CURRENT EVENTS

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

274 Garry St.
(Between Portage
& Graham)

Winnipeg, MB
Canada  R3C 1H3
204-943-7555

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

EMAIL
kelly@aquabooks.ca

We accept Interac, Visa and Mastercard too

What people are saying:

Thank you for putting on such an imaginative and daring series of programmes, for honoring Purdy, and for inviting my little buddy, Neil Besner, and me to participate. We both thought it was the right thing and better still a hoot. This was a wild and wonderful scheme! A fabulous act of imagination and daring. - Poet Dennis Cooley (on Mondo!Purdy 2009)

PAST STORE EVENTS

The Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry Series

The Aqua Lansdowne is Manitoba's largest poetry prize. Based around the award and hosted in conjunction with the Writer's Collective, this series celebrates the best in Manitoba poetry. For this year's nominees, click here, and for the history of the Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry/Prix Lansdowne de poésie, click here. If you want upcoming events in the series, that's here.

Wednesday, February 29/12 7:30pm


Poets K.I. Press, Matt Preprost and Maurice Mierau

K.I. PressK.I. Press writes poetry, mostly, and teaches creative writing, mostly, at Red River College. Her third book, Types of Canadian Women, came out in 2006, which was a long time ago. Her work in progress is about stuff like population genetics, PSD, Battlestar Galactica, delusional parasitosis, pregnancy and childbirth, and objectum-sexuality, and she hopes that will all come together into a coherent project one of these days. Her work has recently appeared in The Winnipeg Review, Geist, and ottawater.


Mathew PreprostMathew Preprost wishes he too could remember his first poetry reading, but truthfully, this is his first one. A journalist in Winnipeg, his name and work has appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press, the National Post, CBC, BBC, CNN, the Huffington Post and the New York Times. He is currently writing a screenplay and applying to film school.


Maurice MierauMaurice Mierau's last book of poems, Fear Not, won the ReLit award for poetry in 2009. Work from his new manuscript took second place in Arc magazine’s 2011 poem of the year contest, and will appear in the spring issue of the Malahat. He edits fiction for Enfield and Wizenty and online for The Winnipeg Review.



Sunday, February 12/12 7pm


Poet J.R. Léveillé, with Katherena Vermette and Rosanna Deerchild

J.R. LéveilléNé à Winnipeg en 1945, J.R. Léveillé est l’auteur d’une vingtaine d’oeuvres (romans, poésie, essais) publiés au Manitoba, en Ontario, au Québec et en France. À la fin des années 1960, il entreprend des études de maîtrise et de doctorat en littérature française et a été boursier des gouvernements du Canada et de la France. De 1973 à 1980, il réside en Ontario et au Québec où il enseigne. En 1981, il revient au Manitoba et poursuit une carrière comme journaliste et réalisateur à Radio-Canada jusqu’en 2006. J.R. Léveillé a réalisé des portraits d’auteurs pour la télévision, dirigé des numéros spéciaux de revues littéraires et il est un conférencier invité à de nombreuses rencontres nationales et internationales. Il est directeur littéraire aux Éditions du Blé et siège au conseil du Winnipeg International Writers Festival. J.R. Léveillé est lauréat du Prix Champlain 2002 du Conseil de la Vie française en Amérique, ainsi que du Prix Rue-Deschambault 2003 de la province du Manitoba pour son roman, Le soleil du lac qui se couche; il a reçu le Prix littéraire du Manitoba français en 1994 pour sa poésie et le Prix du Consulat général de France à Toronto en 1997 pour l’ensemble de son oeuvre. En 1999, il fut intronisé au Temple de la renommée de la Culture au Manitoba pour sa contribution à la littérature et a été récipiendaire du Manitoba Lifetime Writing and Publishing Award en 2007. Un colloque international sur son oeuvre a eu lieu à Saint-Boniface en 2005.


Katherena VermetteKatherena Vermette is a Metis writer of poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared in several literary magazines and compilations, most recently, Manitoapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water (Portage and Main Press 2012). Vermette was the 2010-2011 Blogger in Residence for thewriterscollective.org and is currently attending the prestigious Master of Fine Arts - Creative Writing program at the University of British Columbia. A member of the Aboriginal Writers Collective of Manitoba since 2004, Vermette lives, works and plays in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


Rosanna DeerchildRosanna Deerchild is an award-winning broadcaster and accomplished poet living in Winnipeg. She has wanted to be a journalist since she saw Lois Lane in the Superman movies. She has been working for newspapers and radio stations for almost fifteen years. Currently you can hear her as the host of The 204 on CBC Manitoba, Saturday afternoons at 5 p.m. Rosanna is also an accomplished poet. Her first collection of poetry, this is a small northern town (The Muses’ Company), is set in a mining town and explores issues of race, identity and family. She has been published in a number of literary magazines including Prairie Fire and CV2.



Wednesday, December 7/11 7pm


Slam poet Dawn Knight, with Chimwemwe Undi and Amber Leenders

Dawn KnightDawn Knight got her start writing stories and poems about the fascinating patrons of her parents' restaurant in St. Claude, Manitoba. Her love of language was way too big to keep to herself, so she has been teaching visual art and creative writing to adolescents since 2000. Now the slam poetry coach at Fort Richmond Collegiate and co-creator of Winnipeg's Spit it Out! Youth Slam initiative, Dawn continues to be an active participant in Winnipeg's spoken word scene. In 2010, she travelled to the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Ottawa as the manager of the Winnipeg Poetry Slam team and performed at the Steve Sauve Memorial Nerd Showcase. After years of intense karaoke training, Dawn has finally made it into 'show business': she makes up one half (and approximately 30% of the talent) of A For Effort, Winnipeg's only slam-poetry-folk-rock-educational-parody duo. She is almost 34 years old, and has no plans (as of yet) to grow up.


Chimwemwe UndiChimwemwe Undi lives, writes and performs in Winnipeg. She has been writing prose and poetry for as long as she can remember, and has been performing her poetry for a little over a year. She’s in the 12th grade at Fort Richmond Collegiate, where she is a contributor to The Scribbler (literary and visual arts journal) and an avid band geek.


Amber LeendersAmber Leenders is a poet and writer from Winnipeg. She has had a short story published in Fort Richmond Collegiate’s literary magazine, The Scribbler, and she is an active member of the school’s slam poetry club. She has competed in the Spit it Out! Winnipeg Youth Slams and performed at various school functions. When she’s not writing or reading, she can be found at the dance studio or in the band room with her alto sax.




Wednesday, November 2/11 7pm


2011 winner Ariel Gordon, with Jennifer Still, Matthew TenBruggencate and Julia Michaud

The first event in the series features 2011 winner Ariel Gordon and features the launch of her JackPine chapbook, How to Prepare for Flooding. Her guests include actor/Theatre by the River major domo Matthew TenBruggencate, poet Jennifer Still and designer/chapbook collaborator Julia Michaud.

Jennifer StillJennifer Still’s first collection of poems, Saltations, was nominated for three Saskatchewan Book Awards. Poems from her new collection Girlwood (Brick Books, 2011) were finalists in the 2008 CBC Literary Awards. After living her adult years until just recently in Saskatchewan, Jennifer now lives in Winnipeg with her husband and two children.


Matthew TenBruggencateMatthew TenBruggencate is a co-artistic head and a founding member of Theatre by the River, whose members he would gladly be marooned with on a desert island. Local acting credits include One Good Marriage, Habitat, Saint Joan, Two Gentlemen of Verona, The History of Theatre, Comedy of Errors, The Elfin Knight (Theatre by the River), Cherry Docs, Talk (Winnipeg Jewish Theatre) Stripped Down Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare in the Ruins), The Skriker, The Misadventurous Perils of Pauline (Echo Theatre), Troilus and Cressida, and Measure for Measure (Tom-Tom), among others.


Julia MichaudJulia Michaud started off her fledgling design career in the 80s, drawing book report covers with smelly markers for her artistically-challenged classmates at St. Ignatius School. Julia joined the illustrious ranks of highly talented illustrator and designer graduates from RRC in 1999. Her first full job in the industry, doing black and white car ads at the Auto Trader, gave her the motivation to go after a more colourful position. Her first taste of design fame came via Brad Hughes at Fanfare Magazine Group, which produces publications with the highest hip factor anywhere – Ciao! and WHERE Magazines. After five years creating glamorous retail and restaurant ads, art-directing photoshoots at Amici and eating chef-created cuisine, it was time for new opportunities. Her company, Instant Noodles Design, serves clients like The Garden Room, the Folk Arts Council and the illustrious Aqua Books.


Ariel GordonAriel Gordon is a writer whose first book of poetry, Hump (Palimpsest Press, 2011), won the Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry/Prix Lansdowne de poésie at the 2011 Manitoba Book Awards. How to Prepare for Flooding (JackPine Press, 2011), a collaboration with designer Julia Michaud, will be launched with this event.



Thursday, March 31/11 7pm


2011 nominees Jonathan Ball, Lori Cayer and Ariel Gordon

Jonathan BallJonathan Ball is the author of the poetry books Ex Machina (BookThug, 2009) and Clockfire (Coach House, 2010). He holds a Ph.D. in English with a focus in Creative Writing from the University of Calgary. His film Spoony B appeared on The Comedy Network, and his writing has appeared in The Believer and Harper’s. He is the former editor of dandelion and the former short films programmer for the Gimli Film Festival.


Lori CayerLori Cayer’s second volume of poetry, Attenuations of Force, was released by Frontenac House in 2010, as a finalist in the Dektet Series. Her first poetry collection, Stealing Mercury (The Muses’ Company, 2004), won the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book in Manitoba in 2004, and in 2005 Lori won the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer. She serves as co-editor of English poetry for CV2, and works by day as an editorial assistant for a scientific research journal.


Ariel GordonAriel Gordon is a writer whose first book of poetry, Hump, was published in Spring 2010. How to Prepare for Flooding, a collaboration with with designer Julia Michaud, is forthcoming from JackPine Press in 2011. When not being bookish, Ariel likes tromping through the woods and taking macro photographs of mushrooms.



Wednesday, March 9/11 7pm


Poet Charlene Diehl, with Stacy Doiron and Kerry Ryan

Charlene DiehlCharlene Diehl is a writer, educator, critic, teacher and the director of THIN AIR, Winnipeg’s annual literary splash. She has published essays, poetry, non-fiction, reviews, and interviews in journals across Canada, and has to her credit a scholarly book on Fred Wah as well as a collection of poetry, lamentations, and two chapbooks, mm and The Lover’s Handbook. Excerpts from Out of Grief Singing, which appeared in Prairie Fire, won a a Gold Award for Best Article - Manitoba at the Western Magazine Awards. She was the featured poet in the fall 2007 issue of CV2. When she’s not chasing literary language (or her two speed pre-teens), she edits dig! Magazine, Winnipeg's little-jazz-engine-that-could.


Stacy DoironStacy Doiron is a poet, avid cyclist, kung fu artist, and editor whose poems have been published in Contemporary Verse 2. She recently participated in the Manitoba Writers' Guild Sheldon Oberman Emerging Writers' Mentor Program and attended the Great Blue Heron Writing Workshop at St. Francis Xavier University. She currently resides in a radical co-op house in West End Winnipeg and works at a corporate-esque publishing company in Point Douglas.


Kerry RyanKerry Ryan lives and writes in Winnipeg. Her first collection of poetry, The Sleeping Life, was published by The Muses’ Company in 2008 and nominated for the Aqua Lansdowne Prize for Poetry in 2009. She has had poetry published in a number of journals, including Prairie Fire, Grain, Room, CV2 and Carousel. Her second collection, Vs., was published by Anvil Press in 2010. Kerry was Aqua Books Writer-in-Residence for September-December 2010.



Thursday, February 3/11 7pm


Poet John Weier, with hannah_g and Catherine Hunter

John WeierJohn Weier was born on the broad prairie but grew up on a small peach farm in Southern Ontario. Recent Carol Shields Writer-in-Residence at the University of Winnipeg and the author of eleven books in a variety of genres—poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction; he’s still pushing out those small farm boundaries. John works in Winnipeg as a writer and luthier.


hannah_ghannah_g is a visual artist and writer who was born in Billericay, England, in the year Elvis Presley died. Her practice centres around stories and intervention in order to engender enchantment in everyday life. hannah is currently the programmer of the artist-run centre, aceartinc.


Catherine HunterCatherine Hunter teaches English and Creative Writing at the University of Winnipeg. For ten years she was the poetry editor of The Muses' Company Press. She is also the author of seven books, including the poetry collection Latent Heat (Signature Editions, 1997), which won the Manitoba Book of the Year Award in 1998. Her most recent work is the crime novel Queen of Diamonds (Turnstone Press, 2006).



Thursday, January 27/11 7pm


Poet Bertrand Nayet, with Ariel Gordon and Dennis Cooley

Once a year, Aqua Books parts the Red River and brings together three great Manitoba poets from both official languages. Join us as our chosen three collaborate with top translators Mark Stout and Charles Leblanc, to bring you never-before-seen (or heard) works in French and English.

LANGUAGE WARNING: You might actually like it both ways.

Bertrand NayetNé à Auxerre (France) en 1962, Bertrand Nayet réside à St-Norbert au Manitoba. Il a publié nouvelles, récits et poèmes dans diverses revues et recueils. Il a aussi écrit du théâtre, créé des mises en scène et joué plusieurs rôles pour diverses troupes du Manitoba. Il est l’animateur, un des pères fondateurs et secrétaire perpétuel du Collectif post-néo-rieliste, un regroupement de créateurs franco-manitobains. Il collabore à la programmation du Foyer des Écrivains, la partie francophone du Winnipeg International Writers’ Festival.


Born in Auxerre France in 1962, Bertrand Nayet lives in St. Norbert, Manitoba. He has published short stories, stories, and poems in various magazines and anthologies. He also writes for the theatre, directs and performs with various theatre troupes in Manitoba. Nayet is a founding father and Secretary-in-Perpetuity of Le Collectif post-neo-rieliste, a group of French-speaking Manitoba creators. He also collaborates on the programming of Le Foyer des Écrivains, the French side of THIN AIR, The Winnipeg Interntional Writers’ Festival.


Ariel GordonAriel Gordon is a writer whose first book of poetry, Hump, was published in Spring 2010. How to Prepare for Flooding, a collaboration with with designer Julia Michaud, is forthcoming from JackPine Press in 2011. When not being bookish, Ariel likes tromping through the woods and taking macro photographs of mushrooms.


Dennis CooleySince 1973, Dennis Cooley has lived in Winnipeg where he has taught, edited, and written. He is currently president of the Manitoba Writers' Guild.


Mark StoutMark Stout, a member of the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada, earns his living as a freelance translator and as a translation instructor at Saint Boniface College (Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface). He has translated many poems and poetry collections by Francophone Canadian poets, most notably Homestead (Les éditions de la nouvelle plume, 2005), the award-winning long poem by Winnipeg poet Lise Gaboury-Diallo. Mark is currently working with a small group of literary translators on a project to translate an anthology of Acadian poetry edited by Serge Patrice Thibodeau: L’Anthologie de la poésie acadienne (Éditions Perce-Neige, 2009). The English translation will be published by Goose Lane Editions.


Charles LeblancCharles Leblanc is a St. Boniface translator, writer, editor, actor and poet. He is a founding member of the Collectif post-neo-rieliste, and helps to create the Foyer des écrivains, the francophone programming for THIN AIR, Winnipeg International Writers Festival. He won the Prix littéraire Rue-Deschambault at the 2005 Manitoba Book Awards for L’appétit du compteur.



Thursday, November 25/10 7pm


Slam poet Skip Stone, with Aaron Simm and Nereo II, hosted by Paul Friesen

Skip StoneSkip Stone is a Winnipeg born writer who has represented for the Winnipeg Slam team on their away missions to both Toronto and Halifax. He teaches B-boying to kids at the Osborne Street Dance Club and the School for Contemporary Dancers under the alias Drypht 2, and he tells people to stay away from the word 'Breakdancing'. When he's not dancing or writing he lives happily under the name Jon Surla with his lovely girlfriend Donna, who is all the poetry he needs.


Aaron SimmAaron Simm is a local poet, born and raised in Winnipeg. He has spent numerous years writing hip-hop and poetry in basements, but only recently began performing on stage. Having completed his first season within the Winnipeg Poetry Slam, Aaron has qualified to represent this fine town at the upcoming Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Ottawa. Aaron is a Sociology major at the University of Winnipeg, and also plays drums in a folk-punk band.


Nereo IINereo II has been active in the local spoken word and hip hop community since the early 2000s and has shared his performances across North America at events such as the 10th Annual Scribble Jam Hip Hop Festival, the 2nd and 3rd annual Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, The Toronto International Poetry Slam, the Speak Series in Halifax, Thin Air Winnipeg International Writers Festival and the 4th Annual Storytelling Festival. His work has appeared in the Filipino Journal, on CBC Radio’s Content Factory, and Branch Magazine. His performances have inspired, and touched many among the spoken word community. In May of 2008, Nereo won the Winnipeg CBC Poetry Face Off. Nereo is a renaissance man, who asides from writing and performing, is multi-disciplined in many different fields of art.



Wednesday, October 20/10 7pm


2010 Winner Jan Horner, with Barbara Schott and Ted Landrum

Jan HornerJan Horner’s most recent collection, Mama Dada: Songs of the Baroness's Dog, published by Turnstone Press, won the Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry / Prix Lansdowne de poésie at the 2010 Manitoba Book Awards. This follows recognition for her second Turnstone-published collection, Elizabeth Went West, which was shortlisted for the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, and her first, Recent Mistakes, which won the same award. Jan’s poems have been published in many literary journals, and she was the University of Western Ontario writer-in-residence in 2001-2002. She is a big fan of British football and is trying to learn German.


Barbara SchottBarbara Schott was born and raised in Winnipeg. Her work as a fashion stylist in the garment industry frequently takes her to the Orient. She also edits poetry with Sarah Klassen for Prairie Fire magazine. She is the author of The Waterlily Pickers (Turnstone, 1990) and Memoirs of an Almost Expedition (Brick Books, 1999).


Ted LandrumTed Landrum became interested in poetry as a student of architecture at Ball State University in Indiana. He began experimenting with poems as a way to ruffle the implications of architectural musings flirting beyond the veil of lucid tunnel vision. Much of this hypothetical ruffling-about survives in the pages of his undergraduate and master’s theses wrapt with diagrams, doodles, and other documents perhaps more incendiary than constructible. Other poems were made for kindred motives in other towns, such as those ritually stapled by hand under the name, NY gist. In 2010, a trio of poems on the problem of architecture were asserted in a collection of academic essays called Quality Out of Control by Routledge. These were written while teaching architecture in Vermont, and read at a conference of peers in Wales. Ted is currently teaching architecture at the University of Manitoba.



Thursday, April 8/10 7pm


Road to the Book Awards
Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry / Prix Lansdowne de poésie Nominee Reading
Nominees Jan Horner, Bertrand Nayet and John Toone

Every year, the Manitoba Writers' Guild and the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers celebrate the local writing and publishing community with the Manitoba Book Awards. The Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry / Prix Lansdowne de poésie (sponsored by Aqua Books, natch) is Manitoba's largest poetry prize. As always, the nominees come to Aqua in the days and weeks leading up to the gala to show you why they're the best.

Jan HornerJan Horner has published three books of poetry and a chapbook. Her first book of poems, Recent Mistakes, (Turnstone, 1988) won the McNally Robinson Manitoba Book of the Year Award. In 2001/2002 she was writer-in-residence at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. Her latest book of poems, Mama Dada (or songs of the Baroness's dogs), was published by Turnstone Press in 2009. She works as a librarian at the University of Manitoba, is a fan of English football, and is trying to learn German.


Bertrand NayetNé à Auxerre (France) en 1962, Bertrand Nayet réside à St-Norbert au Manitoba. Il a publié nouvelles, récits et poèmes dans diverses revues et recueils. Il a aussi écrit du théâtre, créé des mises en scène et joué plusieurs rôles pour diverses troupes du Manitoba. Il est l’animateur, un des pères fondateurs et secrétaire perpétuel du Collectif post-néo-rieliste, un regroupement de créateurs franco-manitobains. Il collabore à la programmation du Foyer des Écrivains, la partie francophone du Winnipeg International Writers’ Festival.


John TooneJohn Toone's first collection of poetry, From Out of Nowhere, was published by Turnstone Press in spring 2009. He published two kids' books in fall 2009, Catch That Catfish! and Hope and the Walleye. His poems also appear in the story Sixgun Quixote from the new graphic novel The Imagination Manifesto published by Alchemical Press. John is past president of the Manitoba Writers' Guild. Three of his books are nominated for five awards this year.



Wednesday, March 17/10 7pm


Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry Series
Deborah Schnitzer with Marika Prokosh and Kristian Enright

Deborah SchnitzerDeborah Schnitzer’s work appears in several anthologies, including Children of the Shoah: Holocaust Literature and Education and Dropped Threads. She co-edited Uncommon Wealth: An Anthology of Poetry in English and, with Debbie Keahey, The Madwoman in the Academy: Writing on the Tower, a gathering of women’s writing about graduate school, teaching and tenure. She has published two books of poetry, Black Beyond Blue and Loving Gertrude Stein, and a novel, Gertrude Unmanageable. Her new book, An Unexpected Break in the Weather (Turnstone Press, 2009), is a novel of unconventional friendships in a Winnipeg neighbourhood. Schnitzer is a 3M Teaching Fellow in the English Department at the University of Winnipeg.


Marika ProkoshMarika Prokosh is a Winnipeg writer and English Literature undergraduate. Her poetry has appeared in Juice, the University of Winnipeg's creative writing journal. She was an apprentice writer in the Sheldon Oberman Emerging Writers Mentorship Program (2004), and is currently a volunteer organizer for the Speaking Crow open mic poetry series.


Kristian EnrightKristian Enright is a writer who never escaped the concept of Winnipeg, where he has gotten an honors degree in Literature at his more miniature University of Winnipeg and has a kind of simulacra feeling of escape when he began his Master's degree at the University of Manitoba, out near the fields of the outskirts of this city. He has been a writer in residence at the former Label Gallery, has been published in Juice, Tart and recently added his own chapbook, Arguements for a Chapbook to the roster. He has plans to write a novel and hosts the Speaking Crow Reading series which he has been a part of for the past 9 years.



Thursday, January 21/10 7pm


Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry Series
Charles Leblanc with Alison Calder and Maurice Mierau

This event is bilingual, featuring English-to-French translations of Calder and Mierau's work and French-to-English translations of Leblanc's work.

Charles LeblancCharles Leblanc. Né à Montréal en 1950, arrivé au Manitoba en octobre 1978. Titulaire d’un baccalauréat en sciences sociales, d’un baccalauréat spécialisé en économie et d’un certificat en traduction, a touché à de nombreux métiers : professeur et chercheur en économie, barman, serveur, co-propriétaire de bar, comédien de théâtre professionnel, organisateur d’événements culturels, ouvrier industriel et traducteur. Chroniqueur littéraire à l’hebdomadaire local La Liberté. Participation à de nombreuses pièces de théâtre à Montréal et à Winnipeg, à titre de comédien et de dramaturge. Auteur de sept recueils de poésie et co-auteur d’un récit, tous publiés aux Éditions du Blé. Dernier titre : des briques pour un vitrail (anthologie) (2008).


Alison CalderAlison Calder is the author of one poetry collection, Wolf Tree (Coteau Books, 2007), for which she won the 2008 Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry. 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.


Maurice MierauMaurice Mierau is the Millennium Library Writer-in-Residence for 2009-10. His latest book of poems is Fear Not (Turnstone Press, 2009), which won the 2009 Relit Award. Mierau's first book of poetry was Ending with Music (Brick, 2002). He is also an editor at the Winnipeg-based fiction imprint, Enfield & Wizenty, and a journal editor.



Saturday, December 3/09 7pm


Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry Series
Lori Cayer with Clarise Foster and K.I. Press

Lori CayerBorn in Saskatchewan, Lori Cayer has made Manitoba her home since she was in grade 3. Her book of poems, Stealing Mercury (The Muses' Company, 2004), won the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award in 2004 and the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer in 2005. She is co-founder of the Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry. Lori serves as a Poetry Editor for CV2 and is the Manitoba Representative for the League of Canadian Poets. Her second book of poetry, Attenuations of Force, is forthcoming from Frontenac in spring 2010.


Clarise FosterClarise Foster is the editor of Contemporary Verse 2 and the author of two collections of poetry. She most contentedly resides in Winnipeg with her two dogs and two cats.


K.I. PressK.I. Press' most recent book was Types of Canadian Women (Gaspereau Press, 2006). She's currently caring for her new baby and normally teaches creative writing at Red River College.




Saturday, November 28/09 7pm


Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry Series
Jennifer Still with blues musician Claire Still and poet Colin Smith

Jennifer StillJennifer Still’s first book of poetry, Saltations (Thistledown Press, 2005), was nominated for three Saskatchewan Book Awards. Her poetry has been published in journals across Canada, broadcast on CBC and anthologized in portfolio milieu and Fast Forward: Saskatchewan’s New Poets. In 2008 she was a regional winner in the CBC Poetry Face-Off and received an inaugural Saskatchewan Emerging Artist Award. Jennifer's second collection, Girlwood, forthcoming spring 2011 with Brick Books, won first prize in the 2008 Saskatchewan Writers Guild John V. Hicks Manuscript Awards and the poems “The Hummingbird Vignettes” and “Moth” were finalists in the 2008 CBC Literary Awards. Another long poem from this collection, “Tracks”, received honourable mention in the 2008 Matrix LitPop Awards. Co-founder of Saskatoon chapbook publisher JackPine Press, Jennifer has recently made Winnipeg her home again.


Claire StillOriginally from The Pas, Manitoba but now residing in Winnipeg, Claire Still combines the art of storytelling with both clever musicianship and powerful performance in a variety of styles with the blues genre at the forefront. She is motivated by an intense desire to share music she feels is relevant and meaningful and connect with the audience through a documentary style of songwriting which confronts issues such as social inequality and substance abuse. She defines and expresses herself as a worker and channels their plight through a unique and intimate solo acoustic performance. Claire Still is a gritty young artist with something real to say and an expressive guitar style to say it with.


Colin SmithColin Smith is a poetry scalawag. Books = 8X8X7 (Krupskaya, 2008) and Multiple Poses (Tsunami, 1997). More current work pops up in CV2, The Collective Consciousness, and Dandelion. Rarely meets a curse he doesn't like.




Wednesday, October 14/09 7pm


Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry Series
2009 Winner Rosanna Deerchild with writer Waubgeshig Rice and slam poet Nereo II

Rosanna DeerchildRosanna Deerchild is Cree from South Indian Lake, Manitoba. Her poetry has appeared in a number of literary magazines including Prairie Fire and CV2. She is the co-founder and remains a member of the Aboriginal Writers Collective, established in 1999. Rosanna currently works a broadcaster with NCI-FM and is a regular columnist with CBC. This is a small northern town, Deerchild's long-awaited full-length collection of poems, was published by The Muses' Company in fall 2008. In addition to winning the 2009 Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry, Rosanna was also been nominated for the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer.


Waubgeshig RiceWaubgeshig Rice is a broadcast journalist and writer currently based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He's originally from Wasauksing First Nation, a beautiful Ojibway community on Georgian Bay in Ontario. He developed a passion for storytelling at a very young age, learning about his culture and traditions through stories the elders told. His journalism career began when he spent a year as an exchange student in Germany at 17. He sent stories about his experiences as an Ojibway kid in Europe to a local Ontario newspaper. He graduated from Ryerson University's Journalism program in 2002, and has since been published in national newspapers and magazines. He currently works as a television reporter for CBC News. He cites growing up on the rez as his greatest learning experience.


Nereo IINereo II has been active in the local Spoken Word and Hip Hop community since the early 2000s and has shared his impassioned and adventurous performances across the country at events like the Scribble Jam Hip Hop Festival, the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, the Toronto International Poetry Slam, and the Speak series in Halifax. His work has appeared in The Filipino Journal and on CBC Radio's "Content Factory," and in May of 2008 he won the Winnipeg CBC Poetry Face Off. Currently Nereo II works for Graffiti Art Programming and runs a hip hop studio workshop for youth in Point Douglas.



Thursday, April 9/09 7pm


Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry Series
2009 Nominees Rosanna Deerchild, Maurice Mierau, Laurent Poliquin, and Kerry Ryan

In celebration of Manitoba's largest poetry prize, the Aqua Books Lansdowne, we present the 2009 nominees. Hosted in conjunction with the Writer's Collective. For the history of the Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry/Prix Lansdowne de poésie, click here.

The 2009 Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry/Prix Lansdowne de poésie



Thursday, March 5/09 7pm


Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry Series
Catherine Hunter, Méira Cook and Sarah Klassen

In celebration of Manitoba's largest poetry prize, the Aqua Books Lansdowne, we present our new series of readings. Hosted in conjunction with the Writer's Collective, the series features winners, nominees, and other notable local poets.

Sarah KlassenSarah Klassen's sixth poetry collection, A Curious Beatitude (The Muses' Company, 2006) was short-listed for the Lansdowne Poetry Prize and received the Canadian Author's Association Poetry Award. Her second short story collection, A Feast of Longing (Coteau, 2007), received the High Plains Fiction Award. Sarah was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and currently resides there.


Méira CookMéira Cook's most recent book of poetry, Slovenly Love, was published by Brick Books in 2003. She is the editor of Field Marks, a selection of poetry by Don McKay published in the Wilfred Laurier University Press Poetry Series in 2006.


Catherine HunterCatherine Hunter teaches English and Creative Writing at the University of Winnipeg. For ten years she was the poetry editor of The Muses' Company Press. She is also the author of seven books, including the poetry collection Latent Heat (Signature Editions, 1997), which won the Manitoba Book of the Year Award in 1998. Her most recent work is the crime novel Queen of Diamonds (Turnstone Press, 2006).



Saturday, February 28/09 7pm


Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry Series
Laurie Block, with Di Brandt and Colin Smith

In celebration of Manitoba's largest poetry prize, the Aqua Books Lansdowne, we present our new series of readings. Hosted in conjunction with the Writer's Collective, the series features winners, nominees, and other notable local poets.

This fourth installment in the series, offered in partnership with the Writers' Collective, includes 2007 Lansdowne winner Laurie Block and his guests.


Colin SmithColin Smith is the author of two books of poems: 8 x 8 x 7 (San Francisco: KRUPSKAYA Books, 2008), and Multiple Poses (Vancouver: Tsunami Editions, 1997). Exists in Winnipeg, and is one of the organizers for the Speaking Crow poetry series. Was a contributor to and survivor of August 2008's N 49 15.832 -- W 123 05.921 Positions Colloquium, a week-long avant-garde poetics extravaganza put on by the Kootenay School of Writing in Vancouver, and for which there is thus far no t-shirt emblazoned with a catchy slogan.

Di BrandtDi Brandt has published a dozen books of poetry, creative essays and a novel. Her most recent book of essays is So this is the world & here I am in it (NeWest Writers as Critics X, 2007) and her latest book of poetry is Now You Care (Coach House, 2003). Watermelon Syrup (WLUP, 2007), a novel she co-wrote with Annie Jacobsen and Jane Finlay-Young received the international Foreword Magazine Gold Medal for General Fiction. Di recently completed an opera libretto, Emily, The Way You Are, about the life and work of Emily Carr, which was set to music by Jana Skarecky and premiered at the McMichael Gallery in Toronto last spring. Di Brandt holds a Canada Research Chair at Brandon University.

Laurie BlockLaurie Block is an award-winning writer and storyteller from Brandon Manitoba. His work has been produced on the professional stage, published in anthologies and magazines throughout Canada and in three volumes of poetry including Governing Bodies; the bilingual collection, Foreign Graces / Bendiciones Ajenas; and, most recently, Time Out of Mind, published in 2006 by Oolichan Books, which was awarded the inaugural Lansdowne Prize for Poetry. His stories have won Prairie Fire's Fiction Contest, the 2004 National Magazine Gold Medal Award and a 2008 Western Magazine Award Gold Medal.



Thursday, January 15/09 7pm


Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry Series
Lise Gaboury-Diallo, with Chandra Mayor and Rosanna Deerchild

In celebration of Manitoba's largest poetry prize, the Aqua Books Lansdowne, we present our new series of readings. Hosted in conjunction with the Writer's Collective, the series features winners, nominees, and other notable local poets.

This third installment in the series, offered in partnership with the Writers' Collective, features 2007 Lansdowne nominee Gaboury-Diallo.

The evening will feature a bilingual reading from Gaboury-Diallo. Both Deerchild and Mayor's performances will include a poem translated into French specifically for the event by Charles Leblanc.


Rosanna DeerchildRosanna Deerchild is Cree from South Indian Lake, Manitoba. Her poetry has appeared in a number of literary magazines including Prairie Fire and CV2. She is the co-founder and remains a member of the Aboriginal Writers Collective, established in 1999. Rosanna currently works a broadcaster with NCI-FM and is a regular columnist with CBC. This is a small northern town, Deerchild's long-awaited full-length collection of poems, was published by The Muses' Company in fall 2008.

Chandra MayorChandra Mayor’s writing has appeared in several anthologies, including Interruptions: 30 Women Tell the Truth about Motherhood, Breathing Fire 2: Canada’s New Poets, and Post-Prairie. Her first book, August Witch: poems, was short-listed for four Manitoba book awards and won the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book. She received the 2004 John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Writer, and the following year her novel, Cherry, won the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award. The title story from her most recent book, All the Pretty Girls (conundrum, 2008), was shortlisted for a 2008 CBC Literary Award. Chandra Mayor lives in Winnipeg.

Lise Gaboury-DialloNée à Saint-Boniface (Manitoba), Lise Gaboury-Diallo est professeure de langue française et des littératures francophones au Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface (MB). Elle est l'auteure de 6 recueils de poésie : Subliminales(1999), transitions (2002), tous deux en lice pour le Prix Rue-Deschambault; Poste restante : cartes poétiques du Sénégal (2005) en lice pour le Prix Landsdown pour la poésie; Homestead, poèmes du coeur de l'Ouest(2005), oeuvre pour laquelle elle a remporté le premier prix, catégorie poésie française, des Prix littéraires Radio-Canada 2004; L’endroit et l’envers (2008) et Parchemins croisés: la Genèse en peinture et en poésie/Crossworlds: a Genesis in painting and in poetry, en collaboration avec la peintre Monique Larouche, traductions de Mark Stout (2008).

Born in Saint-Boniface, Lise Gaboury-Diallo is a professor of French and French literature at the Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface. She is the author of six collections of poetry: Subliminales (1999), transitions (2002), both short-listed for the Prix Rue-Deschambault, Poste restante : cartes poétiques du Sénégal (2005), short-listed for the Landsdowne Poetry Award; Homestead, poèmes du cœur de l'Ouest (2005), which won the first prize in the French poetry category of the 2004 CBC Literary Awards; L’endroit et l’envers (2008) and Parchemins croisés: la Genèse en peinture et en poésie /Crossworlds: a Genesis in painting and in poetry, in collaboration with the painter Monique Larouche, translations by Mark Stout (2008).



Thursday, December 4/08 7pm


Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry Series
poets Dennis Cooley, John Toone and Jan Horner

In celebration of Manitoba's largest poetry prize, the Aqua Books Lansdowne, we present our new series of readings. Hosted in conjunction with the Writer's Collective, the series features winners, nominees, and other notable local poets.

John TooneJohn Toone's first book of poetry, From Out of Nowhere, will be published by Turnstone Press in 2009. Two children's books that he wrote will be published in the U.S. by Bluewater Productions. John is the President of the Manitoba Writers' Guild, and father to two rambunctious kids.


Jan HornerJan Horner has published two books of poetry and a chapbook. Her first book of poems, Recent Mistakes, (Turnstone, 1988) won the McNally Robinson Manitoba Book of the Year Award. In 2001/2002 she was writer-in-residence at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. Her latest book of poems, Mama Dada (or songs of the Baroness's dogs), will be coming out from Turnstone Press in spring 2009. She works as a librarian at the University of Manitoba, is a fan of English football, and is trying to learn German.


Dennis CooleyDennis Cooley, a native of Saskatchewan, has lived for many years in Winnipeg where he teaches, edits, and writes. His latest book is correction line (Thistledown, 2008).



Thursday, November 27/08 7pm


Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry Series
2008 Prize Winner Alison Calder, plus special guests Sally Ito and Kerry Ryan

In celebration of Manitoba's largest poetry prize, the Aqua Books Lansdowne, we present our new series of readings. Hosted in conjunction with the Writer's Collective, the series features winners, nominees, and other notable local poets.

Alison CalderAlison Calder is the author of one poetry collection, Wolf Tree (Coteau Books, 2007), for which she won the 2008 Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry. 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.


Kerry RyanKerry Ryan lives and writes in a blue house in Winnipeg. Her poems have appeared in a number of journals and in the anthology Exposed, published by The Muses’ Company in 2003. The Sleeping Life is her first collection of poetry. She is an avid sleeper and a birdwatcher by association.


Sally ItoSally Ito's two books of poetry are Frogs in the Rain Barrel (Nightwood, 1995) and A Season of Mercy (Nightwood, 1999). She is also the author of an accomplished book of short fiction, Floating Shore, which came out from Mercury in 1998. Sally teaches English and creative writing at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg.




Monday, April 21/08 7:30pm


Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry / prix Lansdowne de poésie Nominees
Charles LeBlanc, Alison Calder, Christian Violy

Aqua Books will celebrate the inaugural Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry / prix Lansdowne de poésie with readings in both official languages. Aqua Books is very excited to be the sponsor of Manitoba's biggest poetry prize, which will be given out at the Manitoba Book Awards on April 26. EAT! bistro will be providing nourriture.

Charles LeBlancNé à Montréal où il a grandi, Charles Leblanc a passé plus de la moitié de sa vie à Winnipeg. La traduction lui permet de manger, le théâtre et la poésie lui permettent de vivre. Il a co-publié un récit, Voyages en papier, et publié six recueils de poèmes aux Éditions du Blé, dont l'appétit du compteur, qui a remporté le Prix littéraire Rue-Deschambault en 2005, et le tout dernier, heures d'ouverture (2007).


Alison CalderAlison Calder was born in London, England, grew up in Saskatoon, and lived in London, Ontario and Vancouver before moving to Winnipeg. She has edited several scholarly collections, including an edition of Tim Lilburn's poetry, and a poetry chapbook that she co-authored with Jeanette Lynes. Her first poetry book, Wolf Tree, is a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Award for best first poetry book by a Canadian, and for the Pat Lowther Award for best poetry book by a Canadian woman. She teaches Canadian literature and creative writing at the University of Manitoba.


Christian ViolyPoète Christian Violy a fait ses études à l'Université Laval (Québec), où il a obtenu un baccalauréat en littérature d'expression française en 1996 et une maîtrise en littérature québécoise en 1999. Il a remporté l'un des Grands Prix des saisons littéraires (catégorie essai) par Guérin éditeur en 1996 pour une œuvre intitulée Du rire à l'enchantement – d'après l'œuvre de Francis Jammes. Il est également l'auteur de Les silences immobiles (2000), Avant la chute (2002) et Exaucée (2007), recueils de poésie publiés au Éditions des Plaines.



Thursday Jan 24/08 7:30pm 89 Princess St

Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize Celebratory Readings
- Members of the Manitoba Poetry Endowment Fund Initiative

Sharon Caseburg is a poet, critical writer, and editor. She is co-founder of the Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry. Her work has appeared in several Canadian literary journals, including Room of One’s Own, Prairie Fire, and The Antigonish Review.

Winnipeg poet Lori Cayer's first collection of poetry Stealing Mercury was published by The Muses Company in 2004. She was the recipient of The Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book in 2004 and The John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer in 2005. Lori is currently co-editor of poetry for the literary journal CV2 and is the Manitoba Representative for the League of Canadian Poets. She is co-founder of the Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry. By day Lori works as an Editorial Assistant for a National Research Council Scientific Journal. She is presently compiling her second poetry manuscript.

Karen Clavelle is a literary writer, poet, and publisher (Atelier 78), who looks forward to spending part of the summer looking for poems from the back of a big black motorcycle. In addition to writing motorcycle poems, she has written long poems, several series of shorter poems, and several chapbooks (pachyderm press), as well as critical articles on prairie writers. With Atelier 78, she produced and published Three Days in Spain (2005), a small anthology of international writers' work. She is also the producer of The Archaeology of Water (2004), a print project that brings together five prairie poets and two print-makers. Besides teaching at the University of Manitoba, Karen is nearing completion of a large archival project, working on a collection of miscellaneous poems, and producing hand-made books. She is honoured to have been a member of the steering committee for the Lansdowne Poetry Prize.

Clarise Foster is the Managing Editor of CV2, one of Canada's premier poetry quarterlies and the author of two collections of poetry, Flame Tree and most recently The Way Boys Sometimes Are and Other Poems.

Ariel Gordon is a writer and editor. This past fall, Ariel was the blogger-in-chief of HOT AIR, the official blog of THIN AIR, Winnipeg International Writers Festival. Her poetry has recently appeared in Canadian magazines and anthologies and circulated on buses in both Manitoba and Alberta. She is also a regular contributor to the Winnipeg Free Press' Books Section.

Bev Greenberg is a regular contributor to the book pages of the Winnipeg Free Press and Prairie Fire. Her poetry has appeared in Diviners, Inversions: The Female Grotesque, Outreach Connections, Poetry in Motion and Visual Poetry II. She recently completed a novel manuscript about an immigrant family in crisis during the late 1960's.

Chandra Mayor is the award-winning author of three books, August Witch: poems, Cherry (a novel), and All the Pretty Girls, a collection of short stories to be released this March. She was the 2006/07 Writer in Residence at the Winnipeg public library, and is the Poetry Co-Editor for Prairie Fire Magazine.

Maurice Mierau's second book of poems, Where to Find Help When..., will appear with Turnstone in the fall. Maurice recently became associate editor for a new Winnipeg-based fiction imprint, Enfield & Winzenty. He is the president of the League of Canadian Poets.

An editor, writer, teacher and activist, Deborah Schnitzer is most recently circulating in the long poem lovinggertrudestein Loving Gertrude and the novel gertrude unmanageable. She is a professor in the Department of English at the University of Winnipeg.


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