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Visiting Authors

2009 - 2010

For those of you interested in art and literature, Lake: A Journal of Arts and Environment has a wonderful and quirky online auction going on right now.

Check out to bid on art work by Okanagan artists Carin Covin and Wanda Lock, to get a critique of your poetry manuscript by published poet Catherine Mamo, to book a lecture by John Lent for your next class or event, or to have a book written about you by writers Jake Kennedy and Kevin McPherson. These are some of the fabulous items up for grabs until June 5, 2010.

Have fun, bid hard, bid often, and bid high! This is a fundraiser for the Okanagan’s premier literary and art magazine!

Nancy Holmes

LAKE cover
Click here for high-resolution copy of this image.

New edition of LAKE launched at fundraiser at Summerhill Winery, May 5

EVENT: Launch of the 4th issue of LAKE journal
DATE: Wednesday, May 5, 2010 TIME: 7 to 9 p.m.
LOCATION: Summerhill Pyramid Winery, 4870 Chute Lake Road, Kelowna
ADMISSION: Tickets $25 at the door

Contact: Lally Grauer
Associate Professor of English
Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies
UBC Okanagan

Click here for a printable PDF of the press release.

LAKE: A Journal of Arts and Environment launches its fourth issue at Summerhill Winery in Kelowna on Wednesday, May 5, from 7 to 9 p.m. This special spring evening arts event is a great opportunity to get your new issue of LAKE, hot off the press.

The event will feature guest artists Joice M. Hall and Kevin Dunn and will kick off an online auction. Tickets are $25 at the door and include appetizers and live music from the Hugh Parsons Trio.

Believing that art and literature can open doors to understanding the environment, LAKE publishes fiction, poetry, critical essays, interviews, reviews and visual arts related to the environment. It is committed to high production values, a contemporary design, and an editorial vision in search of exceptional art and thought.

Like most cultural journals, LAKE relies on grants and donations for its continued publication. Help LAKE grow by attending the launch of this locally produced, nationally acclaimed journal at the Summerhill Winery on May 5.

LAKE is published with the support of the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at UBC's Okanagan campus. Check out the website

Talk: “Nature Poetry and Eco Art in the Okanagan” by Nancy Holmes—LIB 317 at UBC Okanagan, 2 – 3 PM, Wednesday, March 31. Nancy Holmes is the author of four books of poetry and an editor of Lake:A Journal of Arts and Environment. Last year, she edited Open Wide a Wilderness: Canadian Nature Poems and this year she is organizing a series of ecoart projects in Woodhaven Nature Conservancy in Kelowna. Free admission and open to the public.

Spoken Word Open Mic—at the Well at UBC Okanagan—8 PM, Tuesday, March 30. The last open mic at the Well this year. Come one and all. Bring a poem, flash fiction. Free admission, all welcome—must be 19 and older. Bring ID.

Book Launch—Adam Lewis Schroeder: FINA Lobby at UBC Okanagan—3:30 – 5 PM, Tuesday March 30. Come celebrate Schroeder’s new novel, In the Fabled East. Bridging history from 1890s Aix-en-Provence to American involvement in 1950s Vietnam, In the Fabled East is a rich and sensual depiction of Southeast Asia, charting the loss of innocence of both individuals and the world at large. Echoing Graham Greene and Joseph Conrad, this is historical fiction written with wisdom and panache. Free admission and open to all.

Building a Career as a Fiction Writer—Free workshop in ARTS 115 at UBC Okanagan, 1:30 – 3:30, Tuesday, March 30. The Department of Creative Studies at UBC Okanagan invites the public to join editor Chris Labonté (Acquiring Editor, Fiction -- Douglas & McIntyre), Ian Weir (an award-winning screenwriter, playwright and novelist) and Adam Lewis Schroeder (novelist and short story writer) as they conduct a blend of lecture and lively discussion, providing professional advice and practical tools for individuals interested in building a successful career as a fiction writer. Topics include tips on how to write effective query letters; strategies for approaching publishers, editors, and agents; and insights on completing grant applications. Also discussed: marketing and self-promotion; working with magazine and book editors; negotiating a book contract; pitching; and making a living when writing income is sparse. Call Nancy Holmes at 250-807-9369 or email for more information.

Lisa Robertson

Lisa Robertson

Friday, March 26 - 7 PM

Alternator Gallery, 421 Cawston Avenue, Kelowna

Lisa Robertson was born in Toronto and lived for many years in Vancouver, where she worked with several artist-run organizations, including Kootenay School of Writing and Artspeak Gallery. Her books include XEclogue, Debbie: An Epic, The Weather, Occasional Works and Seven Walks from the Office for Soft Architecture, The Men and most recently Magenta Soul Whip. R’s Boat will be out this spring. She has been the recipient of the Relit Award and the bp Nichol Chapbook Award, and was nominated for a Governor General’s Award for Poetry. She is currently working collaboratively on translation, sound and video-based projects. She currently teaches at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, and in Fall 2010 will be writer in residence at Simon Fraser University.

This reading is sponsored by The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at UBC Okangan, the Canada Council for the Arts, UBC Okanagan Bookstore and the Alternator Gallery. The reading is free of charge and open to the public. For more information, contact Michael V. Smith at 250-807-9706 or email at

World Water Day Poetry Slam!—Tuesday, March 23, 2 – 4 PM – the Ballroom at the University Centre (UNC 200) at UBC Okanagan. Slam about water for prizes. Contact for more info about registering.

Paper Shell (Volume 5) cover

Paper Shell (Volume 5)

The annual anthology of Creative Writing at UBCO, Paper Shell (Volume 5), will have its launch party and reading on Thursday, March 18th.

It’ll be 7 pm in the Fipke Theatre. Paper Shell will be for sale for $10—the authors (first year to graduate students) will be reading. It’ll be a fun evening.

All welcome.

Laisha Rosnau

Laisha Rosnau

Thursday, March 4 - 7 PM

Downtown Kelowna Branch, Okanagan Regional Library
(1380 ellis St.)

Laisha Rosnau is an award-winning poet and novelist. Her second collection of poetry, Lousy Explorers was just released and her first, Notes on Leaving won the Acorn-Plantos Poetry Award in 2005. Her novel, The Sudden Weight of Snow, was an honourable mention for the Amazon/Books in Canada FirstNovel Award. Born in Montreal, Laisha moved to Vernon as a girl. Laisha has recently moved back to Vernon with her family. The winners of the Okanagan Short Story Contest will be announced at this reading.

Lee Henderson

Freedom To Read Week Reading!

Lee Henderson

Thursday, February 25 - 4 PM

UBC O Arts 106

Lee Henderson is the author of two award-winning books, The Broken Record Technique, a collection of stories, and The Man Game, a novel, both published by Penguin Canada. He is a contributing editor to Border Crossings magazine, and has published fiction in numerous periodicals including The Walrus, Vancouver Review, Hobart, Pyramid Power, and The Journey Prize Anthology.

Michael MacLennan

Michael MacLennan

Wednesday, February 10

Panel:UBCO Arts 106 - 12 noon

Ends Meet: earning your living as an artist, w/ Michael MacLennan, Dave Deveau & Cameron Mackenzie, Playwright and screenwriter Michael MacLennan joins writer/actor Dave Deveau and director/performer Cameron Mackenzie to discuss tips, perils and triumphs of earning a living as an artist. Free!

Public Reading: UBCO Arts 218-7 PM

Michael MacLennan divides his time between Toronto, Vancouver and Los Angeles. His plays have been produced throughout Canada, Europe, and the US. His books include Beat The Sunset, Grace, The Shooting Stage, Last Romantics, Life After God and The Good Egg. He has won a Jessie, two Voaden Prizes, Theatrum National Playwriting Award and was twice nominated for the Governor General’s. He has been nominated for five WGC Screenwriting Awards. He was co-executive producer of Queer As Folk, creator/executive producer of Godiva’s and Jpod, and consulting producer on Being Erica.

Matt Radar
Matt Rader
Gillian Wigmore
Gillian Wigmore

Thursday, January 14 - 6 pm, UBC Okanagan Arts 106- Matt Rader and Gillian Wigmore

Gillian Wigmore grew up in Vanderhoof, BC, and currently lives in Prince George. Her first book soft geography was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry prize and won the Relit Poetry Award in 2008. Recently, she has been shortlisted for both the Malahat long poem prize and the Great BC Novella contest.

Matt Rader is the author of two collections of poetry, Miraculous Hours (Nightwood 2005) and Living Things (Nightwood 2008). Published in magazines, journals, and anthologies around the globe, Rader's poems and stories have been nominated for numerous awards including The National Magazine Award, The Pushcart Prize, The Gerald Lampert Award, and The Journey Prize. He teaches creative writing at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, in British Columbia's Lower Mainland.

Barry McKinnon

Barry McKinnon

Thursday, October 29, 4:30pm
ART 103

Free admission.

Barry McKinnon grew up in Calgary, Alberta, and studied at Sir George Williams University in Montreal, taking poetry courses with Irving Layton. In 1969, he graduated with an M.A. From University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and was hired that same year to teach English at the College of New Caledonia in Prince George where he has lived and worked ever since. Barry McKinnon’s The the was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 1980. Pulp Log was winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Award for the B.C. Book Prizes in 1991 and Arrhythmia was the winner of the bpNichol Chapbook Award for the best chapbook published in Canada in English in 1994.

We thank our sponsors for their generous support: Writers Union of Canada, Canada Council for the Arts, UBC Okanagan Bookstore, The Department of Creative Studies, and The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies.

Stan Persky



2:00 – 3:30 PM
ARTS 103


Stan Persky will give a talk on the conditions of writing in 2010. He asks what we should write in an era in which books have become a form of “Secret Knowledge,” a secret unknown to general readerships already inundated by too much information. If what we want is knowledge and understanding rather than mere information and trivia, and if the best repository of knowledge and understanding is in books and the activity of book-reading (irrespective of the form of books, whether printed codex or e-versions), why is it that book reading is declining, especially among young people? As prospective writers, how should we respond, both individually and in terms of possible readers, to the prospect of increasingly isolated readerships?

Stan Persky teaches philosophy at Capilano University in North Vancouver, B.C., including courses in philosophy and literature, aesthetics, and philosophy and culture. He's the author of Buddy's: Meditations on Desire (1991), Then We Take Berlin: Stories from the Other Side of Europe (1995), The Short Version: An ABC Book (2005), and Topic Sentence: A Writer's Education (2007). He's worked as a book columnist for the Globe and Mail, and the Vancouver Sun, and currently writes for . His current work-in-process is Reading the 21st Century: Books of the Decade, 2000-2010 (forthcoming, 2010).

For further information contact Sharon Thesen (, 250-807-9417.

Wendy Morton Wendy Morton
Wendy Morton -Wednesday, October 14, 7 PM—Student Services 026. Free Admission.

Wendy Morton has published five books of poetry, most recently What Were Their Dreams: Valleys of Hope and Pain. Canada's History, a book of photo/poems based on historical photographs of the Alberni Valley on Vancouver Island. Her other books include Undercover, Private Eye, Shadowcatcher, and Gumshoe. She lives in Victoria BC and she has been an insurance investigator for 27 years. Her memoir, 6 Impossible Things Before Breakfast was published in 2006. She is the force behind the national phenomenon, Random Acts of Poetry. Event is sponsored by FCCS, Creative Studies and the UBCO Bookstore.

Robert Bringhurst Robert Bringhurst Jan Zwicky
Photo by Don Hall Photo by Don Hall

Robert Bringhurst and Jan Zwicky as part of the Minds & Music Series.
The event is titled Polyphony: a two-voiced poetry reading and talk
Tuesday Sept 29, 12:30-1:50pm, ART 103. Free admission.

Robert Bringhurst is a poet, typographer, translator, and cultural historian. As a translator and literary critic, he has shown that the indigenous oral literatures of North America include some of the world’s greatest literary traditions. As an art historian, he has worked for years to show that the history of letterforms is an integral part of the history of art, and that art history in turn is part and parcel of the history of nature. His poems speak with equal fluency and tenderness the languages of science and the languages of the heart. Over the past thirty-five years, Bringhurst has written more than thirty books. His groundbreaking study of a Native American oral literature, A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World (1999) unleashed a storm of controversy and a tidal wave of praise. Reviewing his work for the London Times, Margaret Atwood writes that “Bringhurst’s achievement is gigantic, as well as heroic. It’s one of those works that rearranges the inside of your head – a profound meditation on the nature of oral poetry and myth, and on the habits of thought and feeling that inform them.” Bringhurst’s recent books of poetry include New World Suite No. 3 (2005) – a work for three simultaneous voices – and Ursa Major (2nd ed., 2009), in which six voices tell simultaneous stories in English, Latin, Greek and Cree.

Jan Zwicky is a Canadian philosopher and poet, who has taught both subjects as well as interdisciplinary humanities at a number of North American universities. She has served as a faculty member at the Banff Centre Writing Studio, has conducted numerous writing workshops, and edits regularly for Brick Books. In 1999, she won the Governor General's Award for poetry. Zwicky is an eco-political and anti-colonial thinker, comparable to fellow Canadian poets Tim Lilburn and Don McKay, who promotes the fundamental unity of ontology and ethics by laying emphasis on the act of attention. Her poetry, which is featured in a number of anthologies, deals frequently with music, as well as the natural world and is often cited for its intense lyricism. It has been translated into Czech, French, German, Serbian, and Spanish. Zwicky has deep roots on the Northwestern Great Plains, but now makes her home on the west coast. This fall, Gaspereau Press will release Plato as Artist, and in 2010 will publish a new edition of Lyric Philosophy.

Last reviewed shim11/29/2012 4:35:38 PM