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Feature authors announced for Convergence Writers' Weekend

B.C. environmental author and activist Nancy Holmes, B.C. women-in-trades poet and memoirist Kate Braid, and Alberta wilderness writer and singer-songwriter Sid Marty will headline this year’s Convergence Writers’ Weekend, in Silverton, B.C. June 12 and 13.

Registration is now open for the 7th annual event, to be held at the Silverton Memorial Hall, 203 Lake Ave. (Highway 6). Cost for the weekend is $50 plus GST. More information, including how to register, is available at http://widespot.ca/convergence-writers-weekend/

This year’s theme is “Story as Resistance.” Talks by the featured authors on the theme will occur on the Friday night, June 12, at 7 p.m. which will also offer a musical performance by Marty. The Friday night event is open to the public; admission for non-registrants is $12. Convergence registrants, besides attending the Friday event, will participate in one of two Saturday writing workshops offered by Braid and Holmes.

Registrants will also take part in a Saturday evening group consideration of the theme.

“This year’s theme grew out of the question, ‘How do the stories we tell in person and in our writing advance social and environmental justice?’,” said Convergence Writers’ Weekend co-ordinator Claire Paradis. “The Convergence organizing committee formulated six further questions that explore aspects of the theme — questions that we’d like participants to reflect on, not least in their writing.”

The six questions are posted on the Convergence website, Paradis said. “We’re lucky to have the chance to hear this year from three highly accomplished and widely published authors who each in their own way have grappled with issues that this year’s Convergence will tackle.”

Victoria writer Kate Braid’s memoir Journeywoman: Swinging a Hammer in a Man’s World (2012) details her 15 years as one of the first female journeyed carpenters ln Canada. She has also published collections of poems about her work experience, including Turning Left to the Ladies (2009).

Other books of her poems focus on the lives of artists Emily Carr and Georgia O’Keeffe, and pianist Glen Gould. With Sandy Shreve, Braid co-edited the anthology of Canadian form poetry, In Fine Form (2nd edition, 2016). Braid taught writing for many years for Nanaimo’s Malaspina College (now Vancouver Island University).

UBC Okanagan writing professor Nancy Holmes has published five collections of poetry, most recently The Flicker Tree (2012). She edited the anthology Open Wide a Wilderness: Canadian Nature Poems (2009), and co-founded the Okanagan’s Eco Art Incubator (ecoartincubator.com), which supports ecological art projects. One such venture in which she participates is Border Free Bees, which uses the power of art to raise awareness and develop initiatives to protect native pollinators, especially bees. She won the Malahat Review’s 2017 Creative Non-fiction award.

Lundbreck, Alberta-based Sid Marty’s writing is strongly associated with the Rocky Mountains, where he previously worked as a park warden. His five nonfiction titles include the classic Men for the Mountains (1978; latest re-issue 2001) and most recently The Black Grizzly of Whiskey Creek (2008). His five collections of poems include The Rider with Good Hands (2011). He performs widely on the folk song circuit; his latest CD is Elsewhere (2002).

Marty’s many awards include the $50,000 Grant MacEwan Literary Arts Award in 2008 for his contribution to Alberta literature.

Support for this year’s Convergence Writers’ Weekend has come from the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s Recreation Commission No. 6. Past funding has come from a number of Columbia Basin Trust cultural initaitives, as well as RDCK Area H and Area K directors.

Photo Caption: Victoria writer Kate Braid is one of the noteable headliners for this year’s Convergence Writers’ Weekend, in Silverton, B.C. June 12 and 13. — Photo courtesy Rachel Lenkowski