Canadian Journalism Foundation names Greg Clark Award winner

 The Canadian Journalism Foundation is pleased to announce Jennifer Bieman, a reporter with the St. Thomas Times-Journal in St. Thomas, Ont., as this year's winner of the Greg Clark Award for early-career journalists. The CJF selected Bieman for her proposal to explore how the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshall and its counterpart in Alberta, the Office of the Fire Commissioner, conduct investigations.

The Greg Clark Award, unique in Canadian journalism, offers working journalists a $5,000 stipend to spend a week gaining insight, gathering strategic information and meeting key decisionmakers on a specific issue or beat.

"Fires are an essential part of community coverage, and Jennifer Bieman provided a solid proposal that would explore an area that traditionally isn't given much attention," says Susan Harada, a jury member and associate director of Carleton University's School of Journalism and Communication. "Bieman is right to note that coverage of fires often ends with the line, 'The Ontario Fire Marshal has been called in to investigate.' The project she proposes would provide insight into that process and a range of fire-safety issues. Her work will benefit any reporter, especially those with a regional beat."

With this opportunity, Bieman plans to explore how these investigative agencies' findings shape legislation and how their recommendations impact fire-prevention strategies. She will also seek to understand the offices' role in emerging issues like fire prevention in First Nations communities or in homes of vulnerable populations such as low-income families, newcomers, seniors and adults with disabilities.

This award was created in memory of Greg Clark, one of Canada's greatest journalists - a war correspondent, an avid outdoorsman, a humorist and a great reporter who excelled at storytelling.

Bieman will be honoured at the CJF Awards (#CJFawards) at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto on June 8. For ticket, table and sponsorship opportunities of the gala event, visit the CJF Awards page.

The CJF would like to thank Shaw Communications and the Toronto Star for their generous support of this award.

About The Canadian Journalism Foundation
Established in 1990, The Canadian Journalism Foundation promotes excellence in journalism by celebrating outstanding journalistic achievement. Our signature events include an annual awards program featuring a must-attend industry gala where Canada's top newsmakers meet Canada's top news people. Through J-Talks, our popular speakers' series, we facilitate dialogue among journalists, business people, academics and students about the role of the media in Canadian society and the ongoing challenges for media in the digital era. The foundation also fosters opportunities for journalism education, training and research.

CJF to honour Radio-Canada's Jean Pelletier with Lifetime Achievement Award

 In recognition of an extraordinary career as a reporter, editor, producer and journalism trailblazer—in both print and broadcast—Jean Pelletier, currently senior director of television current affairs and documentaries for Radio-Canada, will be honoured with The Canadian Journalism Foundation's (CJF) Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual CJF Awards on June 8 in Toronto.

"It is not everyone who can make a difference every step of the way in a media career," says Chantal Hébert, jury member and a political columnist for the Toronto Star, le Devoir, l'actualité, CBC and Radio-Canada. "Jean Pelletier did it on the ground at home and abroad as a journalist and behind the scenes as a current affairs editor and producer. He pioneered shows such as Enquête at a time when investigative journalism was hard to finance and he produced reports that led to a major exercise in introspection in Quebec over ethics, corruption and collusion—and brought down the mayors of two of the province's major cities."

Pelletier began his journalism career at Le Devoir, then moved to La Presse in 1976 where he served as its Parliament Hill correspondent. A year later, he was named the paper's first permanent correspondent in Washington, D.C. It was in that role that he uncovered the story of the 1980 dramatic escape from Iran of six U.S. diplomats who had been hidden by Canadian embassy staff during the hostage crisis in Tehran.

From field reporting, he transitioned to editor-in-chief of Radio-Canada's TV public affairs program Le Point and served in the same role at the flagship news show Téléjournal before becoming head of news at Radio-Canada (television). He was promoted to senior director of public affairs and documentaries and in 2012, took on the role of senior director of television current affairs and documentaries.

Together with CBC's Mark Starowicz, Pelletier headed a CBC/Radio-Canada cross-cultural programming initiative from 2003 to 2010 that resulted in a major documentary series covering different strands of Canada's history. In 2007, he created the investigative journalism program Enquête, which was the first to shed light on corruption and collusion in Quebec's construction industry, revelations that eventually led to the creation of the Charbonneau Commission in 2011. Enquête also broke the story of alleged police abuse of Indigenous women in Val d'Or, Que.

Pelletier joins a distinguished group of CJF Lifetime Achievement Award winners. Past recipients include: Lloyd Robertson, Michel Auger, Peter Bregg, Michael Maclear, Jack Sigvaldason, Lise Bissonnette, Joe Schlesinger, Sally Armstrong, Norman Webster, Knowlton Nash, June Callwood, Doris Anderson, Trina McQueen, Doug Creighton, Mark Starowicz, Bernard Derome, Peter Gzowski and Robert Fulford, among others. View our video gallery of past recipients.

The Lifetime Achievement Award jury members are:
Chair – Anthony Wilson-Smith, president and CEO, Historica Canada
Michel Cormier, executive director, news and current affairs, Radio-Canada
John Fraser, president and CEO, National NewsMedia Council
Chantal Hébert, political columnist, Toronto Star, le Devoir, l'Actualité, CBC, Radio-Canada
Sylvia Stead, public editor, The Globe and Mail
Jane Taber, vice-president of public affairs, National Public Relations

Pelletier will be honoured at the CJF Awards (#CJFawards) in Toronto on June 8 at the Fairmont Royal York. For tickets, tables or sponsorship opportunities, visit the CJF Awards page.

About The Canadian Journalism Foundation
Established in 1990, The Canadian Journalism Foundation promotes excellence in journalism by celebrating outstanding journalistic achievement. Our signature events include an annual awards program featuring a must-attend industry gala where Canada's top newsmakers meet Canada's top news people. Through J-Talks, our popular speakers' series, we facilitate dialogue among journalists, business people, academics and students about the role of the media in Canadian society and the ongoing challenges for media in the digital era. The foundation also fosters opportunities for journalism education, training and research.


Inaugural Magazine Grands Prix Fellow Announced

The Canadian Magazine Awards / Grands prix du magazine are delighted to announce that the inaugural Magazine Grands Prix Fellow is Laura Stewart.

"When we announced the Magazine Grands Prix last fall, we envisioned much more than just an awards gala: we also launched a new fellowship program to invest in the future of our sector," said Douglas Knight, Chair of Magazines Canada. "The Magazine Grands Prix Fellowship program matches emerging talent with Canadian host magazines; each year, we will choose a theme that speaks to an issue of central importance to our national dialogue. The theme for 2017 is Indigenous issues."

Every year, Magazine Grands Prix Fellows will have the opportunity to choose their host magazine from eligible expressions of interest. Stewart has elected to work at Briarpatch, an esteemed publication based in Regina, Saskatchewan, committed to journalism and critical commentary.

"Briarpatch is thrilled to be hosting Laura Stewart's fellowship this summer. Laura's vivacious reporting will bring to life the effects of climate change on the economic and sociopolitical futures of Saskatchewan communities in relation to labour, the oil and gas industry, and treaty relationships on Indigenous land," said Tanya Andrusieczko, Editor of Briarpatch.

"We are additionally thrilled that Laura will be bringing her creative energy to the magazine's in-house editorial and publishing work. As a small magazine with a staff of two, we hope to offer Laura an opportunity to work on all of the facets of magazine publishing, from reviewing queries to working with advertisers and participating in design and production. Laura's energy for magazine writing and editing bodes well for the future of magazines in Canada."

Laura Stewart studies journalism at Mount Royal University in Calgary, and steers most of her reporting assignments toward environment and climate change. She is known for her ambitious coverage of complex issues such as Alberta's new carbon tax, electrical market reforms and Calgary's flood protection challenges under an uncertain climate future.

Raised in Saskatchewan, she has studied farmers' adoption of organic practices, contributed to third-party environmental reviews of oilfield projects and volunteered in prairie conservation organizations. Seeing a wide gap between scientific and everyday conversations on the environment, she returned to university to explore better ways to communicate across this divide.

The judges were impressed by Laura's strong voice, her clear point of view and strong inclination for narrative. They said she brings to magazine writing a solid scientific background coupled with an urgent desire to tell new Canadian stories.

Stewart will be celebrated as the inaugural Magazine Grands Prix Fellow at the awards fête held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto on Thursday, April 27, 2017.

More information on Laura Stewart and the Magazine Grands Prix Fellowship can be found at maggrandsprix/fellowships.

Tickets for the awards dinner and presentation can be purchased at maggrandsprix.ca.


The NMAF announces Penny Caldwell is recipient of the 2017 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement

The NMAF is proud to present the 2017 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement to Penny Caldwell, publisher and vice-president of Cottage Life Media.

Penny began her career in magazines as a freelance journalist, writing for sports and boating magazines at a time when it was rare for women to cover those topics. In the summer of 1988, a spirited new publication called Cottage Life debuted, and Penny was tapped to write a feature for the inaugural issue about how to buy a windsurfer. "There's no doubt about it," wrote Penny in the opening lines of her first Cottage Life story, "those hot, lazy days of summer are better at the cottage—and best when you can spend most of your time in and around the water." She still feels that way.

From her modest start as a freelance writer, Penny began to develop and hone the panoply of journalism and leadership skills that she has come to embody today. In 2000, she was named editor-in-chief of Cottage Life, where she quickly earned a reputation as an editor of considerable passion and frequent praise. In her 15-year tenure as editor, the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors named her its Editor of the Year a record four times, while Cottage Life won Magazine of the Year at the National Magazine Awards in 2003 and again in 2014. "The hallmarks of Penny's style," notes Cottage Life president Al Zikovitz, "are conscientiousness, diplomacy, and kindness. There are never any questions she won't take the time to answer. No matter how tight the deadline, there is always time to adhere to the tight standards she sets for herself and inspires in her colleagues."

Consistent with the evolving roles of a modern magazine leader, Penny was named brand manager and later vice president of content strategy and development before assuming the mantle of publisher in 2015, succeeding Al Zikovitz. That year, the NMA jury named Cottage Life Canada's Best Magazine Brand for demonstrating a level of innovation that sets the standard for the industry and represents how a magazine can succeed beyond print with dynamic and thriving extensions. "As a publisher, Penny has demonstrated her adaptability to changing circumstances and serving readers across multiple platforms," says magazine consultant D.B. Scott. "This includes print, digital, television, e-commerce, and live events." Today, Cottage Life reaches over six million Canadians every year as perhaps the savviest magazine brand in the country.

Beyond the walls of Cottage Life's old cozy HQ at 54 St. Patrick Street in Toronto, Penny has made an indelible mark on the wider magazine industry as a mentor, teacher, volunteer, and advocate for a stronger magazine community. She was a member of the original Magazines Canada task force that developed the industry's advertising-editorial guidelines, and has sat on the curriculum development committees of MagsU and MagNet. At Ryerson University's Magazine and Web Publishing Program she taught students the finer points of building a career in magazines. Many colleagues have noted her interest in learning about new talent in the industry and looking for opportunities to mentor others. "Penny seeks connections for everyone she meets," says Jess Ross, multiplatform content director at TVA Publications. "She sees that if she fosters this talent within our industry, our collective chances at success—at having healthy, thriving Canadian magazines—are so much greater."

All the while, Penny has frequently volunteered her time to sit on panels, juries, and boards of directors (including the NMAF from 2004 to 2010). Currently she serves as president of the International Regional Magazine Association (IRMA), where she has chaired awards committees, led numerous conference sessions, and developed the IRMA Connection initiative to improve communication and learning between members. "Penny is incredibly hard-working and an impressive problem solver who always has time for those who need her help," says Tara Flint, executive director of IRMA. "She fosters positive discussions and brings out the best in others."

Last year's Outstanding Achievement winner, Kim Pittaway, sums it up aptly: "Penny's career exemplifies the best of what it means to lead a magazine: a deep respect for the audience, a commitment to the highest quality, a desire to innovate, and a dedication to respecting and fostering the talent of those with whom she works."

For her commendable leadership in every role she has assumed, the NMAF is proud to honour Penny Caldwell with the 40th anniversary Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement.

To read more about Penny Caldwell and the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement visit magazine-awards.com/oa.


Ross King Names Cassi Smith the Recipient of the 2017 RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award

Sharing a commitment to emerging Canadian talent, the Charles Taylor Foundation and RBC Wealth Management are pleased to announce that Cassi Smith is the fourth recipient of its annual Emerging Writer Award. The young Saskatchewan writer was chosen by Ross King, winner of the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize for his book Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of Water Lilies. The Award consists of a $10,000 cash prize and mentorship by Mr. King.

RBC Taylor Prize Founder Noreen Taylor commented: "When the people in RBC Wealth Management and the Charles Taylor Foundation looked at the qualities they wanted to in their desired Emerging Author, they outlined all of the qualities we find in Cassi Smith. She has that rare blend of the gift for storytelling, dedication to research, and inherent curiosity that are the hallmarks of great writers of nonfiction. When you think that these are the same qualities that would describe the work of Ross King, I think we can look forward to Cassi Smith's bright future."

Vijay Parmar, president of RBC PH&N Investment Counsel added: "On behalf of RBC Wealth Management, we congratulate Cassie Smith on being named this year's RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award recipient. We believe that offering aspiring Canadian writers opportunities for mentorship, exposure and financial assistance will make a considerable difference to their careers and further influence our country's cultural landscape for generations to come."

"It's a tremendous privilege be able to select the RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Author. I wanted to find a young writer who both wrote compellingly and showed a positive engagement with the world. I'm delighted to have discovered Cassi Smith. I've been impressed with the empathy of her writing and her commitment to human values, which she explores without judgment or sentimentality. Hers is a voice that deserves to be heard, along with those of the people she writes about," said Ross King.

The RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award was established to provide recognition and assistance to a Canadian published author who is working on a significant writing project, preferably but not limited to the genre of literary non-fiction. Through mentorship from the current RBC Taylor Prize winner and the cash award, it is intended that the recipient will be able to progress toward the creation of a first draft.

Cassi Smith was born and raised in Saskatchewan. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Saskatchewan in 2013 with a Double Major in Political Studies and English. Today she is working toward a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing at the University. Ms. Smith received the 2016 University of Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity Scholarship for her nonfiction project in Indigenous Studies. She was a content writer for Sunrise Publishing, (SaskBusiness Magazine, The Saskatchewan Mining Journal) for a number of years before being accepted into the UofS Master of Fine Arts program. Cassi Smith is currently working on a collection of nonfiction short stories based on interviews with Saskatchewan's First Nations Elders.

Ross King is the author of The Judgment of Paris, Brunelleschi's Dome, Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling, Defiant Spirits: The Modernist Revolution of the Group of Seven and Leonardo and the Last Supper. His work has twice won the Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction and has been shortlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize. Born and raised in Canada, he holds degrees from the University of Regina, York University in Toronto and University College, London. He now lives near Oxford, England.

Globe and Mail reporter wins 2017 Landsberg Award

Tavia Grant, a journalist with The Globe and Mail, is this year's winner of The Landsberg Award, in recognition of her exceptional coverage of women's equality issues. Grant's articles explored the trafficking of Indigenous women as well as the ongoing gender pay gap.

"Grant's pieces demonstrated powerful and original research, throwing new and highly relevant light on ongoing issues," says Michele Landsberg, the award-winning Canadian journalist, author, social activist and feminist for whom the award is named and who sits on its jury. "Each of her submissions brought fresh information and insight to long-standing feminist concerns, and the support offered by The Globe is impressive."

The award acknowledges Landsberg's tremendous impact as an advocate and role model for women.

Presented by The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) in association with the Canadian Women's Foundation, The Landsberg Award celebrates a journalist who gives greater profile to women's equality issues. The award recognizes exceptional research, analysis and presentation through a gender lens in print, broadcast or online news.

Grant's series "Missing and Murdered: The Trafficked" focused on how Indigenous women are disproportionately affected by human trafficking. The series generated positive responses from federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett and also helped ensure that Ontario's strategy to combat human trafficking had a specific, Indigenous component. With pieces such as "Ahead of missing and murdered inquiry, Inuit seek to have voices heard," Grant ensured mainstream coverage of an issue that has long been under-reported.

Meanwhile, Grant's story on the gender pay gap, "Women still earning less money than men despite gains in education: study"—an exclusive based on Statistics Canada data produced in response to a Globe request—generated many reader responses, both positive and negative.

Grant has worked at The Globe for 12 years, covering everything from economics to labour, gender issues and public policy.

As Landsberg Award winner, Grant receives $5,000 from the Canadian Women's Foundation, to be presented at the annual CJF Awards, June 8 in Toronto at the Fairmont Royal York. Tickets, tables and sponsorship opportunities are available for the CJF Awards.

Past recipients of The Landsberg Award were the Radio-Canada Enquête duo of journalist Josée Dupuis and producer/director Emmanuel Marchand; Catherine Porter, a social justice columnist and feature reporter with the Toronto Star; Heather Mallick, staff columnist with the Toronto Star and Janet McFarland, business reporter with The Globe and Mail.

Chair - Sally Armstrong, journalist, human rights activist and author
Catherine Cano, president and general manager, CPAC
Lianne George, editor-in-chief, Chatelaine
Michele Landsberg, journalist, author, feminist and social justice advocate
Steve Paikin, host, TVO's The Agenda
Paulette Senior, president and CEO, Canadian Women's Foundation

Twitter: #LandsbergAward


Amazon.ca and the Walrus Foundation Unveil Shortlist for the 41st Annual First Novel Award

 Amazon.ca and the Walrus Foundation today announced the nominees for the 41st annual First Novel Award (www.amazon.ca/firstnovelaward), which celebrates the remarkable achievements of first-time Canadian novelists. This year's finalists will each receive over $6,000 in cash and prizes, and the winner will receive additional prizes totaling over $40,000.

Head judge, Tanis MacDonald, selected all six of the finalists. The author of three books of poetry, Tanis was a finalist for the Gabrielle Roy Prize in Canadian literary criticism in 2013 for her study of elegies, The Daughter's Way. She is an associate professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, where she teaches Canadian literature and creative writing. Additionally, she has served on the juries for the Edna Staebler Award in Creative Non-Fiction and the Edna Staebler Laurier Writer-in-Residence program.

The finalists for the 2017 Amazon.ca First Novel Award, listed alphabetically by each author's last name, are:

White Elephant, Catherine Cooper (Freehand Books)
Accordéon, Kaie Kellough (ARP Books)
So Much Love, Rebecca Rosenblum (McClelland & Stewart)
Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains, Yasuko Thanh (Hamish Hamilton Canada)
The Break, Katherena Vermette (House of Anansi)
"It was a distinct pleasure to be introduced to the dozens of great books that were entered into this year's competition," says head judge, Tanis MacDonald. "The writing and publishing of a first novel is a huge accomplishment in itself. If I had it my way, the shortlist would not have been short at all. While all six books show a great range of styles, perspectives, and subject matters, they have in common a remarkable reach. Each book stretches towards the telling of big story – sometimes via intimate connections – in which people puzzle over history as it has happened (or is happening) to them and how they will live in the face of change. I feel very lucky to have read these books early on in their predictably long shelf lives. I encourage everyone to read them all."

The winner—selected by a panel composed of Tanis MacDonald, Casey Plett, and Gurjinder Basran—will be announced at the annual Amazon.ca First Novel Award ceremony, which will be held on May 25, 2017, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto.

"Over the past 41 years, the First Novel Award has attracted the leading talent in new Canadian literature, and this year is no exception," said Alexandre Gagnon, Vice President of Amazon.ca. "The First Novel Award represents the future of Canadian novelists by recognizing up-and-coming talent and supporting their careers from the very start. I hope our customers dive into each and every one of the novels on the shortlist and are as impressed with them as we are."

Established in 1976, the First Novel Award program has launched the careers of some of Canada's most beloved novelists. Previous winners include Michael Ondaatje (1976), Joan Barfoot (1978), Joy Kogawa (1981), W.P. Kinsella (1982), Nino Ricci (1990), Rohinton Mistry (1991), Shyam Selvadurai (1994), Anne Michaels (1996), Margaret Gibson (1997), André Alexis (1998), Alan R. Wilson and David Macfarlane (co-winners, 1999), Eva Stachniak (2000), Michael Redhill (2001), Mary Lawson (2002), Michel Basilières (2003), Colin McAdam (2004), Joseph Boyden (2005), Madeleine Thien (2006), Gil Adamson (2007), Joan Thomas (2008), Jessica Grant (2009), Eleanor Catton (2010), David Bezmozgis (2011), Anakana Schofield (2012), and Wayne Grady (2013).

For additional information about the finalists and the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, visit www.amazon.ca/firstnovelaward or thewalrus.ca/amazonfirstnovelaward.

Presenting the Shortlist for the 19th Annual Donner Prize

The shortlist for the 2016/2017 Donner Prize, the award recognizing the best public policy book by a Canadian, was announced today by Kenneth Whyte, Chair of the Donner Canadian Foundation.

"Our five finalists are leading academics and award-winning writers who offer Canadians insight into highly topical subjects, elevating the public policy discourse in our country," said Mr. Whyte. "Each of these books deserves a wide-readership, and in announcing the shortlist we invite Canadians to join the conversation."

Donner Prize Jury Chair Peter Nicholson said the five short-listed books cover a wide range of contemporary issues and include thoroughly researched, evidence-based examinations of significant subjects such as medically-assisted dying; separating truth from deception in the digital age; integrating health services to focus on the patient; the growing use of tight, centralized message control in political communications; and the transfer of Western policy models (specifically in the case of central banking) to postcommunist countries. "The books we chose for the shortlist exemplify the criteria established for the Donner Prize—relevant and important topics for Canadian public policy; based on sound and original analysis; and accessible not only to experts but also to a general readership," said Nicholson.

Nicholson added that the five shortlisted books have important implications for Canadians. "By stimulating informed discussion, each of these books will contribute to an even stronger and more inclusive Canadian democracy."

The prestigious Donner Prize, established in 1998, annually rewards excellence and innovation in public policy writing by Canadians. In bestowing this award, the Donner Canadian Foundation seeks to broaden policy debates, increase general awareness of the importance of policy decision-making, and make an original and meaningful contribution to policy discourse.

The 2016/2017 shortlist titles were chosen from a field of 81 submissions; the winner receives $50,000 while each other nominated title receives $7,500.

The winner of this year's Donner Prize will be announced at an awards ceremony in Toronto on Monday, May 15, 2017. The ceremony will be hosted by former Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan, who served as Donner Prize Jury Chair from 2009-2016.

The 2016/2017 Donner Prize finalists are:

L'intégration des services en santé: Une approche populationnelle by Yves Couturier, Lucie Bonin, Louise Belzile (Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal)
Priests of Prosperity: How Central Bankers Transformed the Postcommunist World by Juliet Johnson (Cornell University Press)
A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age by Daniel J. Levitin (Allen Lane Canada, Penguin Random House Canada)
Brand Command: Canadian Politics and Democracy in the Age of Message Control by Alex Marland (UBC Press)
A Good Death: Making the Most of Our Final Choices by Sandra Martin (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.)


The Griffin Poetry Prize Announces the 2017 International and Canadian Shortlist

 Scott Griffin, founder of The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry is pleased to announce the International and Canadian shortlist for this year’s prize. Judges Sue Goyette (Canada), Joan Naviyuk Kane (USA) and George Szirtes (UK) each read 617 books of poetry, from 39 countries, including 23 translations.

The seven finalists – four International and three Canadian – will be invited to read in Toronto at Koerner Hall at The Royal Conservatory in the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto, on Wednesday, June 7 at 7.30 p.m. The seven finalists will each be awarded $10,000 for their participation in the Shortlist Readings.

The winners, to be announced at the Griffin Poetry Prize Awards on Thursday, June 8, will each be awarded $65,000.

International Shortlist

World of Made and Unmade • Jane Mead
Alice James Books

In Praise of Defeat • Donald Nicholson-Smith, translated from the French
written by Abdellatif Laâbi
Archipelago Books

Falling Awake • Alice Oswald
Jonathan Cape/W.W. Norton & Company

Say Something Back • Denise Riley

Canadian Shortlist

Injun • Jordan Abel

Violet Energy Ingots • Hoa Nguyen
Wave Books

Silvija • Sandra Ridley

Each year, The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry presents an anthology of poems selected from the shortlisted books, published by House of Anansi Press. Royalties from The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology are donated to UNESCO’s World Poetry Day.

Tickets for the Shortlist Readings to be held on Wednesday, June 7, at Koerner Hall at The Royal Conservatory in the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto are available at http://performance.rcmusic.ca/event/2017-griffin-poetry-prize-shortlist-readings or by calling (416) 408-0208.

Simon & Schuster Canada to publish riveting memoir by Captain Damian Asher, a firefighter on the front lines in the battle to save Fort McMurray

 Simon & Schuster Canada is proud to announce the publication of Inside the Inferno: A Firefighter's Story of the Brotherhood that Saved Fort McMurray, by Damian Asher with Omar Mouallem, on sale May 2, 2017, one year after the Fort McMurray fire.

What began as a remote forest fire in May 2016 quickly became a nightmare for the 90,000 residents of Fort McMurray and eventually turned into one of the largest natural disasters in Canada's history. As the fire swept through neighbourhoods, it fell to the men and women of the fire department to defend the community and to save thousands of lives. Inside the Inferno is a first-person account of the catastrophe, as told by Damian Asher, a fifteen-year veteran and a captain of the city's fire department.

Born and raised in Fort McMurray, Damian was tasked with protecting not only the city, but also his crew of firefighters. Day after day, his devoted crew tirelessly fought on the front lines. While embers rained down around them, they pushed their minds and bodies to the brink. Damian led his team through the smoke and the flames. He had little time to worry about his personal safety or whether his own family's home—which he had built himself– was still standing. With media unable to get into the locked-down city, the world watched in hope and fear, wondering what was happening on the fiery streets.

Finally, after weeks of battling the flames, the firefighters regained control, but when the smoke cleared, much of the city had been destroyed. Inside the Inferno details the courage, strength, and sacrifice of the firefighters and shows what it takes for a city to reunite and rebuild.

"This gripping, on-the-ground account of the Fort McMurray disaster from Damian Asher is a testament to all of the brave men and women who battled the wildfire. It is a story full of heart that's sure to touch many people across Canada", says Kevin Hanson, President and Publisher of Simon & Schuster Canada.

Simon & Schuster Canada is a division of Simon & Schuster, a part of CBS Corporation. Simon & Schuster is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Digital, and international companies in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. For more information about Simon & Schuster Canada, visit simonandschuster.ca.   

Conspiracy of Wolves: Chilling Novel Begs Burning Question – Who Really Rules Britain?

E RELEASE - 2017 update.
United Kingdom – While most fiction exists to give readers nothing but a quick thrill, British writer Ernie Hasler has a bolder mandate – to expose the dark, inner workings of the nation’s elite.
His vehicle is impressive to say the very least; a blistering new novel that takes readers deep into the dark, nefarious underbelly of our society.
‘Conspiracy of Wolves’. Is powerful, cinematic and is guaranteed to leave its audience with plenty to think about.
Ernie Hasler’s Conspiracy of Wolves Is an explosive political thriller involving a young couple who come into possession of the secret list of names of the people who rule the world. Three hundred powerful individuals, mostly men, but including a few women, comprise The Committee of Three Hundred. Although expertly disguised by their spin doctors and media bosses, the main objective of the Committee of 300 is the maintenance of the capitalist world order where they rule the modern-day serfs regardless of national boundaries.
They want to continue complete control over the world's critical resources and they are heavily involved in the politics of so called democracies, media propaganda, eugenics and the maintenance of capitalist dominance where: “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer".
 The hero and heroine become aware of the murder of the hero’s father, a trade union activist during the miner’s strike and national confrontation where he is given safe keeping of the secret list. Ten years later an updated secret list comes into the hands of his son who is pursued by the police, MI5 agents and gangsters in a mesmerising series of chases and narrow escapes.
The novel explores the legal and moral legitimacy of nuclear weapons of mass destruction and the Romanising of the New Testament by Emperor Constantine during the fourth century and its spread to northern Britain after the Synod of Whitby in 664 and the world in general.
Prepare yourself for fast-paced adventure, captivating characters, exacting detail and riveting storytelling that question our sacred cows, denials and deceptions, firmly embedded in our real world that are almost beyond belief. Are we honest enough to research the truth and change? Read “Conspiracy of Wolves” if you dare.
“There’s many, many dynamic elements to this novel,” explains the author. “If you ever research groups like Bilderberg, you will come to realise that this novel isn’t so far from fiction after all. But we go much deeper than the elite group of three hundred, the capitalist system involves all of us who have savings or pensions making us all complicit in the corrupt system through self-interest.
Continuing, “Most of us turn a blind eye to the conservative forces in society that want to rule us all. “Conspiracy of Wolves”, forces us to think about them and consider the effects they have on our everyday lives. It’s a book for the exploited masses where race or creed matter little, only the financial returns to the rich, nobody is ultimately safe from the international capitalist.”
There really isn’t another book like it out there.”
Early reviews have been extremely positive. For example, Cy B. Hilterman comments, “I really enjoyed this book. It was a very diverse story that kept me guessing all through the book as to what would occur next to the individuals and the collective Gypsies. I highly recommend "Conspiracy of Wolves" and know you will get very engrossed in the story of such interesting people, individually and groups.”
‘Conspiracy of Wolves’ is available now: http://amzn.to/2mV3HXZ. 
About the Author:
Ernie Hasler recently retired at the age of 67 as a health and safety advisor. Over the course of his 51-year career, his work included an involvement with trade unions from the time of his first apprenticeship at 16 at the Ministry of Defence’s Royal Ordnance in Bishopton. His long career allowed him to witness historic changes, while also working close to tragedies, including an explosion in 1960 that left eight co-workers dead. He changed career course at the introduction of The Health and Safety at Work Act to Britain in 1974 and has spent a large amount of life advocating for health, safety and environmental awareness. He is a trustee of Emmaus Glasgow, which supports a community of formerly homeless individuals trying to run their own business as they recover their lives through teamwork.


Be Like a Bullet...Be Unstoppable

 Heroes Like Me Entertainment will release a graphic novel and film called THE FLYING BULLET. It is the tale of Tuskegee Airman, Lt. Curt Masters, who is kidnapped by aliens and has to fight for an Earth that doesn't fight for him. This project has been six years in the making.

Lt. Curt Masters, a Tuskegee Airman, is flying a combat mission over the skies of Nazi Germany in 1945. He encounters an alien craft. He engages the craft unsuccessfully. Soon, he is aboard the UFO and is charged with Obstruction of Galactic Operations. He and the people of earth are on trial for their survival. Can Curt Masters free himself from over a billion miles away? Will he ever return home? Or will he die at the hands of The Warlord. In this new universe, he meets Aliena-a Galactic Police officer, Sutter-a mysterious friend or foe and ARC, who is an android without a will of his own. Curt will learn that once you Look Forward you can Never Go Back. Written by Chris Love, this graphic novel offers new worlds and possibilities. A companion feature film has been adapted from this graphic novel.

This is not a Hollywood blockbuster, but a film by one person, Christopher Love. This film is an independent film made by a fan of sci-fi for fans of sci-fi. The characters in the film will be of african-american, asian and hispanic descent.

"During World War II, Black and White Lives, including First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt; petioned the government to allow Black Americans to fight and defend their country by training them to fly. All they asked in return was the opportunity to enjoy in the blessings of our great nation. This story is about one person who had to fight and defend the whole planet," says Chris Love.

This graphic novel/film is in the direct response to the lack of diversity in Science Fiction and Fantasy.

"We've waited for Hollywood to present stories of the future that has more than Caucasian characters in it. The Future is for everyone, but on the big screen I do not always see someone like me or my kids in that future. I'm doing this for them and other kids of color and diversity who deserves to see themselves on the big screen, tablet or phone to enjoy. Everyone deserves heroes that look like them," says Chris Love.

This is Mr. Love's first graphic novel and film. He has been writing for over 20 years. He is the Chief Creative Officer of Heroes Like Me Entertainment.
Mr. Love concludes by saying, "If you want something you never had, you must do something you never did."
The Flying Bullet can be found on Amazon.com. Go to heroeslikeme.com

Powerful Novel Exposes Horrors of Japanese Military Rule in Singapore; a “Forgotten” Tale of WWII

United Kingdom – In the 1960s, author Stuart James was sent by the RAF to serve in Singapore, a country still deeply scarred by its previous Chinese military rule. During this time, a chance friendship with a Chinese soldier would change James’ outlook on the world forever.
The real-life stories of this maverick friend are now being fused with fiction in a compelling new novel – ‘Rising Sun Memories: 1942-1945’.
Although he witnessed the aftermath of the conflict in full force, Charles Chesham was only a child when World War II raged across Europe. Surviving the Blitz that ravaged Britain and growing up in the rubble and ruin of the post-war years, when he was old enough Charles enlisted into the military himself. Sent to Singapore to serve in the RAF in the early ‘60s, Charles got to experience first-hand how the effects of World War II rocked the world outside of his hometown. Dropped into a country he knows nothing about, Charles quickly strikes up a friendship with his higher-up, Mr Goh, a reserved Chinese soldier who saw out the majority of World War II in the then Japanese-occupied Singapore. As the two grow closer, Goh begins to confide in his new friend, giving Charles an insight into the horror of the Japanese’s brutal military rule. Between two stories taking place over both the centre of the conflict and the sobering aftermath, Rising Sun Memories follows Goh on his clandestine operations fighting the Japanese in Malaya and his quest for revenge against a military organisation that took everything from him. Based on true events, in Rising Sun Memories author Stuart James perfectly captures two different perspectives on the biggest world-changing event in modern history. Bringing to life the harrowing story of Mr. Goh and his experience in occupied Singapore, Rising Sun Memories pulls no punches when it comes to shedding light on a side of the conflict never before documented so vividly. As generations collide, the stories of Charles and his military mentor show that when it comes to war, nobody ever really wins.
“My friend was determined to avenge the murder of his father by the Japanese,” explains the author. “His emotional wounds ran very deep, and I was both lucky and privileged to be given first-hand accounts of his time fighting with fellow Chinese resistance fighters in Singapore and Malaya, against the Japanese. It’s a part of WWII history that has almost been forgotten – so I’m dedicated to keeping it alive.”
Continuing, “Initial reader feedback has been excellent. People are really resonating with my ability to blend fact and fiction into something that is 100% historically and factually accurate, yet also exciting enough to read like a movie.”
Indeed, reviews have been glowing. For example, Mo comments, “Rising Sun Memories is so readable and well written that I finished it in two days. Stuart James brings to life how horrendous it must have been to have lived under Japanese military rule in Singapore. You may think you know what happened in World War 11 but this book brings the facts to life. This is a must read.”
Ella Harwood adds, “A book I really couldn't put down a truly fascinating read. The ruthlessness of the Japanese during their occupation of Singapore is expertly detailed throughout the book. I found myself encapsulated by the characters whilst learning so much I never knew. I'd recommend this book to anyone with a passion and interest of the war as it really does tell a fascinating tale of the occupation of Singapore.”
‘Rising Sun Memories: 1942-1945’ is available now: http://amzn.to/2n2iIHF.
About the Author:
The author is 79 years of age and served with the RAF for sixteen years before commencing a career in Sales Management. A close marriage of fifty years came to a sudden end in 2010 when his wife died suddenly with cancer. To take his mind away from his grief he started to write this story based on his early life in the Far East.

He has a daughter and three grandchildren living close. He lives alone in Aldwick West Sussex with his cat.


50% of Canada’s online population read books at least once a week – lower than global average

 A new 17-country report from GfK shows that 30% of the international online population read books “every day or most days.” This is led by China at 36%, closely followed by Spain and the UK at 32% each. Canada ranks at number 6 on this list. 

However, if the segment is widened to include both daily book readers and those who read “at least once a week,” the international average rises to 59%, with China firmly in the lead (70%) and Canada dropping to number 10 on the list (50%).

Canadian women are more likely to be avid book readers than men
Globally, 32% of women report reading books every or most days, compared to 27% of men. This gender gap among daily book readers is also found in Canada (36% of women versus 23% of men), the Netherlands (30% versus 14%), Spain (40% versus 25%), and Germany (31% versus 19%).

Non-book readers most common in Netherlands and South Korea
The Netherlands and South Korea have the highest percentage of their online populations who report never reading books, standing at 16% each. In South Korea, the non-reader group is fairly evenly divided between men and women, but in the Netherlands it is heavily led by men, with 23% never reading books, compared to just 9% of women. The study also shows that 11% of Canadians also reported never reading books, coming in third along (with the French and Japanese) on the list of non-book readers of the world.

About the study
GfK conducted the online survey with over 22,000 consumers aged 15 or older across 17 countries. Fieldwork was completed in summer 2016. Data are weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population aged 15+ in each market. Countries covered are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, UK and USA.
About GfK
GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.


I Fought Like a Girl, and I Won! New Memoir Chronicles Single Mom Kicking Breast Cancer’s Butt!

United Kingdom – Whether a man, woman, black, white, rich or poor – breast cancer doesn’t select its victims carefully. Everyone is a potential target, but Texan Nicole Dorman didn’t expect to become one of the statistics.

Her fight with the disease now defines not only her life, but her unstoppable determination and hope. Now free and clear of the disease, Dorman and her daughter have teamed up to release ‘I Fought Like a Girl, and I Won!’ – one of the most emotive and empowering memoirs on the market.

“I Fought Like A Girl, And I Won!” is my memoir book of what I encountered having breast cancer. My main goal is to share my journey with other women who have battled cancer, or to be support to women who are newly diagnosed. You can be control of breast cancer; don't let it be in control of you! My story tells of my hope, faith, and courage. Being a single mom to three children is a challenge; but being a single mom to three children and kicking cancer's butt takes determination!

“Anyone can become a victim and, as I know first-hand, your world collapses around you and becomes a very dark place when breast cancer strikes,” explains Dorman. “I wanted to share my story to bring newfound hope and courage to patients everywhere. I want them to know that breast cancer may be aggressive, but it doesn’t always have to be a killer. My life is now richer and more vibrant than it ever was before my diagnosis.”

Continuing, “As mentioned, this project was unique as I teamed up with my own teenage daughter, who has been a talented and gifted artist for ten years. She brings a bold depth to my words with her stunning illustrations. I’m so blessed that our family managed to stay together in the face of such wicked adversity.”

Reviews have been glowing. For example, one Kindle customer comments, “Nicole's book is inspiring, informative and heartwarming.

Unbridled determination to win her battle and a positive mental attitude has allowed her to share her remarkable story with her readers. The photographs and her daughter's beautiful illustrations bring the book to life. Her story will uplift and inspire you.”

Abbie adds, “Quick read with a powerful message. Nicole's story is as good as the woman who wrote. Once you start reading, there is no putting it down. Her personality shines through on these pages!”

‘I Fought Like a Girl, and I Won!’, from Xlibris, is available now: http://amzn.to/2mTGWWI.
Copies can also be purchased from Barnes and Noble, or directly through the publisher.

About the author, in her own words:

I'm 38, and live in Killeen Texas since 2001.  My children are 17, 12, and 9. I'm from Philadelphia PA and graduated from Milton Hershey School in Hershey PA. I served in the U.S. Army from November 1996-November 2000 and 2004. I work part time as a crossing guard and part time Uber driver.  In my free time I like to write, travel, and spend time with family and friends!


Celebrated graphic novel written by immigrant women living in Ontario launches in Ottawa

The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) & Le Mouvement Ontarien des Femmes Immigrantes Francophones (MOFIF) have partnered to create "Telling Our Stories: Immigrant Women's Resilience". The graphic novel which will be launched on Tuesday March 21 in Ottawa, is part of a provincial-wide public education campaign funded by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration to prevent sexual violence in Ontario.

"We decided to use a graphic novel as it's a creative way to tell stories that can introduce new audiences to significant social issues in a visual and engaging way and add to the conversations in our communities to end violence against women," said Debbie Douglas, Executive Director, OCASI.

"Immigrant and refugee women who are survivors of sexual violence have unique barriers in terms of acquiring supports available in their mother tongue," said Fayza Abdallaoui, President, MOFIF. "We hope this bilingual resource will help give women ways to respond to issues they are facing, and to know they are not alone."

The novel features discussion questions for educators and focuses on important themes that:

Challenge perceptions of victim blaming;
Enhance knowledge about consent culture;
Highlight the importance of supporting survivors; and
Respond to workplace sexual harassment.
Ottawa launch details:

YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region
180 Argyle Avenue, Ottawa, ON K2P 1B7
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Representatives from:
CALACS Francophone d'Ottawa
Immigrant Women Services Ottawa
Some of the brave and creative women who were part of the success of: "Telling Our Stories: Immigrant Women's Resilience"

Larry Johnson's New Book "Elixir Vamp" is a Thrilling Science Fiction Novel Centered Around a Secret Alien Invasion, Already Underway, and Gaining Momentum

 Larry Johnson, a Chicago native that grew up knowing he would be a writer, has completed his most recent book “Elixir Vamp”: a gripping and fervent tale of Chicago’s finest racing against an unseen clock to save the human race from certain annihilation.

Larry says that he attributes his inspiration to a wonderful upbringing and strong parents. He shares, “I knew I was going to be a writer because I had so much to tell how wonderful this world could be if one did good. Growing up in Chicago was not a terrible experience for me because most people had morals and some were generally good people. My parents would always tell us to look at the heart. That is why I write, to show that humans are not that bad.”

Published by Fulton Books, Larry Johnson’s book shares the malevolent intentions of a major conglomerate corporation named SEARCH. SEARCH and the beings controlling the nefarious plan have settled in Chicago, Illinois, and begun regenerating their diabolical plan of invading Earth.

These chameleon creatures from a disparate world decided to create something more sinister so they could annihilate the humans. The aliens continue to frame pearly smiles with a different, malevolent plot against the humans, this time using the all too familiar vice of greed.

In accomplishing this task, the aliens strategically replaced officials in key positions with humans under their control. This eerie calamity spares nothing for the earthlings but one disturbing inevitability and that was for the aliens to divide and conquer. This time the discovery of the alien's’ presence occurred by a group of Chicago’s finest police homicide detectives.

Readers who wish to experience this dramatic and provocative work can purchase “Elixir Vamp” at bookstores everywhere, or online at the Apple iTunes store, Amazon, Google Play or Barnes and Noble.


The Charm of Revenge, a Murder/Mystery Suspense Thriller by Tom Secret

Published by Amazon.com, author Tom Secret introduces us to the dark world of government surveillance, and the extremes a family are forced to resort to, to protect their children and themselves.

"A thrilling ride, with three-dimensional characters and a story that will have you racing to the end, where everyone has a secret to tell, including the dead." -MICHAEL CARR

The story begins as Brad and Lola Fairweather are rebuilding their lives after the death of their baby daughter Daisy, six years prior. They discover they are being targeted by a rogue IRS department and its tormented leader, with a secret agenda. When horrifying new details emerge, the Fairweathers are forced to take the law into their own hands. With the body count rising, Detective Lt. Donatello races to assemble the pieces, but finds his own fate hangs in the balance.

“A thrilling ride, with three-dimensional characters and a story that will have you racing to the end, where everyone has a secret to tell, including the dead." -- Michael Carr – Editor of a dozen New York Times best sellers and another dozen Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, international, and Amazon best sellers.

The Charm of Revenge ties in a number of relevant social issues, from the Second Amendment to the US Constitution - the right to bear arms; to the Fourth Amendment - the right to privacy. So, strap yourself in while this white-knuckle killer thriller takes you on a horrifying ride of revelation and revenge, as the Fairweathers take on a faceless enemy.

The Charm of Revenge by Tom Secret is available to download free from Amazon – promotion offer ends 03/12/2017

Pink Triangle Press names David Walberg executive director

 Pink Triangle Press, Canada's leading LGBT media group, announced today the appointment of David Walberg as its executive director, effective April 3, 2017. Walberg will lead a team of 55 staff in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver, as announced today by board members Negar Farjadnia and Jim Bartley.

After a rigorous search, the board of directors for Pink Triangle Press (PTP) concluded that Walberg's excellent leadership experience, along with his strong track record of success in the various positions he has held within the organization, made him an outstanding candidate for the role.

"David Walberg will lead Pink Triangle Press with tremendous energy and skill," says Gillian Rodgerson, a member of the board of directors at PTP. "His accomplishments as an activist and as a publisher, and his imaginative approach to our work, made him the right choice."

Walberg has worked at PTP for more than 25 years, and is currently its digital chief executive. He has spearheaded major strategy and technology changes across the company, helping PTP grow as a leader in championing for LGBT rights and ensuring that the organization would be financially independent to promote sexual freedom and equality, and is continuing to enjoy growth in its audience and engagement.

"I'm honoured by the opportunity to lead one of the world's great LGBT media enterprises," says Walberg of his appointment. "I look forward to working with our incredibly talented staff, board, contributors and partners to help keep our communities vital and strong."

As publisher and editor-in-chief, Walberg led the flagship paper Xtra through a successful era of growth in influence, reach and revenue. He was the co-creator of PTP's adult online dating website Squirt.org, leading the project from inception into a worldwide paid network. Walberg also led the expansion of PTP journalism from its print origins into new media, reaching new communities and audiences worldwide.

Walberg initiated the latest round of strategic planning at PTP and oversees the execution of its current plan which has brought financial stability to the organization. As a result of this strategy, the Press has become one of the rare media enterprises to develop a sustainable digital business model.

Walberg succeeds Ken Popert, who has led PTP since 1986. Popert preserved the organization when The Body Politic, its key title at the time, ceased publication. He recreated the Press as an influential and financially viable enterprise and retires after overseeing an era of tremendous growth and change.

About Pink Triangle Press (http://www.pinktrianglepress.com)
Pink Triangle Press (PTP) is Canada's leading LGBT media organization. Founded in 1971, Pink Triangle Press produces LGBT journalism at DailyXtra.com and through a variety of content distribution relationships in Canada and abroad. The Press operates the gay adult dating website Squirt.org and has produced a number of television projects, including the travel show Bump! and The Gayest Show Ever.

PTP's defining activity is LGBT journalism. Frustrated that there wasn't a voice representing the political and social concerns of gay men and lesbians, a group of Toronto activists launched the gay liberation newspaper, The Body Politic, in 1971. In 2008, The Body Politic was named by Masthead magazine as one of "Canada's 20 most influential magazines of all time."

Over four decades, PTP grew from a small grassroots operation to one of the most diversified LGBT multimedia enterprises in the world, with a roster of brands ranging from the Xtra publications in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver, to online publishing and television production.

PTP is a mission-guided community organization without shareholders, governed by a board of directors. The board entrusts the achievement of our mission to the executive director, who heads a workforce located in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal.

About David Walberg
David Walberg has held many positions at PTP over more than 25 years. As publisher and editor-in-chief, Walberg led the flagship paper Xtra through a successful era of growth in influence, reach and revenue.

Walberg was the co-creator of PTP's adult online dating website Squirt.org, leading the project from inception to profitability. More recently, he returned to that project to create the conditions for its current phase of growth and expansion.

Walberg led the evolution of PTP's journalism from its print origins into new media and new communities. He brought Xtra online and created in-house video production at the Press. He and his team oversaw delivery of PTP journalism to new audiences through new partners including YouTube, and television networks and film festivals around the world.

Walberg initiated the latest round of strategic planning at the Press and oversees the execution of the current plan which has brought financial stability to the organization. As a result of this strategy, the Press has become one of the rare media enterprises to develop a sustainable digital business model. 


TVO TeachOntario awarded by the Ontario School Library Association

Toronto Public Library is celebrating Freedom to Read Week from February 26 to March 4. This annual event encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom. This freedom is a core value for public libraries, and also the foundation of a democratic society.

Public libraries are welcoming, inclusive spaces that make available the widest diversity of opinions and perspectives - both in our collections and in our programs - including those that are unpopular, unconventional and even unacceptable to some.

Seventy percent of Torontonians use the library regularly, borrowing more than 30 million items every year and attending thousands of programs that give people uncensored access to a wide variety of topics, beliefs and opinions.

Here's how you can participate in Freedom to Read 2017:

Attend a program on intellectual freedom in the surveillance age or an uncensored writing workshop

Read City Librarian Vickery Bowles' letter to the city about how libraries preserve democracy

Participate in a Banned Books Challenge on Facebook and Instagram starting February 26

Join our Reddit AMA on Wed, Mar 1 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Check out the materials that have been challenged in our collections

Learn how we select the materials you find in branches and online
Get the details on all Freedom to Read activities.

Freedom to Read Week is organized nationally by the Freedom of Expression Committee of the Book and Periodical Council.

Toronto Public Library

Toronto Public Library is the world's busiest urban public library system. Last year, we had 18 million visits to our branches and 31 million virtual visits. Torontonians borrowed 32 million items in branches and online. To learn more, visit tpl.ca, call Answerline at 416-393-7131 or follow us on Twitter @torontolibrary.


RBC announces 30 Black History Month Student Essay Competition scholarship winners

As Canada prepares to celebrate its 150th birthday, RBC asked high school students to reflect on the contribution of black Canadians over the past 150 years and what future generations can learn from them. 30 winners were chosen from a record-number of entries, including the top three winners:

$5,000: Kharissa Edwards, Mississauga, ON. Kharissa wrote about Josiah Henson and the pathway that he helped pave for future generations.

$2,500: Sarah Konermann, London, ON. Sarah wrote about the power of words to create change, specifically those of Canadian author Lawrence Hill.

$1,500: Britney Trieu, Calgary, AB. Britney wrote about Rosemary Brown, the first black Canadian woman elected to a provincial legislature.

Winners were selected by a panel of individuals from all across the country who have each made a tremendous impact within their communities. Among them are lawyer Doug Ruck of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Carlton University professor Nduka Otiono, and museum professional Julian Kingston of Oakville, Ontario.

"Not only was it fantastic that so many submissions came in, the quality, caliber and diversity of the students' work was also very impressive," said Douglas Ruck, former Chair of the Nova Scotia Labour Board and former Vice Chair of the Canada Industrial Relations Board. "While I consider myself well-versed in Black history, there is no doubt I learned a lot and acquired a fresh perspective after reading the essays! Sincere congratulations to all the students who entered the competition, and especially to Kharissa, Sarah and Britney for earning the top three awards."

TVO TeachOntario awarded by the Ontario School Library Association

 Last night, TVO TeachOntario, an online community for teachers, received the 2016 Ontario School Library Association OSLA Award for Special Achievement. Presented at the Ontario Library Association (OLA) Super Conference, the OSLA Award recognizes individuals or organizations that have provided significant support to teacher-librarians, and school library information centre development, in Ontario.

"It is an honour for TeachOntario to be recognized by the OSLA," said Lisa de Wilde, TVO's Chief Executive Officer. "TeachOntario was designed to support sharing, collaboration and knowledge exchange amongst educators across Ontario. By partnering with educators, we're committed to improving student outcomes and well-being."

As the Government of Ontario's partner for digital learning inside and outside the classroom, TVO TeachOntario supports digital learning and sharing amongst almost 7,000 registered users across Ontario. TeachOntario was developed by TVO in partnership with the Ontario Teachers' Federation (OTF), its Affiliates and the Ministry of Education, and in consultation with teachers from a variety of districts across the province. The online community was also recognized by the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC), receiving the Deloitte IPAC Public Sector Leadership Award in 2015.

TVO's suite of digital learning resources includes TVO mPower, a creative online game that teaches fundamental K-6 math skills while enabling students to have fun and learn more about the world around them; TVO Homework Help, free online math tutoring by teachers; and TVO ILC, Ontario's largest public high school.

Shortlist Announced for the 2017 Lionel Gelber Prize

 Jury Chair John Stackhouse announces five finalists for the 2017 Lionel Gelber Prize:

Rosa Brooks (Washington, DC) author of How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon published by Simon & Schuster

Shadi Hamid (Washington, DC) author of Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the World, published by St. Martin's Press

Arkady Ostrovsky (London, England) author of The Invention of Russia: From Gorbachev's Freedom to Putin's War, published by Viking

Laura Secor (Brooklyn, NY) author of Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul of Iran, published by Allen Lane Canada/Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House

Robert F. Worth (Washington, DC) author of A Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The 2017 Jury members are John Stackhouse, Chair, (Toronto, Canada); 2016 Lionel Gelber Prize winner and journalist Scott Shane (Maryland, USA), Professor Allison Stanger (Vermont, USA), Dr. Astrid Tuminez (Singapore), and Professor Antje Wiener (Hamburg, Germany).

The Lionel Gelber Prize Podcast series presents fascinating interviews with all five of this year's finalists in conversation with Professor Robert Steiner, founder of the Fellowships in Global Journalism at the Munk School of Global Affairs. Special thanks to funding media partner Focus Asset Management for their support of these podcasts. The series is posted at our website and on iTunes.

Key Dates:
The winner will be announced on February 28 and invited to speak at a free public event at Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs on March 29, 2017.


'Juniper Smoke', Debut Novel by Sadia Ash Gains Steam in Hollywood

Juniper Smoke, a fresh new novel series by Sadia Ash that swept the women's lit world, will now be optioned as a major film by Cinespots, Clover Entertainment Inc. and other production companies (TBA). This is the first romance series since Fifty Shades of Grey and Me Before You to gain such momentum in Hollywood.

Juniper Smoke centers on the quirky affair of Juniper Mills and Kyle Paxton, who are as different as Red and Blue America. He is a micro-camera inventor from San Francisco and she is a sassy museum curator in Michigan. The sole caretaker of her autistic twin and comatose mother, Juniper was raised to hate all men. Until she meets Kyle. Haunted by his girlfriend's ghost who commits suicide, Kyle schedules dating like work -- with clockwork precision. When he falls for Juniper, his life spins off its axis.

The Juniper Series is written by Sadia Ash and edited by Beth Bruno. The trilogy consists of JUNIPER SMOKE and KYLE & JUNIPER (Book I & II in one 700 page e-book $1.99, Paperback $17.99) and the upcoming, FINDING JUNIPER.

"Juniper Smoke cuts a sweet story of love and nostalgia with the razor edge of modern dating," says producer Stephanie Johnson of Clover Entertainment. "It blends stark reality with the fun of a romance universe." Johnson was key in bringing the Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day to Lionsgate and says in a film world lacking diverse female voices, Juniper Smoke is a welcome addition.

"The series is an edgy drama with dark secrets, complex characters, mystical elements, and more plot twists than a Six Flags roller coaster ride," said Tedd Faraone, President of Cinespots. "We look forward to seeing Juniper Smoke in theaters." Cinespots is a distribution company that ran the novel's book trailer in 108 theaters across America.

With refrains of suicide, rape, and misogyny, Juniper Smoke tackles a lot without losing its entertainment value. The talented Ash says, "Love makes me write and loss keeps me awake at night. A recurring theme in my books is the transitory nature of love. To me, that is the saddest story of all."

Huffington Post calls Juniper Smoke, "the must read romance." Readers fell for the mysterious Kyle Paxton and made it a surprise indie hit. Robotic and inflexible, Kyle has a condition that makes him see the world in numbers and data. Schmexy Girls, a leading book blog, says: "He is an enigma, a puzzle we want to solve and see the real man behind the façade he carefully crafts. You must meet Kyle and Juniper and fall in love with their one of a kind story."

Nominated for several reader and book awards, the trilogy has fans impatient for the final book. "Juniper Smoke kept me up two nights in a row, my eyes glued to my screen as I flipped page after page. I read it on the bus, while eating dinner, making breakfast, tying my shoes, everywhere. That hasn't happened since Harry Potter," says Kika on Goodreads.

Sadia Ash, has also written Harbor Haven, a political thriller screenplay and the Time and Tide, a trilogy about Victorian female artists. "Art is fading as technology takes over and my characters, like Juniper, got lost at the intersection of art and history."

As Ash finishes the last book in the series, Clover Entertainment is currently in talks with screenwriters, producers, actors and studios about the film adaptation of Juniper Smoke.

Sandra Martin Wins the 2017 BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction

British Columbia Achievement Foundation Chair, Scott McIntyre, is pleased to announce that Sandra Martin has won the 2017 British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction for "A Good Death: Making the Most of Our Final Choices".

Martin was presented with the $40,000 prize by Hon. Peter Fassbender, BC's Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development at a ceremony that also celebrated finalists Taras Grescoe for Shanghai Grand: Forbidden Love and International Intrigue on the Eve of the Second World War; Robert Moor for On Trails: An Exploration; and, Alexandra Shimo for Invisible North: The Search for Answers on a Troubled Reserve.

Now in its 13th year, British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction is one of Canada's major national book prizes and the only one to originate in BC. The annual award is presented by the British Columbia Achievement Foundation, an independent foundation established by the Province in 2003 to celebrate excellence in the arts, humanities, enterprise, and community service.

"On behalf of the BC Achievement Foundation, I applaud this year's finalists for inspiring us all with their extraordinary books," said McIntyre. "They join an impressive group of 52 writers recognized for excellence by the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction since the program's inception in 2005. Congratulations to Sandra Martin and to all the finalists."

The 2017 jury panel members were Hal Wake, artistic director of the Vancouver Writers Fest; John Burns, editorial director of Echo Storytelling Agency in Vancouver; and Jan Walter, editor, publishing executive and book seller.

The jury cited:

"Sandra Martin's A Good Death will make an enormous contribution to our ongoing, often contentious public debate on the issue. Her careful and thorough research provides historical context, legislative precedents, the effect of medical technology and philosophical and religious insights. What truly distinguishes this book is the reportage on individuals and families who have fought to arrange for a better death, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. These firsthand experiences are the beating heart of a timely and powerful examination."

Nation-wide celebration of the importance of literacy and learning during Family Literacy Day®

 Today across Canada families, literacy groups, schools, libraries and community organizations are gathering in their communities to celebrate the importance of literacy and learning in honour of Family Literacy Day -- Canada's largest family literacy initiative.

Launched in 1999 by ABC Life Literacy Canada, Family Literacy Day takes place annually on January 27 to encourage families to take time each day to engage in reading and other literacy-related activities together. Taking time every day to practice literacy as a family is crucial to a child's development and the benefits of spending this time together are also hugely impactful to adults' skills.

"Family Literacy Day is a wonderful opportunity for families to spend time learning together while building skills and strengthening the important family bond," says Mack Rogers, Director of Programs at ABC Life Literacy Canada. "We are so pleased to see the growth of Family Literacy Day with activities taking place from coast-to-coast-to-coast, engaging families to incorporate learning in their daily lives."

ABC is honoured to work with Barbara Reid, award-winning Canadian author and illustrator who is also the Honourary Chair of Family Literacy Day. In her role as Honourary Chair, Barbara is attending events, participated in a Tweet chat and also created special Family Literacy Day tips that combine literacy activities and her signature art tool, modelling clay.

"I am proud to be the Family Literacy Day Honourary Chair," says Barbara Reid. "I have participated in Family Literacy Day events for several years and it's inspiring to connect with so many families. I encourage reading and literacy engagement through my work as an author and illustrator. Literacy connects us to the world, and it all starts in the family."

As part of Family Literacy Day 2017, families are invited to Learn at Play Every Day with free downloadable resources and activity ideas at www.FamilyLiteracyDay.ca. ABC Life Literacy Canada suggests the following ideas to embrace daily learning opportunities:

Attend a local Family Literacy Day event in your community. Visit www.FamilyLiteracyDay.ca for event listings.

Write a grocery list with your child and let kids find all the items in the store -- a fun way to do the grocery shopping!

Play a board game to learn together as a family. Read the instructions aloud and count how many spaces to travel around the board.

Sing along to songs on the radio. Singing encourages learning patterns of words, rhymes and rhythms, and is strongly connected to language skills.

Travel the world using your library card as your passport to check out books on different countries.

For more information, literacy resources or event listings, visit www.FamilyLiteracyDay.ca.
Toronto Star and Toronto Public Library Launch 2017 Short Story Contest​
Are you an aspiring writer who wants to see if you have what it takes to be a published author?

If so, here's your opportunity to see your story published in Canada's largest newspaper and to study with some of the top creative writing teachers in the country.

Starting Saturday, January 7, writers and aspiring authors who live in Ontario can enter the Toronto Star 2017 Short Story Contest, the biggest contest of its kind in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The annual contest, which attracts approximately 2,000 entries each year, is co-sponsored by the Toronto Public Library and the Humber School for Writers.
All submissions must be received by 5 p.m., Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

The first-place winner in the contest, which now is in its 39th year, will receive $5,000, plus the tuition fee for the 30-week creative writing correspondence program at the Humber School for Writers, which has an approximate value of $3,000.

In addition, the second-place winner will receive a cash prize of $2,000 and the third-place winner will get $1,000.
The contest is open to all Ontario residents 16 years of age or older. Entrants can write on any topic they want. Stories must be original, previously unpublished and no longer than 2,500 words. Entries are limited to one per person. There is no fee to enter the contest.

The Toronto Public Library has been a partner with the Star in presenting the contest for the last eight years. This is the sixth straight year that the Humber School for Writers has also been a partner in the contest.

"The Toronto Star Short Story Contest is an exciting venture for all of Ontario, allowing us a glimpse of the wide-ranging talent we have in Toronto and all over Ontario," said Vickery Bowles, City Librarian of the Toronto Public Library.

A Humber School for Writers' panel will read all of the entries and narrow the submissions to a short list of 25-30 stories. The winners will be selected from the short list by a panel of distinguished judges, including Bowles, award-winning Toronto short story author Pasha Malla, Toronto Star books editor Deborah Dundas and theatre critic and author Richard Ouzounian.

Winners will be announced in April and their stories will be published in full in the Toronto Star. For complete contest rules, please visit www.thestar.com/shortstory

Jury Announced for the 27th Annual Lionel Gelber Prize​
 Sara Charney, chair of the Lionel Gelber Prize and president of The Lionel Gelber Foundation, and Stephen Toope, director of the Munk School of Global Affairs, are pleased to announce an outstanding jury for the 2017 Prize, as follows:

John Stackhouse, jury chair (Toronto, Canada) is joined by 2016 Lionel Gelber Prize winner and journalist Scott Shane (Maryland, USA), Professor Allison Stanger (Vermont, USA), Dr. Astrid Tuminez (Singapore), and Professor Antje Wiener (Hamburg, Germany) to form the 2017 jury.

"Created in memory of the Canadian scholar, diplomat and author Lionel Gelber, we are gratified that the Prize attracts such distinguished jurors, year after year," said Ms Charney, niece of the late Lionel Gelber.

Key Dates:

Five books will be named to the jury's shortlist on January 31. Podcast interviews with each of the shortlisted authors in conversation with Professor Robert Steiner will be presented in partnership with Focus Asset Management. The winner will be announced on February 28 and invited to speak at a free public event at the Munk School of Global Affairs on March 29, 2017.

About the Prize:

The Lionel Gelber Prize, a literary award for the world's best non-fiction book in English on foreign affairs that seeks to deepen public debate on significant international issues, was founded in 1989 by Canadian diplomat Lionel Gelber. A cash prize of $15,000 is awarded to the winner. The award is presented annually by The Lionel Gelber Foundation, in partnership with Foreign Policy magazine and the Munk School of Global Affairs.

Scott Shane won the 2016 Prize for his book Objective Troy: A Terrorist, a President, and the Rise of the Drone, published by Tim Duggan Books. The Prize marked its 25th anniversary in 2015 with a commemorative video that explored 25 years of global change in conversation with five of its previous winners.

Toni Morrison Receives The 2016 Emerson-Thoreau Medal From The American Academy Of Arts And Sciences ​

Author of “Searching for Gilead” and “August Farewell” releases collection of gay short stories

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has named Toni Morrison as the recipient of the 2016 Emerson-Thoreau Medal for her distinguished achievement in the field of literature. This award will be presented to Professor Morrison, a member of the Academy, on April 6, 2017, at the House of the Academy in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

"As the recipient of the Emerson-Thoreau Medal, we recognize Toni Morrison for her excellence in the humanities and for her commitment to the ideals of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, which, in the words of our charter, include 'to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people,'" said Jonathan F. Fanton, President of the American Academy.

Established in 1958, the medal is awarded to an individual for his or her total literary achievement rather than for a specific work.

Previous recipients of the Emerson-Thoreau Medal include: Robert Frost, T.S. Eliot, Katherine Anne Porter, Hannah Arendt, Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer, and Philip Roth.

"Toni Morrison is an overwhelming figure in American and world literature," wrote one of her nominators for this prize. "Her novels are already standard texts in high schools (The Bluest Eye) and colleges (Beloved). Playing in the Dark, her work of literary criticism, has been hugely influential in the field of American literary history. We simply do not read our classical American writers, from Poe to Cather to Hemingway, the same way after this seminal book on the 'Africanist' presence in our canonical works."

Toni Morrison is the Robert F. Goheen Professor emerita in the Humanities at Princeton University, where she taught from 1989 to 2006. She won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award in 1988 for Beloved. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. In 1996, the National Endowment for the Humanities selected her for the Jefferson Lecture, the U.S. federal government's highest honor for achievement in the humanities. She was also honored with the 1996 National Book Foundation's Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. In 2012, Morrison received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, exploration of the black experience, and richly detailed African-American characters. Her use of fantasy, her sinuous poetic style, and her rich interweaving of the mythic give her stories great strength and texture. Among her best known works are The Bluest Eye (1970), Sula (1973), Song of Solomon (1977), Tar Baby (1981), Beloved (1987), Love (2003), and A Mercy (2008). Song of Solomon, whose publication first brought Morrison to national attention, is told by a male narrator in search of his identity. Tar Baby, set on a Caribbean island, explores conflicts of race, class, and sex. The critically acclaimed Beloved, considered by many Morrison's masterpiece, is based on the true story of a runaway slave who, at the point of recapture, kills her infant daughter in order to spare her a life of slavery. In 1994, Morrison established the Princeton Atelier, a unique program that brings together professional artists from different disciplines to create new work. The program has hosted Peter Sellars, Yo-Yo Ma, A.S. Byatt, and American Ballet Theatre among many others. In 2010, she was made an Officer of the French Legion of Honor. Morrison received the B.A. degree (1953) in English and classics from Howard University and the M.A. (1955) in English from Cornell University. She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1988.

David G. Hallman does it again, with “Book Tales”​

Author of “Searching for Gilead” and “August Farewell” releases collection of gay short stories

Already well-received author of gay books, David G. Hallman, has released a collection of short stories.

“Book Tales” is a collection of literary short stories, about living and loving as an openly gay man.

“These stories revolve around the characters’ interactions with a piece of literature,” Hallman said. “The tales are emotionally engaging and intellectually stimulating, while exploring the joys and heartaches, ups and downs, of personal and social relationships.”

Hallman is an established author, having published a number of books on environmental and social ethics, throughout his career, as well as a memoir, “August Farewell,” written after the loss of his long-time partner. He later authored a gay novel, “Searching for Gilead.”

Along with “Book Tales,” Hallman’s books have earned him the coveted “Editor’s Choice” and “Rising Star” awards.

“I’m so thrilled with the reception this book has already received,” Hallman said. “I find pure passion in connecting with readers who share my love of literature.”

For more information, visit: www.DavidGHallman.com

Book Tales
By David G. Hallman
ISBN: 978-1-53200-248-9
Available at iUniverse and Amazon

About the author
David G. Hallman worked on international environmental ethics for most of his career and, during that time, authored five books. His writing has branched out in a new direction with the release of his memoir, “August Farewell.” He has since released his novel, “Searching for Gilead,” and the short story collection, “Book Tales.” He lives in Toronto, Canada.

Indigo's Last Minute Gift Guide: Make it Merry for Everyone on your List​
Indigo, the world's first cultural department store for booklovers, is thrilled to present its Last Minute Gift Guide. In the guide, find the best books from from Heather's Holiday Picks list, and gifts at every price. There is still time to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list at Indigo, Chapters and Coles stores across Canada.

At Indigo, we believe that books make the very best gifts. Heather Reisman, Indigo's CEO and Chief Booklover, has announced her list of Heather's Holiday Picks for kids and adults. Whether you're shopping for a child who's hooked on adventure, or a friend who is looking for her next favourite read, make it merry with a book they're sure to love. Included on the list are Chris Hadfield's The Darkest Dark, a children's book by Canada's favourite astronaut, and The Best Kind of People by celebrated Canadian author Zoe Whittall, named Indigo's Best Book of 2016. Heather's Holiday Picks list is full of buzzworthy titles that booklovers of all ages will love to receive this season.

Gift giving is easier than ever by shopping Indigo's assortment of gorgeous holiday gifts by price point. Find sure-to-be-loved stocking stuffers, Secret Santa gifts and beautiful bundles for friends and family, all under one roof at Indigo, Chapters and Coles.

Visit your nearest store for more gift giving advice and inspiration. While in-store, connect with expert booksellers to discover the best local reads, Staff Pick titles, popular gifts, and so much more. Plus, add joy to the season with always FREE kids' gift wrap at IndigoKids locations across Canada.

Heather's Holiday Book Picks

Adult Picks:

Fiction: Wenjack by Joseph Boyden
Fiction: The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall
Non-fiction: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
Non-fiction: Waiting for First Light by Romeo Dallaire
Non-fiction: In the Company of Women
Cookbook: Oh She Glows Everyday by Angela Liddon
Young Adult: The Sun is Also A Star by Nicole Yoon
Young Adult: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by JK Rowling
Kids Picks:

Ages 0-2: Canada ABC by Paul Covello
Ages 2-4: The Storybook Knight by Helen Docherty
Ages 3-5: Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield
Ages 8-10: Canada Year by Year by Elizabeth MacLeod
Shop Great Gifts by Price

Gifts Under $25

Mini Waffle Knit Hat
On the Rock Glass
Virtual Reality Headset
Mini Maze
Get Inspired Objet
Poured Glass Candle – Snowy Pine
Gifts Under $50

Photo Pillow Covers
Stadium Throw
Crofters Plaid Throw
Super Soft Scarf
Thymes Frasier Fir Poured Candle
Reading Socks
S'well Water Bottle
Expression Marble & Copper Cheese Board
Gifts Under $75

S'well Titanium Metallic Waterbottle
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Expressions LED Light - Love
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Case-Mate Brilliance Tough Case for iPhone
Braided Cable Knit Sherpa Throw
Silver Globe
About Indigo Books & Music Inc.

Indigo is a publicly traded Canadian company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (IDG). As the largest book, gift and specialty toy retailer in Canada, Indigo operates in all provinces under different banners including Indigo Books & Music; Indigo Books, Gifts, Kids; Indigospirit; Chapters; and Coles. The online channel, indigo.ca, offers a one-stop online shop with a robust selection of books, toys, home décor, stationery, and gifts.

Merriam-Webster Announces "Surreal" as 2016 Word of the Year​

 Merriam-Webster Inc., America's leading dictionary publisher, has announced its top Words of the Year for 2016. This year's data-driven list is determined by two simple criteria: the words must show a high volume of lookups and a significant year-over-year increase in lookups at Merriam-Webster.com. The results shed light on topics and ideas that sparked the nation's interest in 2016.

The Word of the Year for 2016 is surreal—with lookups of the word spiking after a number of major events worldwide, beginning with the Brussels terror attacks in March. Surreal was used in descriptions of the coup attempt in Turkey later in the year and in coverage of the terrorist attack in Nice. The largest spike in lookups for surreal followed the U.S. election in November.

"Spikes of interest in a word are usually triggered by a single event, so what's truly remarkable this year about surreal is that so many different stories led people to look it up," says Peter Sokolowski, Editor at Large for Merriam-Webster. "Historically, surreal has been one of the words most searched after tragedy, most notably in the days following 9/11, but it was associated with a wide variety of stories this year."

Other top lookups this year include bigly—interestingly the most looked-up word that was never actually used. Donald Trump used the phrase big league in a presidential debate, and often throughout the election, but the manner in which he pronounced the words caused many people to assume he was using a single word—bigly.

The word deplorable saw a large spike in lookups after Hillary Clinton used it in an unusual way.

Deplorable is defined as an adjective but Clinton's unfamiliar use of the word as a noun may have sent people to the dictionary for clarification.

Pop culture and entertainment drove lookups to revenant, the frontier film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and a word frequently looked up from the film's release through his Oscar win. The news of Prince's death caused a spike in the word icon, meaning "a person who is very successful and admired." The return of Gilmore girls inspired many people to look up the Latin phrase in omnia paratus, which means "ready for all things."

"Events often have specific words tied to them, and it's always fascinating to see which of those words people latch onto," says Kory Stamper, Associate Editor at Merriam-Webster. "You can get a sense as to how people are responding to an event by the words that are looked up again and again."

The Best Books of 2016​


The holiday season is upon us and many will be receiving new devices. As people unwrap their new tablets and eReaders and begin to explore, the number of digital books borrowed from public libraries across the country will increase. Just in time for the reading rush, the Professional Book Nerds, OverDrive's staff librarians and hosts of one of the leading podcasts on books, have released their list of the top reads of the year. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and curl up on the couch with one of the Professional Book Nerds' best books of 2016 (available as an eBook and/or audiobook):

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp (Sourcebooks)
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (Random House Publishing Group)
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (Crown/Archetype)
Shrill by Lindy West (Hachette Books)
Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris (St. Martin's Press)
Evicted by Matthew Desmond (Crown/Archetype)
The Girls by Emma Cline (Random House Publishing Group)
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (Bloomsbury Publishing)
The Nix by Nathan Hill (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)
Morning Star by Pierce Brown (Random House Publishing Group)

To hear the full list of the 30 best books of 2016, download the Professional Book Nerds podcast. Readers can borrow these books as digital books, for free, anytime and anywhere from their local library. All that is needed is a library card and the OverDrive app installed on the new or favorite reading device. To find a local library and get started reading visit overdrive.com.

It's been a delectable year for readers, but for most it's hard to choose the next great book. OverDrive's Professional Book Nerds podcast provides weekly expert recommendations and talks about the hottest books coming out so people always have something to read. Every eBook or audiobook discussed on the show can be borrowed through public libraries. Launched one year ago, the Professional Book Nerds podcast has been downloaded more than 170,000 times. In addition to recommendations, readers tune in weekly for interviews with bestselling authors like James Patterson, Lee Child, Jodi Picoult, James Dashner and more.

"As a reader, I love listening to the Professional Book Nerds podcast, and as an author, I love being on," said Marieke Nijkamp, author of This Is Where It Ends. "I visited the podcast twice this year, and it was an absolute joy both times. The questions are wonderful, the book nerdery is great, and it also happens to be a fantastic way to get the word out!"

"Sourcebooks has been privileged to be an inaugural partner of OverDrive's Professional Book Nerds author podcast program," said Margaret Coffee, National Accounts Manager, Sourcebooks. "The PBN's enthusiasm for literature comes through in insightful, well researched questions and their lively repartee with the authors"

The Professional Book Nerds podcast can be found on iTunes, Stitcher, the Google Play Music Store, iHeartRadio and most podcast apps. Contact the Professional Book Nerds on Twitter, Facebook, or email at professionalbooknerds@overdrive.com.

Best-Selling Supernatural Author Revises "Answer Guide to the Paranormal" Book​

 Author and paranormal investigator Rob Gutro has updated, revised and added 6 new chapters to his second book "Lessons Learned from Talking to the Dead: An Answer Guide to the Paranormal." The book sports a new cover that contains the haunting face of a female ghost encountered during an investigation.

"I wrote this as an answer guide to all questions about the paranormal," Rob said. "Every chapter contains experiences that address questions such as what happens to suicide and murder victims and so much more." Readers will experience a "Spirit Treasure Hunt" of messages that prove a spirit was with all the members of his family and prove he didn't commit suicide. They'll meet the ghost of John Wilkes Booth and see photo proof of a ghostly face from a "Double Murder Ghost Investigation."


  "Lessons" was originally published in 2012. The 2016 version includes six new chapters and all other chapters enhanced and the book reformatted. New chapters address a Double Murder Ghost Investigation; Angels, Demons and Dark Entities; 3 Ghosts of Christmas Past and John Wilkes Booth's Ghost, Baltimore's Haunted Book Escape, A Band of Spirits; and Spirits all in the Family.

Readers will learn the difference between a ghost and a spirit. Learn lessons spirits want us to know to live better on Earth. Experience cemeteries, battlefields, historic places, spirits of suicide, murder victims, angels and demons, poltergeists, ashes, slow death experiences, how to protect yourself, reincarnation and how infants and animals pass messages to the living. You'll even explore many haunted locations around the U.S. and beyond.

The author is a medium, paranormal investigator, scientist and dog dad. He provides proof that people and pets do communicate with us from the other side, whether as an Earth-bound ghost or spirit. He is a medium with Inspired Ghost Tracking of Md. He sketches out what ghosts look like who are haunting private homes and has received many confirmation from homeowners. He also volunteers with Dachshund and Weimaraner rescues.

Earlier in 2016 he published his fourth book, "Pets and the Afterlife 2," a follow up to Amazon's best-selling "Pets and the Afterlife," where readers will learn how dogs and cats have the intelligence and ability to send signs to the living after they pass. In August, he republished an updated and reformatted version of his first book called "Ghosts and Spirits." The author's four books have all reached best-seller status in Amazon.com's supernatural category.

For the author's blog and upcoming appearances, visit:
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/robgutro
YouTube: http://tinyurl.com/gtnnkak
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/collection/ok7wh

The Blunder Years - The Dark Ages of the New York Yankees​
 Someone once said "There once was a team so strong that when a player hit a single, he was stopping the rally." Such was the legacy of the New York Yankees through the early 1960s, the most successful and well known sports franchise in the world. That success would come to a screeching halt in 1965 when, under new CBS ownership, the team hit rock bottom and languished for years. Such was the pre-Steinbrenner Yankees of the late '60s and early 70s, or what some have called the "Horace Clarke" era named after the second baseman of that time.

Now author Ron Quartararo examines this period in his new book, The Blunder Years, to both understand the forces at work, and also provide a personal account of his first time experiences as a fan, growing up in post glory years of the franchise. Quartararo traces the success of the franchise to provide context to the reader before delving into the issues of ownership changes, management (or perhaps more aptly 'mismanagement'), player injuries, a neglected farm system, along with various changes in the game, and their contribution to the Yankee's precipitous and sustained decline. He then presents a year by year account of the highlights and lowlights of the team's performance on and sometimes off the field.

Quartararo also highlights a number of the Yankee players of that era including those who bridged the prior championship era such as baseball legends Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford, to those that spanned the Steinbrenner years such as popular stars Bobby Murcer, Roy White, and Thurman Munson. Also profiled are Yankee broadcasters including voice of the Yankees Mel Allen, Hall of Famer Phil Rizzuto and the "voice of God" Bob Sheppard. Perhaps the most interesting is the little known background of then Yankee president Mike Burke, who among other things, was an OSS and CIA agent prior to joining CBS. And for the numbers buffs, each player's stats are listed by year. Interspersed alongside factual details are Quartararo's own personal observations and anecdotes making the book both an informative as well as an enjoyable, entertaining read.

The Blunder Years was published by Xlibris and is available at https://bookstore.xlibris.com/ in both digital as well as soft cover versions.

All net proceeds from book sales through the end of 2016 will be donated to the Testaverde Fund for Spinal Cord Injury.

Ron Quartararo is a senior strategy & business development executive in digital media technology. He has spent the past 20 years in a variety of business development, strategic planning and managerial roles in the media & entertainment industry. Quartararo is also an accomplished writer with OpEd articles appearing in the NY Times, Daily News, Barron's, Newsday, Business & Society Review, TV Executive, Broadcast Engineering and Broadcasting & Cable. This is Quartararo's third book, following La Famiglia - The Pride and Passion of Family, a series of vignettes about growing up Italian on Long Island and profiling the many relatives who influenced his life (such as music legend Phil Quartararo, and former NFL quarterback Vinny Testaverde). His second book, The Media and the Mob: Exploring the Mafia Mystique, explores the complex issue of ethnic stereotyping of Italian Americans and criminality, showcasing the challenges for news organizations in reporting the news without painting entire communities with the same stroke.​

Time Stands Still in New High Society Thriller by Best-Selling Author​
​Bernard F. Conners, former publisher of the Paris Review and past FBI agent, has authored a new work of literary fiction released today entitled Upper East Side Girl. Published by British American Publishing, Upper East Side Girl is a captivating novella of love and literary intrigue set in Manhattan's high society.

Conners, a former FBI agent who received several citations from J. Edgar Hoover for valor and Bureau accomplishments, has had a distinguished career in business, publishing, film, and the military. He and his firms have been the recipient of civic, film, and publishing awards. As an outstanding athlete, he was elected to his university's Athletic Hall of Fame. (www.bernardconners.com)

Conners' work includes Dancehall, a bestselling novel described by the New York Times as "strong stuff...well written," which is under development as a major motion picture. His true-crime work Tailspin was a Booklist starred review, and his memoir Cruising with Kate was praised as "a deftly crafted and inherently fascinating read from beginning to end" by the Midwest Book Review. In her review of Conners' memoir for Neworld Review, Australian writer M. J. Moore concluded by stating "All of this sounds like Walter Mitty on steroids. But it's merely a portion of the unique, world-class, and multifarious resume of Conners. To say the least, it's been a life of cinematic brio."

Upper East Side Girl features protagonist Parker Livingstone who appears to have it all--talent, good looks, a grandiose apartment overlooking Central Park, and a job as a Manhattan literary agent. An aspiring writer, he channels his frustrations with an unrelenting boss and intimidating socialites within his building, into a satirical roman a clef where his imagination flourishes. As his publishing and social pressures mount, Parker's life spirals out of control, and he takes refuge in an abandoned elevator where time stands still. It is here that he becomes infatuated with a beautiful, yet mysterious, young woman who consumes his attention.

In addition to a riveting story, Upper East Side Girl brings intriguing metaphysical issues into question: Where is the line between past and present? Between "real" life and the life of the mind? Between unconventional and unhinged? Conners draws on his eclectic experience to artfully address these questions in his new literary creation.

British American titles have received national attention from major periodicals, television networks, and radio shows. Four of British American Publishing's titles have been named as the New York Times Most Notable Books of the Year. Frog by Stephen Dixon was a finalist for the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award.

A number of titles bear the imprint of Paris Review Editions, which are works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry selected to support talented emerging writers of the highest quality. Based in Latham, New York, British American Publishing is distributed by the National Book Network.

Skyhorse to Publish Legendary Political Consultant Roger Stone's New Book about Trump's Victory: "The Making of the President 2016--How Donald Trump Orchestrated a Revolution"​
From Roger Stone, a New York Times bestselling author, longtime political adviser and friend to Donald Trump, and consummate Republican strategist, comes the first in-depth examination of how Trump's campaign tapped into the national mood to deliver a stunning victory that almost no one saw coming. The book will be published by Skyhorse on January 17, 2017.

In the early hours of November 9, 2016, one of the most contentious, polarizing, and vicious presidential races came to an abrupt and unexpected end when heavily favored presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton called Donald J. Trump to concede, shocking a nation that had, only hours before, given little credence to his chances. Trump pulled off the greatest upset in American political history despite a torrent of invectiveness and the dismissal by the mainstream media. Here is the first definitive explanation of how the "silent majority" shifted the election to Trump in reliable Democratic strongholds—Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan—thus handing him the presidency.

In The Making of the President 2016, Stone, a longtime Trump retainer and confidant, gives us the inside story of how Trump almost single-handedly harnessed discontent among "forgotten Americans," despite running a guerrilla-style grassroots campaign to compete with the smooth-operating and free-spending Clinton political machine. From the start, Trump's campaign was unlike any seen on the national stage—combative, maverick, and fearless. Trump's nomination was the hostile takeover of the Republican party and a resounding repudiation of the failed leadership of both parties, whose policies have brought America to the brink of financial collapse and endangered our national security.

Stone outlines how Trump skillfully ran as the anti-open borders candidate as well as a supporter of American sovereignty, and how he used the globalist trade deals like NAFTA to win more than three of ten Bernie Sanders supporters. The veteran adviser to Nixon, Reagan, and Trump charts the rise of the alt-conservative media and the end of the mainstream media's monopoly on voters. This is an insider's view that includes an examination of opposition research into Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton's crimes; the struggle by the Republican establishment to stop Trump; and how Republicans underestimated him. Stone chronicles Trump's triumph in three debates where he skillfully lowered expectation levels but skewered Mrs. Clinton for the corruption of the Clinton Foundation, her mishandling of government email, and her incompetence as Secretary of State.

Stone gives us the inside word on Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, Clinton's campaign chief John Podesta, Huma Abedin, Anthony Weiner, "Carlos Danger," Doug Band, Jeffrey Epstein, and the efforts to hide the former first lady's infirmities and health problems. Stone dissects the phony narrative that Trump was in cahoots with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin or that the emails released by WikiLeaks came from the Russians.

A grizzled political veteran of ten Republican presidential campaigns, Stone explains how Trump's election has averted near certain war with Russia over Syria and the rejection of neocon policies of the Obama/Clinton Administration.

The Making of the President 2016 reveals how Trump brilliantly picked at Hillary Clinton's weaknesses, particularly her reputation as a crooked insider, and ignited the passions of out-of-work white men and women from the Rust Belt and beyond, at a time when millions of Americans desperately wanted change. Stone also enumerates how and why the mainstream media got it so wrong, including how the polls were loaded and completely misunderstood who would vote.

Stone's analysis is akin to Theodore H. White's seminal book The Making of the President 1960. It is both a sweeping study of the trends that elected Trump as well as the war stories of a hard-bitten political survivor who Trump once called "one tough cookie."

Roger Stone is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Man Who Killed Kennedy. He is a legendary American political consultant and strategist who played a key role in the election of Republican presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush. He was also instrumental in the 2000 Florida recount responsible for the election of George W. Bush.

Praise for The Man Who Killed Kennedy

"Any serious student of politics or history should read Roger Stone's stunning new book The Man Who Killed Kennedy." —Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

"Stone's evidence is compelling and fascinating." —Dick Morris, political author, commentator, and consultant

Praise for Nixon's Secrets: The Rise, Fall, and Untold Truth about the President, Watergate, and the Pardon

"I knew Nixon in the late 80s. I met him in George Steinbrenner's box at Yankee Stadium. Roger Stone nails it. He really understands Nixon." —Donald J. Trump, president of the Trump Organization

"Roger Stone tells the unvarnished truth about Tricky Dick, the Bay of Pigs, the JFK assassination, Watergate, and the secret deal with Gerald Ford for a pardon." —Governor Jesse Ventura

The Making of the President 2016: How Donald Trump Orchestrated a Revolution by Roger Stone| Skyhorse Publishing hardcover, also available as an eBook | On Sale: January 17, 2017| ISBN: 978-1-5107-2692-5| $29.99​


RBC Taylor Prize 2017 Longlist Revealed

The longlist for the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize is as follows:

1.            Waiting for First Light: My Ongoing Battle with PTSD by Romeo Dallaire (Ottawa, ON), published by Random House Canada
2.            By Chance Alone: A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz by Max Eisen (Toronto, ON), published by HarperCollins Canada
3.            Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story of a Forgotten War by Matti Friedman (Jerusalem), published by Algonquin Books
4.            An Intimate Wilderness: Arctic Voices in a Land of Vast Horizons by Norman Hallendy (Carp, ON), published by Greystone Books
5.            Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of Water Lilies by Ross King (Oxford, England), published by Bond Street Books
6.            The Killer Whale Who Changed the World by Mark Leiren-Young (Vancouver, BC), published by Greystone Books
7.            Marconi: The Man Who Networked the World by Marc Raboy (Montreal, QC), published by Oxford University Press
8.            Quinn: The Life of a Hockey Legend, by Dan Robson (Toronto, ON), published by Penguin Random House Canada
9.            Wait Time: A Memoir of Cancer by Kenneth Sherman (Toronto, ON), published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press
10.            This Is Not My Life: A Memoir of Love, Prison, and Other Complications by Diane Schoemperlen (Kingston, ON), published by HarperCollins Canada
11.            Invisible North: The Search for Answers on a Troubled Reserve by Alexandra Shimo (Toronto, ON), published by Dundurn Press
12.            A World We Have Lost: Saskatchewan Before 1905 by Bill Waiser (Saskatoon, SK), published by Fifth House Books

Jury Recognizes a Dozen Excellent Works of Literary Non-Fiction, Just in Time for the Holidays

Jurors John English, Ann MacMillan, and Colin McAdam today announced the longlist for the sixteenth RBC Taylor Prize. They read 101 books written by Canadian authors and submitted by 29 Canadian and international publishers.

“Each of these titles represents a contribution: whether it is to knowledge, to how we understand ourselves, or to how we might make sense of our complicated planet. As a whole, this list reveals a world of war, survival, art, whales, and wireless connectivity—people playing games and people suffering harm. We applaud these authors who devoted such energy, scholarship, and sympathy to their subjects. All of these books should be read,” the jury notes.

Noreen Taylor, chair of the Charles Taylor Foundation and founder of the Prize, commented: “Having read a number of titles that do not appear on this list (as well as a number that do appear), I know that the jury faced a difficult task in winnowing down the 101 submissions to produce this longlist. Knowing the quality of the titles I have already read, I will now look forward to reading my way through this select group of twelve books. Personally, I cannot imagine a better way to spend December!”

Vijay Parmar, president of RBC PH&N Investment Counsel, added: “I echo Noreen’s comments. Every year, I am truly amazed at the number of submissions the jury reviews in order to choose the titles for that year’s longlist—their effort is nothing short of incredible. And once again, they did a stellar job as this year’s list contains an impressive range of books. If you are not sure what to read over the holidays, these twelve books are the place to start.”

Key Dates:
The RBC Taylor Prize Shortlist will be announced at a news conference on Wednesday, January 11, and the winner revealed at a gala luncheon on Monday, March 6, 2017.

About The RBC Taylor Prize
The RBC Taylor Prize recognizes excellence in Canadian non-fiction writing and emphasizes the development of the careers of the authors it celebrates. Established biennially in 1998 by the trustees of the Charles Taylor Foundation, 2017 marks the sixteenth awarding of the RBC Taylor Prize, which commemorates Charles Taylor’s pursuit of excellence in the field of literary non-fiction.

Awarded to the author whose book best combines a superb command of the English language, an elegance of style, and a subtlety of thought and perception, the Prize consists of $25,000 for the winner and $2,000 for each of the remaining finalists, as well as promotional support to help all of the nominated books to stand out in the media, bookstores, and libraries. All authors are presented with a custom leather bound version of their shortlisted book at the awards ceremony.

Rosemary Sullivan won the 2016 RBC Taylor Prize for her book Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva, published by HarperCollins Canada. Ms Sullivan selected Adnan Khan as the third recipient of the RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writer Award, which was established in 2013 to provide recognition and assistance to a Canadian published author who is working on a significant writing project in literary non-fiction.

The trustees of the Charles Taylor Foundation are Michael Bradley, Vijay Parmar, David Staines, Edward Taylor, Nadina Taylor, and Noreen Taylor.

The presenting sponsor of the RBC Taylor Prize is RBC Wealth Management. Its media sponsors are The Globe and Mail, CNW Group, The Huffington Post Canada, Maclean’s magazine, Quill & Quire magazine, and SiriusXM; its in-kind sponsors are Ben McNally Books, Event Source, IFOA, The Omni King Edward Hotel, and the Toronto Public Library Board.

The Work of the Dead Wins Cundill Prize in Historical Literature​
The winner of the 2016 Cundill Prize in Historical Literature at McGill was announced tonight at a gala awards dinner held in Toronto. Now in its ninth year, the Cundill Prize is one of the world's most lucrative international awards for a nonfiction book. The Work of the Dead took home the top prize of US$75,000.

Thomas W. Laqueur's The Work of the Dead offers a compelling and richly detailed account of how and why the living have cared for the dead, from antiquity to the twentieth century. The book draws on a vast range of sources -- from mortuary archaeology, medical tracts, letters, songs, poems, and novels to painting and landscapes.

There were three international finalists in the running for this year's prize, Thomas W. Laqueur for his book, The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains (Princeton University Press), David Wootton for The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution (HarperCollins) and Andrea Wulf's book The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World (Alfred A. Knopf, John Murray Publishers).
In addition to the winner, the two remaining finalists were each awarded a "Recognition of Excellence" prize of US$10,000. The finalists were selected from 182 submissions received from publishers worldwide.

"The contribution Thomas Laqueur's book makes to our understanding of the role the dead play in life is hugely important. It is a book that will fascinate readers both within and outside the academy," said Professor Antonia Maioni, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at McGill University.

This year's Cundill jury includes Timothy Brook, Republic of China Chair, University of British Columbia; John Darwin, Professor of Global and Imperial History and Director, Oxford Centre for Global History, University of Oxford; and Anna Porter, Co-founder, Key Porter Books and author (Buying a Better World: George Soros and Billionaire Philanthropy, The Ghosts of Europe). The Cundill Prize thanks sponsors Burgundy Asset Management, JC Clark Investments and Russell Investments. The Walrus Foundation is a proud media sponsor.

About the Prize: The Cundill Prize is the world's most important international prize for non-fiction historical literature. It was established in 2008 by McGill alumnus F. Peter Cundill, who passed away in January 2011. The prize is administered by McGill University's Dean of Arts, with assistance from the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC), and is awarded annually to an individual who has published a book that has made a profound literary, social, and academic impact in the area of history.

About the Walrus Foundation:
The Walrus Foundation is a registered charitable non-profit (No. 861851624-RR0001) with an educational mandate to create forums for conversations on matters vital to Canadians. The foundation is dedicated to supporting writers, artists, ideas, and thought-provoking conversation. We achieve these goals across multiple platforms: publishing The Walrus magazine ten times a year, in print, tablet, and mobile editions; curating the national series of Walrus Talks and leadership dinners; posting original, high-quality content daily at thewalrus.ca; and through other digital projects. The foundation also trains young professionals in media, publishing, and non-profit development.​ 

A Collector's Dream Holiday Gift: Tom Murray's Mad Day Out With The Beatles by Paul Skellett & Simon Weitzman​
When it comes to gifting there is nothing more timeless than a book that expresses interest and showcases an affectionate attention to a person's passions. For all the Beatles fans and collectors out there, look no more, Tom Murray's Mad Day Out With The Beatles is the visual book, created by Paul Skellett and Simon Weitzman, that dives into the details, backstage, culture of the 60's and anecdotes, that made the last publicity photoshoot done by the group before it split up, so glorious: Tom Murray's Mad Day Out With The Beatles.

Internationally acclaimed photographer, Tom Murray, left his house on July 28th 1968 not knowing he would step into the most memorable photoshoot of his early career. Waiting for him were John, Paul, George & Ringo, of The Beatles, along with hurdles of screaming fans that pushed the group to move constantly from location to location and unknowingly inspiring the name of the famous collection of 23 photographs. The book draws from the legendary impact that the band had-and continues to have- on society. Through Tom Murray's photographs, memories and tales the book tells a visual story of how the Beatles weren't only a music sensation but a phenomenon that influenced generations.

By retracing the locations that made the backdrop of the Mad Day photoshoot: The Docklands, Old Street Station (where Paul McCartney nearly fell off the roof), Regents Park, Paul McCartney's house in St. John's Wood, St. Pancras Church Garden and Wapping Pier Head – the book depicts the playful and unexpected characters of each member of the band and makes the reader dive into the energy of those years.

Tom Murray's Mad Day Out With The Beatles is presented in a slipcase and consists of 120 pages, with every copy of the edition personally signed and numbered by Tom along with an original limited edition Mad Day poster. The book can be ordered online for $100.00 through Archivum's publishing website, limited availability: http://archivumuk.businesscatalyst.com/#tommurray

About Tom Murray:
Tom Murray is an award-winning photographer whose work spans portraiture, theater, fashion, advertising, newspapers and magazines. He perfected his craft working for newspapers, becoming the head of photography for The Sunday Times Color Magazine, London's first Sunday magazine. He then worked alongside master photographers Helmut Newton and Lord Snowdon. At twenty-five, he received a commission from the Royal Family, becoming the youngest person to receive this honor, and has since immortalized subjects such as Elizabeth Taylor, Angelica Huston, Dustin Hoffman, Armani and Ralph Lauren. Mr. Murray's work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the world and has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers like GQ, Vogue, The New York Times, and The London Times. A three-time World Press Photo award winner, Mr. Murray has received numerous international awards for his work on newspaper and magazine assignments, theatre and advertising commissions as well as specialist portrait commissions in Europe, Africa and the United States. His success has enabled him to donate his photographs to a number of causes close to his heart. He has been significantly involved with the Make a Wish Foundation, Project Angel Food and Friends in Need, Cancer Care, Help the Hospice, Help for Hero's among many, many others. Through his photographic donations, he has helped raise over 8 million dollars.

About Archivum:

Archivum is an independent publishing house that remains true to the art of design, authorship and high quality, limited edition printed books. Formed in 2014 by Paul Skellett and Simon Weitzman, Archivum specializes in conceiving, creating and producing high quality yet affordable direct to fan 1st edition publications, concentrating on music, the arts and occasionally sports. Our USPs are in restoring and re-mastering archive images and materials, creating books with unique design work and engaging editorial. Our 1st edition books are not available in stores. We only sell direct to fans. We use crowd funding sites and specially targeted partnerships to fund and distribute our publications. We select excellent printers around the world and use the best materials. 

Bruce Springsteen To Narrate The Audiobook Edition Of His #1 Bestselling Memoir BORN TO RUN ​
 Bruce Springsteen will narrate the audio edition of his critically acclaimed, #1 New York Times bestselling memoir BORN TO RUN. Simon & Schuster Audio will publish the 18-hour-long audiobook on December 6, 2016.

In addition to his narration, Springsteen recorded musical transitions for the audiobook at Stone Hill Studio in New Jersey. Excerpts from the original studio recordings of Living Proof, Long Time Comin' and Born to Run are also featured in the audiobook.

"As a lifelong Bruce Springsteen fan, I've spent countless hours listening to him tell stories of the most unforgettable characters in rock and roll," said Chris Lynch, President & Publisher, Simon & Schuster Audio. "To now hear Bruce tell his own intimate story with the same charisma and force that he brings to his performances is simply magic."

Published in both print and e-book editions on September 27, 2016, BORN TO RUN received glowing reviews from both music and literary critics, including Nation Public Radio's Will Hermes, who called the book "a virtuoso performance," and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Ford, who praised Springsteen in the New York Times Book Review for his "informally steadfast Jersey plainspeak …cleareyed enough to say what it means when it has hard stories to tell, yet supple enough to rise to occasions requiring eloquence."         

RBC Taylor Prize Announces 2017 Jurors​
​  The Trustees of the Charles Taylor Foundation are pleased to announce that the jurors for the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize are: John English, Ann MacMillan, and Colin McAdam.

John English is a Canadian historian and writer who taught at the University of Waterloo for several decades, retiring in 2009. Currently Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Canadian Forces College and Director of the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History at Trinity College at the University of Toronto, he is best known for his two-volume biographies of two Canadian Prime Ministers: Lester B. Pearson and Pierre Elliott Trudeau. The former won numerous awards including the Macdonald Prize of the Canadian Historical Association, the John W. Dafoe Prize, and the Canadian Authors Association Non-Fiction prize. The latter won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize, the University of British Columbia Biography Prize, and the Dafoe Prize. Both volumes of the Trudeau biography were finalists for the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction and the RBC Taylor Prize.

One of Global TV`s first female reporters, Ann MacMillan joined CBC's The Journal as London Correspondent in 1981, went on to cover news for CBC TV and Radio, and was CBC's London Bureau Chief until her retirement in December, 2013. During her long career in journalism, Ann worked for CHIN Radio in Toronto and CTV News in Toronto, Montreal, and London, England. She is currently co-authoring a book with her husband Journalist Peter Snow about outstanding individuals who took part in conflicts ranging from the Crimean War to modern-day Syria; the book will be published in autumn 2017.

Colin McAdam is the author of three acclaimed novels. The most recent, A Beautiful Truth, won the 2013 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. He has written essays and memoirs for Harper's, Granta, and other publications, and holds a PhD in Medieval and Renaissance Literature from Cambridge University. Colin McAdam lives in Toronto.

Noreen Taylor, Prize Founder and Chairman of the Charles Taylor Foundation, remarked: "This is a prize that pushes non-fiction boundaries through the diligent, thoughtful, and sheer hard work of its jury. Heartfelt thanks for your essential involvement!We all look forward with great anticipation to your selections for the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize."

Key Dates: The Longlist will be shared on Wednesday, December 7, 2016; the Shortlist will be announced at a news conference on Wednesday, January 11; and the winner revealed at a gala luncheon on Monday, March 6, 2017.

The RBC Taylor Prize recognizes excellence in Canadian non-fiction writing and emphasizes the development of the careers of the authors it celebrates.

About The RBC Taylor Prize:
Established biennially in 1998 by the trustees of the Charles Taylor Foundation, 2017 marks the sixteenth awarding of the RBC Taylor Prize, which commemorates Charles Taylor's pursuit of excellence in the field of literary non-fiction. Awarded to the author whose book best combines a superb command of the English language, an elegance of style, and a subtlety of thought and perception, the Prize consists of $25,000 for the winner and $2,000 for each of the remaining finalists, as well as promotional support to help all of the nominated books to stand out in the media, bookstores, and libraries. All authors are presented with a custom leather bound version of their shortlisted book at the awards ceremony.

Earlier this year, Rosemary Sullivan won the 2016 RBC Taylor Prize for her book Stalin's Daughter:The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva, published by HarperCollins Publishers. Ms Sullivan selected Adnan Khan as this year's recipient of the RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writer Award, which was established in 2013 to provide recognition and assistance to a Canadian published author who is working on a significant writing project in literary non-fiction.

The trustees of the Charles Taylor Foundation are: Michael Bradley, Vijay Parmar, David Staines, Edward Taylor, Nadina Taylor, and Noreen Taylor.

The presenting sponsor of the RBC Taylor Prize is RBC Wealth Management. Its media sponsors are The Globe and Mail, CNW Group, The Huffington Post Canada, Maclean's magazine, Quill & Quire magazine, and SiriusXM; its in-kind sponsors are Ben McNally Books, Event Source, IFOA, The Omni King Edward Hotel, and the Toronto Public Library Board.

Madeleine Thien Wins the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize​
Madeleine Thien has been named the winner of the $100,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize for her novel, Do Not Say We Have Nothing, published by Alfred A. Knopf Canada. The announcement was made at a black-tie dinner and award ceremony hosted by Steve Patterson, attended by nearly 500 members of the publishing, media and arts communities. The gala awards were broadcast by CBC and live-streamed on CBCBooks.ca.
This year the prize celebrates its 23rd anniversary.

The shortlist of six authors and their books, announced on September 26, 2016, is:

Mona Awad for her novel 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, published by Penguin Canada

Gary Barwin for his novel Yiddish for Pirates, published by Random House Canada

Emma Donoghue for her novel The Wonder, published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

Catherine Leroux for her novel The Party Wall, published by Biblioasis, translated by Lazer Lederhendler

Madeleine Thien for her novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing, published by Alfred A. Knopf Canada

Zoe Whittall for her novel The Best Kind of People, published by House of Anansi Press Inc.

The esteemed five-member jury panel made up of Lawrence Hill (jury chair), Samantha Harvey, Jeet Heer, Alan Warner and Kathleen Winter selected the shortlist and ultimate winner.
Of the winning book, the jury wrote:

"Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien entranced the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize jurors with its detailed, layered, complex drama of classical musicians and their loved ones trying to survive two monstrous insults to their humanity: Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution in mid-twentieth century China and the Tiananmen Square massacre of protestors in Beijing in 1989. Do Not Say We Have Nothing addresses some of the timeless questions of literature: who do we love, and how do the love of art, of others and ourselves sustain us individually and collectively in the face of genocide? A beautiful homage to music and to the human spirit, Do Not Say We Have Nothing is both sad and uplifting in its dramatization of human loss and resilience in China and in Canada."

MADELEINE THIEN is the author of the story collection Simple Recipes, which was a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, a Kiriyama Pacific Prize Notable Book, and won the BC Book Prize for Fiction; the novel Certainty, which won the Amazon.ca First Novel Award; and the novel Dogs at the Perimeter, which was shortlisted for Berlin's 2014 International Literature Award and won the Frankfurt Book Fair's 2015 Liberaturpreis. Her novels and stories have been translated into twenty-five languages, and her essays have appeared in Granta, The Guardian, the Financial Times, Five Dials, Brick and Al Jazeera. Do Not Say We Have Nothing won the 2016 Governor General's Literary Award. The daughter of Malaysian-Chinese immigrants to Canada, she lives in Montreal.
During tonight's award ceremony, guests enjoyed a performance by Canadian R&B singer/songwriter Jully Black and a roster of celebrity presenters -- including Catherine Reitman, Gordon Pinsent, Amanda Parris, Ins Choi, Tanya Tagaq and Annie Murphy -- introduced the shortlisted authors and presented video profiles highlighting the nominated books.

Listen to CBC Radio's q at 10 a.m. ET for an interview with Madeleine Thien and relive the gala at CBCBooks.ca

Writers' Trust Awards $219,000 to Canada's Writers​
On Tuesday evening, Nov 2, at Toronto's Glenn Gould Studio, the Writers' Trust of Canada hosted one of the richest literary prize-giving nights in Canada, presenting seven literary awards and $219,000 to Canadian writers. Awards were presented both for individual works and career achievement, and rewarded accomplishments in the fields of fiction, nonfiction, short fiction, poetry, and literature for young readers.

Deborah Campbell (Vancouver) was awarded the $60,000 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction for A Disappearance in Damascus: A Story of Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War, a personal account of the author's time spent in Syria reporting on Iraqi refugees, and her subsequent quest to locate her kidnapped "fixer" and friend.

Yasuko Thanh (Victoria) received the $25,000 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize – celebrating its 20th anniversary this year – for her debut novel, Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains, a vivid account of love, rebellion, and colonial power based on the Hanoi Poison Plot of 1908.

The $10,000 Writers' Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize went to Colette Langlois (Edmonton) for "The Emigrants," the author's first published story, which tells parallel tales of loneliness, one from a colony on Mars in 2070, the other from a Saskatchewan farm in 1885.

Four authors received awards for their contributions to Canadian literature: Gregory Scofield (Sudbury, ON), author of seven acclaimed collections of poetry, the most recent of which, Witness, I Am, has just been released, was presented with the $25,000 Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize; Alan Cumyn (Ottawa), the author of five novels for young readers, won the $20,000 Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People; Brian Brett (Salt Spring Island, BC), a journalist for four decades and the author of 12 books including poetry, memoir, and fiction, won the $20,000 Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life; Eden Robinson (Kitamaat, BC), author of two novels and one collection of stories, as well as a new novel forthcoming in 2017, took home the $25,000 Writers' Trust Engel/Findley Award.

The event, which was attended by 300 guests from the literary, arts, and media communities, was emceed by the host of CBC Radio One's q, Tom Power.

Below are the prizes presented, with comments from the jurors. Full jury citations are available at writerstrust.com, along with downloadable images of finalists and winners.

Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction ($60,000)
Awarded for literary excellence in the category of nonfiction.
Winner: Deborah Campbell for A Disappearance in Damascus: A Story of Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War (Knopf Canada)

"Campbell's account…, written with compelling prose, nuanced context, and intimate narration, illuminates the dangers of life and work in a conflict zone."


Ian Brown for Sixty: A Diary of My Sixty-First Year: The Beginning of the End or the End of the Beginning? (Random House Canada)
Matti Friedman for Pumpkinflowers: An Israeli Soldier's Story (Signal/McClelland & Stewart)
Ross King for Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies (Bond Street Books/Doubleday Canada)
Sonja Larsen for Red Star Tattoo: My Life as a Girl Revolutionary (Random House Canada)
Each of the four finalists received $5,000. The winner and finalists were chosen by a jury composed of writers Carolyn Abraham, Stephen Kimber, and Emily Urquhart. They read 95 books submitted by 50 publishers. The prize was presented by sponsor The Hon. Hilary M. Weston.

Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize – 20th anniversary presentation ($25,000)
Awarded for the year's best novel or short story collection.
Winner: Yasuko Thanh for Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains (Hamish Hamilton)

"With compelling narrative drive, Yasuko Thanh imbues Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains with atmosphere and resonance, and creates mesmerizing characters."


Michael Helm for After James (McClelland & Stewart)
Anosh Irani for The Parcel (Knopf Canada)
Kerry Lee Powell for Willem de Kooning's Paintbrush (Harper Avenue)
Katherena Vermette for The Break (House of Anansi)
Each of the four finalists received $2,500. The winner and finalists were chosen by a jury composed of writers Lauren B. Davis, Trevor Ferguson, and Pasha Malla. They read 135 books submitted by 55 publishers. The prize was presented by Steve Maich, senior vice president, digital content and publishing, at Rogers Communications Inc. and 2016 prize juror Pasha Malla. It has been sponsored by Rogers Communications since its inception in 1997.

Writers' Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize ($10,000)
Awarded for the best short fiction published by an emerging writer in a Canadian literary magazine.

Winner: Colette Langlois for "The Emigrants" (PRISM international)

"'The Emigrants' interweaves two times and places, one a historic past, the other a possible future, to explore loneliness and home…The story blends a coolness of tone with great depth of feeling, and richly imagines what has come before and what is to be."


Charlie Fiset for "If I Ever See the Sun" (The Fiddlehead)
J.R. McConvey for "How the Grizzly Came to Hang in the Royal Oak Hotel" (EVENT)
Each of the finalists received $1,000, and the journal that originally published the winning entry received $2,000. The finalists were chosen by a jury composed of writers Kate Cayley, Brian Francis, and Madeleine Thien. The prize is made possible by James A. Michener's donation of his Canadian royalty earnings from his 1988 novel Journey. In association with the prize, McClelland & Stewart publishes an annual fiction anthology, The Journey Prize Stories, a collection of the stories that form the longlist for the prize. The prize was presented by juror Brian Francis.

Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize ($25,000)
Awarded to a mid-career poet in recognition of a remarkable body of work and in anticipation of future contributions to Canadian poetry.

Winner: Gregory Scofield
"From raw, urban truths to the solace of Cree cadence, from the heart beat of the drum to the wax poetics of a young Louis Riel, Scofield's range of subject, work, and style dazzles."

The winner was chosen by a jury composed of Jeffery Donaldson, Karen Solie, and Katherena Vermette. William Hewitt, executive director of prize sponsor the Latner Family Foundation, presented the prize.

Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People ($20,000)
Awarded in recognition of a body of work to a writer of literature for young readers.

Winner: Alan Cumyn
"Brilliantly exceeding the standards of fiction for the young, Cumyn's novels for teenagers and children alike show a sure-handed mix of humour, poetry and melancholy, and an abiding commitment to a young person's viewpoint."

The winner was chosen by a jury composed of Deirdre Baker, Jeff Horvath, and Marthe Jocelyn, who also presented the prize. The prize is sponsored by the Metcalf Foundation.

Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life ($20,000)
Awarded to a writer dedicated to writing as a primary pursuit in recognition of a lifetime of distinguished work.

Winner: Brian Brett
"Brian has devoted nearly his entire life to writing, as poet, novelist, memoirist and journalist … a consummate example of one who has lived the writers' life."

The winner was chosen by an award committee composed of Graeme Gibson, Wayne Grady, Don Oravec, and Patsy Aldana, who also presented the prize. The prize is sponsored by Marla and David Lehberg.

Writers' Trust Engel/Findley Award ($25,000)
Awarded to a mid-career writer in recognition of a remarkable body of work, and in anticipation of future contributions to Canadian literature.

Winner: Eden Robinson
"In a world where the legacies of colonial violence are alive and present every day, Robinson's work resonates with crucial political and ethical questions that everyone needs to consider."

The winner was chosen by a jury composed of Warren Cariou, Annabel Lyon, and Linda Spalding, and was presented by Douglas Knight, chair, Writers' Trust Board of Directors. The prize is sponsored by the Writers' Trust of Canada Board of Directors, Pitblado Family Foundation, and Michael Griesdorf Fund.

The Writers' Trust Awards ceremony is made possible through generous support from corporate, foundation, and individual sponsors. Partners CBC Books, The Globe and Mail, and Indigo Chapters provide additional support. The project is partially funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage Book Fund. Other supporting partners are IFOA, Maclean's, Push Design, Quill & Quire, Steam Whistle Brewing, and White Pine Pictures.

About the Writers' Trust of Canada
The Writers' Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through a portfolio of programs including ten national literary awards, a fellowship, financial grants, scholarships, and a writers' retreat. Writers' Trust programming is designed to champion excellence in Canadian writing, to improve the status of writers, and to create connections between writers and readers. Canada's writers receive more financial support from the Writers' Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country. More information is available at writerstrust.com.

Diamond Comics to Distribute Relativity Universe Saga
Knight Guardians of Relativity series just the beginning for multi-platform franchise

​ Today, TITAN1STUDIOS announces Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc., the world's largest distributor of English language comics, will be the supplier of the Relativity Universe's first sci-fi graphic adventure series, Knight Guardians of Relativity.

"Diamond Comic Distributors is pleased to welcome TITAN1STUDIOS to our distribution family," says Jay Spence, Purchasing Brand Manager and Submissions Coordinator at Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. "We are excited to be able to offer this vibrant and creative new publisher to our retailers."

"This is not just another time travel franchise — it's about the devastating impact time travel can have on the world. We've created multicultural characters, representative of the world today, with a concerted effort to develop strong, complex female leads," says Canadian Writer Taran Chadha (Bloodsport Gaming), Associate Creative Director at TITAN1STUDIOS. "Through the powerful combination of writers and artists, we've created a strong story platform with epic artwork throughout the series."

Chadha, along with Relativity Universe co-creators: Jerwood prize-winning, Harper Collins UK novelist Gareth Roberts (Confessions of a Barrister, Whatever Happened to Billy Parks?), Executive Producer Rathan Moorthy and a team of talented creatives led by Spanish artist Abel Garcia, cover artist Gabe Sapienza, colorist Irma Kniivila (Joyride) and UK letterer Simon Bowland (Cry Havoc, Mycroft Holmes), round out a truly International team, bringing this genre-bending comic book series to life.

Taking over the universe, this portrayal of Earth's future is a mash-up of Game of Thrones, Mad Max and The Time Machine — Knight Guardians is the first title within the Relativity Universe franchise where comic books are just the beginning. TITAN1STUDIOS is also producing content across novels, virtual reality, animation and live experiences.

Retailers around the world can pre order the first of four Knight Guardians' issues starting October 27 with availability to the public set for January 2017. For retailers, the Diamond item code for issue #1 is: NOV161908. Retailers will have the opportunity to participate in co-operative advertising campaigns with TITAN1STUDIOS.

About Knight Guardians of Relativity
Imagine a world where humanity has used temporal travel as a doomsday device. Set 200 years from now, the world and its population have been brought to the brink of extinction by a series of cataclysmic wars — forcing civilization to fight over religion, land, natural resources and power. Much of the world is rendered uninhabitable and inhospitable because of radiation and poisonous pollution.

The cultures and communities established over centuries have been destroyed and displaced. Emerging from this chaos, the Knight Guardians, a band of men and women responsible for safeguarding mankind, work to prevent the remaining despots, villains and world leaders from obtaining the power of temporal travel. For 60 years they are successful, bringing relative peace to a still crumbling world — until…

TITAN1STUDIOS is an award-winning Toronto, Canada-based publishing, branded content and new media production house with portfolio projects across digital, print, TV, radio and emerging new media. This includes virtual, augmented and mixed reality content. The mastermind behind the Trump 2022 White House Parody video and comic book, TITAN1STUDIOS' offers a satirical glimpse into the future. For more information visit: titan1studios.com

About Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc.
Founded in 1982, Diamond Comic Distributors resides at the Nexus of Comics and Pop-Culture with a multi-channel platform of publishing, marketing and fulfillment services, coupled with an unparalleled global distribution network for its retailers, publishers and vendors. Diamond Comics is the exclusive distributor for Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, Image Comics, Marvel Comics and more, For more information visit: diamondcomics.com


Cordelia Strube selected as winner of the 2016 Toronto Book Awards

Cordelia Strube is the winner of the 2016 Toronto Book Awards for her nationally acclaimed novel On the Shores of Darkness, There is Light (ECW Press). The announcement was made this evening at an awards ceremony at the Toronto Reference Library. 

"I'm so pleased to offer my congratulations to Cordelia Strube, and to all of the finalists, for their commitment to celebrating our city,” said Councillor Mary Fragedakis (Ward 29 Toronto-Danforth). “These awards highlight that Toronto's literary community is composed of writers of exceptional talent and spirit."

Her novel was chosen from a list of finalists that included Howard Akler's memoir Men of Action (Coach House Books), Ann Y.K. Choi's novel Kay's Lucky Coin Variety (Simon & Schuster Canada), Marnie Woodrow's novel Heyday (Tightrope Books) and editors John Lorinc, Michael McClelland, Ellen Scheinberg and Tatum Taylor for The Ward: The Life and Loss of Toronto's First Immigrant Neighbourhood (Coach House Books).

“Congratulations to Cordelia Strube and her award-winning novel On the Shores of Darkness, There is Light,” said City Librarian Vickery Bowles. “The title, which comes from the Keats poem Homer, shows us the vital role that books play in our lives today – by understanding Strube’s protagonist, Harriet, and her difficult circumstances, we all come to see that bit of light on the edge of a difficult shore. What a beautiful novel!”

Strube is an accomplished playwright and the author of nine critically acclaimed novels, including Alex & Zee, Teaching Pigs to Sing and Lemon. Winner of the CBC literary competition and a Toronto Arts Foundation Award, she has been nominated for the Governor General’s Award, the Trillium Book Award, the WH Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Prix Italia, and long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. 

More information on Strube is available at http://cordeliastrube.weebly.com/ and a video of her discussing her winning work can be viewed at http://bit.ly/2cLa6TE.

This year marks the 42nd edition of the Toronto Book Awards. Produced by the City of Toronto and the Toronto Public Library, the awards honour authors of books of literary or artistic merit that are evocative of Toronto. The annual awards offer $15,000 in prize money. Each finalist receives $1,000 and the winning author receives an additional $10,000 in prize money. This year's Toronto Book Awards Committee is made up of volunteer members Irfan Ali, Ann Jansen, Kilby Smith-McGregor and Conan Tobias. 

More information about the awards, reading events and what the jury members said about the shortlisted books is available at http://www.toronto.ca/book_awards. The public can also follow and interact with the awards on Twitter @TOBookAwards and #tobookawards.

The Toronto Star is the Toronto Book Awards' media sponsor. 
PEN Canada hosts historian Adam Hochschild at the International Festival of Authors
Writers discuss the Spanish Civil War and the role of writers in times of ideological turmoil

TORONTO, Sept. 7, 2016 /CNW/ - Author and historian Adam Hochschild will take the stage with writer David Bezmozgis at PEN Canada's benefit at the International Festival of Authors on Saturday, October 22 to discuss his newest book, Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939.

"Adam Hochschild is a brilliant and versatile writer –­­ a historian, a journalist, and above all, an eloquent and searching storyteller. We are delighted to hear from him, in conversation with one of Canada's leading writers and filmmakers, David Bezmozgis, on the 80th anniversary of a conflict whose meanings speak to so much of what's happening in our world today," said PEN President, Randy Boyagoda.

Following award-winning works King Leopold's Ghost, Bury the Chains and To End All Wars, Hochschild's Spain in Our Hearts provides a vivid account of the Spanish Civil War – a conflict that saw Spain's republican government fall to a military coup backed by Hitler and Mussolini. The bloody conflict inspired Picasso's masterpiece, Guernica, Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls, and Orwell's Homage to Catalonia, as well as 40,000 foreign volunteers who risked their lives to fight against fascism.

PEN will ask Hochschild about the role of the writer in times of ideological turmoil – a pressing question in the era of ISIS, mass migration, and controversial figures like Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen. For many, the Spanish Civil War is emblematic of the struggle to defend intellectual ideals of freedom and equality against nationalism, militarism, and fascism. Indeed, the conflict brought PEN its first major cases with the arrest of writers Arthur Koestler and Frederico Garcia Lorca in 1936 and 1937.

PEN Canada's benefit is a tradition at the International Festival of Authors. In addition to Hochschild and Bezmozgis' conversation, PEN will present its annual awards, including the One Humanity Award for a writer who pledges to dispel race, class and national hatreds; the PEN Canada/Ken Filkow Prize celebrating an individual or institution in Canada who has demonstrated courage and integrity in the interest of freedom of expression; and the RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award for unpublished writers aged 18-30.

Canadian books and authors to be celebrated on the international stage in 2020
TORONTO, Oct. 6 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 Committee (CanadaFBM2020), formed by associations representing Canadian-owned book publishers, the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) and Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL), and supported by export associations Livres Canada Books and Québec Edition, applauds Canada's acceptance of the invitation to be Guest of Honour (GoH) of the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2020.

The book industry is already focusing its efforts on planning a successful and impactful event, and has consolidated support across Canada for the project. The event represents an important and comprehensive opportunity for Canada's publishing industry to demonstrate its vitality and show the world the considerable talent and great diversity of its creators.

"The Canadian publishing industry has worked together for the past three years on this project, so it is with great enthusiasm that we welcome this fantastic news. The Frankfurt Book Fair is the international hub of the publishing world and being its GoH will provide extraordinary opportunities to showcase our world-class literature, books, and Canadian culture," said Caroline Fortin, Québec-Amérique and President of the CanadaFBM2020 Committee, during the signing ceremony.

The Frankfurt Book Fair is the largest event of its kind worldwide, showcasing technology and innovation as applied to the book publishing sector, with approximately 275,000 visitors and 10,000 media representatives attending each year. The GoH consistently becomes a magnet for participants and the general public for the duration of the Fair and throughout the entire year of its nomination.

"In a context of a highly competitive market in which Canada's cultural industry and goods need to stand out at both the national and international level, Canada's participation as a GoH at the 2020 Frankfurt Book Fair represents an important, unifying and exceptional business opportunity." – Matt Williams, House of Anansi and President of ACP

Canada, like other countries that have been in the spotlight at the Frankfurt Book Fair, can anticipate major economic impacts: the event will open the door to new audiences and markets for Canadian books, digital content, film and academic work, as well as for arts, culture, and tourism.

"Canada's diversity and stories deserve to be celebrated and shared with the world, and a country's books and literature, whether they are in print or digital format, are an important key to understanding its multifacetedness. We are very pleased that as part of this invitation, French Canada and Quebec can participate in promoting this rich cultural contribution." – Nicole Saint-Jean, Guy Saint-Jean Éditeur and President of ANEL.

For the publishing industry, this project falls within a global development strategy in which export, promotion of Canada's diverse talents, and the expansion of digital products are at the forefront. With this project, many small- and medium-size publishers, and the authors they publish, will have their first international trading experience, while benefiting from being part of a large delegation and one-of-a-kind event programming. Though there are other cultural fairs and cultural events around the world, none has a GoH program that offers FBM's level of visibility and impact, or offers meeting opportunities with as many influential industry players from around the world.

"Given the high levels of cultural exchange between Canada and Europe, we believe there is strong international interest in learning more about Canadian publishers, authors, culture and media. Canada brings to the world stage a strong commitment to its bilingual tradition and embraces the diverse immigrant cultures that contribute to its society. We are pleased that Canada accepts this invitation to showcase its rich literary, cultural and linguistic heritage to global industry representatives." — Juergen Boos, CEO and President of the Frankfurt Book Fair

On a national level, the CanadaFBM2020 Committee is pleased to understand that this project lies within a global vision that seeks to enable and facilitate international competitiveness and dissemination of Canadian cultural goods and artistic creativity, as outlined by Minister Joly.

"Our Government is committed to ensuring that readers everywhere have access to a wide range of Canadian-authored books, and I look forward to showcasing Canada's book industry—as well as our country's artistic and cultural sector—at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2020. This is a fantastic opportunity to enable Canada's artists and cultural entrepreneurs to maximize their full export potential, to help increase their competitive position on the international stage, and to ensure long-term sustainability, which will contribute to Canada's overall economic and social prosperity." —The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

The Canada FBM2020 Committee will continue to work actively with Canadian Heritage, its partners, and other stakeholders to engage the publishing, artistic, cultural and business communities around the project in order to develop a strong event that will benefit all, while addressing the industry's specific needs and vision.

The CanadaFBM2020 Committee is made up of representatives of the industry, namely members of Canadian-owned publishing associations ACP and ANEL, and is supported by export associations Livres Canada Books and Québec Edition. For the past three years, it has promoted the idea of Canada becoming the Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and in so doing has developed and engaged partners across the country. Caroline Fortin, Executive Director, Québec-Amérique, has been appointed CanadaFBM2020 Committee President.

 Origin by Dan Brown
NEW YORK, NY, Sept. 28, 2016 /CNW/ - Global publishing phenomenon Dan Brown, author of the #1 international blockbusters Inferno and The Da Vinci Code, has written his latest Robert Langdon thriller titled Origin.

Doubleday will release the novel in the U.S. and Canada on September 26, 2017 and it will also be available as an ebook and an audiobook from Penguin Random House Audio. Origin will be published simultaneously in the U.K. by Transworld Publishers, a division of Penguin Random House. Additionally, a U.S. Spanish language edition will be published by Vintage Espanol. The announcement was made today by Sonny Mehta, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Jason Kaufman, Vice President and Executive Editor at Doubleday, will edit the novel.

In keeping with his trademark style, Brown interweaves codes, science, religion, history, art and architecture into this new novel. Origin thrusts Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon into the dangerous intersection of humankind's two most enduring questions, and the earth-shaking discovery that will answer them.

There are more than 200 million copies of Dan Brown's books in print worldwide, and his novels have been translated into 56 languages.

Dan Brown is represented by Heide Lange at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, Inc.

Dan Brown is the author of numerous #1 international bestsellers, including The Da Vinci Code, Inferno, The Lost Symbol, Angels & Demons, Deception Point and Digital Fortress.

Visit him at www.danbrown.com and follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @AuthorDanBrown and on Facebook at Facebook.com/Dan Brown

Doubleday is an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, which is a division of Penguin Random House

Penguin Random House, the world's largest trade book publisher, is dedicated to its mission of nourishing a universal passion for reading by connecting authors and their writing with readers everywhere. The company, which employs more than 10,000 people globally, was formed on July 1, 2013, by Bertelsmann and Pearson, who own 53 percent and 47 percent, respectively. With nearly 250 independent imprints and brands on five continents, Penguin Random House comprises adult and children's fiction and nonfiction print and digital English- and Spanish-language trade book publishing businesses in more than 20 countries worldwide. With over 15,000 new titles, and close to 800 million print, audio and eBooks sold annually, Penguin Random House's publishing lists include more than 60 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world's most widely read authors.

Writers' Trust Announces Finalists for $60,000 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction
TORONTO, Sept. 28, 2016 /CNW/ - The Writers' Trust of Canada announced this morning the five finalists for the 2016 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction, the richest annual literary award for a book of nonfiction published in Canada. Publishers of the nominated books learned the news by piecing together a hand-delivered 70-piece jigsaw puzzle featuring the shortlist. The prizewinner will be announced on November 2.

This year's finalists are:

Ian Brown (Toronto, ON) for Sixty: A Diary of My Sixty-first Year: The Beginning of the End or the End of the Beginning?, Random House Canada
Deborah Campbell (Vancouver, BC) for A Disappearance in Damascus: A Story of Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War, Knopf Canada
Matti Friedman (Jerusalem) for Pumpkinflowers: An Israeli Soldier's Story, Signal/McClelland & Stewart
Ross King (Oxford, UK) for Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies, Bond Street Books/Doubleday Canada
Sonja Larsen (Vancouver, BC) for Red Star Tattoo: My Life as a Girl Revolutionary, Random House Canada
Each finalist will receive $5,000. The prizewinner will receive a total of $60,000.

Finalists were selected by a three-member jury composed of author and journalist Carolyn Abraham, journalism professor and author Stephen Kimber, and nonfiction writer and folklorist Emily Urquhart. In total, 95 titles were submitted by 50 publishers for consideration for the 2016 prize.

"The best nonfiction writing offers a window on other lives, other times, and other worlds," said prize sponsor The Hon. Hilary M. Weston. "Once again, the jury has put forward a shortlist that demonstrates an astonishing breadth of knowledge, depth of research, and sense of story. I look forward to sharing five more superlative works of Canadian nonfiction with readers."

The prizewinner will be announced at the Writers' Trust Awards ceremony at Toronto's Glenn Gould Studio on November 2. Additional information, including jury citations and downloadable images, is available at writerstrust.com.

Readers are invited to assemble a digital jigsaw puzzle revealing the nominated works at writerstrust.com/puzzle.

About The Hon. Hilary M. Weston, CM, OOnt
The Hon. Hilary M. Weston served as the 26th lieutenant-governor of Ontario from 1997 to 2002. As the Queen's representative in Ontario, Mrs. Weston was responsible for the Crown's constitutional and representational roles in the province. Since leaving public office, Mrs. Weston has continued to pursue her diverse interests. She led Renaissance ROM, the largest fundraising campaign in Canadian cultural history, transforming the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. She is a trustee of St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle and serves on the board of the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Aga Khan Museum. She is also Chair of Prince's Charities Canada.

Mrs. Weston is a director of Wittington Investments, the family holding company, and Selfridges Group; and is a member of the International Advisory Board of Sotheby's. She has served as deputy chair of the board of Holt Renfrew, promoting Canadian designers in the retailing business.

Mrs. Weston founded the Ireland Fund of Canada and remains a patron of this non-denominational organization promoting peace in Ireland. Her interests in homes and gardens resulted in the publication of In a Canadian Garden (1989) and At Home in Canada (1995). She served as first Chancellor of the Order of Ontario and was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2003. She received the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. Mrs. Weston was invested by the Queen as a Commander in the Royal Victorian Order in October 2015 and is the recipient of several honorary degrees.

About the Prize
The Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction is awarded for literary excellence in the category of nonfiction, which includes, among other forms, personal or journalistic essays, history, biography, memoirs, commentary, and criticism, both social and political. Finalist works will, in the opinion of the jury, demonstrate a distinctive voice, as well as a persuasive and compelling command of tone, narrative, style, and technique. This award succeeds the Writers' Trust Nonfiction Prize, which was established in 1997.

About the Writers' Trust of Canada
The Writers' Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through a portfolio of programs including ten national literary awards, a fellowship, financial grants, scholarships, and a writers' retreat. Writers' Trust programming is designed to champion excellence in Canadian writing, to improve the status of writers, and to create connections between writers and readers. Canada's writers receive more financial support from the Writers' Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country. More information is available at writerstrust.com.

About the Writers' Trust Awards Ceremony
An annual event awarding $219,000 to Canadian writers, the Writers' Trust Awards ceremony is one of the richest prize-giving nights in Canada. CBC Radio broadcaster and new host of q Tom Power will emcee this year's event on November 2. In addition to the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction, awards to be presented are:

For a single book:

Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize: 20th anniversary
For a single short story:

Writers' Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize
For a body of work:

Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize
Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life
Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People
Writers' Trust Engel/Findley Award
The Writers' Trust Awards is made possible through generous support from corporate, foundation, and individual sponsors. Partners CBC Books, The Globe and Mail, and Indigo Chapters provide additional support. The project is partially funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage Book Fund
Launch of Open Books: International Artists Explore the Chinese Folding Book
OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 27, 2016) - Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibition that showcases Canadian and international artists and the traditional Chinese folding book.

"This cross-cultural exhibition highlights our special relationship with China, promotes a broader understanding of its unique culture, and underscores our commitment as an institution to cultural dialogue".
Dr. Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Open Books: International Artists Explore the Chinese Folding Book is an international artist-led venture that has traveled the world and is now in Canada for the first time. The exhibition explores the traditional Chinese folding book as a medium used by modern visual artists from the West and China-including new works from 13 Canadian artists and past contributions by international artists.

The official launch of the exhibition is open to the public and takes place on September 28, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa. A panel discussion on the Chinese folding book will follow.

Open Books: International Artists Explore the Chinese Folding Book runs until November 30, 2017.
Black Ink: Portraits
Poetic Depictions of Poets and their Psyche
Patrick Connors:  Brian Purdy is the often forgotten son of iconic Canadian poet Al Purdy. Obituaries written about Al when he passed away in 2000 neglect to reference Brian, whom Al fathered with his final legal wife, Ila Elizabeth Batchelor.

Brian is an intriguing poet in his own right. He has been writing and publishing for over 40 years. His style is very clear and accessible and honest.

“Brian is nothing like his father as a poet,” Robert Priest said. ”If his father is of the earth, Brian is more of the underearth - darker, more compressed but also more lyric, much more lyric in fact.”

His new chapbook, Black Ink: Portraits, recently released by Big Pond Rumours Press, is enough to whet the reader’s appetite and make she or he want more.

In the first poem, “The Great Are No Less”, Brian writes of the struggles of, among others, William Blake, John Berryman, and Ernest Hemingway, as they battled inner demons and health problems.

The first two stanzas end with the line: “The great are no less haunted than the rest.”
The third and final stanza ends with: “The great are no less haunted – no more blessed.”

I can’t help but wonder if there could be a line for Al Purdy in this poem. Also, it speaks to the suffering every poet, known or unknown, experiences on their own.

Brian celebrates the lesser-known Eric Layman in the poem, “For Layman”.

“Eric was a fixture of the Toronto poetry community for decades,” James Deahl said. “And he was a U of T Ph.D. candidate, also for decades. He wrote formal verse of a philosophical nature. Everyone liked and respected him even if they did not appreciate his poetry. He was a true friend and supporter of literature.”

By the end of the first stanza of Brian’s poem, the reader not only can visualize Layman, but also feel like they know him. The second stanza builds up empathy for Layman, with lines such as: “few would listen to your poems,”, and “Still you wrote and read with zeal/In a climate of unbelievers…”

The final stanza ends with a sentiment by which we would all like to be remembered: “Layman, you lived your owned ‘damned way.”

Sharon Berg, the force behind Big Pond Rumours and editor of Brian’s chapbook, is also his half-sister. She will have a booth in the Fringe Beat section at Word On The Street, which takes place this Sunday, September 25th, at Harbourfront Centre, from 11 AM-6 PM.

Berg will be there with copies of Brian’s chapbook, as well as A Poet’s Garden of Pointers, his very interesting book of poetics.

She will also be releasing a new book at Word On The Street by Toronto poet John Oughton, recent winner of a contest sponsored by the Big Pond Rumours website, judged by Priest. Furthermore, Paper Reunion: An Anthology of Phoenix: A Poet's Workshop (1976-1986) will be available.

For more information on everything Big Pond Rumours, please go to: http://www.big-pond-rumours.com/index.htm

Writers' Trust Announces Finalists for 20th Anniversary Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
TORONTO, Sept. 21, 2016 /CNW/ - The Writers' Trust of Canada has revealed this morning the finalists for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, recognizing writers of the year's best novel or short story collection. The prize is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

The five finalists are:

Michael Helm (Dundas, ON) for AFTER JAMES, McClelland & Stewart
Anosh Irani (Vancouver, BC) for THE PARCEL, Knopf Canada
Kerry Lee Powell (Moncton, NB) for WILLEM DE KOONING'S PAINTBRUSH, Harper Avenue
Yasuko Thanh (Victoria, BC) for MYSTERIOUS FRAGRANCE OF THE YELLOW MOUNTAINS, Hamish Hamilton
Katherena Vermette (Winnipeg, MB) for THE BREAK, House of Anansi
Each of the finalists will receive $2,500. The prizewinner will receive a total of $25,000. The finalists were selected by a jury composed of writers Lauren B. Davis, Trevor Ferguson, and Pasha Malla. They read 135 books submitted by 55 publishers. The prize has been sponsored by Rogers Communications Inc. since its inception in 1997.

Past prizewinners include: Austin Clarke (1997), Helen Humphreys (2000), Alice Munro (2004), Joseph Boyden (2005), Lawrence Hill (2007), Miriam Toews (2008, 2014), and André Alexis (2015).

"Canadian literature reflects and informs our national voice, history, and culture," said Steve Maich, senior vice president, digital content and publishing, at Rogers Communications Inc. "As a Canadian communications company, Rogers is proud to have sponsored this prize for two decades: supporting Canadian voices, celebrating Canadian stories, championing the very best Canadian books."

Finalists for the 20th anniversary Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize will appear at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto on October 25. Event information is available at ifoa.org.

The prizewinner will be announced at the Writers' Trust Awards Ceremony in Toronto's Glenn Gould Studio on November 2. Additional information, including jury citations, downloadable images, and a gallery of past winners, is available at writerstrust.com/rogersfiction.

About the Writers' Trust of Canada
The Writers' Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through a portfolio of programs that includes ten national literary awards, a fellowship, financial grants, scholarships, and a writers' retreat. Writers' Trust programming is designed to champion excellence in Canadian writing, to improve the status of writers, and to create connections between writers and readers. Canada's writers receive more financial support from the Writers' Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country. Additional information is available at writerstrust.com.

About the Writers' Trust Awards Ceremony
An annual event awarding $219,000 to Canadian writers, the Writers' Trust Awards Ceremony is one of the richest prize-giving nights in Canada. CBC Radio broadcaster and new host of q Tom Power will emcee this year's event on November 2. In addition to the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, awards to be presented are:

For a single book:

Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction
For a single short story:

Writers' Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize
For a body of work:

Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize
Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life
Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People
Writers' Trust Engel/Findley Award
The Writers' Trust Awards is made possible through generous support from corporate, foundation, and individual sponsors. Partners CBC Books, The Globe and Mail, and Indigo Chapters provide additional support. The project is partially funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage Book Fund.
Review: Tidal Fury by Brenda Clews
KJ Mullins: There's a new poetry book on the shelves by Brenda Clews. Tidal Fury is a love story of thought out melody and quick passions shaken and stirred into one delightful read.

Published by Guernica Editions Tidal Fury centers on Clews muse Medusa and the snakes of life. This is not a sweet collection of love poems by a naive girl but love through the eyes of a woman who has lived many lives. Each poem brings you closer to the ideals of the muse with the fleeting complex passions of the woman inside.

Clews' artwork is layered within the pages adding another dimension to the prose. The two combined weave a rich tapestry that is hard to put down. 


It is fleeting, ephemeral, fragile-beauty,
Silence of the deep sleep, death,
of non-being,
the norm.

Tidal Fury is sure to be making the awards rounds and is a must have for your personal library.

Born in Zimbabwe, Clews childhood in the wild shaped her into the woman she is today. A fixture of Toronto's poetry scene Clews is hosts monthly Poetry Salons in various locations within the city. Her poetry merges with her paintings bringing a rounded focus to her work.
Penguin Random House Canada is Proud to Publish the Two Canadians on the Man Booker Prize Shortlist
 David Szalay's All That Man Is and Madeleine Thien's Do Not Say We Have Nothing, both published by imprints of Penguin Random House Canada, have been shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. The announcement was made in London this morning on behalf of a panel of five judges comprised of Chair Amanda Foreman along with Jon Day, Abdulrazak Gurnah, David Harsent and Olivia Williams.

Published by Knopf Canada, Do Not Say We Have Nothing was acquired and edited by Publishing Director Lynn Henry. "From the very beginning, this novel has felt special," says Henry. "Much like the bold character of Big Mother Knife in its pages, Do Not Say We Have Nothing is a truly large-hearted, capacious and generous book that also manages to be haunting and intimate. All of us at Knopf Canada are tremendously proud of Maddie and of this recognition from the Man Booker Prize."

Since its June publication, Thien's novel, which has also been longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, has received extensive critical acclaim. The Vancouver Sun says "It's rare to encounter a new literary novel with the sweep and scope of Do Not Say We Have Nothing. It's no exaggeration to say the reading experience is reminiscent of some of the great Russians: Dostoevsky, Pasternak, Solzhenitsyn," while The Globe and Mail says "Should any doubt remain, Do Not Say We Have Nothing cements Madeleine Thien as one of Canada's most talented novelists."

Published by McClelland & Stewart, All That Man Is was acquired by the late Ellen Seligman. Publisher Jared Bland says "We at McClelland & Stewart are thrilled to see David's brilliant book recognized, and to know it sits on a shortlist with these other outstanding titles. We're so proud that such a young and vibrant writer, who is just entering his prime, is already in the running for the world's most prestigious literary award."

Szalay's novel, a complex portrayal of twenty-first-century masculinity, has received glowing reviews. The Globe and Mail says that it's "one of the most shattering fictional examinations of mortality in recent memory." Maclean's says: "Szalay locates the souls of his characters and renders them both palpable and fascinating." And The Quill and Quire says "Szalay's collection is beautifully built, winding up with passages of such humane delicacy."

David Szalay and Madeleine Thien will each tour to major literary festivals and bookstores across Canada this fall.
PEN Canada/Ken Filkow Prize awarded to Raihan Abir
Author and blogger Raihan Abir will receive the PEN Canada/Ken Filkow Prize at the PEN Canada benefit at the International Festival of Authors, October 22.

Introduced in 2014 in memory of PEN's Canadian Issues Committee member and former Chair of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, Kenneth A. Filkow, the annual award is presented to an individual or institution in Canada who has shown courage in opposing restraint on freedom of expression and ideas.

Abir, co-author of The Philosophy of Atheism, left Dhaka in June 2015 after the murders of his colleague Avijit Roy, his editor Ananta Bijoy Das, and other secular writers and activists associated with the freethinking website Mukto-Mona.

With the help of PEN Canada, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and Centre for Inquiry Canada, Abir and his pregnant wife, Samia Hossain, applied for asylum in September 2015. After his immigration hearing in November, attended in solidarity by PEN Canada member Rohinton Mistry, Abir was granted refugee status.

Despite continuing death threats Abir has continued to speak out against religious fundamentalism and seek justice for his murdered friends and colleagues. Abir has given a voice to the victims of religious violence and blasphemy legislation, speaking openly with Canadian media and consulting with government officials.

"With a list of really good candidates, the committee's deliberations were nevertheless brief and our choice of Raihan was unanimous," said Canadian Issues Chair, Elise Moser. "He has demonstrated tremendous courage and integrity in defense of freedom of expression."

Abir now lives in Toronto with his wife and young daughter, Sophie.

The PEN Canada/Ken Filkow Prize is valued at $1000, and will be presented to Abir by Filkow's son-in-law, Brian Borzykowski. The prize is funded by Philip Slayton and Cynthia Wine.

From Canada's biggest book retailer to Canada's biggest book lender

The Toronto Public Library Foundation Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Jennifer Jones as President, effective September 6, 2016.

Ms. Jones joins the Foundation after nine years as Vice President of the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, Indigo Books and Music's corporate foundation. Under her leadership, Love of Reading's fundraising grew by over 300%, allowing it to expand its support to hundreds of high-needs elementary school libraries across Canada every year and the thousands of children they serve.
With an MBA from Ivey and more than 20 years of experience across marketing and social impact leadership, Ms. Jones launched Indigo's first cause marketing campaign, Adopt a School, now in its eighth year.  To date it has put 350,000 books in the hands of children across Canada. Ms. Jones also recently completed her two year term as Chair, Association of Corporate Grantmakers,Toronto which provides professional development and networking opportunities to individuals who represent corporations that invest in their communities. 

As President, Jennifer will support Toronto Public Library's goals of expanding access, increasing opportunity and building connections by growing funding from corporations and individuals and raising its profile within the city. 
"Jennifer brings a thorough understanding of the role literacy and libraries play in the development of individuals and this city," saysGillian Smith, Chair of the Toronto Public Library Foundation Board. "That, combined with her engaging, fresh and innovative approach to fundraising, will help raise the profile and expand the programming of this beloved Toronto institution."

"I've lived and worked on several continents and travelled extensively which gives me a unique perspective on what an exciting time it is to be in Toronto, a city which is gaining profile on the global stage," says Ms. Jones. "It is an honour and privilege to work closely with Toronto Public Library to ensure it receives the funding critical to its evolution and innovation to maintain its world class status."

The Toronto Public Library Foundation was established in 1997 as a charity to support Toronto Public Library, one of the world's busiest urban public library systems. The Foundation inspires donors to support life-changing programs, services, spaces and collections that wouldn't be possible with government funding alone. Thanks to donors, the Foundation has raised $73 million since inception. 
Canadian Contemporary Poetry in Bangla published in Bangladesh
Patrick Connors – Toronto: Thanks largely to Facebook, there is a very successful literary endeavour underway where Canadian poets have been translated into Bengali by Parvez Chowdhury.

“As a writer I am a reader of world literature,” said Chowdhury. “I noticed for long time that there is an obscurity about Canadian literature in Bengali. Canadian literature is unknown in this region. Canada was a friend of Bangladesh during the liberation war in 1971.

“Now, Canadian contemporary poetry has been published in the national daily newspaper, literature magazine and web portal. Also, many reading sessions and lectures have been organized in different corners of Bangladesh. A book “Canadar Shomokalin Kobita” (An Anthology on Canadian Contemporary poetry in Bangla) has been published with 41 Canadian poets work and their brief biographies.”

A partial list of the poets Chowdhury has translated includes:

Alice Major ■ Anne Michaels ■ Anna Yin ■ Ayesha Chatterjee ■ Bill Bissett ■ Bruce Meyer ■ Catherine Graham ■ Colin Carberry ■ Dennis Lee ■ Donna Allard ■ Duke Redbird ■ Gary Geddes ■ George Elliott Clarke ■ George Bowering ■ Goran Simic ■ Halli Villegas ■ James Deahl ■ Jill Battson ■ John B. Lee ■ Joe Blades ■ John Oughton ■ Karen Shenfeld ■ Kate Marshall Flaherty ■ Laurence Hutchman ■ Leonard Cohen ■ Louis Dudek ■ Margaret Avison ■ Margaret Atwood ■ Molly Peacock ■ Richard Greene ■ Roo Borson, ■ Robert Priest ■ Stephen Morrissey ■ Susan Glickman

“Translating poetry is never easy”, conceded Anna Yin, Mississauga’s inaugural Poet Laureate. “It takes time and needs wide knowledge about languages and cultures. Canadian contemporary poetry has been ignored for many decades. I am very glad that Parvez Chowdhury has made a great effort to translate Canadian poets’ works into Bangla and get them published and promoted in his national media. It is such a great and wonderful project that helps bridge diverse cultures. I am grateful for his work.”    

“Anything that helps close the linguistic gaps provincial to Poetry is for the global good,” said George Elliott Clarke, former Toronto Poet Laureate, and current Parliamentary Poet Laureate. “It’s an opportunity to see my Roman alphabet straight lines transmuted into Bangla's sophisticated swerves and curves.”

“What an honour to be among so many Canadian poets I admire and am inspired by! Parvez Chowdhury is to be commended for building bridges and connecting poets and readers across the globe”, Kate Marshall Flaherty said.

“I am very moved to think that such a brilliant translator as Parvez Chowdhury has brought some of my poems to readers in a language I do not understand,” said Richard Greene, 2010 Governor General’s Award winner for English language poetry. “I am also honoured to be in the company of so many fine English poets.”

“As I am Bengali myself and grew up in Kolkata, India, having a poem translated into Bengali has particular significance for me,” said Ayesha Chatterjee. “I haven't yet read the translation but am very much looking forward to seeing it. My deepest thanks to Parvez Chowdhury for this honour.”

“Canadian poetry has never been translated into Bangla,” noted Emeritus Poet Laureate of the City of Barrie Bruce Meyer. “I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to expand our cultural horizons, and to address our unique qualities to another nation.”

“I think the translation of Canadian poetry into Bangla is exactly the kind of initiative poetry in Canada needs to keep it on the international radar and not overwhelmed on the world scene,” Halli Villegas said. “It’s refreshing to see new and established faces from poetry genres across the board and not just the usual suspects who have come to represent the capital P poets in Canada. I came to the project through the auspices of Bruce Meyer whose dedication to the support and continuation of Canadian poetry is been underrated and unappreciated. Parvez has taken on a monumental task with so much skill and enthusiasim. Let’s see if we can return the favour and get some Bangladesh poetry translated into Canadian.”

To submit to this project, please contact Chowdhury by email: pa.chow.pc@gmail.com

There is also a secret Facebook group associated with this project, to which you have to be added by Mr. Chowdhury.
The City of Toronto and Toronto Public Library today named the finalists for the 2016 Toronto Book Awards. Established by Toronto City Council in 1974, the awards honour authors of books of literary merit that are evocative of Toronto. The finalists and their books:

• Howard Akler for his memoir "Men of Action" published by Coach House Books
• Ann Y.K. Choi for her novel "Kay's Lucky Coin Variety" published by Simon & Schuster Canada
• Editors John Lorinc, Michael McClelland, Ellen Scheinberg and Tatum Taylor for "The Ward: The Life and Loss of Toronto's First Immigrant Neighbourhood" published by Coach House Books
• Cordelia Strube for her novel "On the Shores of Darkness, There is Light" published by ECW Press
• Marnie Woodrow for her novel "Heyday" published by Tightrope Books

"Each year, the Toronto Book Awards inspire us with stories that express our experiences of the city," said Mayor John Tory. "All the finalists and their stories help us expand our idea of what Toronto is, was and can be."

"We are thrilled to be working with the Toronto Book Awards to present the winner in October,” said City Librarian Vickery Bowles. "There are magnificent works on the shortlist, reminding us all of how fortunate we are to live in a city with such amazing talent."

The winner of the 2016 Toronto Book Awards will be announced on October 11 at the Toronto Reference Library. Members of the public are welcome to attend the free awards ceremony hosted by CBC Radio's Gill Deacon at the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon starting at 7 p.m. on that date.

Ticket reservations are recommended. Tickets will be available via the Toronto Public Library website at http://www.tpl.ca/appelsalon starting September 13.

The shortlisted authors are scheduled to read from their books at The Word On the Street book and magazine festival at Harbourfront Centre from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, September 25. In addition, they will deliver readings of their works at the Scarborough Civic Centre Library (156 Borough Dr.) on October 5 at 7 p.m. 

This year is the 42nd year of the Toronto Book Awards. The annual awards offer $15,000 in prize money. Each finalist will receive $1,000, with $10,000 going to the winner. This year's Toronto Book Awards Committee is made up of volunteer members Irfan Ali, Ann Jansen, Kilby Smith-McGregor and Conan Tobias. 

More information about the awards, reading events and what the jury members said about the shortlisted books is available at http://www.toronto.ca/book_awards. The public can also follow and interact with the awards on Twitter @TOBookAwards and #tobookawards.

The Toronto Star is the Toronto Book Awards' media sponsor. 

Finalists announced for the 2016 Toronto Book Awards 

MANHOOD: Chronicles of sex, strength and identity

 Toronto males of all ages write their stories around racism, illness, incarceration, love and more in new book.

Whether the experience was the first month of fatherhood, a youth bullied for his sexuality or a young man struggling with racism in the world, MANHOOD is a compilation of truths that speak to what it means to be male in Toronto. Each book comes with an audio component. This is the third book to be released from the FYOU Project, an award-winning initiative that focuses on forgiveness.

Highlights from MANHOOD include:

Words on forgiveness from award-winning rapper/author Maestro

A letter from David McCallum who was exonerated from prison after twenty-nine years

Poetry from inmates in South Detention, East Detention

The MANHOOD book launch is on August 28th, 2pm at Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas Street East. The free launch is hosted by Juno winning hip hop group Naturally Born Strangers and keynote speech from the Voice of the Raptors Mark Strong. A pop-up shop of youth-led businesses and a photo exhibit called Toronto Has Always Had Kings will also be part of the celebration. MANHOOD will also be available for sale online and at bookstores across the GTA.


FYOU: The Forgiveness Project is a social initiative that encourages the reflection of forgiveness towards ourselves and others. FYOU features speakers, writers and storytellers who have crossed the line from victim to survivor and those in their support circle, finding peace in the process.
Doubleday Canada To Publish How To Be A Bawse By Canadian Comedian Lilly Singh
Doubleday Canada, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada, has acquired HOW TO BE A BAWSE: A Guide to Surviving Conquering Life by Lilly Singh. In her debut book, Lilly will teach readers how to be their own bawse, a person who exudes confidence and reaches goals. Inspired by hilarious and honest stories from Lilly's own experiences and life achievements, this book proves that becoming a bawse requires hard work and dedication -- and that there are no shortcuts to success. Canadian rights were acquired, at auction, by Marion Garner, Vice President, Deputy Publisher, Penguin Random House Canada, and Bhavna Chauhan, Editor, Doubleday Canada, from Erin Malone of William Morris Endeavor. Lilly Singh is represented byAnita Sharma, Sarah Weichel and WME.

"I am so thrilled to write my first book and share, all in one place, what I've learned about achieving success and happiness. This journey has taught me to always pick yourself up, not allow anything to stand in your way and that the only secret to achieving your dreams is hard work," said Lilly.
Lilly Singh (aka iiSuperwomanii) is a Canadian multi-talented entertainer who has found worldwide fame through her comedic and inspirational YouTube videos, amassing over 9 million subscribers across her YouTube channel. Born in Scarborough, Ontario, she was featured in Forbes' 2016 30 Under 30 Hollywood & Entertainment list and Fast Company's Most Creative People 2016. Lilly has appeared on numerous national television appearances and has been featured in Entertainment Weekly, People Magazine, Seventeen Magazine, Vogue India, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times among others. Singh starred in and produced her own feature length film, A Trip To Unicorn Island, which premiered on YouTube Red in February 2016. Singh also recently released her own signature lipstick called BAWSE with Smashbox and this July she appears in the feature films Ice Age: Collision Course and Bad Moms.

HOW TO BE A BAWSE will be published on March 28, 2017.

About Doubleday Canada
One of Canada's most prominent publishers for over seventy-five years, Doubleday Canada's books have won an impressive number of awards including the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General's Literary Awards for Fiction and Non-fiction, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, the Costa Award and the Orange Prize. Doubleday Canada is known for the critical and commercial successes of its program publishing many best-selling writers and is proud to have nurtured some of the country's most exciting new talents. Doubleday Canada is also home to many celebrated international writers. In addition to its hard-hitting and thoughtful non-fiction program, Doubleday Canada also publishes bestselling commercial non-fiction.

About Penguin Random House Canada
Penguin Random House Canada is the Canadian division of Penguin Random House. Penguin Random House is dedicated to nourishing a universal passion for reading as the world's first truly global trade book publisher. Penguin Random House employs more than 10,000 people globally across almost 250 editorially and creatively independent imprints and publishing houses that collectively publish more than 15,000 new titles annually. Its publishing lists include more than 70 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world's most widely read authors. www.penguinrandomhouse.com.
Indigo invites Canadians to #ReadtheNorth with the best Canadian books
To celebrate Canada's incredible writing talent, Indigo (TSX: IDG) is thrilled to launch a movement called #ReadtheNorth. By shining a spotlight on Canadian authors and their works, Indigo hopes to inspire booklovers of all ages to develop a deeper appreciation for Canadian literature.

"This movement is founded on our belief that 'The World Needs More Canada.' These words are inscribed on the walls of our stores, and are brought to life by our continued commitment to Canadian authors," said Krishna Nikhil, Executive Vice President of Print at Indigo. "As Canada's largest bookstore, we hope to unite Canadians in our pride for homegrown talent, and inspire people all over the world to read a great Canadian book."

Acclaimed novelists and poets like Margaret Atwood, Joseph Boyden, Leonard Cohen and Alice Munro represent a small but significant portion of Canada's celebrated and diverse literary community. Several Canadian authors sat down with Indigo to share their perspectives on the power of literature to connect readers all over the world. To hear from these authors directly, visit youtube.com/chaptersindigo.


#ReadtheNorth Instagram Contest

Launching just in time for Canada Day, Indigo is hosting an Instagram contest beginning today. Fans will be asked to share a creative and engaging photo on Instagram of their interpretation of #ReadtheNorth for the chance to win one of two $500 Indigo gift cards. The contest runs the month of July with the two winners announced on August 1st, 2016 at 12 pm EDT. For full contest details visit indigo.ca/readthenorthcontest


Top 10 #ReadtheNorth Titles

From classics to contemporary literature, Indigo's expert book sellers recommend these 10 Canadian titles to #ReadtheNorth this summer:

The Orenda by Joseph Boyden: A visceral portrait of life at a crossroads, The Orenda chronicles the intersection of three characters' paths: a young Iroquois girl, her captor who is one of the Huron Nation's great warriors and statesmen, and a charismatic Jesuit missionary. As these three souls dance each other through intricately woven acts of duplicity, small battles erupt into bigger wars and a nation emerges from worlds in flux.

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood: In Alias Grace, bestselling author Margaret Atwood takes us back in time and into the life of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the nineteenth century. Netflix and CBC have partnered for a six hour miniseries based on the 1996 Giller Prize-winning book.

The Idea of Canada: Letters To A Nation by David Johnston: From our present Governor General, a series of 50 (of several thousand) carefully chosen letters he has written to people he has admired and befriended over his seventy-plus years, that sets out Mr. Johnston's frank, informed, and novel thoughts about Canada.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur: Milk and Honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival, about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity, from Canadian poet Rupi Kaur.

The Reason You Walk: A Memoir by Wab Kinew: This moving father-son reconciliation is told by charismatic First Nations broadcaster, musician and activist, Wab Kinew. By turns lighthearted and solemn, Kinew gives us an inspiring vision for family and cross-cultural reconciliation, and a wider conversation about the future of aboriginal peoples.

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield: As Commander of the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield captivated the world with stunning photos and commentary from space. In his book, Hadfield offers readers extraordinary stories from his life as an astronaut, and shows how to make the impossible a reality.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: An audacious, darkly glittering novel about art, fame and ambition set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse, from the author of three highly acclaimed previous novels.

Alone Against the North: An Expedition into the Unknown by Adam Shoalts : When Adam Shoalts ventured into the largest unexplored wilderness on the planet, he hoped to set foot where no one had ever gone before. What he discovered surprised even him.

The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel: This is a suspenseful, mesmerizing story of a great quest for meaning, told in three intersecting narratives touching the lives of three different people and their families, and taking us on an extraordinary journey through the last century.

A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews: Winner of the Governor General's Award and a Giller Prize Finalist, Miriam Toews's third novel has earned both critical acclaim and a long and steady position on our national bestseller lists.

To view a selection of #ReadtheNorth books, click here.

RBC Taylor Prize Winner Rosemary Sullivan Receives American Plutarch Award for Biography

Winner of the 2016 RBC Taylor Prize, the 2016 BC National Book Award for Canadian Nonfiction, and the 2015 Hilary Weston Prize, Rosemary Sullivan has just been announced as the first Canadian winner of the American Plutarch Award for Biography for her magnificent and sweeping book Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva, published by HarperCollins Publishers and sold in 21 countries.

Given by biographers for biographers, the Plutarch Award began in 2013 and is named after the famous biographer of Ancient Greece. The winner is determined by secret ballot from a formal list of nominees selected by a committee of distinguished members of the craft.

"This is a big, big honour for biographers," said Rosemary Sullivan, its first Canadian winner, who attended the ceremony and received her award at the seventh annual BIO Conference, held in Richmond, Virginia, June 3 – 5, 2016. Videos of the conference can be found at this link: http://biographersinternational.org/conference-2/

The full list of nominees is as follows:

Emily Bingham, Irrepressible: A Jazz Age Life of Henrietta Bingham (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Betty Boyd Caroli, Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage (Simon & Schuster)
Cathy Curtis, Restless Ambition: Grace Hartigan, Painter (Oxford)
Irwin F. Gellman, The President and the Apprentice: Eisenhower and Nixon 1952-1961 (Yale)
Peter Guralnick, Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll (Little, Brown)
Anne Heller, Hannah Arendt: A Life in Dark Times (New Harvest)
Jay Parini, Empire of Self: A Life of Gore Vidal (Doubleday)
Sonia Purnell, Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill (Viking)
T.J. Stiles, Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America (Knopf)
Winner: Rosemary Sullivan, Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva (HarperCollins)

Earlier this year, Rosemary Sullivan won Canada's prestigious RBC Taylor Prize. In its citation, the Jury noted: "Combining exacting research with brilliant storytelling, Rosemary Sullivan tells us what it means to be the daughter of Joseph Stalin. As terrifying and mystifying as Stalin was to the Soviets and to the rest of the world, he was doubly so to Svetlana. The result for her was, of course, tragic. The achievement of Rosemary Sullivan's Stalin's Daughter is that in this portrait we see the inescapability of tyranny, when the tyrant's rule is not only political but also personal."
 Rosemary Sullivan has written poetry, short fiction, biography, literary criticism, reviews, and articles, and has edited numerous anthologies. Her biography Shadow Maker: The Life of Gwendolyn MacEwan, won the Governor General's Award, the UBC President's Medal for Canadian Biography, and the Toronto Book Award. Her book Villa Air-Bel: World War II, Escape, and a House in Marseille won the Helen and Stan Vine Annual Canadian Jewish Book Awards' Yad Vashem Award in Holocaust History. Her most recent book, Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva, won the 2016 RBC Taylor Prize, the 2016 BC National Book Award for Canadian Nonfiction, the 2015 Hilary Weston Prize, and the Plutarch Award for Biography and was named a finalist for the 2016 American PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography and the American National Books Critics Circle Award. An Officer of the Order of Canada, Rosemary Sullivan lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

It's a Three-peat! Vancouver, Calgary and Saskatoon Remain atop Amazon.ca List of Canadian Cities that Love to Read

Vancouver takes the top spot overall for the second year in a row and ranks No. 1 in purchases for business, cooking, travel, self-help and health books
Ontario dominates the list for the third year in a row with nine cities placing in the top 20
To kick-off the summer reading season, Amazon.ca today announced its fourth annual list of Canadian Cities that Love to Read. The list was compiled after gathering sales data from all Amazon.ca book sales in print and Kindle format from May 2015 to May 2016 on a per capita basis in cities with more than 100,000 residents.

Taking a closer look at the data, Amazon.ca also revealed:

Top 11 Hold Strong: Not only did Vancouver, Calgary and Saskatoon maintain their spots in the top three, but each city in the top 11 kept a strong hold on their position, cementing their love of reading. Cities that upped their reading game and advanced their position on the list include Richmond (moving to No. 12 from No. 13 last year) and Surrey (up to No. 15 from No. 16 last year).

The Digital West: Canada's western cities of Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton purchased the most Kindle titles over the past year. The best-selling Kindle title overall was the psychological thriller, The Girl on the Train (Doubleday Canada).

Saskatoon's Reading List: While Vancouver ranked highest in the business, cooking, travel, self-help, and health categories,

Saskatoon purchased the most nonfiction and sci-fi books, as well as books by Canadian authors.

Regina showed its romantic side, purchasing the most romance novels.
This year, the Top 20 Canadian Cities that Love to Read are:

1. Vancouver, British Columbia
11. Burnaby, British Columbia
2. Calgary, Alberta
12. Richmond, British Columbia
3. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
13. Mississauga, Ontario
4. Edmonton, Alberta
14. Windsor, Ontario
5. Regina, Saskatchewan
15. Surrey, British Columbia
6. London, Ontario
16. Gatineau, Quebec
7. Toronto, Ontario
17. Markham, Ontario
8. Kitchener, Ontario
18. Brampton, Ontario
9. Ottawa, Ontario
19. Halifax, Nova Scotia
10. Winnipeg, Manitoba
20. Hamilton, Ontario
 Colour Your World: Not only do Canadians love to read, but they also love to colour, with many adult colouring books among this year's best-sellers. The most popular were Lost Ocean: An Inky Adventure and Colouring Book for Adults (Penguin Books), Harry Potter: Colouring Book (Scholastic Inc.), and Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Colouring Book (Laurence King Publishing).

For additional suggestions to build out your summer reading list, Amazon.ca book editors today introduced their Best Books of the Year So Far list, which include titles such as End of Watch: A Novel (Scribner) by Stephen King and The Nest (HarperVenue) by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney. This year's top 40 list also features novels by Canadian authors, including The High Mountains of Portugal: A Novel (Knopf Canada) by Yann Martel, City of the Lost (Random House Canada) by Kelley Armstrong, and 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl (Penguin Canada) by this year's Amazon.ca First Novel Award winner, Mona Awad. Book lovers can view the full lists which include the Best Children's Books of the Year So Far at www.amazon.ca/bestbooks. 
The Quotations of Bone by Norman Dubie and Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent by Liz Howard Win the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize
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On Thursday June 2 in Toronto the winners of the 2016 Griffin Poetry Awards were announced at a lavish dinner gala. The Quotations of Bone by Norman Dubie and Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent by Liz Howard are the International and Canadian winners of the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize. They each received C$65,000 in prize money.

Founded in 2000 by Scott Griffin the The Griffin Poetry Prize has brought an international spotlight to modern works of poetry. The prize is for first edition books written or translated into English from anywhere in the world. This year over 600 books were submitted for consideration. Norman Dubie was not in attendance at the gala. Canadian Liz Howard was shocked to hear that she was the winner. Still shaking moments after the announcement Howard said she has been writing poetry since she was a small child as soon as she learned how to write. Her first published poem took place at the age of eight.

"I'm completely shocked. I can't believe this is happening right now, it's like a dream," Howard said. She said that in her poems prior to university were an imitation of other poets. A professor opened her mind at that point with an introduction to modern prose. Her encouragement gave Howard the confidence to write with a new mindset.

Howard is currently working two part-time jobs as a researcher but with the large payout she smiled that she may be able to go down to just one of those jobs.

The judges for the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize are Alice Oswald (UK), Tracy K. Smith (US) and Adam Sol (Canada). These distinguished writers and poets each read 633 books of poetry, received from 43 countries around the globe, including 25 translations. The trustees of The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry select the judges annually.

The gala was attended by 325 invited guests at the Fermenting Cellar in Toronto's Distillery Historic District.

Founder Scott Griffin was excited about the evening's event. He had arrived for the ceremony from a long vacation sailing the world which he will be continuing in a few days.

The prize has spun off an initiative, Poetry In Voice, that Griffin is very proud of. Poetry in Voice brings poetry to Canadian high schools with an annual contest that combines slam poetry, spoken word, and theatre along with literature. Started in 2011 with 12 Ontario schools this year Poetry in Voice was in 875 Canada wide. More than 5,000 students took part in learning a poem for the sixth annual poetry recitation competition.

“There is a great benefit at being able to stand up without any notes and speak in front of an audience, and have the confidence to do that,” said Griffin.

Reading The Shortlist For the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize
KJ Mullins:  The words of a poet can float in and out of your consciousness or lay flat upon the page. The meaning, the structure, the swing hits and misses depending on the person reading the prose.

Reading each of the shortlisted works can be a challenge. Digesting poetry depends on many factors-your mood, the text, how you interpret the beat of the composition. What graps my attention may not touch you in the slightest. Reviewing works of verse is a hard row to paddle. This year's selection had elements that capatived me while the tune of others failed to stir a reaction. But who am I to say this book is a must read while that one should gather dust on the book shelf.

For me the one collection that stood out was Tell: poems for a girlhood by Canadian Soraya Peerbaye. Her words told the story of Reena Virk, brutally slain in British Columbia in 1997. Peerbaye captures the harrowing death of the teen from every angle; the attackers, the victim, the families, the soil who felt the blood, the water where the last breath took place. Stirring in stark honesty this work does not leave you.

Three other books stood out for me as well; Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent by Liz Howard, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings by Joy Harjo and 40 Sonnets by Don Paterson. The words within touched me with memories of my own life and that of others that mean something to me, there was a connection. And that in itself is what poetry is: a connection to one's core. That, I understand moment. That capturing of what you have felt all along typed into a lyric meter that makes everything make sense.

This is why one poem will touch one person while another, equally well written, fails to give a person that defining moment. That said, the only way to know which poetry will stir you is to read as many as you can. Take the time to dive into the depths to discover meanings that you never thought you would find. It is well worth the hours of reflection.

On Wednesday evening, June 1 each poet took part in readings of their work at Koerner Hall at The Royal Conservatory in the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning. The poets each received $10,000 for bringing their work to life.

On Thursday June 2, 2016 the Griffin Poetry Prize Awards winners for the year will be announced in Toronto. 

Each year, The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry presents an anthology of poems selected from the shortlisted books, published by House of Anansi Press. Royalties from The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology are donated to UNESCO’s World Poetry Day.
This year's poets shortlisted for the two $65,000 cash prizes are:

Canadian Poets:

Frayed Opus for Strings & Wind Instruments by Ulrikka S. Gernes, translated by Per Brask and Patrick Friesen
Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent by Liz Howard
Tell: poems for a girlhood by Soraya Peerbaye

International Poets:

The Quotations of Bone by Norman Dubie
Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings by Joy Harjo
40 Sonnets by Don Paterson
Heaven by Rowan Ricardo Phillips​

Mona Awad Wins $40,000 at the 40th anniversary of the First Novel Award presented by Amazon.ca and The Walrus
Amazon.ca and the Walrus Foundation presented Mona Awad as the winner of the 40th anniversary of the First Novel Award, which celebrates the remarkable achievement of a first-time Canadian novelist. Awad’s novel 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl (Penguin Canada) earned her the title of the 2016 Amazon.ca First Novel Award winner and $40,000 at this year’s award ceremony, held at The Four Seasons in Toronto and hosted by CBC’s The Next Chapter radio host, Shelagh Rogers.

“As we celebrate 40 years, we’ve enjoyed looking back at the rich history of the First Novel Award. Over the years, the prize has received entries that truly illustrate incredible talent and creativity. We have also watched First Novel Award winners and finalists go on to have wildly successful careers,” said Alexandre Gagnon, vice president, Amazon Canada and Amazon Mexico. “Amazon.ca has been a part of the First Novel Award for more than a decade and it has been a privilege to be associated with a prize that has such a long and rewarding history. Congratulations to everyone who participated in this special year of the First Novel Award. We look forward to many more years recognizing emerging Canadian authors.”

About the 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl:

Growing up in the suburban hell of Misery Saga (a.k.a. Mississauga), Lizzie has never liked the way she looks—even though her best friend Mel says she’s the pretty one. She starts dating guys online, but she’s afraid to send pictures: she knows no one would want her if they could really see her. So she starts to lose weight. She counts almonds consumed, miles logged, pounds dropped. She grows up and gets thin, navigating double-edged validation from her mother, her friends, her husband, her reflection in the mirror. But no matter how much she loses, will she ever see herself as anything other than a fat girl?
In her brilliant, hilarious, and at times shocking debut, Mona Awad skewers our body image—obsessed culture, and at the same time delivers a tender and moving depiction of a lovably difficult young woman whose life is hijacked by her struggle to conform. As caustically funny as it is heartbreaking, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl introduces a vital new voice in fiction.
Mona Awad was born in Montreal and received her MFA in fiction from Brown University. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s, The Walrus, Joyland, Post Road, St. Petersburg Review, and elsewhere. She is currently pursuing a PhD in creative writing and English literature at the University of Denver.

In addition to Awad, the 2016 Amazon.ca First Novel Award finalists include: The Afterlife of Birds by Elizabeth Philips (Freehand Books), Seep by Mark Giles (Anvil Press), Backspring by Judith McCormack (Biblioasis), Do You Think This is Strange? by Aaron Cully Drake (Touchwood Editions), and Book of Sands by Karim Alrawi (HarperCollins) all of whom earned $4,000.

Russell Brown, head judge and Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Toronto selected this year’s shortlist. He has also served as a co-editor of Descant magazine and as editorial director at Canadian publisher McClelland and Stewart. The winner was selected from the list of finalists by a panel of judges including award-winning author Gurjinder Basran and Walrus fiction editor and University of Toronto professor Nick Mount.

Over the last four decades, the First Novel Award has recognized outstanding literary achievements by first-time Canadian authors and has launched the careers of some of Canada’s most beloved novelists, including most recently Alix Hawley for All True Not a Lie In It, Wayne Grady for Emancipation Day, Anakana Schofield for Malarky, David Bezmozgis for The Free World and Eleanor Catton for The Rehearsal.

  40th Anniversary First Novel Award: Past Winner Testimonials:

“It took me seven years to write The Free World. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Getting the Amazon.ca First Novel Award was a high point in the novel’s publication and in my career as a novelist.”— David Bezmozgis, 2011 Amazon.ca First Novel Award Winner
“The encouragement of the First Novel Award is invaluable and comes at a time when a writer needs it most.”—Anne Michaels, 1996 Amazon.ca First Novel Award Winner
“Winning the award made me feel, probably for the first time, that it was acceptable for me to use the job title “writer.” It helped All True Not a Lie In It find an audience, and it helped me want to keep writing (the sequel is underway). I’m so grateful.”—Alix Hawley, 2015 Amazon.ca First Novel Award Winner
For more information about the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, visit www.amazon.ca/firstnovelaward or https://thewalrus.ca/digital-projects/the-40th-anniversary-of-the-amazon-first-novel-award/.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the prize, Amazon.ca is offering a 40% discount on all of the shortlisted novels for this year’s Amazon.ca First Novel Award, for a limited time, in addition to everyday savings of up to 40% off the 100 bestselling titles.

About Amazon
Amazon.com opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire phone, Fire tablets, and Fire TV are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

About the Walrus Foundation
The Walrus Foundation is a registered charitable non-profit (No. 861851624-RR0001) with an educational mandate to create forums for matters vital to Canadians. The foundation is dedicated to supporting writers, artists, ideas, and thought-provoking conversation. We achieve these goals across multiple platforms: publishing The Walrus magazine ten times a year, in print, tablet, and smart phone editions; curating the Walrus Talks, leadership dinners, speakers’ series, and other events across the country; posting original, high-quality content at thewalrus.ca; and through such digital projects as Walrus Ebooks. The foundation also partners with Blue Ant Media to produce documentaries and other programming at thewalrus.ca/tv; and trains young professionals in media, publishing, and non-profit development.
Looking for Light
Searching for Truth and Beauty in a Dark World


Patrick Connors: Susan Ioannou’s fiction, articles, and poetry have appeared across Canada. She is the winner of an Okanagan Short Story Award, twice a finalist in the CBC Literary Awards, and the recipient of Works in Progress and Writers’ Reserve grants from the Ontario Arts Council. Looking for Light is about to be released by Hidden Brook Press.

“I have published 4 full-length manuscripts,” she said, “as well as many chapbooks since 1979. I have improved as a writer because I have worked hard at it. This also led me to write A Magical Clockwork: The Art of Writing the Poem, a book on writing craft, in 2010.”

The first poem in Looking for Light, “Make It Beautiful”, begins with a simple, whispered command from the muse to the narrator. The narrator wonders how to find beauty in a world marred by tragedies foreign and domestic.

“On 9/11, I was supposed to give a talk on Virginia Woolf - whom I love - at the Arts and Letters Club,” Ioannou said. “I was too distraught, and had to postpone the talk. There is so much quality in life. But how do you reconcile the beautiful things people create with the awful things going on in the world?”

I asked her for an answer to this poem’s concluding question: What does it mean to honour the Muse?

“She makes me do all the work. She makes me agonize over the decisions, the artistry.
“You don’t have any choice. I don’t believe in writing based on what is fashionable. You have to write as you see it.

From the section titled “Beyond Knowing”, we get the lovely shorter poem “Looking”, where the narrator again asks a number of questions. These are framed with vivid imagery such as “the earth aromatic after rain”; “light like a clean sheet the sky pulls taut”; and “the slow flaming explosions of space”.

I asked her how she differentiates between God and the Muse.

“God is some vast spiritual essence. If anything does control the universe, it does. The Muse is connected to poetry, a task mistress, demanding that I do everything the best I can.”

“It was great working with Susan,” said Richard Grove, publisher of Hidden Brook Press. “She is just a seasoned pro writer. She has been writing and publishing for decades. It shows in the quality of her poetry and in how professionally she presented her finished manuscript.”
“Grove works very hard, and has novel ideas about how to promote books,” said Ioannou. “I’m pretty fussy about things - the page proofs have gone through nine changes - but he has been very patient.

“I said to him that this might be my last book. I don’t have any driving theme in mind to work on another one. However, the poetry will lead you to a theme.”

The final full section of the book, which I found to be critical to the whole, is called “Passing Seventy”. I asked her to what extent this work is a memoir, especially in this final section.

“It deals a lot with where I am psychologically. As a whole, these poems are a reflection of things which concern me. However, I am not interested in being what you would call a confessional poet.”

The poem “Bed” tells of the narrator’s changed taste in mattresses, now preferring one which is softer. Where the younger edition of the protagonist sprang up with the birds, the wizened version is “…in no hurry/to scatter birds./I savour—I cling to—/their song.”

“I was ill for three years, spending many hours a day in bed,” said Ioannou. “Listening to the birds in the morning helped me get through the day.”

I wondered how this compares with the appreciation of poetry.

“I generally read poetry critically, see a line which is beautiful, and then ask what makes it beautiful. This differentiates from my appreciating mind, say when I’m reading Gwendolyn MacEwen, who really speaks to me. You have to be looking for something in the first place to get something out of it.”

Please join Ioannou, as well as other writers recently published by Hidden Brook Press, for a launch event at the Supermarket, 268 Augusta Avenue, on Sunday, May 22nd, at 4:00. A $15 cover charge includes a copy of one of the new titles.


Lyrical Myrical Books Launching 4 New Books on April 24th
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​Publisher Luciano Iacobelli of LYRICAL MYRICAL Press, a division of Quattro Books, has been handcrafting small chapbooks of local Toronto poets. These small hand-made books are designed by local artists and are a stepping stone for the poets that have been published. On April 24 at Bar Italia Iacobelli will be launching the new work of poets Patrick Connors, Sonia Di Placido, Sophie Else, and Zoe Garnet.

Connors, Di Placido and Else sat down for a chat this week to discuss their work, the launch and Iacobelli.

According to the group Luciano Iacobelli has been instumental in launching new poets in Toronto for several years. Di Placido said that Iacobelli who is also an alternate school teacher, like to find poets in the raw that he has seen or heard of through the grapevine. "He captures poets in the earlier stage of their careers," Di Placido said adding that it is a very diverse group of writers.

The small chapbooks are a springboard for up and coming poets. Iacobelli is very grassroots, handcrafting each book using recycled hard covered books to create manuscripts that are a true work of art. While the process is fairly simple the finished product is vibrant. Each edition of chapbook has a 40 book run and features roughly 38 pages.

​Born in Tanzania, educated in the UK Spohie Else has lived in Toronto for 20 years. Her first collection of poetry, In Search of Whitman, comes after a lifetime of writing. Else doesn't remember a time that she wasn't writing. Her love of poetry stems back to when she was in boarding school as a child. Her beloved grandfather would send her lovely handwritten letters and included funny poems that he crafted, signing them by Anon. "I adored him," Else smiled remembering those little gems, "He had such a sense of fun in the writing." When she was a young mother she carried on the family tradition with her children of literal fun. Having her book published is important to her, "holding my own book of poetry, somehow I felt validated as a writer."

 Sonia Di Placido was one of the first poets to be published by LYRICALMYRICAL Press. Since the 2004 publication of her chapbook was "Vulva Magic" Di Placido has written "Exaltation in Cadmium Red" (2012) with Guernica Editions. "The Akashic Wood" will be launched at the April 24th event.

Di Placido was in Grade 8 the first time she was published, winning two awards from the Legion that focused on Remembrance Day. After first obtaining a degree in theatre she returned to school at 30 to get a degree in writing and fell into poetry and never looked back. One day she was looking at those first poems she had written as a child and realized that in truth "I have always been a poet."
Like Di Placido the launch of Part-Time Contemplative will be Pat Connors' second chapbook. His first, Scarborough Songs was published in 2013. His poems have been published in several journals including Canadian Stories; Big Pond Rumours; and Sharing Spaces, a joint project of York University and Antares Publications. Connors has always been writing, often with a very Torontorian slant. He has also been a writer for NEWZ4U.NET focusing on mental health issues and the poetry scene. He is very grateful for LYRICAL MYRICAL Press and is working on a full length book for future release.

The event will also feature musical guests It Ain't Pretty and poet Ian Burgham.
The Griffin Poetry Prize Announces the 2016 International and Canadian Shortlist 
Scott Griffin, founder of The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry is pleased to announce the International and Canadian shortlist for this year’s prize. Judges Alice Oswald (UK), Tracy K. Smith (USA) and Adam Sol (Canada) each read 633 books of poetry, from 43 countries, including 25 translations.

The seven finalists – four International and three Canadian – will be invited to read in Toronto at Koerner Hall at The Royal Conservatory in the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto, on Wednesday, June 1st at 7.30 p.m. The seven finalists will each be awarded $10,000 for their participation in the Shortlist Readings.

The winners, to be announced at the Griffin Poetry Prize Awards on Thursday, June 2nd, will each be awarded $65,000.

Each year, The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry presents an anthology of poems selected from the shortlisted books, published by House of Anansi Press. Royalties from The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology are donated to UNESCO’s World Poetry Day.

Tickets for the Shortlist Readings to be held on Wednesday, June 1st, at Koerner Hall at The Royal Conservatory in the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto are available at http://performance.rcmusic.ca/event/2015-griffin-poetry-prize-shortlist-readings or by calling (416) 408-0208.

International Shortlist

The Quotations of Bone • Norman Dubie
Copper Canyon Press

Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings • Joy Harjo
W.W. Norton & Company

40 Sonnets • Don Paterson
Faber and Faber

Heaven • Rowan Ricardo Phillips
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Canadian Shortlist

Frayed Opus for Strings & Wind Instruments • Per Brask and Patrick Friesen, translated from the Danish
written by Ulrikka S. Gernes
Brick Books

Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent • Liz Howard
McClelland & Stewart

Tell: poems for a girlhood • Soraya Peerbaye
Pedlar Press

 ​A Conversation With the 2016 Lionel Gelber Prize Winner Scott Shane
KJ Mullins-Toronto:  Hours before Scott Shane took to the stage at the Campbell Conference Facility, at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto on Tuesday evening for the 2016 Lionel Gelber Prize authors in conversation event  he sat down for a chat about his winning book Objective Troy : A Terrorist, a President, and the Rise of the Drone published by Tim Duggan Books. We discussed how Anwar al-Awlaki still plays a role in terrorism to this day. We also touched on the upcoming election in the United States as it relates to terrorism.

Chatting with Scott Shane is a treat. A reporter with the Washington bureau of The New York Times, Shane has been covering terrorism and national security for over a decade. He is well versed in the behind the scenes world of politics with insights on domestic terrorism that need to be heard.

One of the remarkable things about Shane's book Objective Troy is how easy it is to read. Many books on foreign policy are heavy reads with an academic vibe that turns many away. Objective Troy reads like a novel, proving the old adage that truth is stranger than fiction. Bringing this quality to his work was on Shane's mind during the writing process. "I was hoping that the book was going to go beyond the normal readership." 

The respectful relationship he forged with al-Awlaki's father Nasser is evident during our talk. It gave Shane an edge allowing him to show the full picture of how Anwar became the terrorist he did despite having a father who was peaceful and didn't harbour ill will towards the United States. Today the elder al-Awlaki is more critical of US policy but that is rooted not in the death of his son Anwar by a US drone as it is of his innocent grandson, Abdulrahman in a separate drone attack.
When it comes to the election trail Shane, as well as many others in the political arena, believes that both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz would be a huge set back for counter-terrorism if elected. Of the current leader Trump he says, "he's very unfinished when it comes to policy making. He's not very well versed." Shane believes that Trump makes it up as "he goes along" and believes that Clinton would best him.

As for domestic terrorism in North America Shane joked that the truth may not serve him when it comes to selling books. Many that live in the United States have an extreme fear that they are in danger of Islamic terrorism at home. Shane pointed out since 9/11 there have been 500,000 homicides in the U.S. "Of those homicides there has been a total of 45 by Jihadists. In comparison there has been 49 acts of terrorism by non-Jihad, mostly Christian extremists." Looking at the numbers it is clear that so far the fear of a being killed in by an Islamic extremist is slim in North America. Shane does warn though that "you can't ignore the problem. There is the potential but you don't need to put the fear of terrorism high on your worry list."
Al Purdy Exercised Right-to-Die by Assisted-Suicide
 Canadian Poet Al Purdy's 33 volumes of poetry spanned 56 years and he was known as Canada's unofficial poet laureate. He died at home in British Columbia on April 20, 2000, from what was thought to be natural causes. Some 16 years later an astonishing first-hand account by John Hofsess, "The Consensual Death of Al Purdy", tells the true story.

"The Consensual Death of Al Purdy" is the only complete, unabridged account of his assisted death. It is now available as a 28-page feature article in the Spring issue of Humanist Perspectives magazine at www.humanistperspectives.org.

This article is a chapter from a soon to be released e-book , "The Future of Death: True Stories about Assisted Dying." by John Hofsess. The book details the author's participation in the eight suicides which he assisted and chronicles the struggles of the right-to-die movement from Sue Rodriguez up to the present, as the Canadian Government develops new assisted-suicide legislation.

Al Purdy had been afflicted with Cancer for a few years. At the age of 81, he decided to end his life before the suffering became unbearable. He asked John Hofsess, President of the Right to Die Society of Canada, of which Mr. Purdy was a member, to help him.

Assisting a suicide risked a heavy penalty under the law but Hofsess nevertheless ensured that Al Purdy was granted his wish to have a painless and dignified death. John Hofsess assisted in 7 other suicides.

Simon Parcher, President of Canadian Humanist Publications, says, "John Hofsess was a compassionate man who cared so deeply that he risked his own freedom in order to help people who were suffering slow and painful deaths."

Al Purdy wanted his story to be told so it might someday help inspire the creation of more humane legislation. He and John Hofsess agreed that John would publish the account at the time of his choosing. Since telling the story would quite likely result in John being charged with murder, timing was critical. John Hofsess arranged to have this account published posthumously, shortly after his own assisted death in Switzerland, on February 29, 2016.

A close friend and author, Gary Bauslaugh, remembers John Hofsess as a compassionate upholder of individual rights, especially the right to a dignified death.

In the e-book, Hofsess provides an intimate, first-hand account of the author's decision to seek an assisted death in Basel, Switzerland. Madeline Weld, co-editor of Humanist Perspectives, has written a final chapter for the book describing the events in the assisted voluntary death room. Ms. Weld was one of the people who went to Switzerland to be with John during his last days. The e-book will be released in early May by Canadian Humanist Publications, the publisher of Humanist Perspectives magazine.   

"Al Purdy, the man widely regarded as Canada's first true national poet, died in April, National Poetry Month, in the year 2000. In a way, his death marked the end of a century in which the Canadian cultural identity – under pressure from separatist tensions, two world wars, the rapid development of the mass media and the sensation of being a young nation adrift between older colonial powers and our newer imperialist neighbour – experienced its most profound growing pains. No other poet was as resolute in addressing those pains as Alfred Wellington Purdy. He did so not only by writing about the issues head-on, but also by listening to the people around him, by writing a poetry rooted in the daily life of the people and places of the Canada he knew and loved, from sea to sea to sea. He was writing poems that were relevant to Canadians, and, for over forty years, Canadians listened."
Paul Vermeersch

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