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On Tour Blog

April 13, 2011

Lower Mainland Tour About to Begin!
Posted by Kristie Cropley

Tomorrow marks the first day of the Lower Mainland Leg of the BC Book Prizes On Tour 2011.  As the Tour Driver for this leg, I am really excited! 

I have been reading about the adventures of the authors up North and can’t wait to get on the road with Meredith Quartermain and Sylvia Olsen tomorrow.  We will be visiting the communities of New Westminster, Richmond, Langley, and Abbotsford over the next two days.  On Saturday, Sylvia will be joined by Morris Bates and Steven Galloway at Lit Fest New West.

Next week Grant Lawrence will join Sylvia and me to wrap up the tour with readings in Deep Cove, North Vancouver, South Surrey, and White Rock. Come out and meet our authors at one of the five public events!

Filed under: Lower Mainland Leg 2011 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 13, 2011

Our Last Kick at the Can
Posted by Gina McMurchy-Barber

Gina McMurchy-Barber

We drive by night and present by day…such is the life of the author. Okay, maybe a little dramatic, but we have been very busy.

For all the work this tour has been it was made completely delightful by the three gentlemen I’ve been traveling with. They’re all great story tellers, passionate about music, very considerate (me being the only female on the trip) and they all have great humour and we’re laughing almost all the time.

We’re here in Terrace and it’s our last day for presentations. We have schools here to do this morning and then down to Kitimat for afternoon school presentations and the library. This is my first efforts and being a blogger and I don’t know if I’m hooked on it, but I’m glad I’ve now tried it and know how! Here’s to one last good day.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 12, 2011

The Kids are Alright
Posted by Stephen Collis

Stephen Collis

Yesterday was the marathon: readings at schools in Prince George in the morning, then in Quesnel in the afternoon, followed by the Quesnel Library in the evening. I think we held up pretty good—certainly Gina and Gary had their audience enthralled at the library—THEY don’t seem to be tiring!

I’m enjoying the schools most of all. The kids have been amazing, listening to all the noise and chaos I’m offering, the cranky poems about the death-grip we have on this planet, and asking great questions. Two at least have identified themselves as poets (they wore fedoras, like me—was there a memo? Is this the uniform now?), and I read one of their poems—Nick, at Quesnel Secondary—aloud to the class. It cooked. I hope they stay in touch.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 10, 2011

Having a great time
Posted by Gina McMurchy-Barber

Gina McMurchy-Barber

It’s the end of day four of our tour and even the rain hasn’t put a damper on this wonderful experience. It’s so beautiful up here in the north and we’ve met so many people who are both warm and enthusiastic.

Some of the highlights for me so far include our presentation at the museum in Prince Rupert Friday evening, stopping at ‘Ksan village on Saturday, and getting a great turn out of teachers and students at the Books & Company reading last night.

The museum is styled like a longhouse and the first thing I noticed upon entering was the scent of cedar. It was serene and beautiful inside. But the best part was the room where we held our reading. It overlooked the bay and had an unusual three piece totem. As for ‘Ksan, I’ve wanted to visit this place ever since I first read about it nearly twenty years ago. Unfortunately it was closed, but we were still able to walk around the outside and admire all the buildings and totems.

Today was a nice slow day here in Prince George and I even got to sleep in…or rather I thought I was sleeping in. After what felt like a really long and self-indulgent sleep I got up to discover it was only 8:00 a.m. Tomorrow we’ve got two schools and an evening presentation in Quesnel.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 10, 2011

Exquisite Flogging
Posted by Gary Kent

Gary Kent

As Schroeder would say, “you are about to be flogged through the fleet” when I informed him that I was about to head north.

Three days later I haven’t been flogged yet but after a 6 hour drive from Terrace a mix of exhaustion and anxiety set in before our presentation at Books and Company. However as always the anxiety was a poignant signal that all would be well and that Stephen, Gina and I would sparkle away in front of about 30 folks of all ages who were there to accept anything we gave them.

Stephan was a touch worried that his ‘weird’ poetry might send the children into an altered state and Gina was a wee bit concerned that Ruby’s plight at Woodlands Elementary might be excessively heartrending. I was in a perfect spot to watch the children and they and everyone else were totally immersed in the proceedings. Ruby’s story (I have only heard part of the first chapter or so) is evocative on many levels and Gina’s reading is terrific. I can’t get enough of Stephan’s poetry and superb reading.

There is a groupie or two wherever we go and yes Gub and Puss have a nice little following as well. When I asked whether I should have left Gubby’s pants off during the basking shark incident one little risk averse fellow said a resounding ‘no’. I suspect that he is a spy for the BC Ferries nudity patrol.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 10, 2011

Eagle Returns
Posted by Stephen Collis

Stephen Collis

Arrived in Prince George full of sound and fury (but really just getting tired now).

What sticks in my mind at this point is something that happened in Prince Rupert. I read a poem called “The End of Flight,” which tells the (true!) story of a strange incident: while building a playhouse in my back yard (with fellow poet Jordan Scott), an eagle fell from the sky and landed dead at our feet (omen, anyone?). In Rupert, at the Museum of the North, I was reading this poem with my back to large windows overlooking the harbour. I’m told that as I did so, an eagle flew into view behind me, circled, and then, catching a thermal, spiralled up out of sight. So I guess that eagle is back. Thanks Prince Rupert.

I’m blogging for the first time on this trip. Not sure about this! My wife, however, is the real blogger: check her out (shameless plug, I know, but how else to make up for being away for a week!).

Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 0 Comments | Permalink

April 10, 2011

If it’s Saturday We Must Be In Prince George
Posted by Bryan Pike

Bryan Pike

We had an excellent reading at Books and Company last night here in Prince George. There was a big group out to see the authors including lots of kids. The book store sold out of books and I had to give them some of the books we had with us to keep up the demand. We have a day off today and will start again tomorrow visiting school here in Prince George before heading off to Quesnel in the afternoon.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 1 Comments | Permalink

April 08, 2011

Too Much Hot Chocolate
Posted by Gina McMurchy-Barber

Gina McMurchy-Barber

I’m having a wonderful time here in Prince Rupert….even if it’s cold, raining and I’m on my third mug of hot chocolate. I’ve just come from a presentation at a great school called Lax Kxeen and the 100 or so students were a wonderful audience. One boy even said I was “cool”. You gotta feel good with that kind of compliment. 

Tonight we’re doing a reading at the museum here. It’s a beautiful building and looks like a traditional First Nations longhouse. The two authors I’m with, Gary Kent and Stephen Collis are great travelling partners. I’m learning lots about fishing from Gary (he wrote a picture book called Fishing with Gubby) and getting really ticked off about the tar sands, oil companies and our over consuming society from Stephen (his book of poetry is called On the Material).

Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 2 Comments | Permalink

April 08, 2011

Roaring into Rupert
Posted by Stephen Collis

Stephen Collis

Loving Prince Rupert: it’s like Tofino, minus the rich people. Read at Charles Hays Secondary School—great audience (thanks guys). Best question of the day: ever write a break-up poem? You bet I have! (But it’s been a while, that’s for sure.) I even tried to read it, from memory. I’m sorry about that. Back to railing against oil and mining companies for me!

Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 2 Comments | Permalink

April 08, 2011

Elementary fun
Posted by Gary Kent

Gary Kent

Three gigs so far from Terrace to Prince Rupert. Buckets of clean and crisp Rupert rain. I was up first at Lax Kxeen Elementary with a fine bunch of 8 year-olds of potential gubsters. Gina’s crowd of 80 totally devoted students were a real pleasure to behold and Stephen over at the secondary school wrapped willing teenagers in his beautifully crafted poems. Next up the Museum of Northern BC.

Filed under: Northern Leg 2011 | 1 Comments | Permalink

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