All stories relating to Nova Scotia
A consortium of Nova Scotian universities is testing a pilot inter-library ebook lending service that is being touted as a “breakthrough for academic libraries in North America,”according to the Halifax website unews.ca.
Novanet – a diverse group of 10 universities that includes Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia Community College, and Université Sainte-Anne – paid a $100,000 deposit to ebook vendor EBL, which in turn allows all library patrons to access a centralized pool of 16,000 ebooks.
In an interview with unews.ca, Novanet manager Bill Slauenwhite says, “Publishers, especially academic publishers … they’re not happy about losing any of their market share. So this was a hard slog and a hard negotiation.”
The program, which will be evaluated for its success after a year, does have limitations: only 28 publishers are participating with a limited number of new titles.
Given all the political hoopla happening in Hogtown, it would have been easy to miss news that poet, playwright, activist, and critic George Elliott Clarke has been appointed Toronto’s fourth poet laureate. He takes over from Dionne Brand, who has held the position since 2009.
Born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, Clarke’s East Coast roots are a driver for much of his work around black identity. Clarke, who refers to his African-Canadian and Mi’qmak heritage as “Africadian,” is recognized as one of the top scholars of black-Canadian literature.
Clarke moved to Toronto in 1999, and in 2003 was named the E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto. He brings a shelf full of prizes to the position, including the 2001 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry for Execution Poems (Gaspereau Press). In 2008 he received Toronto’s William P. Hubbard Award for Race Relations and was made an officer of the Order of Canada.
New Brunswick author David Adams Richards was the big winner at this year’s Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia Awards, which were presented Oct. 12 at a ceremony in Halifax.
Richards received the $20,000 Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award for his novel Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul (Doubleday Canada). Richards was up against two debut novelists: Valerie Compton (Tide Road, Goose Lane Editions) and Heather Jessup (The Lightning Field, Gaspereau Press).
Harry Thurston, who hails from Amherst, Nova Scotia, won the $2,000 Evelyn Richardson Memorial Non-Fiction Award for The Atlantic Coast: A Natural History (Greystone Books), which recently won a Lane Anderson Award for science writing.
Halifax writer Sue Goyette won the $2,000 Atlantic Poetry Prize for outskirts (Brick Books), which received the Pat Lowther Memorial Award in June.
Dartmouth has joined the ranks of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver with the launch of the first Dartmouth Comic Arts Festival, thanks to local comic bookstore Strange Adventures, which will host the event on Aug. 19 at Alderney Landing in Nova Scotia.
Halifax independent weekly The Coast quotes Strange Adventures owner Calum Johnston:
It’s essentially a craft fair focused on comics. We’re not looking at programming but certainly we’d like to encourage anyone looking to get into cartooning and comics to come out … it’s an opportunity to ask questions.
The free one-day event gives locals a chance to shop, meet cartoonists and rare comic dealers, and have portfolios reviewed by artists like Steve McNiven, who has done work on Wolverine, The Amazing Spider-Man, and The Avengers. Artists Mike Holmes, Faith Erin Hicks, and Nick Bradshaw are also set to appear.
Lit lovers who spent the long weekend in cottage country needn’t fear they’ve missed out. There’s plenty of bookish happenings across the country this weekend, like these ones selected from Q&Q’s events calendar:
The Fish Quill Poetry Boat Tour gets underway Aug. 9 at 8 p.m. at the Tranzac Club in Toronto. Tonight’s kick-off will be the first of 10 stops on the canoe tour, which sees a group of Canadian poets and musicians paddling from Elora to Chiefswood on Six Nations of the Grand River territory, performing in various venues along the way.
Albertans still have time to register for this weekend’s When Words Collide festival, which takes place from Aug. 10–12 in Calgary, and includes readings and talks by Anthony Bidulka, Kelley Armstrong, Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, Adrienne Kerr, and Vanessa Cardui.
Authors at the Harbourfront Centre pairs with Planet IndigenUS for a reading and discussion featuring Thomas King, Drew Hayden Taylor, and Brian Wright-McLeod. The free event takes place Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto.
The nominees for the Evelyn Richardson Award for Non-fiction will be gathering for a reading and discussion at the Osprey Arts Centre in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. The free event kicks off at 7 p.m. on Aug. 11, and boasts Chris Benjamin, Ray MacLeod and Harry Thurston. They will be joined by a live saw-whet owl from animal rehab facility Hope for Wildlife. (Should be a hoot!)
Fantasy enthusiasts hailing from Orillia, Ontario may want to check out Here Be Dragons, part of the photography exhibit Look. Magic! at the Leacock Museum. The Aug. 11 event starts at 8 p.m., and writers Julie Czerneda, Adrienne Kress, Anne Bishop and Mark Leslie will be in attendance.
If gritty crime stories are more your thing, check out the Wolfe Island Scene of the Crime Festival, which takes place on Aug. 11 in Wolfe Island, Ontario. The Ladies Killing Circle, D.J. McIntosh, John Moss, Y.S. Lee, and Thomas Rendell Curran are set to appear. Full-day passes are $65.
The annual Winterset in Summer Festival starts up Aug. 10 and runs until Aug. 12. Events for the Peril at the Sea–themed festival will take place at various locales across Eastport, Newfoundland. This year’s lineup includes Daniel Allen Butler, Paul Butler, Simon Winchester, Nancy Earle, Bernice Morgan, Bert Riggs, Danielle Devereaux, Jamie Fitzpatrick, and Bob Hallett, as well as 2012 Winterset Award finalists Mark Callanan, Don McKay, and Edward Riche. Tickets start at $15.
Q&Q’s events calendar has even more listings for this weekend’s readings, poetry shows, book signings, and festivals.
Want to add an event to Q&Q’s calendar? Send your literary event listings to Quill & Quire. Please include the event name, date, time, location, cost, and a brief description.
For the third year in a row, Linda Besner and Leigh Kotsilidis will lead a group of poets and one musician on a canoe tour down the Grand River in Southwestern Ontario. The lineup for this year’s Fish Quill Poetry Boat Tour includes Kevin McPherson Eckhoff, Moez Surani, Darryl Whetter, and singer-songwriter Jack Marks.
The 10-day, three-canoe author tour launches on Aug. 9 in Toronto, with readings scheduled in Elora, West Montrose, Bridgeport, Cambridge, Paris, Brantford, and Ohsweken, plus a campfire poetry night at Brant Conservation Area.
Besner spoke with Quillblog about the challenges and rewards of marrying poetry with paddling.
What can people expect from your tour?
The towns we’ve chosen to go through often don’t get a lot of [author] tours going through. Like West Montrose, where we’ll read next to Kissing Bridge, the only remaining covered bridge in Ontario.
Because we’re coming by canoe there’s a kind of informal air to the proceedings. Once you get up there in your canoeing clothes and you’re sunburnt and mosquito-bitten, you’ve been paddling through people’s back yards, we’ve already got something to talk about with [the audience].
The people who come out for it aren’t always necessarily the kind of people who come to poetry readings. But because somebody is making the effort to come to them, and doing it in a way that has a connection to the place, people come out.
People come and talk to us after. Last year, this woman came up with her daughter and husband. She told us she had had a boyfriend who wrote her this poem. “I still have it memorized. Do you want to hear it?” she said. And of course I did want to hear this poem. She recited it by heart. Her daughter was like, “Mom, you never told me this story.” Her mom said, “Well, it never came up.”
What’s different this time around?
Last year, most people knew at least one other person on the trip well.
This year there are a couple of people I haven’t met at all – Darryl Whetter is coming up from Nova Scotia, and I haven’t met Kevin McPherson Eckhoff, or Jack Marks.
How did the trip go last year? Can you describe what it was like for you?
The organizing had been so stressful that I was actually surprised and pleased by how smoothly everything wound up going. Once you’re out on the water, once everybody’s together, I feel like it really brings out people’s teamwork skills. Everybody was nice to each other and took care of each other. On that river, because it’s so shallow and rocky, the person in front really has to call to the person in back to tell them what to do to find a channel through the rocks that won’t tip you.
For a lot of us, because we live in the city, it’s not often that we’re able to be out in the country for so long and spend days on the river. You spend day after day in the canoe and then when you’re going to sleep, you have this hallucinatory sense that you’re still moving from side to side and following the bends of the river. It really gets a physical grip on you.
What are some of the highlights of paddling through a community rather than embarking on a more traditional tour?
We link up with a lot of local organizations and try to incorporate local talent. We invite guest performers to join us at each location. Last year, we had Shelley Clark from the Six Nations of the Grand River community read with us, and she’ll read again this year.
One of the coolest places we’ll be going back to this year is our final stop at Chiefswood National Historic Site, which is the birth place of E. Pauline Johnson. She was sort of the first Mohawk poet in Canada to be taken seriously. Her house is still standing [as a museum] in the Six Nations’ territory. Going out there, learning about its history, getting to know the curator and the volunteers is amazing. You really do see how vibrant the culture is.
What kind of fundraising have you undertaken to cover the trip?
We do this trip on such a shoestring budget. We grocery shop and cook [at camp] as a group. We have gotten all of our camping sponsored by the Grand River Conservation Authority, which manages the campsites we’ll be staying on.
We have another really wonderful sponsor, Treks in the Wild. They’re a canoe company in Paris, Ontario, and they’re really who make this trip possible. They lend us the canoes and waterproof barrels for our merch for free, they shuttle us around, they come and get us when our campsite is too far from our reading venue for us to walk.
We’ve also been given some funding from our publishers: Véhicule Press, Coach House Books, Wolsak & Wynn, Palimpsest Press, and Brick Books.
The season of literary festivals and readings in the park is well underway, and it’s not slowing down this weekend. Here are just a few of the events featured on Q&Q‘s calendar.
This is the last weekend to check out the Leacock Summer Festival in Orillia, Ontario. The festival runs until July 29 and features appearances by Matthew Forsythe, Andrew Westoll, Rebecca Rosenblum, Mark Kingwell, Ken Babstock, and Cordelia Strube. This year’s festival also hosts the world premiere of Sketching Sunshine: An Evening and A Morning with Stephen Leacock, a one-man play starring Joe Matheson.
Jeff Lemire launches his new graphic novel, The Underwater Welder, on July 28 at 7 p.m. at Innis Town Hall in Toronto. Admission is $5 or free with purchase of the book.
Vancouverites who want to eat healthier should check out the Vancouver Public Library on July 27 when Sharon Hanna discusses her bestseller, The Book of Kale: The Easy-to-Grow Superfood, 80+ Recipes. The free event starts at 3 p.m. at VPL’s Kitsilano Branch.
Sue Goyette, Warren Heiti, and Anne Simpson read from their 2012 Atlantic Poetry Prize–nominated books on July 28. The night kicks off at 7 p.m. at the Acadia University Art Gallery in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
You can catch the first photography exhibit by author Kenneth J. Harvey at Gerald Squires Gallery in St. John’s, Newfoundland, until Aug. 31.
Keith G. Powell will sign copies of Raising Kain at Indigo stores across Calgary this weekend. He will be at Indigo Signal Hill and Indigo Cross Iron Mills on July 27, and Chapters Chinook Centre on the 28th.
Want to add an event to Q&Q‘s calendar? Send your literary event listings to Quill & Quire. Please include the event name, date, time, location, cost, and a brief description.
- Patrick deWitt signing for Ablutions, Indigo Eaton Centre, Toronto (June 8, 12 p.m., free)
- “The Adventure of the Process”: The Writer’s Guild of Alberta Conference and Alberta Book Awards Gala, Hotel Arts, Calgary (June 8–10, 5 p.m., from $80)
- Insomniac Press Night featuring Liz Bugg, Jamie Popowich, and Natalie Zina Walschots, 7750 Mullhern St., Niagara Falls (June 8, 7:30 p.m., free)
- Readings by Betty Jane Hegerat, Suzette Mayr, and Cathy Ostlere, Pages on Kensington, Calgary (June 8, 7:30 p.m., free)
- “An Editor and an Agent Tell All” workshop, Four Corners Library, Brampton, ON (June 9, 10:30 a.m., $48, $44 advance)
- “Stream of Conciousness” writing workshop with Bruce Kauffman, The Artel, Kingston (June 9, 7 p.m., $10)
- Reading and discussion of Cathy Ostlere’s Lost: A Memoir, Shelf Life Books, Calgary (June 10, 2 p.m., free)
- Niagara Literary Arts Festival presents a YA reading featuring Hermine Steinberg and Allison Bryson, Fine Grind Café, St. Catharines, ON (June 10, 2 p.m., free)
- “Storytelling for Social Change” panel discussion as part of the Vancouver International Storytelling Festival, Vancouver Public Library Central Branch (June 10, 2:30 p.m., free)
- Gloria Vanderbilt reads from The Things We Fear Most, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto (June 10, 7:30 p.m., $10, free for students)
- Carol MacDougall and Shanda LaRamee-Jones launch Play Book, Keshen Goodman Library, Halifax (June 11, 10:30 a.m., free)
- Jaime Forsythe reads from Sympathy Loophole, Alice Burdick launches Holler, and John Wall Barger launches Hummingbird, Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, Halifax (June 11, 7 p.m., free)
- Vertigo Reading Series featuring Shelley Leedahl, Winter Fedyk, Adam Pottle, and Murray Arthur Logan, Crave Kitchen and Wine Bar, Regina (June 11, 7:30 p.m., free)
- Reading and signing by Brian Henderson for Sharawadji, McNally Robinson, Winnipeg (June 12, 7 p.m., free)
- Irvine Welsh discusses his new novel, Skagboys, with Eleanor Wachtel, TIFF Bell Lightbox, Toronto (June 12, 9 p.m. $20)
- An evening with poet Don Kerr, Regina Public Library (June 13, 7 p.m., free)
- Reading and signing by Leslie Vryenhoek, McNally Robinson, Winnipeg (June 13, 8 p.m., free)
- In celebration of Bloomsday Montreal, Dr. Dana Hearne discusses the importance of Nora Barnacle in James Joyce’s life and writing, and Dr. Gus O’Gorman reads from Ulysses, Atwater Library, Westmount, QC (June 14, 12:30 p.m., free)
- Nicole Markotić launches her poetry collection Bent at the Spine, Pages on Kensington, Calgary (June 14, 7:30 p.m., free)
- Atlantic Author Day, featuring signings by 48 authors at 34 locations across the East Coast (June 16, 10 a.m.)
Quillblog is looking for photos from literary events across Canada. Send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Deux Voiliers Publishing open house featuring Brendan Ray, Stephen Lorne Bennett, Chris Turner, and Con Cu, Collected Works Bookstore, Ottawa (June 1, 7 p.m., free)
- Niagara Literary Arts Festival kicks off with readings by Erno Rossi and Marsha Barber, Patrick Sheehan’s Irish Pub, St. Catharines, Ont. (June 1, 7:30 p.m., free)
- Ridgeway Reads all-day book fair, Legion Branch 230, Ridgeway ON (June 2, 9 a.m., $20 per table)
- Writing for Children and Young Adults workshop with Brian Henrey and Kelley Armstrong, Oakville Central Library, Oakville Ont. (June 2, 10 a.m., $48; $44 in advance)
- Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia Annual General Meeting, Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia, Halifax (June 2, 12 p.m., free)
- Kathryn Ellis launches her new YA book, Home in Time for Dinner, Chapters Richmond Hill, Ont. (June 2, 1 p.m., free).
- “Out of the Shadows,” a panel on the art of translation featuring Hugh Hazelton, Susan Ouriou, and Gisèle Villeneuve, Shelf Life Books, Calgary (June 2, 3 p.m, free.)
- Authors and Angels at the Astor, a tribute to Joyce Barkhouse featuring Alex Hickey, Vernon Oickle, Marcia Pierce Harding, E. Alex Pierce, and Janet Barkhouse, Astor Theatre, Liverpool, N.S. (June 2, 7 p.m., $10, $10 for reception)
- Jay Ingram reads from Fatal Flaws, Plaza Theatre, Calgary (June 3, 11 a.m., $10; $20 includes lunch)
- Esther Paul launches Mending Fences, McNally Robinson, Winnipeg (June 3, 2 p.m., free)
- Battle of the Sexes Poetry with Dwayne Morgan, Elle Seon, Ritallin, Tammy Soulful, Dahveed Delisca, Dianne Robinson, Denyce, and Tomy Buick, Lamabadina Lounge, Toronto (June 3, 6 p.m., $20 $15 in advance)
- Toronto Jewish Book Festival kicks off with Michael Wex interviewing Auslander, Toronto Reference Library (June 4, 8 p.m., $25)
- 8th House Publishing launches The Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover by Charles Talkoff, Jump the Devil by Richard Rathwell, and The Midas Touch by James Cummins and Cameron W. Reed, Paragraphe Bookstore, Montreal (June 6, 6 p.m., free)
- Readings with Angie Abdou, Mark Lavorato and Teri Vlassopoulos, Librarie Drawn & Quarterly, Montreal (June 6, 7 p.m., free)
- Book signing with Treena Wynes, McNally Robinson, Saskatoon (June 7, 7:30 p.m., free)
- Griffin Poetry Prize shortlist readings featuring Ken Babstock, Phil Hall, David Harsent, Yusef Komunyakaa, Sean O’Brien, Joanna Trzeciak/Tadeusz Różewicz and Jan Zwicky, Koerner Hall, Toronto (June 6, 7:30, from $12.50)
- Shree Gatage launches her novel Thirst, Pages on Kensington, Calgary (June 7, 7:30 p.m., free)
- The Heroines of The Sexual Gothic fundraiser, featuring Susan Swan, the Billie Hollies and Martha Chaves, Toronto Women’s Bookstore (June 7, 6:30 p.m., $30 $25 in advance)
- Dan Rather discusses his memoir Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News, Indigo Manulife, Toronto (June 7, 7 p.m., free)
Quillblog is looking for photos from literary events across Canada. Send your photos to email@example.com.
In a press release, chief librarian Troy Myers said the increase will limit the number of ebooks the regional library system will be able to add to its digital catalogue.
On March 1, Random House raised the prices it charges wholesalers such as OverDrive, Ingram, and 3M, which lease ebooks for library lending. According to Library Journal’s Digital Shift blog, the new model looks like this:
- Titles available in print as new hardcovers: $65–$85
- Titles available for several months, or generally timed to paperback release: $25–$50
- New children’s titles available in print as hardcovers: $35–$85
- Older children’s titles and children’s paperbacks: $25–$45
Random House says the hike reflects the fact that unlike print books, an ebook may theoretically circulate endlessly, without requiring the purchase of replacement copies. (Similar arguments were made by Penguin when it stopped selling digital content to OverDrive, and by HarperCollins when it implemented an ebook lending cap.) Random House has also stated the change aligns its ebook wholesale pricing with that of its downloadable audiobooks for library lending.
In a statement to Digital Journal, Random House elaborated on its decision:
“We believe our new library e-pricing reflects the high value placed on perpetuity of lending and simultaneity of availability for our titles [i.e. simultaneous release to both the library and retail markets],” said Stuart Applebaum, a Random House spokesperson….
Applebaum said that the publishing house, which is the only one of the Big Six to make its ebooks available without restriction for library lending, is setting the library ebook price with “far less definitive, encompassing circulation data” than the sell-through information used to determine retail pricing.
“We are requesting data that libraries can share about their patrons’ borrowing patterns that over time will better enable us to establish mutually workable pricing levels that will best serve the overall ebook ecosystem,” Applebaum said.
To put the changes in context, SSPL points to Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie, published by Random House last November, and leased to the library for $30. The same title now goes for $85 via OverDrive. It retails for $19.99 through the publisher’s website.
Speaking with CBC News, SSPL managers say they plan on approaching librarians across the country about expanding the boycott.