Xtra West columnist Ivan E Coyote has been named as the Vancouver Public Library’s fifth writer-in-residence.
In addition to mentoring emerging writers and sharing experience with the community through a variety of activities including readings and workshops, Coyote will spend time on personal writing projects.
“I’m excited about the programs the VPL and I are putting together,” Coyote says. “It’s a great opportunity to do the work I really enjoy, and do it in my own backyard.”
Library board chair Joan Anderson says she is delighted by the choice of Coyote for the four-month position funded by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Friends of the Vancouver Public Library.
“Her skills as an award-winning author, storyteller and spoken word performer will greatly benefit the individuals she works with one-on-one and in workshops, and everyone who attends her readings will definitely be captivated,” Andersen says.
The Yukon native is working on an adult novel tentatively titled The Truth About That Man and a young adult novel, Almost Twelve.
Coyote, the author of four short story collections, one novel, two CDs and four short films, began her four-month tenure Monday at the Library’s Book Camp and will lead a real-life writing workshop for teens at the week-long camp.
In September, Coyote will begin individual consultations with emerging writers as well as leading an intergenerational family writing workshop and four sessions of memoir writing for seniors.
Coyote’s four story collections are Close to Spider Man, One Man’s Trash, Loose End and The Slow Fix.
Coyote’s novel Bow Grip won the 2007 ReLit Award and was named the Stonewall Honor Book of the year by the American Library Association.
Coyote has also won the Danuta Gleed Short Fiction Prize, been twice short-listed for the Ferro-Grumley Women’s Fiction Award and in 2008, Loose End was a finalist for VPL’s One Book, One Vancouver program.
Coyote is published by Arsenal Pulp Press and is a long-time columnist for Xtra West in Vancouver, with her work appearing on Xtra.ca.
The writer’s work has received wide praise, with The Toronto Star saying Coyote’s “talent for sketching the bizarre in the everyday.”
In addition to writing and performing, Coyote has taught creative writing at Capilano and Carleton universities, and was Carleton’s writer-in-residence in 2007-2008. In January 2007, Coyote was artist-in-residence at the Klondike Institute for Arts and Culture in her native Yukon.
The 2009 Writer-in-Residence inaugural reading takes place Monday, Sep 21 at 7:30pm in the Alice MacKay Room at the Central Library Admission is free.
It’s not the first time a Vancouver queer writer has been honoured by the library.
Queer writer Karen X Tulchinsky’s 2003 novel The Five Books of Moses Lapinsky is the winner of the Vancouver Public Library’s 2008 One Book, One Vancouver competition.
Vancouver Public Library Writer-in-Residence Program