April 11, 2007

New Faces Scrapbook

I can't believe that a year has gone by since I posted my thoughts on the 2006 New Face of Fiction Party... and the thrill of meeting Ann-Marie MacDonald!

This year, it was my turn to make the introductions at the Gladstone hotel and have the honour of helping celebrate Knopf Canada's 2007 New Faces of Fiction. Neil Smith (Bang Crunch) and Jen Sookfong Lee (The End of East) are two of the nicest people you'll ever meet as well as being two of the freshest voices in Canadian fiction.

Neil wowed us with his rendition of "Larry", an astronaut's amputated foot, and Jen graciously brought us into the innermost thoughts of Sammy, a young woman trying to figure out what it means to come home again. What a brilliant night!

And as a fun surprise, my lit-blogging buddy, Sassy M. was there as well. To get a fun-filled, play-by-play description of the evening from her point of view, chase down her post: Fun at New Faces of Fiction 2007.

April 04, 2007

Let's talk about BIRTH, baby...

Last year I interviewed Ahri Golden of Thin Air Media about the radio documentary she was putting together with her partner Tania Kentenjian.
(read a conversation with Ahri Golden)

We've been checking in with each other from time to time over the last few months, cheering one another on as we traveled the continent - both of us thrilled to be meeting amazing women and sharing tales. Inspired by their work, I thought of Ahri and Tania again this past weekend when I was fortunate enough to lead a Birth Stories workshop at the Spring Garden Public Library in Halifax. We gathered as women, mothers, and grandmothers...exchanging heartaches, joys, wisdom and humour. We traced our perceptions of self, of sex, of pregnancy and birth from childhood to the present. What an enlightening and empowering experience!

What did you think of pregnancy at the age of 5? at 13? at 19?
Where did you think babies came from?
Did you have any ideas about childbirth?
Do you know your own birth story?

During my workshop, I shared a bit of Ahri and Tania's work with the group. I'm pleased to announce that a sample of their beautiful and compelling documentary, BIRTH is now available here.

And if you want to hear the whole thing...
You can tune in to KQED SanFrancisco
April 4 - at 8pm PST
April 7 - at 1pm PST

here's the page you can go to, to listen live at the dates and times above.

BIRTH is...
A one-hour special about the perceptions and practices of birth in America. Few things are more profound or delightful than bringing new life into the world. "Birth" traces this phenomenal yet commonplace event, beginning with early perceptions about the process. It then moves from the hours before labor into labor itself, and ends with the time after a baby's birth. This sound-rich program examines the birth process from emotional, physical and philosophical perspectives. The show features Tina Cassidy, author of "Birth: A Surprising History of How We're Born," and includes interviews with doctors, midwives, doulas, historians, parents and kids. Moving through time and from person to person, listeners discover how life stories, history, biology, media, anthropology and medicine merge and culminate in the actual birthing process.

For other stations, dates, and times, please visit Thin Air Media's site.