My first book for children, in collaboration with artist Michael Pittman, has been announced in both the Quill and Quire and Publisher’s Weekly. It’ll appear in Spring 2014 from Breakwater Books. It’s going to be a thing of beauty — hardcover with a nice dust jacket and full-colour paintings by Sobey Prize nominee Pittman. I had already owned three of Michael’s paintings, purely as a fan of his work, when his name came up as illustrator. I was so thrilled he said yes. We jived really well in the development of this book and hope you’ll all enjoy it.
I’ll be appearing at the Wild Writers Festival in Waterloo, Ontario in November. The entire program is here. It looks like it’s more of a festival of discussions than readings, which means things should be pretty interesting and lively, especially given the lineup. Come out and join us!
Saturday, November 9, 3:45pm to 5pm
I’ll be reading three times in Nova Scotia this week, around Whiteout‘s nomination for the Atlantic Poetry Prize and Word on the Street. Please tell your friends!
Friday, Sept 20
Who: Carole Langille and George Murray
Where: The Biscuit Eater Cafe and Bookstore (16 Orchard Street, Mahone Bay)
Saturday, Sept 21
Who: Herb MacDonald, Donna Morrissey, George Murray (Whiteout), and Russell Wangersky
Where: Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (1113 Marginal Road, Halifax)
Sunday, Sept 22
Who: Leslie Choyce, Michelle Ellrick, Sue Goyette, Rachel Lebowitz, and George Murray
Where: Dynamic Dialogues Tent (on the Warf, Halifax)
I’ll be reading this weekend up in Port Rexton, a lovely small town in scenic Trinity, at the incredibly posh B&B/Inn The Fisher’s Loft (I think it’s been profiled in big places like National Geographic, etc., as one of the best places to stay in the world) as part of their Just Before Dinner reading series. I’ll read to guests and they people stay for dinner from the 5-star chef. Including me. Hot damn. If you’re looking for an end of summer activity to treat yourself, this should be great. I’m reading aphorisms, old and new.
If Murray successfully translates fourteenth-century Italian poetry into present-day Newfoundland, he likewise telegraphs local vernacular as vital element of lyric tradition, whether in the sing-song rhymes ofSong for a Memory(The old men are proud of their jukebox picks, / Humming in time where the words come unfixed) or the philosophical familiarity ofSt. John’s(Your future could lean in that door and you / might not recognize it as anything / but the next in another series of nows). The collection’s twoLigaturepoems—Ligature ( )andLigature (&)—succinctly articulate Murray’s poetic in Whiteout (a condition during which sea, sky, and land have no discernible lines of demarcation). Signalling the poet’s fealty to linguistic marks and sounds, these poems employ ligature as metaphorical conjunction of two bodies come together assomething resembling an usthat just mightmake a shape of life.
Good news for Whiteout: it’s been shortlisted for the EJ Pratt Poetry Prize through the Atlantic Book Awards. This is my third nomination in row for this prize, with both Glimpse and The Rush to Here being previously nominated in 2011 and 2009 respectively. Whiteout is up against some stiff competition, however, in the form of Mark Callanan’s excellent book Gift Horse, and Don McKay’s star power with Paradoxides.
You should buy all three and compare. Wish me luck. Third time’s either a charm or bridesmaid for life!