Calgary’s gone book bananas!

WordFest continues Richard Wright politics murder and more

We’re halfway through WordFest but the city is still swarming with internationally acclaimed authors so stay sharp — you might find Kenneth Oppel in line at Second Cup or Meg Tilly walking down Stephen Avenue. There are still some smokin’ literary events lined up this week and I hope to see you all at the Poetry Bash.

Even as WordFest brings writers from around the world to Calgary some of our homegrown talent is spreading the word across the country. The Calgary Slam Team — Shone Abet Möe Clark Kirk Ramdath and Sabo — are off in Halifax representing Calgary in a nation-spanning competition at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. If you’re in the area check out the festival schedule at www.cfsw2007.wordolympics.com. Otherwise send them encouraging hometown vibes!

Welcome to the Garfax. It’s a sleepy village that you won’t find on any maps with a local prophet who steals a boat and floats on the bay for a week radios that speak dark secrets and a shy boy named Oswald who watches it all. William Neil Scott’s debut novel Wonderfull is a magic realist tale of endless rainstorms and dead relatives. Don’t miss his launch at the Auburn Saloon on October 14 7 p.m.

They’re also appearing at WordFest but if you want to get up close and personal with Lynn Coady and Lisa Moore join them for the latest Writers Guild of Alberta event The Craft Process and Business of Writing. The pair of dynamic award-winning authors will share their tips on agents publishers inspiration and the writing life at the Rose and Crown pub on October 15 7 p.m. $5 for WGA members and students $8 for everyone else.

Many people were angered and frustrated when Canada dropped its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol. In Hot Air: Meeting Canada’s Climate Change Challenge Globe and Mail columnist Jeffery Simpson lays out some simple policies — using examples from other countries — that will help Canada reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. You have two chances to meet Simpson on October 16 — first at McNally Robinson at noon then at the Castell Central Library at 7 p.m.

Amber Hayward likes to keep life interesting. By day she manages the Black Cat Guest Ranch hosting murder mystery weekends in the Rockies. By night (or more likely whenever she has a spare moment) she writes the Children of the Panther fantasy series. In the series’ second novel Darkness of the God a psychic child must confront Caldos Moriera the deceitful preacher who murdered her parents. Catch a slice of the action at McNally Robinson on October 16 6 p.m.

Ron Woods knows politics. He’s been a television anchorman a radio news director press secretary to Preston Manning and communications advisor to Stephen Harper. In his new book And God Created Manyberries he brings his shrewd political knowledge to the hamlet of Manyberries (71 kilometres south of Medicine Hat) where the local old-timers gather at the Ranchmen’s Saloon to swap razor-sharp criticisms of government officials. For a real taste of the book join Woods for his launch at the Ranchmen’s Saloon in Manyberries on October 13 2 p.m. If you can’t make the trip head to Pages Books on October 17 7:30 p.m.

Fire tower observers have a lot of time to consider their surroundings. Sharron Stratton in Between Forest and Sky provides a glimpse into the solitary life of the observer. She reads at McNally Robinson on October 18 7 p.m.

It’s Single Onion time again and the group’s latest poetry night features the talents of Leslie Greentree Lori D. Roadhouse and Sabo not to mention visual art by Jon Sasaki and music by Jon McKiel . From slam to short stories the Onions always provide an unpredictable party of wordplay. Join the festivities at the New Gallery’s new location (Eau Claire Market) on October 18 7 p.m.

On a trip to England to visit his sick daughter James Hillyer encounters a man that he hasn’t seen since the Second World War in Quebec. After six decades on his daughter’s deathbed he embarks on a journey through history and memory. Richard Wright winner of both the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award presents his new novel October at the Memorial Park Library on October 18 7 p.m.