Words in the Park

by T. E. J. Johnson

I had the great pleasure of listening to some fabulous authors speak this lunch time.

There is always a magic in spoken word, a tone that you may miss if reading, a timing in live word that adds emotion, a personal connection that you may have not understood.

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Today we listened to (L-R) Sheilia Bautz, Keith Foster, Beth Goobie emceed by Annette Bower. So we had a ton of Sasky talent up on the mic.

A wonderful initiative by the Saskatchewan Writer’s Guild.

Shiela Bautz:

Shelia read from her novel; Walking the cutline, When Companies Kill, A Memoir. It deals with the death of her husband  while seismic drilling in northern Alberta and subsequent investigation. You could absolutely feel the passion and the warm memories, and Shiela’s determination through the read.  She is alsp working on a Fantasy novel, which, given how good her read was- I am sure will be awesome. More info about Shiela is here.

Keith Foster:

Keith Foster has won several awards for historical writing. His narrative poems, stories, and non-fiction have been published in more than two dozen anthologies and numerous magazines.

Keith read some wonderful entertaining narrative poems, including Red Shoes; about his wife’s concerns about being mistaken for a hooker in Mexico, and about the time when he came home naked from the waist-down.  He was ‘exploring a cave’ and that is where we shall end that! Keith’s warm wit came through every sentence, and he had the audience all smiling and laughing.

Beth Goobie:

Beth Goobie has thrice won the Saskatchewan Children’s Literature Award. She also won the 2001 Canadian Library Young Adult Book Award, and has twice been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature. Her many YA novels focus on issues such as bullying, physical and sexual assault, substance abuse, gangs, first love, sexual orientation and the process of learning the balance between rights and responsibilities as a young person comes into her/his own.

Today Beth Goobie read from her poems, each one had a wonderful, mesmerizing quality. A fun poem that drew some laughs was dedicated to  Chris Haynes, a weather reporter of CBC with a great love of adverbs!

In a conversation after Beth asked if I might track down this weather reporter gentlemen – and gave me the poem. I said yes of course.

Though in retrospect I should have also asked her to sign it first!