• Aqua Books (1999-2012) is now permanently closed. This site is for posterity only. Thank you for everything.
  • Coming May 2014 -

274 Garry St.
(Between Portage
& Graham)

Winnipeg, MB
Canada  R3C 1H3

Tues-Sat 11am-9pm
Sun-Mon Closed


We accept Interac, Visa and Mastercard too

What people are saying:

And Aqua Books, on Garry St., is one of the craziest, most amusing and well-ordered second-hand bookstores I have ever frequented. Upstairs, in what had been a Chinese restaurant (the panelling and the décor and the kitchen still there) the owner, Kelly Hughes, maintains three studios for writers-in-residence, and the old dining room, complete with stage and fainting couches, is reserved for readings. Walking tours are popular (and a good idea) in the city, and readers can pick up a brochure here for Hughes' BookWalk too. - Noah Richler, Toronto Star


Free Your Mind: The Aqua Books Author Series

A collaboration with The Writers' Collective, each installment in our author series features a different literary genre. The Free Your Mind series is created and coordinated by Winnipeg writer and editor Ariel Gordon. Admission is free.

Free Your Mind: Spousal Support

Monday, Feb 18/08 7:30pm Aqua Books

David Elias/Brenda Sciberras, Warren Cariou/Alison Calder

Valentine's Day a big disappointment? Louis Riel Day still a mystery to you? Join us for one of the last evening events in the cosy old 89 Princess version of Aqua Books. Free Your Mind: Spousal Support features two of Winnipeg's literary power couples: David Elias / Brenda Sciberras and Warren Cariou / Alison Calder.

David EliasWinnipeg author David Elias's short stories, novel excerpts, and poetry have appeared in such journals as Grain, The Malahat Review, and The New Quarterly. His most recent book, Sunday Afternoon (Coteau, 2004), was nominated for the McNally Robinson Book Of The Year Award, the Margaret Laurence Award For Fiction, and the Books In Canada First Novel Award. He has a novel, Waiting for Elvis, forthcoming in the fall.

Brenda SciberrasBrenda Sciberras is an alumnus of the Sage Hill Writing Experience in Saskatchewan and a past participant in the Sheldon Oberman Emerging Writers’ Mentor Program. Her poetry has appeared in The Collective Consciousness, Room of One’s Own and CV2 as well as in the anthology: A Cross Sections: New Manitoba Writing.

Warren CariouWarren Cariou grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan and has worked as a construction worker, a technical writer, and a political aide. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Toronto and now teaches Aboriginal Literature at the University of Manitoba. His first book, The Exalted Company of Roadside Martyrs: Two Novellas (Coteau, 1999), garnered rave reviews, and his memoir Lake of the Prairies won the Drainie-Taylor Prize and was nominated for the Charles Taylor prize.

Alison CalderAlison Calder is the author of one poetry collection, Wolf Tree. Ghost Works, a chapbook that she co-authored with Jeanette Lynes, was launched by JackPine Press in December 2007. She teaches Canadian literature and creative writing at the University of Manitoba.

Free Your Mind: A/Cross Sections

Monday December 17/07 7:30pm Aqua Books

Charlene Diehl, Faith Johnston, Deborah Schnitzer

a/cross sectionsTo celebrate its silver anniversary, the Manitoba Writers’ Guild recently released A/Cross Sections: New Manitoba Writing, edited by founding members Andris Taskans and Kate Bitney.

At 91 contributors, A/Cross Sections offers a little of something for everyone, from poetry to fiction, memoir, drama and even horror.

Charlene DiehlCharlene Diehl is a writer, editor, performer, and the director of THIN AIR, the Winnipeg International Writers Festival. She has published a collection of poetry, lamentations (Trout Lily 1997), two chapbooks and a critical book on Fred Wah. Excerpts in Prairie Fire from a yet unpublished memoir, Out of Grief, Singing, won the 2005 Gold Award for Best Article - Manitoba at the Western Magazine Awards.

Faith JohnstonFaith Johnston was in the Guild's 1995 mentor program. Since then her work has been published in Dropped Threads 2, The New Quarterly, Prairie Fire, Other Voices, and A Room of One's Own. Her first book, A Great Restlessness: The Life and Politics of Dorise Nielsen (University of Manitoba Press 2006), won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction, the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book and the Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher.

Deborah SchnitzerDeborah Schnitzer is happy she found her way here and appreciates the opportunity this collection makes possible. The selection "a rose" in A/Cross Sections has a central character called Gertrude, a complex in Deborah's writing that led to the long poem loving gertrudestein Loving Gertrude (Turnstone 2004) and the novel gertrude unmanageable (Arbeiter Ring 2007).

Free Your Mind: Bookninja

Wednesday Sept 19/07 7:30pm Aqua Books

George Murray, Ariel Gordon

George MurrayGeorge Murray 's latest book is The Rush To Here (Nightwood Editions, 2007). His three previous books of poetry include The Hunter (McClelland & Stewart, 2003) and The Cottage Builder’s Letter (M&S, 2001). His poems, fiction and criticism have appeared in many publications in Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, and Europe. Murray won the 2003 New York Festivals Radio and Television Gold Medal for Best Writing for his broadcast poem "Anniversary: A Personal Inventory" and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is the editor and publisher of the popular literary website and a contributing editor for several literary magazines, including Canadian Notes and Queries and The Drunken Boat. He lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Ariel GordonAriel Gordon is a writer and editor. September 23-30th, Ariel will be the blogger-in-chief of HOT AIR, the official blog of THIN AIR, Winnipeg International Writers Festival. Her poetry has recently appeared in PRISM International, The Windsor REview, and Prairie Fire. She is also regular contributor to the Winnipeg Free Press' Books Section.

Free Your Mind: CBC Literary Awards

Tuesday, May 29/07 7:30pm Aqua Books

Méira Cook, Sarah Klassen

Meira CookMéira Cook is a writer, critic and poet living in Winnipeg. Her most recent book of poetry is Slovenly Love, and she is the winner of the CBC 2006 Literary Award for poetry.

Sarah KlassenSarah Klassen is a Winnipeg writer whose most recent poetry collection, A Curious Beatitude, was short-listed for the new Lansdowne Poetry Prize. Her new story collection, A Feast of Longing, was launched in May 2007. Also in May, she attended the launch of Poetry as Liturgy (St Thomas Press), an anthology that included a number of her poems.

Free Your Mind: True Crime

Thursday, May 17/07 7:30pm Aqua Books

Mike McIntyre, Bill Redekop, Dan Zupansky

Mike McIntyre is the justice reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press where he has worked since 1997. He operates his own website,, which features the latest in local, national and international crime and justice news. Since February 2003, McIntyre has produced and hosted the popular weekly talk radio show Crime and Punishment. In March 2006, the show was picked up by the Corus Radio Network and launched in 12 cities across Canada. McIntyre is also the author of three bestselling Canadian true crime books. Born and bred in Winnipeg, McIntyre is married to Chassity, and together they are the parents of Parker, 5, and Isabella, 2. The couple recently hosted the inaugural Crime and Punishment Caribbean Cruise in January 2006 and just returned from another tropical adventure in February 2007.

Bill Redekop is the ramblin' regional reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press, roaming rural Manitoba. (Say it three times fast.) He is a graduate of Miles Macdonnell Collegiate and Red River Community College, with two years of English lit at University of Winnipeg sandwiched between. He is a co- winner of a National Newspaper Award in 1998, and has co-written two Free Press books, A Red Sea Rising and The Way We Live. He has written two true crime books, Crimes of the Century, which won the Mary Scorer Book Award in 2003, and Crime Stories (More of Manitoba’s Most Notorious True Crimes) in 2004.

Dan ZupanskyDan Zupansky is a singer/songwriter and producer, operating the recording studio Superhero Recordings. In March 2000, Dan began writing, hosting and producing the talk-radio program Off the Cuff on the University of Manitoba radio station, interviewing hundreds of important guests including authors Ann Rule, Robert K. Ressler and Harvey Diamond. In 2004 Dan became involved with the Sydney Teerhuis murder trial and decided to write his first book Trophy Kill: The Trial and Revelations of a Psychopathic Killer.

Free Your Mind: Young Adult

Wednesday, March 21/07 7:30pm Aqua Books

Martha Brooks, Anita Daher, Perry Grosshans

Martha BrooksCritically acclaimed playwright, novelist and short fiction writer Martha Brooks was born and raised in a medical family on the grounds of the now defunct Manitoba Sanatorium at Ninette, Manitoba and resides with her husband, Brian, in Winnipeg. Her books are published in Canada and the US, as well as Japan, Italy, Spain, Germany, Denmark, England and Australia. Her travels as an author have taken her not only throughout her own country, but to international festivals in Australia, Iceland and Germany. She is a self-taught writer who learned her craft through isolation, hard work and the guidance of superb mentors. Her young adult books are multi-generational meditations on love, loss and the miracle of unexpected connections. Brooks is also a jazz singer and lyricist. Her debut CD Change of Heart won the 2002 Prairie Music Award for outstanding jazz album. Martha's latest YA novel, Mistik Lake, will be released by Groundwood Books here in Canada in May, and by Farrar Straus and Giroux in the States in September.

Anita DaherAnita Daher draws writing inspiration from the many places in Canada she feels fortunate to have spent time, which include Summerside, PEI, Yellowknife, NT, Churchill, MB, Baker Lake, NU, and Sault Ste. Marie, ON. She's been entrenched in the book publishing industry for several years writing books, articles and reviews, leading workshops and presentations, and has worked on the publishing end of things as a marketing director and editor. Earlier books are Flight From Big Tangle and Flight from Bear Canyon (Orca, ages 7 to 12). In April she will launch two new books, Racing For Diamonds (Orca, ages 7 to 12), and Spider’s Song (Penguin, young adult psychological thriller). Anita lives in Winnipeg with her husband, two daughters, a basset hound and a Westfalia camper van named Mae.

Perry GrosshansPerry Grosshans is a Winnipeg writer and game designer with degrees in History, Classics and Anthropology. He is the General Manager of the Winnipeg International Writers Festival, and has served on the board of Prairie Fire Press for the last five years. He has published articles in the Icelandic newspaper Logberg-Heimskringla and Prairie Books NOW. In 2005, Grimm Magazine published the short story Sagebrush, written with financial support from the Winnipeg Arts Council.

Free Your Mind: Thriller

Wednesday, February 21/07 7:30pm Aqua Books

Susie Moloney, David Annandale, Kyle Martin

Susie MoloneySusie Moloney is an award-winning humourist and the author of three novels, The Dwelling, Bastion Falls, and A Dry Spell. Her books have been published all over the world. She lives in Winnipeg.

David AnnandaleDavid Annandale did his MA on the Marquis de Sade at the University of Manitoba, and his PhD on horror fiction and film at the University of Alberta. His novels are the thrillers Crown Fire and Kornukopia, and he is working on the third entry in the Jen Blaylock series: The Valedictorians. His short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies of horror fiction. His Fringe plays include The Switchblade Oratorio, Phantom Limb and The Smiling Crematorium. He teaches literature and film at the University of Manitoba.

Kyle MartinKyle Martin earned his Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English, from the University of Winnipeg, and is currently enrolled in Red River College, as an Advertising major in the Creative Communications program. The thriller Comfort Food is his first novella, undertaken as the major creative Independent Professional Project that is requisite in order to complete the Creative Communications program.

Free Your Mind: Poetry

Saturday April 15/06 7:30pm Aqua Books

Laurie Block, Sally Ito, Ariel Gordon

Laurie BlockLaurie Block, award-winning author and storyteller, has performed in schools and festivals in Canada and the USA since 1987. A chapbook of poetry, Governing Bodies was published by Turnstone Press in 1988. The bilingual collection, Foreign Graces/Bendiciones Ajenas, (The Muses’ Co.,1999) features poetry based on his experiences in South America. His latest collection of poetry, Time Out of Mind (Oolichan Books) is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2006.

Sally ItoSally Ito has published two books of poetry - Frogs in the Rain Barrel and Season of Mercy (Nightwood Editions, 1995 & 1999) - and a collection of short fiction called Floating Shore (Mercury Press, 1998). She teaches creative writing at Canadian Mennonite University and recently has been a judge for the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, an international book prize that recognizes outstanding books published in English from or about the Pacific Rim.

Ariel GordonAriel Gordon is a writer and editor whose recent credits include poetry in a literary magazine in Windsor and on buses in Alberta. She recently completed The Banff Centre’s Wired Writing Studio, working under Robert Hilles on a manuscript of travel poetry, and had the great good fortune to spend the month of June at the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers in Scotland. Ariel is also a regular contributor to The Winnipeg Free Press’ Books Section.

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