May 4th is the publication date for How the Light is Spent, a new book of poetry for Wintergreen Studios Press, by Alberta author Gail Sidonie Sobat. The three sections of Gail’s book pay homage to young love, distant lands, and familiar landscapes. Grand themes of loss and longing intermingle with rich scenes of Turkish markets, followed by softer poems about snowfalls in Canada.
With so many options for publishing books these days, we asked Gail why she chose our Press. She replied, “I very much admire the books that Wintergreen Studios Press produces and felt that mine would fit the press’ publishing mandate, as my poems are frequently meditations on art and/or a critical look at our work as stewards of the planet. My deep commitment to working for social justice and peace is inextricably linked with my passion for addressing the environmental crisis we face in my province, and throughout the world. These themes are often reflected in my writing.”
Gail visited our educational retreat centre, Wintergreen Studios, in May of 2012, so it is fitting that one year later, we are bringing her book into the world. Join us for her book launch at Novel Idea on May 9th, 2013, at 7pm for the usual merriment: a reading from the author, talking to other book lovers, and enjoying an atmosphere that celebrates culture.
isbn 9780986547393, list price $15.00
We love hearing that our books are being reviewed in regional and national publications. Having a part of our books published, to whet the appetites of readers and leave them craving more, is a great way for us to showcase the excellence of our authors and the quality of our editing. John Meisel’s book, now almost a full year old, has been well received by many reviewers, such as Wayne Grady, Steve Paikin, and Shelagh Rogers, and requests for information and print permissions are still rolling in. Recently an excerpt appeared in The Vic Report, and last fall, the Toronto Review of Books reviewed John’s book very favourably. From Jackie Duffin in the latter review:
“Written in a laconic style that faithfully renders Meisel’s charming conversation, these are memories of a man whose glass is more than half full. Many stories amuse; some are tales told on himself as a male in a chauvinist age.” We heartily agree. John’s humble tone reveals a consistent amusement with the world, the people in it, and himself.
This year, with Indigenous women being abused in the Northwest Territories, with Indian women disappearing overseas, with our women friends in the RCMP coming forward about their injustices, with Idle No More reminding us of how far we have to go to take care of our missing Native sisters, Wintergreen Studios Press is happy we have provided one loving response to all of this pain and sadness. Instead, we are celebrating with prayer, which we believe will fly up and out to reach all the corners of the Earth that need our prayers the most.
From our book, “Prayers for Women Who Can’t Pray“,
A Prayer for Women
May change come.
May girls and women around the world grow up in secure and loving environments,
Free from violence, ridicule and rape,
Free to make their own life choices,
Free to go to school,
Free to know the joys of a life fulfilled.
~ Katharine Smithrim & Melanie Craig-Hansford
One of the best aspects of working with writers that publish with Wintergreen Studios Press is how active and engaged they are in their fields. Lindy Mechefske has started a food blog which complements her cookbook A Taste of Wintergreen, John Meisel recently gave a lecture at Queen’s about socio-political realities in the Italian Renaissance, and Terry Ann Carter has been touring Europe, the United States, and Canada with her books of poetry and her resource guide, Lighting the Global Lantern, which we published in 2011. Click on the image below to be directed to the Canadian Teacher Magazine article that Terry Ann wrote about teaching haiku and other creative forms to teenagers. If you have neices, nephews, daughters or sons in this age group, you know intimately how hard it is these days to get them to put down the iphone, pick up a pencil, and start creating – on real paper – something significant and meaningful to them. This article explains Terry Ann’s method for engaging youth – a method that has worked for her countless times to produce transcendental words that ignite the minds of the youth with whom she’s worked.
As we prepare for our book launch for our anthology by Helen Humphreys, that is happening TOMORROW at Novel Idea Books (see below), we have received news that A Life of Learning and other Pleasures: John Meisel’s Tale has been included in The Hill Times Best Books of 2012. We are thrilled to learn of this development for this wonderful book, and for our Press. The Hill Times is a weekly newspaper that circulates to a national membership as well as all departments on Parliament Hill. Earlier this year their book columnist, Kate Malloy, interviewed Dr. Meisel and wrote an excellent piece about the creation of his memoirs, his reflections on his life and some thoughts about current events. You can read the full article by clicking here and subscribing to The Hill Times, but in the meanwhile, check out the fantastic list of new books by clicking on the image above. John Meisel is in excellent company with Noah Richler, Warren Kinsella, Nahlah Ayed, and Kingston’s own Jamie Swift and Ian McKay. Congratulations, John! We are pleased to be your chosen press.
We are so looking forward to next Tuesday evening! Once again Novel Idea Books (156 Princess Street) is hosting us with their delicious food and wine and charming atmosphere. Writing at Wintergreen: An Anthology Edited by Helen Humphreys, will launch on December 11th from 7:00 – 8:30pm with an introduction by Helen and readings by the contributors. This book is a collection of writing and poetry by participants of Helen’s workshops out at Wintergreen over the past three years. They capture the quiet beauty of the retreat centre, as well as the spirit and talent of one of Canada’s foremost writers of fiction. Find out more about the book and read a sample on our media kit, available for download by clicking here.
Click the photo to read the full review.
A book we published in September is gaining momentum in the media. Journey with the Sherpas: The Story of Zeke O’Connor and The Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation is the story of Zeke’s life’s work and accomplishments. For years Zeke worked as a high-level executive at Sears Canada, but when he met Sir Edmund Hillary, and heard about the need for social and environmental action in the Himalayan Sherpa communities, he knew his life would be dramatically altered. This prescient idea was made a reality when he first visited Kunde, Nepal, and met the dedicated individuals who would later become the doctors, nurses, dentists, teachers, and conservationists that staff the hospitals, schools and re-forested parklands that The Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation developed under Zeke’s management. His daughter, Karen O’Connor, has now taken over as President of the Foundation, and is every bit as dedicated as her father, leaving Zeke with enough time to write his memoirs, tour the continent, and raise awareness about their work. Christopher Shulgan ghostwrote Zeke’s memoirs, adding the strength of his contemporary, unpretentious style to the story. We are honoured to be the Press chosen for this book!
Lighting the Global Lantern has been reviewed in the Canadian Teachers Magazine! This publication goes out to thousands of educators across the country. This is what Naomi Wakan, the reviewer, said about our book by Terry Ann Carter:
“This remarkable book covering short poetry forms is clear and easy to read, and is full of classroomready exercises that will delight teachers of English Language. It takes the teaching of haiku to a level deeper than the 5, 7, 5 syllable count which is actually not how haiku is usually written in English. The author also explores the writing of haibun (haiku embedded in prose), haiga (haiku accompanied by parallel artwork—photography, painting, sculpture), tanka (5-line poetry form) and renku (group poetry writing). The book is illustrated with many examples of student writing as well as writing by some of the leading lights in North American short-form poetry. The essays by these poets are inspirational and practical, giving lesson ideas and book and web site references. The examples they provide are student-relevant, e.g., in Pamela Miller Ness’s article on art and haiku she suggests a trip to the local art museum to inspire haiku writing. Other brief essays include suggestions for a haiku-slam, how to do a classroom-linked poem, suggestions for ESL and bilingual teachers, how to write speculative haiku (scifaiku) and haiku in comic-book format. This book is crammed with wonderful ideas for poetry and art projects that will interest your students. Highly recommended. [Review by Naomi Wakan.]” Canadian Teachers Magazine, Nov-Dec, 2012. p. 20
John Meisel and I, Claire Grady-Smith, bundle into his silver Prius and set off for Ottawa tomorrow morning. The car will be filled with books, our Press banner, and literature about who we are and what we do. It is times like these when I am reminded of Andrew Laties book, Rebel Bookseller, which describes “why Indie businesses represent everything you want to fight for – from free speech to buying local to building communities”. Although we have no choice but to deal with megaliths like Amazon, or “Amazilla”, as Laties calls them, we also always try to keep our ear to the ground about opportunities to go out into the community with a smile and a handshake, and our beautiful books we can put into the hands of our local public. On this particular day, we will be attending the “Over-50s Luncheon” for the Queen’s Alumni, at the Royal Ottawa Golf Club. John will be speaking, I will be smiling, and between the two of us we will practice that important and ancient art: earnestly circulating a product we all worked hard to create.
Save the date! On Wednesday, November 7th, at 7pm we will be celebrating the publication of Prayers for Women Who Can’t Pray, by Katharine Smithrim and Melanie Craig-Hansford. Read more about this publication on our page for this title, and come out to talk to our Press representatives and the writers themselves. Prayers will be for sale through Novel Idea Books, your local hub for all things literary in Kingston, Ontario.
Novel Idea Books, 156 Princess Street, 613-546-9799. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Hours: Monday – Saturday: 9:30am – 9pm. Sunday: 12pm – 5pm.