News

2017 Manitoba Book Awards shortlist announcement

We are pleased to announce that The Spanish Boy by C.S. Reardon has been shortlisted for the Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher, and Martial Music by George Amabile has been shortlisted for the Lansdowne Prize for Poetry

Cora Siré on CKUT Radio

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On Tuesday, February 21, 2017, Cora Siré was on CKUT Radio for the Literary Report with host Jeffrey Mackie. Listen to her interview here!

Behold Things Beautiful featured on the Globe and Mail

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Jade Colbert features Behold Things Beautiful by Cora Siré for the Globe and Mail Book Reviews.

Find it here

Endre Farkas on CKUT Radio

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Endre Farkas talks with Jeffrey Mackie from the Literary Report on Radio CKUT about his new novel, Never, Again.

CBC’s North by Northwest sits down with Stella Levantoyannis Harvey

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Stella Harvey's novel, The Brink of Freedom offers a space to understand the refugee crisis through the eyes of fictional characters.

She sat down with the CBC's North by Northwest to talk about her latest novel, The Brink of Freedom, which drops the reader right into the current day refugee crisis on the shores of Greece, a topic that resonates close to home for Harvey because of her Greek heritage.

"It's a way to reconnect to that heritage, to try to understand it and get close to it," she said. The novel centres around several characters including a refugee couple from India with their sickly son, a Greek police officer, a Romani couple and a Canadian aid worker.

"It was really trying to understand what the issue was. We hear the numbers. Last year in 2015, of the million people that came and were seeking asylum in Europe, just over 850,000 came via Greece. Close to 4,000 people died in the Mediterranean. It's hard to capture what that means," Harvey said.

Harvey was in Greece most recently during the height of the economic crisis in 2012. She immersed herself in the conflict of the country to better understand the situation. She organized the trip through the Greek consulate in Vancouver before she left which helped her gain access to refugee processing centres and government officials.

"By the time I left Canada, I had appointments booked in Athens. The Greek government was totally open, everyone wanted me to understand the situation," she said.

"That was the most important thing. I really felt like they wanted to see the success of the book. They wanted to see me succeed."

During that time, she witnessed a change in the Greek people who she remembered as famously hospitable. Racism and the rise of the far right party, Golden Dawn, skewed her initial impression of her native country.

"By the end of the writing of the book, I had totally changed my mind, because I saw quite a lot more than hospitality.

"People who have very little, going out and helping their fellow man, Syrians, other refugees, et cetera, come off boats and provide food and do whatever they can. My opinion changed considerably."

The Brink of Freedom deals with how Westerners approach foreign aid. The character of the Canadian aid worker exposes the divide between what many believe is the right way to help, and the impact those actions have on emergencies such as this.

Listen to the podcast here:

Read the rest of the article here.

“Aquarians” by Cora Siré in GEIST Magazine

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Aquarians
Cora Siré

From Signs of Subversive Innocents. Published by Signature Editions in 2014. Siré writes poetry, essays and fiction. She lives in Montreal.
The poem can be found on page 29, Issue no. 101 for Summer 2016.

Garry Thomas Morse Joins Signature Editions

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We are pleased to announce that Garry Thomas Morse has joined the Signature Editions editorial team.


Garry Thomas Morse is the author of six poetry titles and four fiction titles, notably Governor-General’s Award poetry finalist Discovery Passages about his ancestral Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations myth, history, and the fallout of the potlatch ban. His more outrageous works include two Relit Award-nominated titles in his three book speculative fiction series The Chaos! Quincunx. He spent three years working as an editor at Talonbooks and has reviewed for numerous literary journals and publications.

Since relocating to the Canadian prairie, Morse has written two books of poetry about this diverse landscape. These include Prairie Harbour, a long poem based on his year of living in Saskatchewan, and the forthcoming Safety Sand, a celebration of prairie surrealism in Manitoba. He currently resides in Winnipeg.

Catherine Hunter announced as High Plains Book Awards Finalist!

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Catherine Hunter is announced as a finalist for Best Woman Writer of the 2016 High Plains Book Awards for her title After Light. Congratulations, Catherine!

BILLINGS, MONTANA - Thirty-seven books have been selected as finalists out of 160 submissions in eleven categories for the 10th annual High Plains Book Awards. Twenty-six different publishers from Canada and the US were represented in this year's competition. Of the 37 finalists, 12 are from Canada.

The High Plains Books Awards have been established to recognize regional authors and/or literary works which examine and reflect life on the High Plains including the states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, and Kansas, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.

Jim Nason sits down with KIRBY and What Queer Reading!

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Here is the fabulous interview: “I’ve stopped holding back.” [Jim]

Poet JIM NASON‘s fifth collection, Touch Anywhere To Begin (Signature Editions, 2016), is hot. Not ‘trying to be hot’ on steroids, not ‘porn-talk.’ Hot. Real hot. A heat that only comes with a certain degree of risk, the unspoken communication between lovers pushing boundaries, attempting the new, paying attention to the point of entry. How one is entered.

Desire is a weed in the air as I walk today. p.16

As Carl Phillips describes in the book’s epigraph, “…the tension between how we behave and how we are expected to behave.”

Or, as a woman who came up to him at his recent Toronto launch at The Wickson Social (once the iconic Club Colby’s, then Five) said, “I was uncomfortable, but for all the right reasons.”

Tonight, like no other, sex. p.17

“I’m the one squirming,” says Jim, “but with each piece in this book I gave myself permission to just go for it. As I tell my writing students, ‘No discovery for the writer, no discovery for the reader.'”

May Sarton discovered “The more articulate one is, the more dangerous words become.” In one of his most ‘dangerous’ poems, Father’s Day, Thirteenth Avenue, two men sit on a stoop, share a sense of powerlessness embedded in the day for them both:

His honesty is fire against the slow-moving dark. His mouth is fire. His legs are fire and iron. We came to believe a power greater than us could restore us to sanity… / What’s your story? he asks. Empathy beyond his youth. Unsolicited. Uninhibited. Who hurt you? he says, reaching…

Nason plays in a field of texture and wonderment, “conscious of the why without wrecking it,” he laughs. His new articulateness he credits largely to knowing a lot more—nine books and years of practice—paying attention, and to his Thursday Night Writing Group, Maureen Hynes, Elizabeth Ukrainetz, Barry Dempster, and Maureen Scott Harris. Good company.

Besides Carl Phillips, he relishes Frank O’Hara, Ashbery, Mark Doty, Henri Cole, and considers Sue Goyette “the queen of metaphor.”

“I’ve learned to trust metaphor, intuition. To feel my spirit. I’m not buddhist, but he reminds us that life is difficult. I had some angry years. This doesn’t stop me from looking for happiness.”

A breeze makes me glad to be in my body. p.75

In his own ‘letter to [young] writers,’ Colum McCann encourages, “Go somewhere nobody else has gone, preferably towards beauty, hard beauty.”

Hard beauty. That is Touch Anywhere To Begin.

Hear JIM NASON read [...] THREE SEVENTY exclusively for wQr

Photos/interview: KIRBY

Wednesday June 1, 2016

Toronto

What Queer Reading

wQr | POETRY

Poet JIM NASON reads “Three Seventy” from his new book Touch Anywhere To Begin Signature Editions, 2016.


(MP3 file, )

Download the MP3 clip

Jim Nason is the author of Touch Anywhere to Begin

Martial Music by George Amabile on the McNally Robinson Bestseller List!

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George Amabile's latest poetry collection, Martial Music, was listed on the McNally Robinson Bestseller List for the week of April 27th!

The Winnipeg Free Press Announces Manitoba Book Awards Shortlist

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The Winnipeg Free Press announced Catherine Hunter's outstanding nominations in the Manitoba Book Awards. Catherine Hunter's latest novel, After Light, has been shortlisted for the Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher, the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award and the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award. The awards, which will be handed out Saturday, April 30, at the Radisson Hotel beginning at 7 p.m. Read the full article here: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/entertainment/books/hunter-epp-koop-lead-manitoba-book-awards-short-lists-375047121.html

Thank you to Stella Harvey from The Red Cross

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The Red Cross sent Stella Leventoyannis Harvey a beautiful thank you card after she donated a portion of her book sales of The Brink of Freedom to them for their efforts to provide essential relief items and services to the refugees in Europe. "Stella, I am writing today to simply say "thank you." Because of you, we are able to make a real difference in the lives of vulnerable people in Canada and abroad. Thank you for your recent donation to the Refugee Crisis and for believing in the importance of our work. Shelby N. Red Cross Volunteer. "

Louise Carson’s ‘Muskrat dives’ featured as Poem of the Month in Montreal Review of Books!

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'Muskrat dives' taken from Louise Carson's latest poetry collection, A Clearing has been featured in Montreal Review of Books as their poem of the month! Read the full poem here: http://mtlreviewofbooks.ca/v4/muskrat-dives/

Stella Leventoyannis Harvey, Pique News Magazine, Authors in Schools program

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Authors in Schools program expands Whistler Writers Festival program to run this spring with local scribes The Sea to Sky region's secondary school students will soon be able to befriend an author — and with them a multitude of characters, stories and experiences. Authors in the Schools — a program created by the Whistler Writers Festival — has been expanded to bring writers and their books to high schools from Squamish to Mount Currie. It will run from January until May, says organizer Rebecca Wood Barrett. What the program delivers is all in its name. The authors tell the youngsters what it is like to be a writer, describe the creative process and inspire students to tell their own stories. "The aim is to show there is value in the students' own lives and in their stories," says Wood Barrett.The project is very hands on, meeting with teachers, giving presentations at times that fit. The program will depend on the needs and flexibility of the schools, with the festival working around the semester system. "Then the teachers work with the students as they see fit," says Wood Barrett. The two local authors selected to take part are Pemberton's Katherine Fawcett and Whistler's Stella Harvey. The three-year-old program has until now run concurrently with the writers festival, in October. Canadian award-winning authors Richard Wagamese and Joseph Boyden have previously participated. "We evolved into having two programs," says Wood Barrett. "The first is with our big guest authors who can present at the festival, but also come into the schools. Joseph Boyden... was excited about going into schools and talking to the students. "It organically grew into having local authors in the schools as well." They have previously included children's author Sara Leach and non-fiction writer Sue Oakey-Baker. The impact that mountain guide Oakey-Baker, author of memoir Finding Jim, had on pupils is clear, says Wood Barrett. "She really connected with some of the young guys in the class who were interested in going into the backcountry. She was able to talk to them about risk... she told them how to assess risk for themselves," Wood Barrett says. They aim to extend the program to elementary schools in 2017, depending on authors' availability and suitability, and what books are coming out. "It's a flexible program and partly depends on the funding we get," says Wood Barrett. The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation and Telus have funded the program. Harvey, who is also the executive director of the writers festival, will be discussing her newest novel The Brink of Freedom, which looks at how Greece has experienced the refugee crisis. Telus is funding a pilot project in which Harvey will work with students in one class on the theme of the refugee crisis in Greece. She will discuss her research and how she wrote the book. The students will then write stories based on what they've learned. The stories will then be collected and shared digitally.

Executor by Louise Carson on the Super Secret Festival of Lit - Mysteries & Thrillers

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Executor by Louise Carson

Personal and moral tangles abound in this political thriller from Louise Carson. Peter Forrest, a former student of recently-dead (from apparent suicide) poet Eleanor Brandon, is left to be the executor of her literary estate. Peter just wants her final poems published, but is drawn into her activist life in China all the same.

Why We Chose It

Executor is a political issues thriller/mystery made better by all of the thorny personal history that exists between now-married Peter and his professor-cum-lover, Eleanor. Also, the prose is gorgeous, as author Carson is also a celebrated poet herself.

Who Would Love This Book

This book is for anyone interested in international human rights issues, or those who just love a really juicy mystery.

Wednesday December 2, 2015

Winnipeg

CKUW

Catherine Hunter on CKUW with Ron Robinson

Catherine Hunter is interviewed by CKUW's Ron Robinson about her new novel, After Light.
(MP3 file, 8:52)

Download the MP3 clip

Catherine Hunter is the author of After Light, In the First Early Days of My Death, Latent Heat, and Rush Hour

McNally Robinson Bestseller- Catherine Hunter - After Light

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Catherine Hunter celebrated yet another spot on the McNally Robinson Bestseller list, this time at #1 for the week of October 25, 2015!

Shaw TV Feature - Stella Leventoyannis Harvey - The Brink of Freedom

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With her father born in Greece, Whistler author Stella Harvey has traveled to the Mediterranean country at least a dozen times. However with both an ongoing economic and refugee crisis plaguing the popular tourist destination, Stella's last few visits have been to uncover the truth of its people which can now be read in her book 'The Brink of Freedom.' Shaw TV spoke to the passionate writer about some of the shocking conditions she witnessed while overseas as well the special memories and people she met people she met that will stay with her for a lifetime. Watch the clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmX5qm3Iwgs

After Light McNally Robinson Bestseller List 2nd Week

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Still before the official launch and for the second week, Catherine Hunter's new novel After Light has been featured on the McNally Robinson Bestseller list for the week ending October 4th.