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Ottawa son garners kudos within own glorious capital city

As he is wont sometimes to remind us, “rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, even though he was born there.” This has not dissuaded Ottawa Xpress from acknowledging mclennan’s sincere and abiding engagement with the city. Nor has the fact that mclennan wrote wild horses, the book that won him his seat the 2010 Best of Ottawa banquet, while he was Writer in Residence at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton.

As Robert Kroetsch would say, so much for that.

Kidding aside, mclennan brings his own curious and inquisitive sensitivities to bear on a city (Edmonton) that many of us (Edmontonians) may gloss over or even doggedly ignore. He manages to sustain his lyrical intensity while periodically and pointedly interrogating ideas of place, and the very places themselves; he tries on Edmonton for size, and cut and colour, etc; he keeps coming back to place.

With uncanny devotion and renewable vision, he keeps coming back.

Which may be why mclennan’s wild horses is (also) a shoo in for the Best of Ottawa’s Best work of fiction/non-fiction/poetry by local writer. How can denizens of Canada’s glorious capital city (Ottawans) not help but recognize themselves right there, and there, there, amidst the wayward son’s own literary peregrinations?

congratulations rob.

Prodigal Daughter Launch

Thursday November 11, 2010, The ARTery:

Myrna Kostash signs Alice Major's copy of Prodigal Daughter.

Still riding the wave of excitement and jetlag from last week’s Writers’ Trust Matt Cohen Award win, Myrna Kostash carried her hometown launch of Prodigal Daughter: A Journey to Byzantium, with grace and charm.

Plenty of friends came out to help celebrate. Steve Budnarchuk from Audrey’s Books was there with several of Myrna’s books.


Rudy Wiebe Launch

Rudy Wiebe and Geo Takach

The Old Timer’s Cabin was filled with friends and fans who came out to celebrate the arrival of Rudy Wiebe’s collected short stories with the man himself.

Gail Greenwood did a fantastic job organizing the launch and was there with a wide selection of Rudy’s books. Myrna Kostash, whose launch of Prodigal Daughter is tonight, introduced Rudy. After Rudy’s reading, we enjoyed live choral music and home-made dainties.

Myrna Kostash wins The Writers’ Trust’s Matt Cohen Award

Prodigal Daughter author recognized for dedication to a life of writing.

Myrna Kostash was presented with The Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life at the Writers’ Trust Awards event on November 2nd. The award includes a $20,000 prize. For more about the Writers’ Trust Awards gala last night, please visit their website. Since its inception in 2000, the following writers have won:

  • 2010  Myrna Kostash
  • 2009  Paul Quarrington
  • 2008  Sylvia Fraser
  • 2007  David Helwig
  • 2006  Marie-Claire Blais
  • 2005  Janet Lunn
  • 2004  Howard Engel
  • 2003  Audrey Thomas
  • 2002  Fred Bodsworth
  • 2001  Norman Levine
  • 2000  Mavis Gallant

The University of Alberta Press is proud to be the publisher of Kostash’s latest work, Prodigal Daughter: A Journey to Byzantium. Please join us in applauding this critical recognition of Myrna’s great achievements as one of Canada’s important writers.

Kostash has a packed touring schedule this fall. In addition to participating in the Vancouver International Writers Festival and the Edmonton LitFest, and speaking engagements with the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild and with librarians in Red Deer, Kostash has launches, lectures, and other engagements in Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Victoria, Winnipeg, and New York. She is also slated to participate in the Belgrade Book Fair in Sofia, Bulgaria, next summer.

For more information on Kostash’s schedule, or for media inquiries, don’t hesitate to contact Cathie Crooks (780-492-5820).

PS—Here’s Richard Helm’s story in the Edmonton Journal.
PPS—Look for the award announcement in this Saturday’s Globe & Mail.

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