Natalie Meisner: A class act!

With kind permission of Natalie Meisner

Program Coordinator Sandra Ens introduced our November 12th special guest speaker. Natalie Meisner is coordinator of the Mount Royal University Writer-in-Residence Program and a professor in the MRU Department of English where she works in the areas of creative writing, drama, and gender/sexuality studies.

Professor Meisner, who is also a published author and playwright, spoke engagingly about the importance of telling stories outside the mainstream so that other voices are represented at the table of post-modern literature. In addition to this focus on diversity and the “lit of now,” her teaching emphasizes the role of empathy in helping emerging writers engage with their subjects to craft stories that create community.  She concluded her presentation by referencing the shift in her own writing away from tragedy and anger toward comedy as a means of effecting social change.

After reading an excerpt from her very amusing work of non-fiction, Double Pregnant:  Two Lesbians Make a Family, Professor Meisner answered questions from the membership that confirmed the idea that literature is something we make, not just something we read.



Christmas notes

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir,
Hammerin Man [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Nothing beats beautiful music, and this is certainly the season to hear plenty! It’s even better when it’s live and you know someone in the choir. Perhaps you’ll find a CWLC member or two in the audience, as well! Cecilia invites us to:


Dates? December 1 & 2

Time? 8:00 pm

Where? St. Mary’s University, M-100, McGivney Hall

Price? Free

For more details, CLICK HERE

Allan Fotheringham, we miss you!

Canadian Film Centre from Toronto, Canada [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A whole Canadian political news cycle has passed since Helle’s April 9 presentation on the singular and spirited political commentator Allan Fotheringham. Which is exactly why you will want to read or reread Helle’s comments about the author and why she says, “Today, more than ever, we could use more humour, sarcasm and irony to keep politicians and people in the public eye on their toes.” Even writing in times that were relatively easygoing compared to today’s political correctness, Mr. Fotheringham was the subject of 26 lawsuits: He only lost two!

CLICK HERE to read more of Helle’s timely presentation.

Monday, Nov 11th

Book Cover image
from Second Story Press

Janet Halls has a fitting author event to showcase for Remembrance Day, for CWLC and others. When We Were Shadows was written by a Calgarian and former teacher (coincidentally, a neighbour of Janet Halls.) Janet Wees worked closely with “Walter” to bring his story to others. Even in the Netherlands, few were aware of this story. Although technically this is a book for youth, it is a riveting read for adults too.

Synopsis from the CPL Program registration:

Based on a true story, When We Were Shadows is the story of Walter, a young Jewish boy and his family. They stay one step ahead of the Nazis in Holland during the Second World War, eventually hiding in a hidden village deep in the Dutch woods, forced to rely on strangers for their safety. It is a story of human resilience, the power of family, and the kindness of strangers. Suitable for ages 12 and up.

WHERE? Memorial Park Library, Main Floor Salon

WHEN? Monday, November 11, 1-2 pm

(Not required, but recommended, as only 42 spaces are available. Your CPL library card number is needed for registration.)

Garrison Keillor: Is the pen mightier than the voice?

Ryan Somma [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

How lucky to have grown up without TV! That’s how Denise began her presentation. Her family moved to the U.S. Midwest when she was young, and it was there, listening to public radio, that she discovered A Prairie Home Companion.

Giving us a map for reference, Denise was our charming guide to Lake Wobegon. She read a hilarious passage about the founding of the town and why it’s missing on regional maps. Denise says she has met many “Wobegon” personalities, not necessarily from the Midwest. She then continued to give us so many reasons to appreciate this writer, radio broadcaster and so much more.

Demonstrating Mr. Keillor’s satiric side, Denise asked Kathy to read a parody — Kathy should be a comedienne!
CLICK HERE to read “Sermon on the Mount” by Garrison Keillor.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INSIGHTS FROM DENISE on this multi-talented author and radio broadcaster, Garrison Keillor.

The book you think others should read

During WordFest in Calgary and LitFest in Edmonton this October, I caught Alberta at Noon. This phone-in program on CBC 1010 is available in podcast. Judy Aldous, in company with festival directors Shelly Youngblut and Fawnda Mithrush, discover listeners’ favourite books and share their own.

Fascinating — but I was driving! I know our members and other bibliophiles will enjoy this! Be sure to have a pen handy while listening, along with the requisite tea and goodies.


Image by Lubos Houska from Pixabay

Lady Lougheed’s Literary Luncheon

CLICK HERE for Bill Brooks’ enthusiastic article about this fundraising event for the Lougheed House in September. The keynote speech was by author Shaun Hunter, who highlighted three women authors in Calgary’s past.

Although we missed this luncheon, the Lougheed House, with Shaun Hunter (author of Calgary Through the Eyes of Writers,) will host a 2020 exhibition beginning January 23 called Literati: Calgary’s Early Writers.

Mark your new calendars!

Bill Ptacek was inspiring

Guest Bill Ptacek CPL with Margaret at our April 2019 Spring Luncheon

How honoured we were, to have Mr. Bill Ptacek, CEO of the Calgary Public Library, join our Club’s special events over the last few years. As if he didn’t have anything else to do! (Search “Bill Ptacek” for more on this site.)

As reported by Christina Frangou, he “dedicated his career to public libraries in both U.S. and Canadian cities, modernizing, expanding and reshaping them into places where people can gather.” He made an enormous difference to our entire City, and in June was named Calgary’s Citizen of the Year.

We join so many other Calgarians in mourning his passing.

“Life isn’t worth living if you don’t have a good book going as far as I’m concerned.” (Bill Ptacek)

Frangou, Christina. “The American who helped Calgary’s libraries begin a new chapter.” August 19, 2019.

William Duma: Art Show

Sebastian Grünwald [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The artist’s last name should ring a bell for CWLC ladies: It’s Anne Marie’s husband. The show Twilight & Nocturne/Rivers & Streams will run from October 26 to November 13 at Wallace Galleries (#100, 500 – 5 Avenue SW.)

A reception is being held Saturday, October 26, 2-5 PM. Anne Marie & Bill will be there, accompanied by live jazz. Why not mark your calendars and join a Happening? It would be fun to bump into each other!