…this first for Sznn, and a few others that have been asking me what is going on, unaware of the GG controversy– you can read about it here, and here, and over here, and here, and you can listen to it here on the Tues. Nov. 25 broadcast. I must admit, on one hand, I’m more saddened by the fact that so many people keep saying, albeit humorously, it’s those poets at it again, and on the other hand, I’m disappointed by the whole thing.


That said, I’m moving back to a topic that still interests me a great deal, that of prairie writing and writers, and more closely, the prairie poet. Today, as I was snagging a few copies of Writing Saskatchewan: 20 Critical Essays, from the editor himself Kenneth G. Probert (who is a most gracious supporter of the arts, and also the graduate chair for the University of Regina English Department), I also snagged an advance copy of West of Eden: Essays on Canadian Prairie Literature, edited by Sue Sorensen.  I had met the charming, witty, and terrifically smart Sorensen this summer through my wonderful part-time employment as colony coordinator. Her introduction to the essays of such prairie scholars as Warren Cariou, Dennis Cooley, Alison Calder, Pamela Banting, Brenda Beckman-Long, and others, is a fabulous look at the history, the inclusiveness, exclusiveness, the environment, and the language of prairie writing, and well worth the read. If the rest of the essays are as stimulating as Sorensen’s, then the advance copy is worth the price, er, not that I paid anything, but I’m a firm believer in the old adage, “what goes around, comes around,” so one day, most likely, there will be a price.  I usually pay.


…and because winter seems to be here early, I’m going to spend my spare hours soaking in a hot bath with a book in hand (quite frankly, still the best place to read). Today after coffee with friends I found some new poetry in the big-box bookstore, by a few familiar names. I found Letters I Didn’t Write by John MacKenzie (the great PEI poet), which I’ve already read halfway through without the lap, lap of water on my legs, and Notebook of Roses and Civilization by Nicole Brossard. I had the pleasure of working with Nicole at Sage Hill awhile back, so I’m looking forward to reading this long, lean, and french-flapped book. And because of the GG controversy, I picked up A. F. Moritz’s The Sentinel, though I’m disappointed I wasn’t able to get anyone else that was on the poetry list. And because 3 books would only hold me for so long (the water stays warm for at least an hour, unless I get it too hot, in which case I can’t take it, and vacate the tub after only 5 or so poems), I found a copy of The Best American Poetry 2008 at the university bookstore this afternoon. Ah, I can hear the water running already.  (I should be good for a week or so.)


And if that little poll doesn’t work for you, here’s something about poetry and money. Both of these nouns (though I wish money was more of an active verb) have been smashing against the grey, somewhat inactive brain matter the past few days as I contemplate life in the future, or mostly the fact that, in the next six months or so, my scholarship will run out, the thesis will hopefully be done, and in the spirit of the economy, or the fact that I like to spend money, I may have to understand, or at least consider, that I may very well have to get a real job. Hello? Are you still there?


…was a hit with everyone that attended. Saskatoon author, shortlisted for three book awards this year, Pam Bustin and previous year’s winner for fiction Bernice Friesen arrived with coon tails, snakes, and rifles ready for a banging good time.


After four hours of decorating the Exchange began to look like an old west venue. People began piling in the door well before the appointed time, while our wandering crooner, Adam serenaded the crowd. The silent auction of a few inspiriational objects provided some more entertainment as people entered into a few bidding duels on some great items.


The readings were fantastic. All of the readers were shortlisted for the Saskatchewan Book Awards and are Regina authors. Alison Lohans started us out with a reading from This Land We Call Home, then Dan MacDonald read from MacGregor’s Hard Ice Cream and Gas, then Jeanne Pelletier’s daughter read from The Story of the Rabbit Dance, as well as teaching a few of us how to do the dance, and lastly Gerald Hill read (and sang) from his shortlisted poetry collection My Human Comedy.

Of course, the mc Jill and I tried to raise more money by offering pictures with ourselves for only $.25. A steal of a deal, really.