Events

Call for Submissions: Displays and workshop on Quebec English-Language Literary Culture

The Atwater Writers Exhibition (AWE) seeks proposals for two displays and related workshops celebrating Quebec English-language literary culture.

AWE comprises a variety of activities as well as a series of history panels and a pair of display cases in the Atwater Library’s reading room, all celebrating Quebec English-language literary culture.

In AWE’s initial phase, the display cases contained a variety of artifacts including first editions of significant books, posters and chapbooks, a typewriter, boxing gloves and a cigar (Mordecai Richler’s, of course).

AWE is now ready for two new displays, to be installed by Fall 2017. Each one will illuminate a particular aspect of Quebec English-language literary culture, and form the thematic basis of a short writing workshop.

Two proposals will be accepted, one for each display case. The cases are 81” by 29” and can be seen in the reading room during the Library’s regular opening hours. Items displayed may be exposed to sunlight and some, especially paper, may fade.

In no more than 600 words, explain the importance of the chosen theme to Quebec English-language literary culture, and how that theme will be articulated in the display, including examples of the kinds of objects that will be included. Please include a short description of your publications (or equivalent) and pertinent experience as a teacher or workshop leader.

You will be responsible for sourcing or creating all components and assembling the display by an agreed-upon date in Fall 2017. Describe how the display will inspire the writing workshop you will conduct for up to twelve participants over the course of about six hours.

A public reception will be held to inaugurate the new displays, during which the workshop participants will have the chance to show off their work. Each creator will receive an honorarium of $1,000 for designing and assembling their display and conducting their workshop.

Please send proposals of 600 words or fewer to elise.m@videotron.ca, with “AWE display proposal” in the subject line. Deadline is May 25, 2017.

 

Questions? elise.m@videotron.ca

 

 

150th-Day Party!

Almost 200 people — young and old, Canadians by birth and Canadians by choice, from all over the country — submitted 150-word pieces to our 150 Words for 150 Years flash writing contest. Join us to congratulate the winners, who will be announced at our 150th Day Party, 5-7 p.m. on the 150th day of the year, Tuesday, May 30, at the Atwater Library. Come raise a glass and have a snack. Several videos created by participants in the “Canada in 150 Seconds” project will be screened.

 

Connecting with Mother Earth, a Word After Word writing workshop for youth ages 11-18

 Learn to create a world in a short tale.

On Sunday, April 2, 2017 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Biblio Wakefield Library presented Connecting with Mother Earth, a Word After Word writing workshop for youth ages 11-18, led by writer Iris Delagrange.

It was a great success, with the young writers sharing their work at the Earth Day vernissage at Biblio Wakefield. Thanks to Ilse Turnsen for all the organizational energy!

Presented by the Atwater Writers Exhibition, the Quebec Writers’ Federation, and the Wakefield Public Library, with the support of the Community Cultural Action Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

 

150 Words for 150 Years flash writing contest

What do you have to say about Canada? Do you have a story to tell, a point of view to express, an experience to share — and can you make it short?

Enter your story, 150 words or less, to win $150. Choose one of three categories — if you are 20 or younger, enter your short piece of writing, fiction or nonfiction, in the Youth category. If you are 21 or older enter either to win the Fiction category or the Nonfiction category.

Write about nature, about our history, about your life; write about canoes or computers, hockey or Habitants, ulus or the underground city. Maybe your grandmother was an immigrant — or you are. Maybe your ancestors have been here for thousands of years.

Take 150 words to take stock of where we came from and where we are now. Write about what Canada means to you.

Deadline FRIDAY, March 31, 2017. 

Submit here:
Button with link to Submittable contest submission site

 

On three Friday nights in November 2016, two eager groups of aspiring writers with stories to tell met in Grove Hall in Huntingdon, Quebec for the first two Word After Word workshops, sponsored by the Atwater Writers Exhibition (AWE) and the Quebec Writers’ Federation (QWF), with support from the Community Cultural Action Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage. Led by Mark Abley and Joel Yanofsky, the groups explored memoir and fiction writing during six hours of workshops. Writers Iris Delagrange and Carmelita McGrath participated.

On the weekend of March 19-20, 2016, creative writing and spoken-word performance flowered at the Atwater Library. Following an intensive Saturday workshop for teens and seniors, there was exciting public performance on Sunday afternoon attended by 70 people. Leading Montreal spoken-word artists Chris Masson, Moe Clark, Tanya Evanson, Jason “Blackbird” Selman and Cat Kidd shared our auditorium stage with seniors and youth they had mentored earlier in the weekend… and magic resulted! This was a co-production of the Library’s Atwater Writers Exhibition (AWE) and the Quebec Writers’ Federation (QWF).

Meet the Artist-Facilitators:

ChrisMasson

Chris Masson is a writer and performer who has been featured on stages across the country. Some of his poetry was recently published in the anthology Where the Nights Are Twice As Long: Love Letters of Canadian Poets (Goose Lane Editions). He is a founding member of the Throw Poetry Collective, with whom he organizes monthly spoken word events. He also works in media production and facilitates writing workshops with the Quebec Writers’ Federation.

 

 

MoeClark

Moe Clark is a nomadic songbird with wings woven from circle singing and spoken word. Poet of Honour at the 2014 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, she’s featured on local and international stages. Her Cree language video nitâhkôtan won best music video at the 2015 ImagiNative Film Festival. Based in Montreal, she has two albums, a bilingual book of poetry and numerous video poems. As a public speaker she’s presented feature talks at REDx (Feb 2016), TedXMontreal (2012) and the 2012 London Olympics.

 

 

TanyaEvanson

Tanya Evanson is an award-winning poet, performer, producer and educator. Active since 1996, her spoken word has featured widely across North America, and she has a videopoem, three studio albums and six artist books of poetry under her belt. Based in Montreal, she teaches writing and meditation, is director of Spoken Word at The Banff Centre and is at work on a new album, short film and poetry manuscript called Bothism.
mothertonguemedia.com

 

 

JasonSelman

 

 

Jason “Blackbird” Selman is a Montreal born poet and trumpet player. He is the author The Freedom I Stole and co-editor of the poetry anthology Talking Book which chronicles the writings of Kalm Unity Vibe Collective (of which he is a founding member). He is the producer of the Intimate Sky performance series. He has had the privilege of working with Black Theatre Workshop’s Youth Works program for many years as their Poetry/Spoken Word animator. His work is grounded in the themes of ethno-musicology, surrealist expression, love and the intersection of masculinity and emotional vulnerability.

 

 

 

CatKidd

Cat Kidd is a Montreal writer/performer known for her zoology-themed performance poetry, combining narrative verse with dramatic delivery, video installation, and original soundscapes by dj Jacky Murda. Described as “an adult blend of Dr. Seuss and Aesop’s fables” her solo show Sea Peach won the MECCA Award for Best New Text, touring to the Edinburgh Fringe, Toronto Harbourfront’s World Stage, and the Singapore Fringe. She has performed in Whitehorse, Yellowknife, New York, Albuquerque, and Glastonbury. Her poem “Human Fish” opened the Spier Arts Poetry Festival in Cape Town, South Africa, that trip becoming the inspiration for her newest work, Hyena Subpoena. catkidd.com

 

 

On Saturday, February 27, 2016 from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am, for Nuit blanche, we welcomed over 200 people to the Library for exciting new-media showcase events, the products of two of our community-based projects – one led by seniors and the other by youth. Eric Craven, our Digital Literacy Project Coordinator, was thrilled with the results and commented, “The night was a great success – wonderful collaborative project that was much more than the sum of its parts!”

Moving Pictures:
Moving Histories Out of the Attic and Into the Public

Attendees immersed themselves in a sound and video installation that began with images projected through the front windows of our heritage building. Inside, our reading room was transformed by a multi-media exhibition created by seniors who digitized and re-edited home movies from the 40s to the 70s, and made their own music and sound using digital tools. An extension of our Digital Literacy Project with support from New Horizons for Seniors and Ageing + Communication + Technologies (ACT).

Seeing Red:
Young People’s Stories for the Eyes, From the Heart

Children and adults were dazzled by the work of 21 young Montrealers, aged 7 to 12, who created stories and transformed them into digital art that comes from their hearts. Part of the Atwater Writers Exhibition (AWE) with support from the Community Cultural Action Fund (CCAF) of Canadian Heritage.

nuitblanche1                                                                                          nuitblanche2

nuitblanche

 

Monday, January 25, 2016 at 7:00 pm

Watch the event here:

Making Scenes of Our Own: Plays of English Quebec
There’s no shortage of productions of British, French, American or even Ontarian plays. But English-Quebec plays, contemporary and past, may be harder to find. And while plays written in English in Quebec are being given more space in theatre seasons these days, how did we get here? Is there a canon of English-Quebec plays? Is one even possible?

Join four artistic directors and one playwright representing five English-language Montreal theatre companies for an interactive discussion of the past and present of English-language plays in Quebec. Emceed by actor and artistic director Quincy Armorer, the panelists will each speak about a play their company has produced and talk about its place in our theatrical history. The audience will be invited to participate in the larger discussion to follow. As well, Jesse Stong, leader of Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal’s Young Creators’ Unit (YCU), will lead a short writing activity with members of the YCU and interested members of the audience.

The panel:

Quincy Armorer, Artistic Director of Black Theatre Workshop

Vittorio Rossi, playwright, representing Centaur Theatre

Annabel Soutar, Artistic Director of Porte Parole

Guy Sprung, Artistic Director of Infinitheatre

Rahul Varma, Artistic Director of Teesri Duniya Theatre

A co-production of our Atwater Writers Exhibition and Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal.

Where: Atwater Library Auditorium  —  Admission is free

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 7:00 pm

Screening of the film Ladies and Gentlemen…Mr. Leonard Cohen with discussion led by poet, non-fiction writer, journalist, and lifelong Leonard Cohen fan Mark Abley. Audience members are encouraged to bring a copy of their favourite Leonard Cohen poem for a fun and accessible poetry activity that will follow the film.

Friday, November 27, 2015, 5:00 – 8:00 pm

HOLIDAY POP-UP BOOK FAIR!

Celebrating English-Quebec Writing and Publishing

Sponsored by the Montreal Gazette

Featuring author appearances and door prizes – more than 25 participating publishers – more than 50 local authors!

Celebrate the Launch of the Fair – Raise a glass, meet some authors and buy some books! The publishers and authors gather to sign and sell books. Join us for wine, cheese and vegan snacks. Sponsored by Penguin Random House.

Saturday, November 28, 2015, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

HOLIDAY POP-UP BOOK FAIR! continues –

Browse All Day – Many more authors, hundreds of books.

Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, books for kids, award-winners, bestsellers and more.

Give the gift of a book from here.

Presented by the Association of English-Language Publishers of Quebec and the Atwater Writers Exhibition of the Atwater Library and Computer Centre.

Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 12:30 pm
Screening of the film Leonard Cohen – Portrait Intime with discussion led by Concordia University English Professor Judith Herz about Cohen’s poetry and songs as part of the Library’s Lunchtime Series. Film is in English.

On May 28, 2015 we hosted a gala reception to launch the Atwater Writers Exhibition (AWE). Well-known cartoonist Terry Mosher (Aislin) hosted the event that attracted a throng of writers and Library supporters.

Click here to see Global TV coverage, including an interview with Terry Mosher and AWE project coordinator Elise Moser.

The exhibition continues through 2015 and is open to the public. Click here for more information.

Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 7:00 pm

“Rapid-Fire Readings, Ricochet Writing: Montreal Authors Write Before Your Very Eyes!”
Twenty-four contemporary Montreal authors from across the impressive range of our literary scene offered rapid-fire readings from their work. They also created a brand-new literary jewel by adding a line each to a collective text. At the end of this fast-moving happening the final product was read aloud with panache and brilliant comic timing by playwright Colleen Curran. The Quebec Writers’ Federation and the Atwater Library co-hosted this exciting event.

Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 12:30 pm
To mark INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY (three days early), poet Susan Elmslie screened the film Still Waters: The Poetry of P.K. Page, directed by Donald Winkler for the NFB, and led a discussion about P.K. Page’s work and her life in Montreal.

For more information about this exciting project, join our email list or contact Elise Moser at info@atwaterlibrary.ca

Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 12:30 pm
Filmmaker Donald Winkler screened A Red Carpet for the Sun: The Life of Irving Layton followed by Q&A.

Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 12:30 pm
Writers Bryan Demchinsky and Elaine Kalman Naves engaged in a conversation about Quebec’s great English-language writers of the past.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm
Guy Rodgers, Executive Director of the English-Language Arts Network (ELAN),  moderated a well-attended public consultation and discussion about the AWE project.

TUESDAY, December 1, 2015 at 7:00 pm

Screening of the film Ladies and Gentlemen…Mr. Leonard Cohen with discussion led by poet, non-fiction writer, journalist, and lifelong Leonard Cohen fan Mark Abley. Audience members are encouraged to bring a copy of their favourite Leonard Cohen poem for a fun and accessible poetry activity that will follow the film.

Friday-Saturday, November 27-28, 2015

AWEsome Holiday Book Fair

The Atwater Library’s 2015 Holiday Pop-Up Book Fair, featuring Quebec-published and Quebec-written books in English, was a smash success. Held in our auditorium on the last weekend of November, it attracted throngs of book lovers who made purchases, got autographs and chatted with the 50 or so authors participating. There was much talk of making the Holiday Book Fair an annual event. Co-coordinator Elise Moser expressed thanks to all who contributed to the success, including partner Association of English-language Publishers of Quebec (AELAQ), the 25 participating publishers including 10 from English Quebec, event host Terry Mosher (Aislin), overall event sponsor Montreal Gazette, and launch reception sponsor Penguin Random House.

The Community Cultural Action Fund (CCAF) of Canadian Heritage has provided funding for us to conduct the Book Fair along with a series of other activities to celebrate Quebec’s amazing English-language writers, past and present.

The Atwater Writers Exhibition (AWE) launched on our main floor in May 2015 continues to attract visitors, including school groups. The exhibition continues through 2016 and is open to the public during our regular hours.

The focus in early 2016 will be on playwrighting, literary translation, spoken word and young-adult (YA) writers.

 

THURSDAY, November 12, 2015 at 12:30 pm
Screening of the film Leonard Cohen – Portrait Intime with discussion led by Concordia University English Professor Judith Herz about Cohen’s poetry and songs. Atwater Library Auditorium. Film is in English. Free event — coffee will be served.

THURSDAY, May 28, 2015 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm

Gala Reception

On May 28, 2015 we hosted a gala reception to launch the Atwater Writers Exhibition (AWE). Well-known cartoonist Terry Mosher (Aislin) hosted the event that attracted a throng of writers and Library supporters.

Click here to see Global TV coverage, including an interview with Terry Mosher and AWE project coordinator Elise Moser.

The exhibition continues through 2015 and is open to the public. Click here for more information.

THURSDAY, April 30, 2015 at 7:00 for 7:30 pm
“Rapid-Fire Readings, Ricochet Writing: Montreal Authors Write Before Your Very Eyes!”

Twenty-five contemporary Montreal authors from across the impressive range of our literary scene offer rapid-fire readings from their work. They’ll also create a brand-new literary jewel by adding a line each to a collective text. Hear what Montreal authors are writing – see what Montreal authors can create on the spot – meet some of your favorite poets, novelists, memoirists, and more. The Quebec Writers’ Federation and the Atwater Library are co-hosting this exciting event.

Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 12:30 pm
To mark INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY (three days early), poet Susan Elmslie screens the film Still Waters: The Poetry of P.K. Page, directed by Donald Winkler for the NFB, and leads a discussion about P.K. Page’s work and her life in Montreal.

Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 12:30 pm
Filmmaker Donald Winkler screened A Red Carpet for the Sun: The Life of Irving Layton followed by Q&A.

Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 12:30 pm
Writers Bryan Demchinsky and Elaine Kalman Naves engaged in a conversation about Quebec’s great English-language writers of the past.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm
Guy Rodgers, Executive Director of the English-Language Arts Network (ELAN),  moderated a well-attended public consultation and discussion about the AWE project.