Friday, July 29, 2016

News and Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 Events

Great news! Ore Samples Writers Series has been awarded an Artists in Communities grant! Artists in Communities is a joint initiative of the Saskatchewan Arts Board and SaskCulture Inc., and is supported by funding provided by the Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund for Sport, Culture and Recreation. Thank you to these provincial funding partners. Thank you to our community partners Flin Flon Public Library and Flin Flon Arts Council, sponsors Hudbay and the Victoria Inn, and everyone in the community for your support of and belief in this series. Thank you to the writers and performers in the series. 

Here are the amazing visiting authors Ore will be welcoming to our community in the coming months, two before freeze-up and one right after the ice thaws, as well as pics of their latest books:  

Wendy McGrath 

Thursday, September 15, 2016, 7 pm
Public reading with Sarah Trevor and performers Ann Ross and Doug McGregor.
Free. All welcome.
Flin Flon Public Library
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the League of Canadian Poets. 

"The Images Inside": Writing workshop. 
Free to participants. All welcome. No registration required. 
Thursday, September 15, 2016, 5:45-6:45 pm  
Flin Flon Public Library.

Gerald Hill

Saskatchewan Poet Laureate public reading and presentation.
Saturday, October 1, 2016, 2 pm
Creighton Community School Library
Free. All welcome.
This public reading and presentation on the occasion of Culture Days is made possible thanks to the Saskatchewan Poet Laureate Program, sponsored by the Saskatchewan Arts Board, Saskatchewan Book Awards, and the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild; and thanks to Town of Creighton Recreation.

"Driving That Line": Writing workshop. 
Free to participants. All welcome. No registration required. 
Saturday, October 1, 2016, 4:30-5:30
Seniors Room, Flin Flon Community Hall. 

George Elliott Clarke

Thursday, June 8, 2017, 7 pm
Flin Flon Public Library
Public reading and reception for the Parliamentary Poet Laureate. 
Free. All welcome.
More details tba.

Please spread the word to readers, writers, teachers, book clubs, neighbours, and friends. These are great opportunities.  

Friday, May 27, 2016

The May 26 event was fantastic

The second event of the Ore Samples Writers Series at the Flin Flon Public Library was every bit as amazing and heart-warming as the first. Thank you to visiting author Lorri Neilsen Glenn for the fabulous, well-attended workshop that preceded the event. Thanks to Lorri, Harry Hobbs and CC Trubiak for their fantastic readings and performances. Thank you to the great audience. Thank you to the community and the sponsors for their engagement with the arts and for helping make great things like this happen. 

See the Ore Samples Writers Series Facebook page for more pics.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Awake in the Moment: Ore interviews visiting author Lorri Neilsen Glenn

Ore Samples aims to bring some of Canada’s finest, critically-acclaimed professional writers north to connect with local readers, local literary, visual and performing artists, and anyone engaged with and invested in the vibrant local arts scene. The 2016 lineup is stellar.

The second of the series, set to take place this Thursday, May 26 at the Flin Flon Public Library, features a visiting author well-known and highly-regarded across Canada for her writing and teaching; she has led writing workshops internationally as well. Lorri Neilsen Glenn is the author and editor of over a dozen collections of poetry and creative nonfiction. Former Halifax Poet Laureate, she works with writers of all ages and backgrounds. She is currently working on a mixed-genre manuscript about Red River women. She is The Pas Regional Library’s 2016 Writer in Residence in The Pas, Manitoba.

Lorri Neilsen Glenn took the time to entertain a few questions ahead of her visit. Conversation starters, if you will.

“I think of the infinite number of encounters and stories we are made from, the poverty of language to gather them all, and the forces of a culture that render them invisible. The philosopher Emmanuel Levinas pares ethics down to the simplicity and power of a face-to-face encounter: we are responsible to each other.” This quote is from your powerful essay “Marking the Page” in In This Together: Fifteen Stories of Truth and Reconciliation, an anthology edited by noted historian Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail and published this spring. Can you give us some insight into how your writing and your life as writer have been shaped by this way of thinking?

Lorri Neilsen Glenn:
It’s about witness. It’s about stripping away names, being present with others before our human impulses to judge and to categorize take over. That’s difficult to do, especially when we’re schooled from birth to sort, label, and in many cases, control. It’s a radical act to approach anyone or anything as they are without cultural baggage, theirs or ours. It’s also difficult.

I’ve always been fascinated with a basic tension: language allows us to name and to communicate, but it will always and forever be inadequate, and that’s okay. What happens under and beyond and behind written language is, to my mind, the real stuff of life. Yet the experience of those moments, the life stream beyond the word, if you will, slips away. What we experience remains in our bodies and, to some extent, our memories, but these, too, change – become written over, re-remembered, recast.

In that particular essay, I’m reminding myself how entire cultures – in this case indigenous peoples – have become invisible for several reasons: the over-valuing of the printed word (and thus the under-valuing of oral knowledge and tradition), the political power and control exerted by colonialist recorders (journal-keepers, historians, newspaper owners, among others), and the absence of the voices and stories of half the population -- sometimes because of centuries of suppression that have made women’s silence the norm, but equally, I’m sure because no one considered them important enough to include. Imagine the histories we’d have – passed along through written and oral language, artifacts, art, song, and other ways– if everyone had a hand in deciding what to include, how to create them, what matters. This is where being response-able to one another can make a difference – seeing one another as equally human, our stories equally valuable.

“Driving triggers memories.” This evocative sentence begins “The Art of Losing,” an essay from your book Threading Light: Explorations in Loss and Poetry. Currently you’re working on a manuscript about Red River women. How has your memory been triggered and your work influenced by your return to Manitoba and your visits to the places where these women lived?

Lorri Neilsen Glenn:
As I drove up from Winnipeg earlier this month, I stopped at Riverside Cemetery to visit Peggy Wemyss’ grave (the writer Margaret Laurence). That spot is a draw for me – the birds, the river, the plain beauty of it all. I picked up a couple of pinecones and drove west to my mother’s grave in Strathclair. A few years ago the caretakers had removed the peony bushes in the cemetery so I brought along some sage seeds. My mom loved small acts of defiance, and she loved to read, so I also left the Riverside pinecones by her grave.

In Dauphin, my old high school is still there, but angle parking on the main street has disappeared, along with the dime store where I used to buy 45s. Our old wooden house is now covered in vinyl, and all the trees around it are gone, as are, I’m certain, the butts below the bedroom window, evidence of my failed attempts at smoking.

Western Canada, especially Saskatchewan and Manitoba, is saturated with memories for me. I was born here, went to school here, and taught here.

The day before I’d headed west to Strathclair and Dauphin, though, I’d driven north of Winnipeg along River Road to Selkirk. For the last few years, I’ve visited the area trying to map old stories and landmarks over the Selkirk of today. I have no body memory of Selkirk at all, yet that’s where one whole side of my family came from. I have cousins there I didn’t know I had. Now any memories triggered when I go to Selkirk come from names and locations mentioned in history books, stories I never heard growing up or read about in my high school history books.

My great-grandmother was from Red River and died in a fire on a lake steamer off Warren Landing in 1908. Her death has set me off in a years-long research project that keeps turning up fascinating detail about women’s lives in the 1800s.

Now, in The Pas, I’m lucky to be serving as Writer in Residence at The Pas Regional Library. I’ve met wonderful writers in this community. When I drove in, though, I was startled to see my old house by the river is gone – it’s been torn down to make a park. But since I arrived, I’ve learned ancestors of mine lived here, including the Reverend Henry Budd. And early in June, I’ll be headed for Norway House for a reading and workshop and to see other ancestral connections, mostly Swampy/Muskego Cree– several generations back. This trip has turned out to be a potent mix of both memory and discovery.

You will be giving a one-hour workshop “Awake in the Moment: Writing with Spirit” on May 26 at the Flin Flon Public Library starting at 6 pm prior to the readings and performance at 7. Free to participants. All welcome, no experience required.

In smaller communities such as this, it can be daunting to attend a workshop for the first time as it makes your interest in the writing process visible to others in the community. Do you have any tips for first-time workshop participants? Do you have any tips for all participants to help them make the most of the short time together?

Lorri Neilsen Glenn:
That’s a difficult question. It assumes outing yourself as a writer – or being interested in writing -- is something shameful, embarrassing, or unusual. Is it our Canadian tendency to be self-deprecating? Is it fear of being mocked? Is it tall poppy syndrome – Alice Munro’s famous line, “who do you think you are?” I do understand it, though – as a child growing up in small towns in Western Canada, I learned everyone either knew (or fabricated) others’ business. (I’m not sure that’s only a small town phenomenon). And when I was young, I assumed, as many did, that writers came from “out there,” important cultural centres, “real” places such as Toronto or New York.

Now we know that’s not true. And you’re a great example of this, Brenda – look at all your creative accomplishments in writing and painting, all produced in a small town.

Many beginning writers believe their stories aren’t worth telling, or their ideas aren’t unique. They long to write, but are self-conscious or fearful. It takes courage to write, but courage is a muscle we develop. I think it was Maya Angelou who reminded us there is no agony worse than bearing an untold story. Being of a certain age, I look at stories as legacies we leave our families—and now, doing my own research – I regret not asking about my grandparents’ stories. 

The workshop in Flin Flon is only an hour long, but I hope people will join me in activities to develop our perceptions and to open up the ordinary moment. I don’t put people on the spot, but I always ask them to engage, to consider the ideas.

When we write from experience, from the heart of our lives, from the force of our thinking, we figure out who we are.

And – back to your earlier question about being responsible to one another – writing invites us to respond to what’s around us, and it teaches us how connected we are to each other, and to the world’s larger stories.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

More great Ore on May 26

This event promises to be another dandy! Come by on May 26 and have a coffee, cake, and a listen. Everyone welcome. 

You're also welcome to take in the free workshop with visiting author Lorri Neilsen Glenn from 6-7 pm as well if you wish. It's a great opportunity to learn, add to your resume, or just try something new. See the previous post for more details.

Lorri Neilsen Glenn is the author and editor of over a dozen collections of poetry and creative nonfiction. Former Halifax Poet Laureate, she works with writers of all ages and backgrounds. She is currently working on a mixed-genre manuscript about Red River women. 

A retired librarian, Harry Hobbs has lived in Flin Flon for forty years. He is involved in Toastmasters, Flin Flon Writers Guild and Literacy. He has published a novel, short stories and poems in various anthologies, co-authored a book on Flin Flon with wife Glenda, and edited a book of children’s poetry. His second novel is in the final editing stage. He has been a facilitator for poetry and fiction courses at Writers Village University. 

Born and raised in Flin Flon, Manitoba, CC Trubiak is a multi-faceted artist, singer/songwriter and performer.  With two independent albums under his belt (2011’s ‘They Say I’m Different’; 2013’s ‘Tiny Army: The D Holmes Sessions’) CC’s honest lyrics and intimate musical style are very much influenced by experiences both in and beyond his hometown.  Expanding his musical horizons CC has also taken part in musical productions (Chicago, Les Miserables) and enjoys playing locally with an array of talents, most notably at Johnny’s Social Club.  Currently working on a third recording project of self-penned music, CC will continue his musical journey with the same hope and optimism he infuses into his creative endeavors.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Workshop with visiting author Lorri Neilsen Glenn

On May 26, visiting author Lorri Neilsen Glenn will give a one-hour workshop prior to the Ore event. A great opportunity to learn, add to your resume, or just try something new. Free to participants. Everyone welcome. A separate poster will be going up for the Ore readings and performances that follow at 7. It's a great line-up!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Ore Samples Writers Series launch

The Ore Samples Writers Series launch at the Flin Flon Public Library on April 28 was amazing and heart-warming. Thank you to visiting author Garry Thomas Morse, Glenda Walker-Hobbs and Kevin Imrie for their fantastic readings and performances. Thank you to the great audience. Thank you to the community and the sponsors for their engagement with the arts and for helping make magic like this happen. 

See the Ore Samples Writers Series Facebook page for more pics.

With financial assistance from The Canada Council for the Arts through The Writers' Union of Canada.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Ore Samples launches on April 28

Here is the poster that's pinned up in numerous places on both sides of the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border, online on the Flin Flon Public Library website and Facebook page, on the Ore Samples Facebook page, in various local and regional Facebook groups, and on Twitter.

This event is listed in the Flin Flon Arts Council newsletter and events calendar, the Flin Flon Reminder community events calendar, the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild ebriefs, the League of Canadian Poets National Poetry Month events listings, and on the Griffin Poetry Prize/Griffin Trust International Poetry Calendar.

Ore was mentioned in a story in The Reminder by Libby Stoker-Lavelle titled "Readers to kick off Poetry Month." An Ore-focused interview that took place on April 20 with Terri Eger from The Reminder resulted in a story titled "Ore Samples event features locally and nationally acclaimed poets" that ran on April 27 in print and online ahead of the April 28 launch. Huge thanks to The Reminder and both writers.

102.9 CFAR's Joe McCormick spoke with Library Administrator Cindy McLean about the Ore series. Huge thank you to both. (April 24).

Huge thanks to the Ore advisory board, to everyone who has worked to get out the word about this event, and to those who shared knowledge, wrote letters of support, and otherwise helped this series come to life. Huge thanks to those who help by liking and sharing and retweeting.

Huge thanks to the sponsors for their generous support of this new series and their commitment to the community and the arts.

Thursday is nearly here. Please come out, have a coffee, some cake, and give these fantastic writers a great audience.

Thanks everyone!

(updated May 1)