Online LIVE reading of Summer North Coming, Tuesday July 21st, 7:00 pm

Join me online for a LIVE reading of my picture book, published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside, on Tuesday July 21st, 7:00 pm (Mountain Time), with the Writers’ Guild of Alberta.

Check back here for a link to the event: dorothybentley.net – click on “News & Events”

Gather children around for this lively romp through the seasonal activities of siblings who live in Alberta!

Q & A to follow.

A Secret Envy of the Unsaved, Rebecca Fredrickson

Fredrickson

 

Rebecca Frederickson’s poetry in Secret Envy of the Unsaved is raw and poignant, beautiful and tragic. As another reviewer (from Amazon) said, she writes about the “lives and personalities of residents of a small, close-knit northern community in BC. It’s a book that begs to be read in one sitting but left handy for re -reading.”

Her writing adds depth to common experiences:

“… the unsaved,

who could say anything

without their hearts pounding

wild and chaotic inside them.”

 

Fredrickson’s work is unpretentious and fresh, despite being published in 2002.

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A Canadian Author

Recommended for 14+

DB

Our Familiar Hunger, by Laisha Rosnau

A couple of summers ago, I was able to attend a poetry writing workshop with UBC Okanagan professor Laisha Rosnau, through the Writers’ Guild of Alberta. She is winner of the

Dorothy Livesay Award, and the BC Book Prize for Poetry.

We ate lunch, she did a short Q&A, and then we got down to it… pen on paper. She provided several writing prompts. Quite a group was squeezed around the tables at the pub, some struggling to see in the din. After scribbling for a while, we took turns reading short bits aloud. Afterwards, we broke into smaller groups to write and read more.

It was a satisfying afternoon. And best of all, I left with a copy of Laisha’s book, Our Familiar Hunger. (Nightwood Editions, 2018, Duncan, B.C.). I did not know it at the time, but the volume has proved to be stark, beautiful, and important.

The work traces through ads, farm dirt, blood, abuse, and the chronology of the migration of Ukrainian women to Canada, some legally, and some as trafficked slaves to service oil workers and farmers. Rosnau uses found texts, many sources, her own poetry previously published on the topic, and she mentions works which inspired her own. Having read volumes of poetry without a unifying theme, I can see why this one is an award winner. The theme unifies the work and creates a strong statement about a people.

Noise and light explode

and we think it’s the surging

between us, what we hold

under heavy skirts, but

it’s another spray of gunshot,

another soldier marching.

The history of wars and suffering bleeds through, as do softer moments:

We sleep in our own skin

and lie so close together

I can see how there is something

in the blue of your eyes,

as wide as sky pressed against

crops of wheat before lack

Often, people don’t like poetry because it seems obscure and impenetrable. Not this. Anyone can read, understand, and gain from this work.

Happy Reading.

DB

A Canadian Author

Writers’ Guild of Alberta

Memoir Writing Workshop~

Contact the Writers Guild of Alberta for access to this recorded webinar.

Click Here for The Writers Guild of Alberta website 

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The following workshops are cancelled or changed to webinars.

Workshops available include the following, as well as Write Nights, every Tuesday evening at the Wood Buffalo Regional Library, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

Autumn Kids’ Book Tour

Dorothy would love to visit your school or organization to talk about creating a picture book!

Other options are creative writing guided practice and inspirational talks to youth.

There is funding available through the Writer’s Union of Canada to help your organization fund an author visit!

Contact Dorothy by email (editor.bentley@gmail.com) or through her publisher, Fitzhenry & Whiteside.

 

Autumn Kids’ Book Tour*

Come and say hello and have your copy of

 Summer North Coming  read & signed by the author!

Calgary postponed

Banff postponed

Lethbridge Saturday November 9th, Chapters, 1:00 pm

Fort McMurray Saturday November 23rd, Coles-Indigo, 12:00 pm

* cancelled if roads are closed due to a snow storm

 

Jamberry

As a parent who has read stories over and over again, I appreciate children’s stories which are fun, lyrical, and worthy of being read hundreds of times. Jamberry is one of those books.

This book was written and illustrated by Bruce Degen. Most children’s picture books do not have the same person as author and illustrator, but this one has equally strong verse and picture-storytelling.

The best picture books offer additional story through the artwork. As an example, the text begins: “One berry, two berry, pick me a blueberry…” Immediately, the illustration shows an anthropomorphized bear, interacting with a young child, sharing berries.  From this first window into the magical world of the story, the reader knows to expect a fabulous world, similar to a fairy-land. Another clue is the marshmallows on tall grass, which adds to the nonsensical world.

Another aspect I like about this rhyming story is that the rhyme shifts from one type, to another, and then another. It has the affect of shifting gears when driving through a varied landscape.

In my own poetic picture book, Summer North Coming – Winter North Coming, I chose to carefully follow a rhyming scheme throughout the story. It is a safe bet to do so, and it seemed natural; but I commend Degen for breaking that tendency and going out on a limb to create something unique.

First published in 1983, it is a new classic which I buy again and again as part of a new baby gift-bundle.

Enjoy!

Jamberry

Shopping Cart Boy

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Joshua Jordan G.H. has written a stark and moving collection of poetry called Shopping Cart Boy, Poems of My Life.

Here is a sample of the first poem-

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G.H.’s poetry is honest and deals with extremely difficult subject matter with clarity. This book would be useful to a teen who has been adopted, someone struggling with an abusive past, or for anyone interested in writing free-form poetry.

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A Canadian Author

DB