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274 Garry St.
(Between Portage
& Graham)

Winnipeg, MB
Canada  R3C 1H3

Tues-Sat 11am-9pm
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Anthology Reading Series

Aqua Books, in conjuction with the Manitoba Writers' Guild, is pleased to present our new fiction series, Anthology. Every month, we bring a trio of Manitoba's most accomplished writers to the stage at Winnipeg's Cultural City Hall. For upcoming Anthology events, click here.

Thursday, February 24/11 7pm

Founders Anthology Reading Series
MWG founder Dave Williamson, with Carolyn Gray and Armin Wiebe

Dave WilliamsonDave Williamson is the author of four novels, The Bad Life, Shandy, Running Out, and Weddings, and a collection of short stories, Accountable Advances. He also wrote the memoir Author! Author! Encounters with Famous Writers. He collaborated with Carol Shields on the stage play Anniversary and co-edited an anthology of fiction, essays and poetry called Beyond Borders. For many years, he was Dean of Business and Applied Arts at Red River College, where he founded the Creative Communications program. He was President of the Manitoba Writers' Guild 1986-89 and Chair of The Writers' Union of Canada 1992-93. His latest short story, Harassment, appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of Prairie Fire and he has a new novel forthcoming from Turnstone Press.

Carolyn GrayCarolyn Gray is a Winnipeg writer, actor, director, designer, and puppeteer. She is a founding member of Adhere and Deny Object Puppet Theatre, helmed by Grant Guy. Her full-length play, The Elmwood Visitation, was produced by Theatre Projects Manitoba in 2007 and won the Manitoba Day Award for excellence in archival research. Catarinetta was produced by the MTYP Junior Company the following year. North Main Gothic, premiered this April with Theatre Projects Manitoba. Gray was the 2008 winner of the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer.

Armin WiebeArmin Wiebe is celebrated for his beloved, lexicon expanding Gutenthal novels The Salvation of Yasch Siemens, Murder in Gutenthal and The Second Coming of Yeeat Schpanst. He is also the winner of the McNally Robinson Manitoba Book of the Year Award and the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction for his novel Tatsea. Armin's play, The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz, will premiere in April as a part of Theatre Projects Manitoba's 2010-2011 season.

Thursday, May 20/10 7pm

Anthology Reading Series
Rosie Chard, with Alex Merrill and Hedy Heppenstall

Rosie ChardRosie Chard is a writer and designer who was born and grew up in London, England. After studying anthropology and ecology she later qualified as a landscape architect and practised in London and Copenhagen. She emigrated to Canada in 2005 and now lives in Winnipeg where she divides her time between writing and garden design. Her first novel, Seal Intestine Raincoat, was published by NeWest Press in 2009.

Alex MerrillAlex Merrill is a writer living in Winnipeg who has written way more than she has had published. It’s a good thing she likes the writing part! Some of her short stories have made it into Prairie Fire and Event, and a couple of others have appeared in the anthologies A/Cross Sections: New Manitoba Writing, and Creekstones: Words and Images. She’s working on something longer now and wonders when it will be finished.

Hedy HeppenstallHedy Heppenstall lives in Winnipeg and works as a Public Health Nurse and a writer. Her short stories have appeared in Prairie Fire, Rhubarb and A/Cross Sections: New Manitoba Writing. She's thrilled to have been working with a mentor through the Manitoba Writers' Guild Mentorship Program in recent months.

Saturday, March 27/10 7pm

Anthology Reading Series
Todd Besant, with Melissa Steele and Brenda Hasiuk

Todd BesantTodd Besant works and volunteers in Winnipeg's arts community. His writing has been published in subTerrain, Contemporary Verse 2, Front & Centre and Prairie Fire. He is writing a novella with a working title that is untenable.

Melissa SteeleMelissa Steele is the Winnipeg-based author of two award-winning short story collections, Donut Shop Lovers (Turnstone Press, 1999) and Beautiful Girl Thumb (Turnstone Press, 2006). Melissa won the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Writer in 2000 and Beautiful Girl Thumb received the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction in 2007. Melissa is working on a third collection of stories and teaches Creative Writing at the University of Manitoba.

Brenda HasiukBrenda Hasiuk has spent the last decade working in communications for a variety of non-profit organizations while writing fiction in her spare time. Her award-winning short stories have been published in a number of literary journals and anthologies, and her first novel, Where the Rocks Say Your Name... (Thistledown Press) was published in 2006. She's currently working on another one.

Thursday, February 25/10 7pm

Anthology Reading Series
Roewan Crowe, with Courtney Slobogian and Chandra Mayor

Roewan CroweTransdisciplinary artist Roewan Crowe is energized by acts of disruption and discovery. Her conceptually driven practice explores the multilayered relationships among words, images and experiences of trauma. She is Assistant Professor in the Women's and Gender Studies Department at the University of Winnipeg and Academic Director of The Institute for Women's & Gender Studies. She is currently working on an experimental novel.

Courtney SlobogianCourtney Slobogian was born in Winnipeg and likes it that way. She is a writer / understated activist / irreverent feminist. Some of her work can be tracked down in quiet corners of the internet. She co-hosts a radio show on CKUW called Tiger Lilies are Poisonous and dislikes cotton socks. She wrote a thesis once.

Chandra MayorChandra Mayor is a Winnipeg writer, editor, and shop girl. She is the award-winning author of three books, including the short story collection All the Pretty Girls (Conundrum Press, 2008), which was the recipient of the Lambda Award for Lesbian Fiction.

Saturday, January 30/10 7pm

Anthology Reading Series
Joan Thomas, with Faith Johnston and Christina Penner

Joan ThomasJoan Thomas was a regular book reviewer for the Globe and Mail for many years. She is the co-editor (with Heidi Harms) of the short fiction anthology Turn of the Story: Canadian Short Fiction on the Eve of the Millennium. Reading by Lightning, Joan’s first novel, won the First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book (Canada and the Caribbean), and was chosen as Manitoba's On the Same Page title for 2009. Joan’s second novel, Curiosity, will be published in April 2010 by McClelland and Stewart.

Faith JohnstonFaith Johnston was born in Manitoba and grew up in Winnipeg. She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba and has a master's degree in women's studies from Carleton University in Ottawa. She has lived in India, the United States, Ottawa, France and Honduras. In 1992 she returned to Winnipeg and began to write short fiction. Her recent biography, A Great Restlessness: The Life and Politics of Dorise Nielsen (University of Manitoba Press, 2006), won several awards, including the 2007 McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award.

Christina PennerChristina Penner has lived in Saskatchewan, California and Manitoba. She holds degrees in Biology and Literature, including a MA from the University of Manitoba. Currently (and unexpectedly) she teaches in the Computer Science department at the University of Manitoba.  Widows of Hamilton House (Enfield & Wizenty, 2008) is her first novel. Between teaching students about loops and logic she is working on a second novel about an architect who is compelled to build a secret room.

Thursday, December 10/09 7pm

Anthology Reading Series
Jordan Wheeler, with Trevor Greyeyes and Katherena Vermette

Jordan WheelerFrom the Charles Gordon First Nation (Southern Plains Cree), Jordan Wheeler has been writing professionally since 1982 and working in film and television since 1984. An author (Brothers In Arms, Just A Walk) and columnist (Winnipeg Free Press, Weetamah), Wheeler’s focus since 1992 has been scriptwriting, story editing and show running for television drama including the award winning series North of 60, The Rez and He’s been nominated for numerous awards including three Geminis. He won one, but still smarts at losing to Paul Haggis in ’94.

Trevor GreyeyesBetter known as a freelance journalist/columnist within the Aboriginal community, Trevor Greyeyes, a registered citizen with Peguis First Nation, is working hard to change that with his short story writing and poetry. His work explores the contemporary urban Aboriginal experience using a wry sense of humour to explore themes of Aboriginal identity and the changing roles of Aboriginal people in society.

Katherena VermetteKatherena Vermette is a Metis writer of poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared in several literary magazines and compilation, and she has been a member of the Aboriginal Writers Collective since 2004. Vermette lives, works and plays in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her likes include, puppy dogs, rainbows and hanging out with preschoolers all day; dislikes include, mean people, windy days and bad grammar.

Thursday, November 12/09 7pm

Anthology Reading Series
Allan Levine, with Doug Whiteway and Karen Dudley

Allan LevineAllan Levine is a diverse author who moves easily between popular non-fiction and fiction. He has written eleven books including Coming of Age: A History of the Jewish People of Manitoba (2009), The Devil in Babylon: Fear of Progress and the Birth of Modern Life(2005) and Scattered Among the Peoples: The Jewish Diaspora in Ten Portraits (2002) — also published in an expanded version in the United States and the U.K. He has also recently launched his second historical mystery series, The Charles St. Clair Chronicles. The first book in the series Evil of the Age was published in Canada in May 2008. Set in New York City in 1871, it features journalist Charles St. Clair in an engaging tale about political corruption, abortion and murder. This is in addition to his trilogy of historical mysteries featuring his turn-of-the-century Winnipeg detective Sam Klein. Two of these mysteries — The Blood Libel (Winner of the Margaret McWilliams Medal for Best Historical Fiction and nominated for the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Arthur Ellis First Mystery Novel Award in 1998) and Sins of the Suffragette (nominated for the Carol Shields City of Winnipeg Book of the Year) — have been published in Germany by BTB-Random House Germany.

Doug WhitewayUnder his pseudonym, C.C. Benison, Doug Whiteway has written three mystery novels set in England — Death at Buckingham Palace, Death at Sandringham House, and Death at Windsor Castle, as well as a mystery novel set in Winnipeg — Death in Cold Type. His work has been published in Canada, the United States and (in translation) in Japan, Germany, and Spain, and has been nominated for numerous awards. A former magazine editor and writer, he was most lately writer-in-residence at the Winnipeg Public Library.

David EliasKaren Dudley is a scribbler of words, a procrastinator of work, a maker of soaps, and (so her editor informs her) a composer of sentences with often misplaced, commas. She is also a mum, which is more work than all the above put together (great perks though!). She has written four mysteries featuring environmental consultant Robyn Devara, as well as a short stack of wildlife biology books for kids. She is currently working on her fifth novel, which has absolutely nothing to do with any of her others.

Friday, October 30/09 7pm

Anthology Reading Series
Susie Moloney, with David Elias and Michael Van Rooy

Susie MoloneySusie Moloney is the author of three best-selling works of the supernatural, Bastion Falls, A Dry Spell, and The Dwelling. Her next novel, B*tches, will be released by Random House in 2010. She is currently writing her next novel, and will be writing the screenplay adaptation of The Dwelling.

David EliasDavid Elias is the author of four books of fiction, most recently Waiting For Elvis, a novel. His short stories and poetry have appeared in literary magazines and anthologies across the country and his work has been nominated for a number of awards. He also spends time as an editor, writer-in-residence, mentor and creative writing instructor, and lives in Winnipeg with his wife, poet Brenda Sciberras.

Michael Van RooyMichael Van Rooy has been a bartender, bouncer, cheese maker and man about town (amongst other things) and now writes full time. His first book, An Ordinary Decent Criminal, was published in 2005 and introduced Monty Haaviko, an ex-thief, ex-burglar, ex-armed robber with a wife and new son who is trying to go straight in a new town. His second book, Your Friendly Neighbourhood Criminal, was published in 2008 and continues Monty’s story. A former Aqua Books Writer-in-Residence, Michael has won the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer (2009), the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book by a Manitoba Writer (2006), and the Manitoba Prison Arts Award (1993). An Ordinary Decent Criminal has been published in Germany as Ein gewohnlicher Verbrecher by Verlagsgruppe Lubbe. It has also been optioned as a film and is currently in pre-production. Michael is married with three children, two dogs, two cats and a gecko.

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