words: A Poet shares her diverse sense of ‘Place’

Montreal poet and essayist Erin Mouré is an Albertan with roots in Galicia, Spain. “I think in three languages all at once and every day,” she said: Galician, her father’s language, French and English. Mouré, also a professional translator, mastered Galician, a root language of Portuguese, “to preserve the richly poetic culture” of Spain’s mountainous …

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