Tom Wayman · Author

Two more BC Coast Readings in November

This fall, I will be reading from my new books in Victoria and on Pender Island.

On Friday November 8, I’ll be reading at 7:30 pm at Russell Books, #100, 747 Fort St., Victoria, part of the Planet Earth Poetry series. I’ll be reading from How Can You Live Here? and also from my 2020 collection Watching a Man Break a Dog’s Back: Poems for a Dark Time.

Diana Hayes, Salt Spring Island poet, editor, photographer, founder of Raven Chapbooks, and year-round ocean swimmer, will also be reading. There will be an open mic session and admission is free.

Then, on Saturday November 9, I’ll be on Pender Island for a reading at 2:30 pm at Bridgemans Bistro, 4605 Oak Road. I will be reading from The Road to Appledore as well as How Can You Live Here?, joined by four fellow former members of the work-writing circle, the Vancouver Industrial Writers’ Union (1979 to 1993). Giving brief readings will be authors Kate Braid, Zoë Landale and Sandy Shreve—now on Pender—and Kirsten Emmott, now in Comox. Admission is free.

West Kootenay Launch Readings

Positive Responses to
THE ROAD TO APPLEDORE

The Road To Appledore – cover

My account of moving to the Slocan Valley in 1989 and my life here in the decades since, The Road to Appledore, had its official release in early May. I’ve been gratified by the responses—at least, the initial ones!

The Vancouver Sun gave the book an entire page (A7) on May 9, with an interview with me by Dana Gee: B.C. author chronicles 30-year journey from city dweller to rural resident.

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Slocan Valley Reading for National Poetry Month

On Saturday, April 13th, I’m going to take part in a group reading with other Slocan Valley poets at Silverton Memorial Hall, 203 Lake Ave. (Highway 6), Silverton, BC.

The free event starts at 8 pm. The evening in honour of National Poetry Month was organized by Keith Liggett of Silverton, who formerly was an East Kootenay literary entrepreneur extraordinaire, putting together literary programming for years in Fernie and at the St. Eugene Resort north of Cranbrook.

Keith will also be reading on April 13, as will Barbara Curry Mulcahy, Art Joyce, and musician Kate Smyles.

Twenty per cent of book sales at the event will go to the Slocan Lake Arts Council’s gallery revitalization fund.

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BC Coast Launch Readings for 2 NEW BOOKS, May 23 & May 22

On May 23 and 22, I’ll be doing launch readings at the VANCOUVER and GIBSONS Public Libraries, respectively, to promote my two new titles: a prose memoir about coming to the Slocan Valley in 1989 and my adventures and misadventures since, and a new collection of my poems, mainly set in the same locale. Both The Road to Appledore or How I Went Back to the Land Without Ever Having Lived There in the First Place from Harbour Publishing and How Can You Live Here? from Frontenac House were published in March.

The VANCOUVER event, “The Music Our Stories Make” will be held Thursday, May 23 at 6:30 pm at the Grand Staircase on Level 8 of the downtown (Central) branch of the Vancouver Public Library. The evening will feature a concert by the Vancouver-based folk/roots trio FRASER UNION, brief readings from the new books, and an on-stage conversation between Roger and myself entitled “Why Make Art in a Dreadful Time?”

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West Kootenay Launch Readings for 2 NEW BOOKS, May 29 & May 30

I’m excited to be giving two readings of my new books at public libraries in my home region of the West Kootenay. Both The Road to Appledore or How I Went Back to the Land Without Ever Having Lived There in the First Place from Harbour Publishing, and How Can You Live Here? from Frontenac House describe life in this area, at least as I’ve experienced it.

On Wednesday, May 29 at 7 pm, I’ll be reading at the Nelson Public Library, 602 Stanley St. This will be the hometown launch, speaking to people very familiar with the landscapes, and probably with some of the incidents, described in both new volumes. So potentially a tough audience! The reading is free, by donation.

On Thursday, May 30 at 7 pm, I’ll be reading at the Nakusp Public Library, 92 – 6th Ave. NW. This reading is also free and, as with the Nelson reading, all are welcome.

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April 19 Calgary Launch for HOW CAN YOU LIVE HERE?

How Can You Live Here – cover
cover image by Rod Currie

Frontenac House, publisher of my new collection of poems How Can You Live Here?, has organized a group launch for Friday, April 19, featuring their three newest books of poems, including mine. The launch will be held in the Jubilee Room on the lower level of the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 1415–14th Ave. NW in Calgary, starting at 7 pm. I look forward to participating in this reading.

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THE ROAD TO APPLEDORE
– new prose in 2024

The Road To Appledore – cover

In early June, I was overjoyed to hear that Harbour/Douglas & McIntyre have accepted my prose account of moving from Vancouver to southeastern BC’s West Kootenay region in 1989, and all I’ve learned in the decades since about a rural existence. The book, scheduled for publication in spring 2024, is called The Road to Appledore or How I Went Back to the Land Without Ever Having Lived There in the First Place.

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HOW CAN YOU LIVE HERE?
– a new poetry collection

I was grateful to learn June 22 that Frontenac House, a Southern Alberta publisher specializing in poetry, will publish a new collection of my poems in April 2024. The new book is called How Can You Live Here?

Dipper in Winter. image by H.MacASKiLL

When I had finished assembling the manuscript that became Out of the Ordinary, which Harbour accepted in November 2022, I found I had a large number of poems that didn’t fit the theme of the accepted book. The approximately 60 poems of How Can You Live Here? focus largely on rural life amid southeastern BC’s Selkirk Mountains.

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WATCHING A MAN BREAK A DOG’S BACK wins the 2023 Western Canada Jewish Book Award for Poetry

I was grateful and very pleased to learn May 24 that Watching a Man Break a Dog’s Back won the 2023 prize for poetry offered by the Western Canada Jewish Book Awards. The award comes with a $2,000 honorarium.

In my acceptance speech at the awards ceremony, I said that much of my writing matches how Irving Howe, in his history of East European Jewish immigration to America, World of Our Fathers, categorizes modern Jewish life: “a mixture of idealism and skepticism.” I also quoted Alain Brossat and Sylvia Klingberg’s summary, in their Revolutionary Yiddishland: A History of Jewish Radicalism, of the driving force behind people’s involvement in social change, a summary I believe is the concept underlying my writing: “Another world is possible.”

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WATCHING A MAN BREAK A DOG’S BACK shortlisted for the 2023 Western Canada Jewish Book Awards

On May Day, the Vancouver-based Jewish Book Festival announced that my 2020 title, Watching a Man Break a Dog’s Back: Poems for a Dark Time has been shortlisted for the 2023 Betty Averbach Foundation Prize for Poetry, one of the Western Canada Jewish Book Awards. In contention this year were books published between 2020 and 2022. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony May 24.

Watching a Man Break a Dog's Back - BookCover
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Interviewing SID MARTY, May 11, on his Zoom Book Launch

On Wednesday, May 11, at 6 pm BC time, I’m going to participate in Alberta author Sid Marty’s online book launch of his new and collected poems, Oldman’s River. The book, published by NeWest Press, spans more than a half-century of singing the Rocky Mountains. Sid and I both published our first books of poems in 1973, both from McClelland & Stewart. Sid’s Headwaters launched his career, which includes the later nonfiction masterpieces Men for the Mountains (1978; an account of his own experiences as a national park warden, woven into a history of the Rocky Mountain parks’ warden service) and The Black Grizzly of Whiskey Creek (2008; about the fumbled attempts of the authorities to deal with a killer grizzly on the outskirts of Banff townsite in 1980).

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