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Aphra Launch at Shelf Life on April 4, 7:30 pm

“All women together ought to lay flowers on the grave of Aphra Behn, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds.” ~Virginia Woolf


Aphra Behn, adventuress, spy, novelist and playwright, defied the popular expectations placed upon seventeenth-century women. For this, the society of her day banished her and her work to oblivion. Her voice was effectively silenced for over 300 years. Few people knew she had ever existed. Aphra opens on Behn writing feverishly at her desk, ill, depressed, close to death, but still indomitable, still ready, one last time, to take on those moral forces eager to suppress her.

Aphra events will address issues of women in theatre.

Rose Scollard will present the book in Calgary at Shelf Life Books on April 4 at 7:30 pm, free admission, light refreshments.   https://www.facebook.com/events/232868127057176/
A live streamed event between Glasgow and Calgary on July 7, 6:30 pm – 8 pm in Glasgow and 11:30 am – 1 pm in Calgary, details tba


Nancy Jo Cullen
is a Toronto writer who has written many stage productions, three poetry books and a story collection, Canary, which won the 2012 Metcalf-Rooke Award. She is the 2010 recipient of the Writer’s Trust Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBT Emerging Writers.

Alexandria Patience 1

Alexandria Patience
is a writer, director, and performer who lives in Scotland. She has a long history of creating performance works and events as an interdisciplinary artist. The Scottish Book Trust selected her as a resident artist for 2016–17.

Rose Scollard

Rose Scollard
is a Calgary writer who has over 30 professional radio and stage productions. Her latest play, I Ain’t so Tough, will premiere with Urban Stories Theatre, Calgary. Tango Noir, a trio of her plays, was published in 2011.

Aphra premiered in 1991 with Maenad Theatre, Calgary, the first woman-centred theatre company in Western Canada. Maenad Theatre was formed by the
authors in 1986 because there were so few opportunities in theatre for women. As Rita Fraticelli reported in Women in Theatre, between 1977 and 1981 only 10 percent of produced playwrights in Canada were women.

In 2016 things have improved for women in theatre, but a recent report by Rebecca Burton, Adding It Up: The Status of Women in Canadian Theatre revealed that only 22 percent of plays produced in the 2013–14 season were by women, 63 percent by men and 15 percent by mixed-gender partnerships.
Besides the drama Aphra, the book includes:
• An interview with the three playwrights conducted by Susan Stone-Blackburn.
• An article by the authors describing their experiences of collectively writing Aphra.
• A history of women’s works produced by Maenad Theatre.

For review copies, excerpt requests, interviews with the playwrights or further information, contact Lyn Cadence at 403-465-2345 or lyn@frontenachouse.com.
For production queries contact agent Caroline Russell-King at 403-238-4477 or via www.carolinerussellking.com.

Aphra Drama, 92 pages
Release date March 1, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-927823-45-3 paperback, $18.95
ISBN: 978-1-927823-46-0 pdf, $9.95
ISBN: 978-1-927823-47-7 html, $9.95

Laurie MacFayden Wins Her SECOND Goldie

Laurie MacFayden has won a Golden Crown Literary Society
Award for Poetry for her book, kissing keeps us afloat.
Her first Golden Crown was awarded for her book,
White Shirt in 2011.

The Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS) is a non-profit,
volunteer organization whose mission is education and the
promotion and recognition of lesbian literature. Their office
is in Dallas, Texas.

2015 Golden Crown Winners

The cover image is a detail from one of the author’s paintings.

Swinging and searing verses, meditative narratives, honky-tonk tunes and catalogues of favoured things (including what lovers bring — or leave behind), all merge to make Kissing Keeps Us Afloat a book for tongues and lips to sing. MacFayden knows painting and music, and she loves words and women. The result is art without limit, craft without regret, and poetry that faces trauma and embraces the erotic.  MacFayden tells us, “some days,” a poet “will swagger home with roses; / some days, she will stagger home with thorns.”  Because her heart and mind are open to hurts and salves, the poet both suffers and exults. She sets her eyes–and sights–directly on bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, beaches, forest glades, motels, streets, and all the passion plays and comedies enacted in these places.  Thus, she shows us that home is where the lover is, and home is where love is born, “hidden … in mitochondrial strands” or even in “the intimate seams of some underthings.”  MacFayden’s poetry is both red-hot and cool-blue, white lies and film noir, memory and truth. In the supposed mundane, she shows us, transcendence awaits.  ~George Elliott Clarke

Open Letter on Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Shortlist

Open Letter cover2015 Alberta Book Publishing Awards Finalists Announced!

The shortlists for the 2015 Alberta Book Publishing Awards have been decided. Jurors from across the country have deliberated on over 70 entries from 9 Alberta publishers, and have selected 24 finalists across 10 categories.

The award recipients will be announced during the Alberta Book Publishing Awards Gala on Friday, September 18, 2015 at Fort Edmonton Park.

Sheri-D Wilson has been shortlisted for The Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award for her collection:

Open Letter: Women Against Violence Against Women