The Summer 2017 issue of BC BookWorld contains a nice account of the background to, and contents of, my new Thistledown Press collection of music poems, Helpless Angels. The article mentions the gist of the book’s introduction regarding the technological changes over the decades that have resulted in us now being the first people in history to be able to listen to any music we want, any place we go, at any time of the day or night we choose. A defense of Bob Dylan’s 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, which was awarded after the introduction was written, is also part of BC BookWorld’s look at Helpless Angels.
To launch my new collection of poems about music, Helpless Angels, I’m happy to say that a series of events is planned for May and June across Western Canada, in Calgary, Nelson, Vernon, Vancouver, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton. All but the first one celebrate the book’s theme by involving performances by a variety of musicians presenting several musical styles. The initial reading features a former writing student from my days teaching at the U of Calgary, who has just had his first book published.
Here is the lineup… (more…)
Happy news today that my poem “Elemental Musics: Selkirk Mountains” won first prize ($500) in Musicworks’ 2016 Sonic Geography writing contest. Musicworks is a journal dedicated to developing audiences for experimental music. The poem, which responds to the sounds of mountain trees, winds, creeks and fire, is included in my forthcoming collection of poems about music, Helpless Angels (Thistledown Press, 2017).
Many thanks to the BC Arts Council’s Project Assistance for Creative Writers program for the very welcome news Jan. 12 that I have received support for February through June 2017 for my latest writing project. I’m also grateful for this honour to Walter Quan, who administers the program with considerable aplomb, and to this year’s jury. (more…)
I’ll have a couple of busy days in late November, when I’ll be reading from The Shadow We Mistake for Love in Vancouver, West Vancouver and Richmond. The readings are in connection with the 2016 Vancouver Jewish Book Festival, and arise because of The Shadows winning the fiction prize at this year’s Western Canada Jewish Book Awards.
On Sunday, Nov. 27 I’ll be reading at the Vancouver Jewish Community Centre, 950 West 41st Ave. from 2 to 3 p.m. Then it’ll be a high speed dash for me across the city, and from 4 to 5 p.m. I’ll be reading at the North Shore Jewish Community Centre, 1305 Taylor Way, West Vancouver. (more…)
UBC’s literary magazine Prism international has asked me to be part of their showcase reading by recent contributors during Word Vancouver (formerly Word on the Street) on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 3:20 p.m. in Tent 9 (called “Suspension Bridge”) on Homer St. between West Georgia St. and Robson St.
The showcase will feature, besides myself reading poems, Prism’s 2016 fiction contest winner Taryn Pearcey, conceptual poets Geoffrey Nilson and ryan fitzpatrick, and former Ottawa lyric poet Laura Farina.
Exciting news for me is that Thistledown Press of Saskatoon has accepted for publication in spring 2017 my new themed poetry collection, Helpless Angels: A Book of Music. Many of the poems in the volume previously appeared in such magazines as The Hudson Review, Queen’s Quarterly, Arc, Prairie Fire, and the website Poetry Daily.
Mine was the first generation in human history to be able to (more…)
An insightful review of The Shadows takes up a full page of the July-August 2016 issue of the Literary Review of Canada, which of course I was delighted to see. “Wayman’s affection for the people of the valley permeates his stories,” Lesley Krueger writes. “Wayman’s collection reads like nothing so much as a warped 21st century version of Stephen Leacock’s Mariposa.” The reviewer pairs a couple of Leacock’s characters in Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (1912) to characters in The Shadows.
The review concludes: (more…)
I was happy to learn June 19 that The Shadows We Mistake for Love won the inaugural Western Canada Jewish Book Award for fiction—the Diamond Foundation Prize. The awards ceremony, at Vancouver’s Jewish Community Centre, was hosted by the Globe and Mail’s western cultural columnist Marsha Lederman. Besides presentation of a $2,000 prize in five categories—poetry, non-fiction, children and youth, and Holocaust literature, as well as fiction—the event involved brief readings by the winners and a public Q & A with Ms. Lederman and the audience.
I’m very pleased that Michael Mirolla of Oakville, ON’s Guernica Editions today accepted a manuscript of my selected essays and interviews 1994-2014 entitled If You’re Not Free at Work, Where Are You Free: Literature and Social Change. The essays were previously published in such journals as Canadian Literature, The New Quarterly, Labour/Le Travail, and the interviews in such journals as Contemporary Verse 2 and The Writer’s Chronicle. The book is scheduled to appear in spring 2019.
I will be participating in the University of Alberta’s 40th anniversary celebration of their writer-in-residence program, March 3 to 5, 2016. I was writer-in-residence on campus from 1978 to 1979. The celebration, hosted by (more…)
A great Boxing Day present for me was the Vancouver Sun running a three-quarter-page spread on The Shadows We Mistake for Love in their Dec. 26 edition (page F7). They used a large version of Calvin Wharton’s photo of me in a canoe (see ABOUT: Bio), plus three questions from a longer Q & A about the book I had prepared some time ago for the publisher. An online version of this article (although only a headshot of me is used online) is at vancouversun.com.