A-R International: Alison Wearing

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Alison Wearing
Authors-Readers International

Alison Wearing is a Canadian writer and performer.

Her celebrated Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter is both a bestselling memoir and a multiple award-winning solo play. The memoir was shortlisted for the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Nonfiction, nominated for the RBC/Taylor Prize for Non-Fiction, and was selected as an Indigo Books Top 50 Pick. The solo play has been featured in international theatre and literary festivals. Its numerous awards include Best Dramatic Script at New York City’s United Solo, the largest festival of solo theatre in the world.

Her most recent memoir, Moments of Glad Grace, has been heralded as “a wise, funny, and tender book, beautifully written and perfectly executed from first to last sentence” by Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi. She is also the author of the internationally acclaimed travel memoir Honeymoon in Purdah: an Iranian Journey.

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I…

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A-R International: Bill Engleson

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Bill Engleson
Authors-Readers International

Bill Engleson is a Canadian author and retired child protection social worker. He was born in Powell River, BC, raised in Nanaimo, and spent his first year of life trapped aboard his parents leaky fishboat. He resided in New Westminster for most of his adult years, retiring to Denman Island in 2004.

He writes long fiction, flash fiction, essays, poetry, letters to the editor, and, of late, the occasional book reviews for the Ormsby Review, a new online journal about B.C history and literature.

He has been writing most of his life. His first couple of efforts, poetic in nature, were printed in his mid-teens (quite a long time ago) in the, now, sadly defunct Nanaimo Daily Free Press.

He self-published his first novel, Like a Child to Home in 2013. Silver Bow Publishing released his second book, a collection of humorous literary essays titled

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A-R International: JoAnn McCaig

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

JoAnn McCaig
Authors-Readers International


The unusually bookish JoAnn McCaig writes, edits, teaches, reviews, talks about, publishes, and sells books.

Over the course of her working life, JoAnn McCaig has become an established literary authority in Western Canada. She began her writing career as an ad copywriter, and eventually earned three degrees in English literature. In her 20 years of teaching English at the University of Calgary, JoAnn ensured that hundreds of students not only overcame their fear of poetry, but also learned how to use the semicolon correctly. JoAnn published her first novel in 2000, and in 2007 became a founding board member of Calgary literary press Freehand Books. In 2010 she realized a lifelong dream by opening Shelf Life Books, an independent bookstore in Calgary’s inner city Beltline area, thereby making the circle of bookishness complete.

“I like to involve the reader in the making of…

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A-R International: Antony Millen

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Antony Millen
Authors-Readers International

Antony Millen is a Nova Scotian living and writing in New Zealand.

Originally from Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Canada, he moved to New Zealand with his wife and two children in 1997. He has lived in Taumarunui since then, working at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School and, more recently, as the head of the English department at Taumarunui High School.

During his early years in New Zealand, he wrote sporadically, but with a dream to write novels as a major part of his life-style if not as a career. In 2013, he launched his first novel, Redeeming Brother Murrihy. He followed this in 2014 with Te Kauhanga: A Tale of Space(s). The Chain is his first novel for young adults.

He has since seen several short stories and articles published in literary journals. He is currently stalled, but chipping away on the draft of…

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A-R International: Joan Barfoot

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Joan Barfoot
Authors-Readers International

Photo credit: Ken Wightman

Joan Barfoot was born in Owen Sound, Ontario, and graduated with a degree in English from the University of Western Ontario in 1969. She worked as a reporter and editor for various newspapers in Ontario including the Windsor Star, the Toronto Sun and the London Free Press. As a child, while she and her mother watched a squirrel in their back yard from their kitchen, her mother told Barfoot to tell her the squirrel’s story and she’d write it down. Barfoot doesn’t remember the story but remembers her delight when her mother read the story back to her and the power of creating it. Barfoot was also encouraged to write by a teacher who told Barfoot she wrote well and to consider some word-related career. In addition to writing Barfoot occasionally teaches creative writing classes though she believes writing ought…

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A-R International: Steve Boone

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Steve Boone
Authors-Readers International

I never gave much thought about becoming a professional musician. I always loved music and admired my older brother Skip and his bands, and playing at beach parties and with the Kingsmen was totally cool. Once I found out I was 4F and ineligible for military service though I did not know what would come next!

In December 1964, Peter Davey and I had just come home from spending 4 months riding around Europe on motorcycles. We had a blast of a time, met some great new friends and went places most tourists never go!
Starting in January 1965 I was enrolled in the Spring semester at the new Southampton College in the hills overlooking Shinnecock Bay on the south fork of Long Island. In our trip around Europe, Peter and I came across an incredible adventure where we got to see up close and personal…

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A-R International: Eugene Stickland

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Eugene Stickland
Authors-Readers International

I arrived in Calgary in 1994 when I began a ten year residency at Alberta Theatre Projects, establishing a reputation as one of western Canada’s most prominent playwrights. All in all, I have written twenty plays, some of which have been produced many times across North America and beyond. My play Queen Lear, for example, had a two year run in Istanbul in Turkish translation and is currently running in Russia in Russian translation. While still at ATP, I began writing a feature column for the Calgary Herald’s Saturday Entertainment Section which allowed me to write about theatre and any other arts-related topics I chose for a potential weekly audience of up to half a million people. At the same time, I have always had a strong commitment to teaching and mentoring the next generation. I have taught or held residencies at…

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A-R International: Steven Biggs

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Steven Biggs
Authors-Readers International

I help people grow food
MY PASSION is incorporating edible crops into the landscape to create beautiful, edible landscapes with a long and varied harvest. I was recognized by Garden Making Magazine as one of the “green gang” of Canadians making a difference in horticulture.
My yard includes a driveway straw-bale garden, rooftop kitchen garden, wicking beds, an edible-themed front yard, and fruit plantings.
My gig is communications. I work as a horticulturist, college instructor, broadcaster, speaker, and author. The common thread is that I share ideas about how to creatively use edible plants in the landscape. And I make it fun.
I have worked in horticulture and agriculture for more than 25 years.
After getting a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Guelph, I worked in greenhouse and nursery production, plant propagation, biological controls, horticultural supplies, and farm marketing.

• Children…

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A-R International: Lawrence Schwartzwald

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Lawrence Schwartzwald
Authors-Readers International

Self-portrait on Madison ave. Exclusive Photos by Lawrence Schwartzwald

Born in New York in 1953, Lawrence Schwartzwald studied literature at New York University. He worked as a freelance photographer for the New York Post for nearly two decades and in 1997 New York Magazine dubbed him the Post’s “king of the streets.” Books and literature have shaped several of his photo series including “Reading New York” and “Famous Poets,” both self-published in 2017. Schwartzwald lives and works in Manhattan.

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I first learned of Lawrence Schwartzwald’s photography through Canadian poet Frank Beltrano (who has previously been promoted on Authors-Readers International and Reading Recommendations as well as being a great personal pal). Frank had suggested I’d find Lawrence’s photos very interesting. I became Facebook friends with Lawrence, enjoyed viewing all his photography, and was very pleased when he announced the publication of this collection of photographs…

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A-R International: Jerry Auld

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

Jerry Auld
Authors-Readers International

Born and raised in Calgary, Jerry has called Canmore home since 1996, after traveling the world only to find the Bow Valley the best place to settle.

He worked two seasons for the park trail crews, climbing, trail running, and skiing avidly before, during, and since among the Rockies. During this time, Jerry learned of the legend of Hooker and Brown, and was astonished to find himself so ignorant of his own history.

Jerry lives with his wife, a fourteenth generation Quebecoise, and their two daughters in the Rocky Mountains.

He has published Hooker & Brown (a novel) – 2009, Short Peaks (short stories) – 2012, A Jazz Guide to Banff (a novel with Mike Lauchlan) – 2015.
He has a story in the latest Rockies Annual.

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I can’t remember where or when exactly I first met Jerry Auld, but I did promote his…

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