By Pam Clark
The Calgary Arts Community is a vibrant evolving group of writers, artists and supporters. There are opportunities at every turn whether it be volunteering or participating as an audience in a diverse array of events. As a writer, I believe in the power of the written word to unify us. I was thrilled to be a volunteer with the Writers’ Guild of Alberta’s conference in June and felt the power of community throughout the conference. There is mutual support, respect and understanding that is heartwarming.
Organizations have opened their doors for Kalyna these last few months including: Calgary Academy where I was honored to speak with and inspired by Grade 7 students engaged in a study of Social Justice. Tami Grondines, Event Guru from Chapters Indigo at Cross Iron Mills invited me to Book Club which was such a wonderful evening. I took a road trip West to Carbon Alberta where I learned historical events still impact lives today and to Drumheller Public Library where I met a modern day Kalyna and Wasyl, a young couple ready to begin their family in Drumheller. I shared Kalyna it is true, but their sharing of the immigrant experience in 2018 impacted me greatly.
Writers supporting writers is vital and, together, with two of my favorite writer friends, D.K. Stone and Lisa Murphy Lamb, we shared our books with a great crowd at Shelf Life Books in Calgary. What a brilliant kick off to the summer.
This writing camaraderie has extended into a wonderful project beginning this Fall. The Shoe Project is the project initiated by Katherine Govier. It pairs women who are newcomers to Canada with writers. The culminating project is a performance of their personal journeys. I am honored to be joining his project which will be based in Canmore, Bow Valley.
Experience Alberta! Embrace the enduring neighbourly spirit here, akin to that of Wasyl land Katja’s bloc community. The power is alive and well.
**I want to give credit to rug hooker Cheryl Bridger whose incredible piece stole th show at Art Oasis, Calgary Stampede this year! **
As the snow continues to fall today, I am grateful this is part of the ever-changing seasons we experience and that means Spring is coming soon. ACUA Arts has just published their amazing course list for Spring and events are popping up such as the first Edmonton Ukrainian Festival in May!
In January, I had the honour of attending the ZABAVA of Calgary dance troupe, Tryzub. Link: http://tryzub.ca What a celebration of family, community and culture as folk stories were retold through incredible dance and artistic expression. I was moved by the commitment to excellence and was honoured to share Kalyna as part of the silent auction for this event.
This month, I was thrilled to be asked to join a book club out of Toronto by Face Time. How wonderful that Kalyna is moving across Canada. Our conversation inevitably led to the sharing of personal family narratives and the stories we carry within us.
In March, I will be at Chapters-Indigo Book Club at Cross Iron Mills in Calgary. I am excited to engage in conversation about the history and present relevance of Kalyna in our complex and diverse world.
I will be continuing East in April to the Village of Carbon Library and Drumheller Library on April 21st. I will be presenting "History Unbound" as well as reading Kalyna and look forward to the community conversations very much.
The New Year is often a time for new beginnings and many of my friends say they want to develop their hobbies, their interests, more this year. I say, Go for it!"
Living creatively is instinctive and I hope you will find your outlet, your media to express yourself this year, be it music, art, writing or at the gym. We are all connected and offer a fabulous community of support to each other.
In six months, we will be a part of the Wild Rose Tri-It in support of YWCA Sheriff King Home, sheltering women and children and helping them to rebuild their lives. Rebuilding lives means rebuilding confidence and that feeling of value to yourself and to others. Giving back to the community provides us with an incredible foundation upon which to build. If you want to join us: go to -
www.wildrosetriathlon.ca to register today.
Believe that anything is possible in 2018. We are a world connected by our common humanity. Let this year be one of hope and moving forward.
See you at the starting line. We all have to begin somewhere!
Signed copies of Kalyna are ready to ship to Canadian addresses just in time for the holiday season. Prices are $18.00 for each signed and personalized copy as you request. There is a $5.00 shipping charge to addresses in Canada. International orders, please contact for shipping details. Payment will be through e-transfer. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
The vibrancy of Autumn colour envelops us, engages and sometimes enrages the senses as it signals darker mornings, sift of frost on the windows and foggy dusk light. Seasons are transformative in so many ways.
As a street poet for People's Poetry Festival, this September, I felt the intimate connection and power of words. Sharing inner stories with an active audience, I participated as a reader and audience member. Through song, pop up poetry, slams and spoken work, this festival transformed my writing this month.
Kalyna was honoured with a nomination for Trade Paperback with The Book Publishers Association of Alberta awards this September and my daughter and I attended the ceremony in Edmonton. We loved rubbing elbows with such acclaimed authors as Beth Everest ( Poet) and Lauralyn Chow ( Paper Teeth) and I stood in awe of the vibrant writing community we are a part of. I am so proud to announce Stonehouse Publishing won the Emerging Publisher's Award!
Stonehouse will also be launching their newest books in Calgary at St. Stephen's Church on Friday, October 20th. Tickets are free on Event brite and it promises to be a wonderful evening showcasing Community builder Lisa Murphy-Lamb's new novel, Jesus By the Dashboard . See you there.
Please come by and say Hi at the Chapters Indigo Cross Iron Mills event on Sunday, October 22nd. There will be many authors including fellow Stonehouse author, Danika Stone, and I greeting readers at this wonderful event.
November tis the season for Christmas Festivals, and Lisa and I will be donning our warmest clothing for our outdoor table at Warner Stables in Banff for the Banff Christmas Faire. Please visit our table for pre-wrapped copies of our novels, felted soaps and miniature paska for your holiday pleasure.
May the season fill your senses with deep reading and journeys to places that transform you.
May 26th marked many milestones for our family including Kalyna being chosen as the EXPORTING ALBERTA AWARD WINNER at the Canadian Author's Association Dinner in Edmonton. What a true honour and I am committed to spreading the story of Kalyna Canada wide!
Thank you to Loft 112 for hosting my "Riding the Waves of A Newfoundland Summer" Poetry Readings in July! Loved every minute of sharing this extraordinary province with the audience over lunch.
July also brought another nomination for Kalyna and Stonehouse with a Publishers of Alberta award nomination. Awards are September 15th in Edmonton!
August 11-13th, I had the opportunity to join When Words Collide for their stellar conference with participation on two panels and one presentation highlighting Kalyna and the use and reference of historical artifacts and archives. It was amazing! Participants were provided with archival photographs and the writing that came from this was inspiring!
August 15th: I received my issue of PROMIN featuring Kalyna and am just in awe of the wonderful celebration of Ukrainian culture and profiles this magazine provides to our community. Thank you!
September 9th is PEOPLE'S POETRY in East Village and I welcome you to join me for a workshop in Found Poetry leaving from Bakery! Please contact me if you wish more details.
Although summer is ending, I wish you all continued sunshine, light and hope.
From the Atlantic to the Pacific, I am so proud to be Canadian.
Thrilled and very humbled to announce that Kalyna has been long-listed for the EPL Reader's Choice Awards for Alberta. Visit the EPL website for more information.
The following titles represent the Long List for the 2017 Alberta Readers' Choice Award. The top five finalists will be unveiled one day at a time via Facebook and Twitter starting in April. The public will be able to vote for the winner starting on Tuesday, July 4th.
Art Lessons by Katherine Koller
Enfield & Wizenty
Fifty Percent of Mountaineering is Uphill
by Susanna Pfisterer
Gatekeeper by Natasha Deen
Great Plains Teen Fiction
Kalyna by Pam Clark
Paper Teeth by Lauralyn Chow
Rising Abruptly by Gisele Villeneuve
University of Alberta Press
Rodent by Lisa J. Lawrence
Orca Book Publishers
Shift by Kelly Shepherd
Son of France by Todd Babiak
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Waking Anastasia by Timothy Reynolds
Tyche Books Ltd
In addition, Kalyna will be available at the Capital City Press Festival on Saturday, May 20th at the Old Strathcona Performing Arts Center in Edmonton. I am so honoured to have Kalyna beside the works of these wonderful authors.
On May 26th, fellow Stonehouse author will read from Kalyna at the Canadian Author's Association event for the Exporting Alberta Awards Ceremony.
Thank you for your emails. Kalyna is still going strong with readers in Calgary and in Winnipeg! Thank you for all of your support!
One year ago, Stonehouse Publishing launched five books, authored by people I am now honored to call friends: Melanie Kerr, Danika Stone, Doug Morrison and N. R. Cruse. They are all so supportive and affirming and this journey has been delightful because of them and the readers I have met along the way. Thank you to Netta and Julie for believing in us and our work!
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, " Life is a journey, not a destination..."
There was no destination in mind when I wrote Kalyna except to share the story of my ancestors with my family. Since then, the family circle for Kalyna has widened considerably encompassing many readers across Alberta and Canada including fellow authors. Kalyna has reached overseas through the efforts of many readers and friends and the emails I receive are treasured for their honesty and personal connection to the history, hope and forgiveness that is Kalyna.
The journey continues as book clubs continue to embrace Kalyna and I am honoured to attend two clubs this week to share the process of writing and share in discussion about issues in the novel and of our time. And so, I think it must be book clubs that propel our books to the list above, one year later, maybe not timeless, but Kalyna is timely and I hope to engage with more readers as the months continue. Thank you and let's celebrate ONE YEAR TOGETHER!
I am a mother. I am a teacher. I am a writer. I am a reader.
I absolutely love teaching, long to find the treasured time to write and relish in reading, escaping into a novel, scouring the Globe and Mail for articles of interest and craving poetry that makes me close my eyes and visualize the moment being captured.
These are turbulent times, when good writing matters immensely. Our stories are what will sustain us and bring us peace of mind. I want to share the last 4 books I have read as inspiration for what sustains me: Conclave by Richard Harris, The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and 100 Days by Juliane Okot Bitek. I could go back farther and each book of fiction or poetry would have similar connections. Literature and Poetry engage the psyche of human nature in a profound way and teach us empathy. This I firmly believe.
100 Days is a book of poetry I first picked up at the Writer's Guild of AB Conference in Calgary last year. Each poem is thought provoking and life energizing. These are poems which emerged from the experience of the Rwandan genocide and when I first opened the book, I read," There's no denying these haunted days are not necessarily days of grey -there are flowers everywhere- beauty is always undeniable" Each poem is so beautiful, heartfelt and moving. You can read one in its 8 - 10 lines and feel like it is expressing the sentiment of one's lifetime. These are moving poems and a gift to our collection of literature.
Conclave is a fictional account of the conclave choosing the next pope. The underlinings of such an undertaking are revealed in this behind the scenes look at the secrets of the papacy. Richard Harris brings to light the conflict within each human being, and within the confines of a group mentality. It questions what is right and what is important and what does the world need now? The ending is enlightened.
Homegoing begins in Ghana and soon stretches to London and America as two babies live diverge into different worlds within our world. Absolutely stunning and poetic writing from Yaa Gyasi make this a journey of "what if's?" It gives us pause for thought about how where we are born and when we are born defines us.....or does it.....or does it have to?
The Lonely Hearts Hotel has had such mixed reviews that I want to give it a shout out as another achievement for Heather O'Neill. She braves issues that are untouchable and inconceivable in their brutality but there is always a silver lining. Find the silver lining, the space within us that endures. She somehow manages to weave a lifelong friendship with humour, tragedy, danger and revelation of the seedy underbelly of big city life in Montreal and New York City all at the same time. It is a novel of our time for accepting the past and moving forward with courage and conviction.
I love history, art and literature and bring all three to my writing and teaching. I believe in the power of story and encourage you to share your own story.