Doretta Lau and Matt Rader top picks!

Congratulations to two of our authors Doretta Lau and Matt Rader who were chosen on top reads and gift lists this month!

Doretta Lau’s debut collection of ‘optimistic and inventive’ short stories were included on The Atlantic’s ‘Best Book I read this year’ list. Read the full review here

Matt Rader’s first short story collection which braids tales of Vancouver Island’s turbulent labour history was hand-picked for the Quill & Quire Xmas gift list. Read the full article here

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Matt Rader Kelowna Book Launch

Congrats to author Matt Rader, who will be celebrating his new short story collection, What I Want to Tell Goes Like This, with a book launch in Kelowna on Friday, November 28 at 7:30pm.

The event is part of UBC Okanagan’s Visiting Author’s Series at the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art (#103 – 421 Cawston Ave). It will feature readings by Rader—an Assistant Professor in UBC Okanagan’s Creative Writing department—and Ashok Mathur, the university’s Department Head of Creative Studies. Admission is free and all are welcome. Books will be available for sale by the UBC Bookstore.

The stories in What I Want to Tell Goes Like This draw on Vancouver Island’s long and turbulent history of labour activism. They alternate between historical explorations of events that occurred in the area over a century ago—such as the Great Vancouver Coal Strike of 1912-14 and the shooting death of infamous union organizer Albert “Ginger” Goodwin—and present-day stories of people living in the same landscape, in the indeterminate echo of history.

Matt Rader is the 2014 recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Joseph S. Stauffer Prize for literature. He has also written three books of poems, including Miraculous Hours (Nightwood Editions, 2005), which was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and long-listed for the ReLit Award. His fiction and poetry have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Journey Prize, the National Magazine Award, and the Pushcart Prize, and have been published in journals and anthologies across North America, Europe, and Australia. Rader grew up on Vancouver Island and now lives in Kelowna, BC.

For more information on this event, contact the UBCO Creative Studies office at 250-807-9648 or

Kayla Czaga at the Victoria Writers Festival

Kayla Czaga, who has just released her debut poetry collection with Nightwood Editions – For Your Safety Please Hold On – will be taking part in a reading / new poets panel at the Victoria Writers Festival this weekend! The event, which has been titled “For Your Safety Please Hold On” after Kayla’s book, will take place on Saturday, November 8 at 1pm, at the Oak Bay United Church (1355 Mitchell St). It will also feature authors Anne-Marie Turza, Garth Martens and Troy Sebastian and will be hosted by Marita Dachsel. Tickets are required.

For Your Safety Please Hold On is a truly remarkable first poetry collection. Kayla Czaga’s poems are already making waves and several in the collection have received award attention, including: The Fiddlehead’s 23rd annual Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, The Malahat Review’s 2012 Far Horizon’s Award for Poetry and an Editor’s Choice Award in ARC Poetry Magazine’s 2012 Poem of the Year Contest.

The poems in For Your Safety Please Hold On move in thematic focus from family, to girlhood, to adulthood, each permeated by Czaga’s lively voice and quick-witted, playful language. The collection begins with funny/sad portraits of family members from the eccentric father to the not-grandfathers to the decorative aunt. Her poems about girlhood play a linguistic hopscotch often beautifully juxtaposed with feelings of menace or a first taste of smothering expectations, while her pinprick meditations on contemporary adulthood suggest a yearning for personal meaning and purpose on a larger scale. The irrepressible energy of the poems in For Your Safety Please Hold On, paired with their complex balancing act between light and dark, humour and melancholy, innocence and danger, make this collection an extraordinary first offering.

Kayla Czaga grew up in Kitimat and now lives in Vancouver, BC, where she recently earned her MFA in Creative Writing at UBC. Her poetry, nonfiction, and fiction has been published in The Walrus, Best Canadian Poetry 2013, Room Magazine, Event, and The Antigonish Review, among others.

This event is made possible with support from the Canada Council for the Arts. For more information or to purchase tickets to the event, visit

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Alex Leslie Launches ‘The things I heard about you’ in Toronto & Montreal

Join Alex Leslie as she celebrates the release of her poetry collection The things I heard about you (Nightwood Editions) with events in Toronto and Montreal this November!

Toronto – Wednesday, November 5: Book launch at Type Books (883 Queen Street West), 7pm. Featuring local guest readers Daniel Allen Cox and Linda Besner. Admission is free and all are welcome to attend. More info: 416-366-8973 or

Toronto – Thursday, November 6: Reading as part of the Livewords readings series at Betty’s Basement (40 King Street East – 2nd floor), 8pm. Doors at 7:30pm. Also reading are Donato Mancini,  Lynn McClory, and Jacob McArthur Mooney. Donation requested. More info:

Montreal – Saturday, November 8: Book launch at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly (211 Rue Bernard Ouest), 7pm. Featuring local guest readers Daniel Allen Cox and Linda Besner. Admission is free and all are welcome to attend. More info: (514) 279-2224

Shortlisted for the 2014 Robert Kroetsch award for innovative poetry, The things I heard about you is a collection of prose poems that explores precision and the unspoken, executing a process whereby vignettes and scenes break apart into fragments, rumours or suggestions of the original story. The poems have been subjected to a “blackout” process in which they are distilled into smaller, more potent versions of their previous selves, often leading to a new thought, effect, or revelation. It is a is an evocative, beautifully crafted book of tidal memories and elegies, love songs to the coast and all its inhabitants.

Alex Leslie has published a collection of stories, People Who Disappear (Freehand, 2012), which was shortlisted for a 2013 Lambda Award and a 2013 Relit Award; as well as a chapbook of microfictions, 20 Objects for the New World (Freehand, 2011). Alex’s writing has won a Gold National Magazine Award for personal journalism and a CBC Literary Award for fiction. Recent projects include editing the Queer issue of Poetry Is Dead magazine, which brought together different approaches to Queer poetics from across Canada. Website:

These events are made possible with support from the Canada Council for the Arts.