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Future Guernica Author Caroline Vu Makes QWF Shortlist for her Debut Novel Palawan Story

The shortlist for the Quebec Writers’ Federation Awards is out and soon-to-be-Guernica-author Caroline Vu made the list for the Best First Book Award. Her first book, Palawan Story (published by Deux Voiliers), is up for the award.

Although Caroline Vu’s debut novel is being described as this year’s biggest underdog story, it is a strong contender with its gripping narrative and captivating writing.

Palawan Story follows the journey of Kim Nguyen, a young girl whose mother put her on a crowded fishing boat so that she could escape the Vietnam War. After a harrowing journey across the sea, Kim arrives at a refugee camp in the Philippines, where she is sent to the United States for adoption in a case of mistaken identity. Her story continues as Kim, now an adult, returns to Palawan to piece together the missing parts of her journey and family.

Caroline Vu is a family doctor, and has also published several articles and stories in the Tico Times, Geneva Times, Medical Post, Doctor’s Review, Toronto Star, and The Gazette. She was born in Vietnam and her childhood was spent in Saigon during the peak years of the Vietnam War, before leaving Vietnam for the United States and then eventually moving to Canada. Her second book, That Summer in Provincetown, is scheduled for publication by Guernica Editions.

The Quebec Writers’ Federation Awards will take place on Tuesday, November 18th at the Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre (2490 Notre Dame St. W). There will be a cocktail dinatoire at 6:30 p.m., with the award ceremony starting at 8 p.m. Tickets for the gala are $50 for the gala and cocktail dinatoire ($40 for full-time students), and $20 for the ceremony only ($10 for full-time students). For more information call 514-933-0878. This year’s Gala honours “Great Women of Words” Maya Angelou, Mavis Gallant and Alice Munro.

To read the full article, you can visit The Gazette website at:

For the full shortlist, you can visit the QWF website at:

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Stan Rogal at Grey Borders

After WordsStan Rogal will be reading from his work on October 24th at the Niagra Artists Centre. The reading will be part of the Grey Borders Reading Series,  and will include performances by Karen Enns and Stevie Howell.

Stan Rogal was born in Vancouver and has resided in Toronto for 25 years. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies in Canada, the US and Europe, some in translation. He has published 19 books, including four novels, four story and 11 poetry collections. He is also a produced playwright and the artistic director of Bulletproof Theatre.

The idea for the collection After Words, Stan Rogal’s latest collection of poetry, was to offer a tip of the hat to people whose lives and/or works have influenced him. Each piece is forwarded by a short background story as well as an epigram which provides some descriptive entry and flavour. The key was to construct these pieces in the author’s own style and voice and not fall into simple mimicry. Many names have been encrypted into the pieces as fractured homonyms, a sort of pun for the astute reader.

When: 7pm October 24, 2014

Where: 354 Paul St, St Catherines.

After Words is available on the Guernica website at:

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Rosemary Clewes Talks Inspiration and Overcoming Writer’s Block with Open Book Toronto

Rosemary ClewesRosemary Clewes spoke with Open Book Toronto on September 25th, and in her interview, she talked about inspiration, education, and negotiating writer’s block. She recounts the moment when she decided to become a poet:

“We camped on the shore at St. Mary’s Bay just five miles from Cortez Island in the Canadian West.” Clewes recalls, “The salal grew so thickly by the shore as to be impenetrable. Thus we were left with twenty feet of beach and the tide coming in… We moved the fire inland a tad, and by the light of the moon and blazing stars, [our kayaking instructor] began to read from Mary Oliver’s “New and Selected Poems”. It was then that I decided to become a poet.”

Of course, Clewes’ story does not end there. She also discusses quick, non-stop prose ‘blasts’, which she uses to overcome writer’s block, and how poetry was included in the curriculum when she went to school.

Paper Wings, Clewes’ latest collection, is a collection of poems in five parts, seen through the lens of history, geography, familial loss and celebration. Whether travelling by icebreaker, kayak or on foot, or weaving memory into new landscapes of the heart, these poems incline to the marvellous and metaphysical. Each asks in different ways the question: “Where is home?” The conclusion: Home is found within our selves and without, anywhere, anytime.

Toronto poet Rosemary Clewes is the author of two books: Thule Explorer: Kayaking North of 77 Degrees (2008) and Once Houses Could Fly: Kayaking North of 79 Degrees (2012). In 2005, she was nominated by The Malahat Review for The National Magazine Awards and, in 2006, a finalist in the CBC Literary Awards. She has made seven trips to the Arctic, travelling by kayak, raft and icebreaker.

To read the full interview, you can visit Open Book at:

Paper Wings is available on the Guernica website at:

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Henry Beissel Winning Awards, Going on Tour, and Inspiring Future Generations of Writers

Henry BeisselThe Ottawa Book Awards and Prix du livre d’Ottawa recognize the top English and French books published in the previous year and this year Henry Bissel’s Fugitive Horizons made the list.

Beissel’s poetry collection is among the finalists for the fiction prize, which will be awarded October 22nd at 8pm at the Shenkman Arts Centre. The event is open to the public and all are welcome.

But that’s not all Henry Beissel is up to at the moment. His latest book, Coming to Terms with a Child and its counterpart, Ein Kind Kommt zur Sprache, are going to be published in a bilingual edition by the University of Marburg before the end of the year.

Beissel has also just returned from a tour with talks and readings at universities in Poland and Germany. Next September, he will return to give the keynote address at a literary conference at the University of Augsburg, followed by another tour, the fourth in as many years.

Finally, it was also recently announced that a Henry Beissel Award for graduate students in Creative Writing has been established at the University of Toronto.

Henry Beissel is an award-winning poet, playwright, essayist, translator and editor with more than thirty publications to his credit, including twenty volumes of poetry. His work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. His first book of poetry was New Wings for Icarus, the very first book published by Coach House Press in 1966. His most recent collection is Seasons of Blood, published in 2011 by Buschekbooks. He lives in Ottawa with his wife, artist Arlette Francière.

Fugitive Horizons takes the reader on a mind-blowing journey across the known micro- and macrocosms to the extreme outer edges of space and time. The counter-intuitive insights of modern science here become reality as we are led to question the representations of our senses. Quantum physics and cosmic relativity, captured in the intimacy of the prevailing sonnet form, create a dynamic challenging the reader to reaffirm the human world in the face of the unknowable.

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Michael Mirolla Awarded F.G. Bressani Literary Prize; Short Story to be Published in The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir

michaelMichael Mirolla has been awarded the F.G. Bressani Literary Prize for his latest book of poetry, The House on 14th Avenue.

The Signature Editions book is “about paired and shared lives, featuring two people whose connection sometimes seemed forced and uneven. That of master and slave. That of trembling and acceptance. Some of the poems detail each individually, a scraping together of momentary identities; others bring them together as they embark on journeys both physical and psychic.”

The F.G. Bressani Prize recognizes the best in Italian-Canadian literature, poetry, and short fiction. It is named after the writer whose book,  Breve Relatione (Brief Relation), is considered to be the first Italian-Canadian literary work. This year’s winners also include Darlene Madott (fiction), Eufemia Fantetti (short fiction), and David Macfarlane (Italian themes).

Not only will Mirolla be receiving his award on November 6th at the Italian Cultural Centre, he is also looking forward to the publication of his latest short story in The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir.

The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir, edited by Claude Lalumière and featuring the work of authors Corey Redekop, Joel Thomas Hynes, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and Chadwick Ginther among many others, explores the whole spectrum of the noir esthetic. It explores its hardboiled home in crime fiction; its grim forays into horror, fantasy, and surrealism; its dystopian shadows in science fiction; its mixture of desire and corruption in erotica; its stark nihilism in literary realism. It tells the stories of several twisted characters in Canada and elsewhere.

Novelist, short story writer, poet and playwright, Michael Mirolla’s publications include a punk-inspired novella, The Ballad of Martin B.; three novels: Berlin (a Bressani Prize winner and recently translated into Latvian); The Facility, which features among other things a string of cloned Mussolinis; and The Giulio Metaphysics III, a novel/linked short story collection wherein a character named “Giulio” battles for freedom from his own creator; two short story collections: The Formal Logic of Emotion (translated into Italian as La logica formale delle emozioni) and Hothouse Loves & Other Tales; and three collections of poetry: Light and Time, the English-Italian bilingual Interstellar Distances – Distanze Interstellari, and The House on 14th Avenue. His short story, “A Theory of Discontinuous Existence,” was selected for The Journey Prize Anthology, featuring the year’s 10 best short stories, while another short story, “The Sand Flea,” was nominated for the US Pushcart Prize.

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Nancy-Gail Burns Talks about her Experience for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Nancy-Gail BurnsOctober is breast cancer awareness month. It is a time to fundraise, a time to raise awareness, and a time to talk about a disease that author Nancy-Gail Burns is all too familiar with. Recently, Burns sat down with the Ottawa Citizen to talk about her experience.

“I don’t think too many diseases have the impact cancer does. There are all these silly little thoughts that go through your head, and I wanted to share that ‘Hey, it’s OK if you go a little crazy.’”

What Nancy shared was her experience battling breast cancer, which she eventually turned into her memoir, Hard Lumps.

Nancy is no stranger to writing. Her first book, a psychological thriller, was published in 2013 and the second installment of the series is scheduled for publication by Whiskey Creek Press. She’s also currently toiling away at two other books, Broken Pieces and Chickens and Hens.

Originally, she had written about her breast cancer in journal entries, but then decided on publishing her memoir so that her story could help others battling breast cancer. The final result is a poignant yet humorous journey through one off the most devastating diseases around today.

“Blank pages draw emotions and thoughts from me. Black words on the white pages are concrete, organized and substantial. They are stronger and bolder than me. Hard Lumps was cathartic. Writing lanced fears and absorbed frustrations. When the last page was written I was ready to tuck it away in a drawer. Suddenly I saw empty chairs filling a waiting room, women rushing forth, and bad news descending in a cloud. I pulled the book from the drawer, but became tentative. Exposing preposterous thoughts and fears seemed unwise and rather terrifying. If this little book can touch one person and help them in their battle with cancer I don’t mind revealing my imperfections. For ultimately aren’t our flaws what make us human?”

To read the full article, you can visit the Ottawa Citizen at:

Hard Lumps is available on the Guernica website at:

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I Found it at the Movies Taking Over St. John’s October 18th


What: Group Reading/Newfoundland Launch of I Found It at the Movies: An Anthology of Film Poems edited  by Ruth Roach Pierson (Guernica Editions, 2014)

Where: Quidi Vidi Brewery

Time: Saturday, October 18, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.


Jacqueline Bourque

Mark Callanan

Sue Chenette

Beth Follett reading Souvankham Thammavongsa

Cynthia French reading Elizabeth Greene

Don McKay

Ruth Roach Pierson

Gerald Squires reading Michael Ondaatje

Deborah-Anne Tunney

Patrick Warner


I.e. if you are in St. John’s, you should go. This is going to be amazing.

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John O’Neill Shortlisted for HarperCollins/UBC Prize

Congratulations to Guernica author John O’Neill (Fatal Light Awareness)! John has made the shortlist for the HarperCollins Canada/UBC’s Best New Fiction award, a prize for unpublished manuscripts by students and graduates of the University of British Columbia’s creative writing program. The winner, to be announced on October 24th at the Vancouver Writers Fest, will receive a book deal with HarperCollins Canada and literary representation with The Cooke Agency.

Posted in Awards, News.

Peter Carravetta Reading at Wake Forest


Peter Carravetta, D’Amato Professor of Italian Studies at
Stony Brook University, NY, will be at Wake Forest to read from his latest poetry collection, The Other Lives. He is the author of six books of criticism, and seven books of poetry, including The Sun and Other Things (Guernica) and Existenz (Adam Press).

Date: October 9
Time: 4:30 pm
Venue: DeTamble Auditorium, Wake Forest University

Posted in Events, Launches, Poetry.

Get On Board The Voyageur Kickstarter Campaign


Some Guernica firsts! Our first graphic novel. Our first Kickstarter campaign. Thanks to the efforts of writer Jeffrey Sturge and illustrator Nick Marinkovich, Guernica is extremely thrilled to be the publisher for The Voyageur, a 74-page graphic novel set in the 17th century. Jeff and Nick are in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to help fund this project. Check out the campaign and the video at The campaign closes on Oct. 19.


Posted in News, Promotions.