NEWS AND UPDATES
one of the 25 authors currently included in the Vancouver Public Library’s
VANCOUVER’S LITERARY LANDMARKS project. For this literary map, large plaques
have been fastened to lamp standards nearest the houses in which some of
Vancouver’s more prominent writers authored some of their best-known books. A
website highlights the locations of these landmarks,
and provides more details about the authors and their books. My plaque refers
to the house that once existed at 954 West 7th Avenue, where I lived
from 1970 to 1974, and wrote The Ozone Minotaur (poetry), The Late Man
(short fictions), File of Uncertainties (poetry) and uniVERSE (concrete poetry). For photo, see: Photo Gallery
2014: On Saturday,
March 15, 2014, UBC Creative Writing celebrated its 50th anniversary with a
huge gala at Vancouver’s Harbourside Renaissance Hotel. The National
Post published my brief recollection of
our student days in the department between 1965 and 1971. BC
BookLook has published my more extensive account of the department’s
history from 1965 to the present.
2013: In October, my Y/A nonfiction book entitled “ROBBERS! True Stories of the World’s Most Notorious Thieves” (Annick Press, 2012) was nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s 2014 Silver Birch Nonfiction Award.
2013: June to October: Served as juror for the 2013 Hilary Weston Writers Trust Nonfiction Prize. Award ($60,000) presented to Greg Smith (“The Dogs Are Eating Them Now”) in Toronto on October 21.
2013: January to March: Served as juror for the 2012/13 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, part of the BC Book Prizes. Prizes were announced at the BC Book Prizes Gala, at the Governor-General’s Residence in Victoria, on May 4, 2013.
- 2013: In February of this year, historian
Christopher Moore, who has been commissioned to interview founding members of
The Writers’ Union of Canada for an oral history of the organization,
interviewed me by phone from Toronto. This sprawling conversation, which
stretched all the way back to 1973 when the founding of the Union was just a
gleam in the eyes of a handful of Canadian writers sharing a case of beer on
novelist Marian Engel’s front porch, covers some four decades of heroics and
mischief by some of Canada’s best-known writers. You can read a transcript of the interview.
- 2013: Since its publication
in the anthology TIGERS OF THE SNOW (Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1973), a
collection that has been in continuous use in highschools all across Canada
ever since, my parable-like story THE LATE MAN has continued to
fascinate and puzzle students of English Literature. Every year I receive such
a deluge of requests for help with the interpretation of this story that I
finally decided to write a 3-page exegesis to address this problem. If you’re
one of those students, and need help, here it is.
May (23 to 26) I attended and participated in the Shuswap Association of
Writers’ 2013 WORD
ON THE LAKE festival
in Salmon Arm, B.C., performing several readings, delivering a keynote speech,
participating in a panel discussion and conducting a 90-minute workshop on the
thrills and spills of writing about family. It was a dynamite festival,
well-attended and impressively supported by a myriad of local businesses,
organizations and volunteers. Even the city’s mayor joined in. It was great to
team up with writers like Mona Fertig (http://mothertonguepublishing.com),
George Bowering (www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Bowering/),
Eileen Cook (www.eileencook.com), Garry
Scott F. Gray (http://insaneangel.com/),
Jacqueline Guest (www.jacquelineguest.com),
Daniel Wood (www.thetyee.ca/Bios/Daniel_Wood/),
Anthony Dalton (www.anthonydalton.net/)
and Mike McCardell (www.harbourpublishing.com/author/),
as well as blues musicians Blu and Kelly Hopkins (www.bluhopkins.com/html/bluandkelly.html)
and actor/playwright Lucas Myers (www.pilotcopilot.com).
Major kudos to Kay Johnston, SAOW president, and her festival planners and
volunteers -- and more of the same to Peter Marsan of the Bookingham Palace
Bookstore, for providing the festival and Salmon Arm with an impressive and
intrepid bookselling enterprise. Long may it prevail.
2012: PRISM INTERNATIONAL. This
fall, I acted as judge for Prism International’s creative nonfiction
competition. To promote the competition, editor Jen Neale conducted the
following Q&A interview.
2012 My recently
published Y/A collection of nonfictions entitled DUPED! (Annick Press, 2011)
was a finalist in the Silver Birch category (ages 7 – 14) of the Ontario
Library Association’s 2012 Forest of Readings competition. The book features accounts of
eight of the most ingenious swindles ever perpetrated by conmen from around the
2012 During the Writers’ Union AGM this year, held in Vancouver, I was invested with the Graeme Gibson Award, for outstanding service to Canada’s writing community. Click here to read the text of Silver Donald Cameron's presentation at the 2012 Writers' Union AGM.
Newsclipping from BC Bookworld, Fall, 2012
2012: Annick Press has published my young adult graphic (modified) nonfiction collection of high-profile heists and thefts, entitled Robbers!, with illustrations by Remy Simard. It features chapter-length biographies of eight world famous robbers, including Dan Cooper (the only sky-jacker in American aviation history who was never caught), Amil Dinsio (the brains behind the notorious Laguna Niguel bank heist), Vincenzo Perugia (who stole the Mona Lisa), Adam Worth (known throughout the 19th century criminal world as “The Napoleon of Crime”), and Arthur Barry (the classiest jewel thief in Manhattan’s history).
2011: I was profiled in a recent article by Marsha Lederman in the Globe and Mail: The Godfather of BC's Non-fiction Boom.
2011: My docu-novel DUSTSHIP GLORY has been re-issued by the University of Athabasca Press (Edmonton, AB) with a new afterword by the eminent Saskatchewan poet, dramatist, novelist and nonfictioneer Donald Kerr.
- 2011. I taught a weeklong writing workshop at the Fernie Literary Festival (July 17 - 24) which proved an extremely pleasant gig. Faculty included Marina Endicott, Myrna Kostash, Alison Calder, Aritha Van Herk, Sid Marty, James Keelaghan, Betty Jane Hegerat, Angie Abdou, Warren Cariou, Fred Wah, Tom Wayman and Monica Meneghetti.
- 2011. This year being the 25th anniversary of Canada's Public Lending Right program, which I was deeply involved in fighting for and setting up, I was asked to deliver the keynote speech for this year's Writers' Union's AGM on the subject of Canada's PLR Program: The Untold Story. The speech was presented in Toronto, at the Toronto Public Library (main branch) on Thursday, May 25/11 to a full house. A transcript of the talk is now available and a podcast of the speech is available at the following link: http://soundcloud.com/sharon-oddie-brown/canadas-plr-the-untold-story