Winter Party 2017 Photo Gallery

Thanks to everyone for a wonderful Winter Party! Ruth was the perfect hostess, Cecilia the social coordinator,  Anne directed our readers’ theatre of A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas and our flash mob choir. There are many other “elves” who contributed greatly to the success of the afternoon. Thanks, everyone! Enjoy the show!

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Discovering Orson Scott Card

Della Mae is behind the collection of Orson Scott Card books.

On Tuesday, October 24, Flora Spackman gave her paper on Orson Scott Card.  She brought 45 of his over 70 books and interspersed her remarks with a video presentation of an interview with Mr. Card about writing.

Orson Scott Card, in describing his writing, has said that fiction can be (indeed always is) a kind of pulpit.  What the storyteller believes about the way the world works, about what is good and important and true–and what is evil and distracting and false, will always show up in his stories.  He said, “Stories can be constructed in such a way that they entertain even as they teach–because without that level of entertainment, the audience doesn’t stick around to learn.”

We had that element of entertainment at the Calgary Women’s Literary Club meeting on Tuesday, October 24 as Flora delighted us and informed us about Orson Scott Card and his storytelling.  Her delivery and infectious enthusiasm charmed us, once again, and may have prompted a whole new readership for Card’s books.  At the end of her presentation, Flora gave each member a copy of one of Orson Scott Card’s most popular novels:  Ender’s Game, winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards.

Della Mae Wood

Our Club founders are noted in Swerve Magazine’s Dec 1, 2017 issue

Open old book, studio shot (with permission from Getty Images)

The Calgary Herald’s Swerve Magazine has once again given our Club a lovely tribute, this time to our founders who championed bringing the first library to Calgary. The article ends by reminding us that our Club has been using the Memorial Park premises for 103 years!

You can read the entire article here:

New Central Library, East Village

Click below for more about:

Our History

And while you are at it, Sue recently gave us a presentation:

CWLC Archives at the Glenbow


Amy Tan: A life as fascinating as any of her novels

Amy Tan Portrait 2 by David Sifry [CC BY 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Wilda Dow’s 3 daughters were very special guests for her presentation on Amy Tan.

Although Amy Tan’s main characters are Chinese and Chinese-American women, Wilda emphasized that the author does not write to inform readers of cultural differences. Rather, Tan captures the complex relationships between mothers and daughters, especially when they are raised in different cultures.

Wilda described Amy Tan’s own childhood in California, growing up primarily with a Chinese mother who was superstitious, eccentric and fiery, leading to violent clashes.  This tumultuous life with her mother exerted an enormous influence on her books.

A new book is being published by Amy Tan and will be on shelves soon!

Enjoy reading Wilda’s presentation summary, here.



William Gibson: Reluctant Oracle of Technology and Creator of Cyberpunk

Photo by Frederic Poirot (Fred Armitage at Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

On November 7, Robin brought us into the realms of new Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction and Cyberpunk with her favorite author, William Gibson. She explained how this “Oracle of tech” changed science fiction “in a good way”. His books:

  • Present strong female characters
  • Read like mystery thrillers
  • Imagined virtual reality, cyberspace, artificial intelligence, hackers and more. His ideas put shape to their development a decade or more later.
  • Reveal the mixed blessings of how technology changes culture
  • Warn of loss/isolation when people prefer living in virtual worlds
  • Include art and artists

William Gibson’s books have, in fact, greatly influenced our culture.

Learn more about William Gibson here.

Out of this World (space, Newfoundland and…)

WordFest has launched year-round events, and there are some fun ones just around the corner, beginning with astronaut Scott Kelly on Sunday, November 19th. Click below:

For information on this event

Check for upcoming events.

Stephan G. Stephansson: Icelandic-Albertan-Canadian Poet

 Without speaking Icelandic, Moorea Gray clearly demonstrated the art of the poet, Stephan G. Stephansson. She compared an Icelandic stanza with its English translation. Alliteration, formalized rhyme schemes, invented words, double and triple entendre are just a few of the challenges a translator might encounter. Hence, many of this unique, esoteric poet’s works remain in Iceland, without translations. However, the majority of his poetry was published after he settled his family in Markerville, Alberta, where he had moved in 1889. His poems often reflect our Alberta landscape and a pioneer’s experience.

Thanks to a project introduced by Stephansson’s grandson, Stephan V. Benediktson, Moorea started researching this Icelandic-Canadian poet. Her research has been extensive, and her deep appreciation for the poetry of Stephan G. Stephansson was shared with all in attendance on October 17.

Link here for Moorea’s Summary which includes a Stephansson poem that contemplates our Alberta landscape. Not to worry: It’s an English translation!

If you can’t make it to Iceland to see this magnificent tribute, Markerville is nearby.

Janet Halls