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The Tribe

On Tuesday, I drove to the airport to pick up Garry Thomas Morse, a writer from Winnipeg who read last night as a special guest at the launch of The Pas Regional Library’s Writer-in-Residence program. Then we stopped in to meet Lorri Neilsen Glenn, our writer-in-residence, who’d arrived that afternoon in the north. She’s staying in a […]

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Fend for Yourself

“We need a … youth complex, a youth centre, somewhere for the kids to go and hangout and have some fun,” the hockey coach in Pimicikamak Cree Nation (Cross Lake) told CBC last week. “There are no arts, music, dance or self-defence programs, Harold Nachbaur said, leaving young people with nothing to do and nowhere to […]

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Thoughts on La Loche

On Sunday evening, in the pitch black, we were driving home along the dirt road that’s a short-cut between The Pas and Hudson Bay (the town in Saskatchewan). Unreserved, the CBC radio show, played through our satellite system, and into the deep darkness came this song (hit the link to listen). Called Kakina Pasekok, it’s a mix […]

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Announcing The Pas Writer-in-Residence 2016

I am so excited to announce that Halifax-based writer Lorri Neilsen Glenn will be coming north to The Pas next spring (May 3-June 15) to be our second Writer-in-Residence at The Pas Regional Library, thanks to funding from the Manitoba Arts Council! With roots in Manitoba, including The Pas, Lorri has a wealth of teaching […]

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Where There’s Smoke

  My husband is reading The Road. You know, the post-apocalyptic Cormac McCarthy novel where the world is blanketed in ash and everything is burnt or burning. It’s a fitting setting for the situation in Western Canada this summer. To the south of us, 30-some kilometres away, a fire is burning, which a friend of […]

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Writing (Reading) with Soul

At the beginning of this year, I had a transcendent experience. Dark night, reading into it, I finished The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri and rolled over in bed, my arm around the book, holding it close. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt such a strong connection to a novel, this feeling like I […]

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Open Doors: The Pas Writer-in-Residence Position

On the last Monday of my Writer-in-Residence gig in The Pas, I got locked inside the library. Not the part with all the books, but the back room, what’s called the Annex. In that space, under the humming lights, with tea made in the staff kitchen, with the sounds of snow-machines flying by on the […]

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Island Clearances: Behind the Poem

Last spring, I had the great privilege of being mentored by the poet Jan Zwicky at the Sage Hill Writing Experience, along with seven other extraordinary writers. For those two weeks, I sifted through a manuscript-in-process about my great-great-grandparents’ 19th-century migration from present-day St. Catharines, up the Niagara escarpment, to Manitoulin Island. Along the way, […]

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An Ode to Farley Mowat

Yesterday, Farley Mowat died. He was 92, so he had a good long go, and wrote a lot of books, and never hesitated to boom out his thoughts about the terrible mess we humans are making of things on the earth, but I fear that the world will forget him. My generation grew up with […]

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Introducing… Firelight Interview Series

I miss fires. Not for heat: we’ve got one of those burning in our wood furnace right now. Rather the kind that you sit by, feet propped up on the rock ring, a bottle of beer in the camp-chair cup holder, while the flames reflect on the faces of your friends. There’s spontaneous storytelling; laughter; […]

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