Friday, April 30, 2010

Fear. . .Tremble. . .Repent!!

Hunker down with us on May 13 for the End-of-Days Literary Saloon--An apocaliffic celebration of the last Literary Saloon of the season!


Bök of Revelations: An earth-shattering reading from international avant-garde poetry sensation Christian Bök, author of Eunoia and Crystallography

Branding Irons of the Antichrist: a short, terrifying film written by (wha?)
former Alberta premiers Ernest Manning and William Aberhart . . . that will have you fearing for your very soul! A world exclusive preview courtesy of film-maker David Cheoros

'Beer for the Apocalypse'
: a made-to-order brew to help pass those long nights in the bomb shelter, courtesy of
Alley Kat Brewing Company.

Don't be left behind!

Door opens at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. Admission is $5. The ARTery is located at 9535 Jasper Avenue

Monday, March 29, 2010

Slam it Home at the Literary Saloon’s ‘My Hometown’ Story Slam on April 8th

Calling all stage-hungry Salooners: this month, we want you to entertain us! In honour of our special guest, prodigal Edmonton son Alan Reed, we’re hosting the My Hometown Story Slam. . .featuring YOU, live onstage!

In the grand tradition of Canadian letters, we have ripped off this idea from Americans—in particular a venerable story-slamming institution known as “The Moth”. They do it well, so we’re taking a page—well, pretty much all the pages—from their book. Here’s how it will work.

1) Prepare a 5 minute story around the theme “My Hometown”. Remember no notes, papers, or cheat sheets will be allowed on stage.

2) You’ll be judged on sticking to the five-minute time frame, sticking to the theme and telling a good story—one with a conflict and a resolution. Don’t meander, waffle, rant, do stand-up comedy or a ‘dramatic monologue’. Just be yourself, telling your story.

3) Download a few Moth podcasts or check out their website for a good sense of good storytelling.

4) Other Moth recommendations: Start in on the action (eg. “So there I was in the kitchen, screaming at my father that he had always loved the budgie more than me, when suddenly he clutched his chest. . .”), and steer clear of meandering endings. Your last line should be clear in your head before you start.

Eager participants will be asked to put their name in a bag before the Saloon begins, and we’ll choose around 5 performers for the evening. A cadre of serious, exacting (if not exactly ober) celebrity judges will rate the stories on a scale of 1-10 and at the end of the evening the winner will be awarded one of our always-fabulous Literary Saloon prizes.

But that’s not all! Participating in our story-themed evening will be:
  • Novelist Lynn Coady, whetting the audience’s appetite with a story from the wilds of her island home of Cape Breton.
  • And a big welcome home to former Edmontonian Alan Reed, debuting his new novel Isobel and Emile (“Young love, marionettes, and very short sentences.”) . . .fresh off the press from Coach House Books.
  • Plus. . . prizes! Sur-prises!

Door opens at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. Admission is $5. The ARTery is located at 9535 Jasper Avenue


Monday, March 8, 2010

March 11 Saloon - Edmonton authors read fresh YA fiction

The March Literary Saloon lineup is all about what the kids are reading these days....

Poly-platform writer (TV! radio! theatre! novels!) Marty Chan is best known for his hit mystery series for middle grade readers. The latest in the series is The Mystery of the Mad Science Teacher. He’ll be offering a sneak peek at his new book, The Mystery of the Cyber Bully, which launches this fall.

Curious about mitochondria? Jocelyn Brown, a member of the Saloon posse and seriously crafty gal, reads from her recently published — to mucho critical acclaim — The Mitochondrial Curiosities of Marcel 1 to 19. Will there be sock puppets? We’re just saying.

Thomas Wharton, the award-festooned author of Icefields, Salamandar, and Logogryph, is currently writing a trilogy of fantasy novels for younger readers, The Perilous Realm. He is also an assistant professor of English at the University of Alberta, so we’re happy to have him out on a school night.

And finally, back in the day, writers used sticks called “pens” to create their masterpiece works. Pen-ologist Shawna Lemay takes us through an exciting and prize-filled journey into inky territory.

Door opens at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5.

The ARTery is located at 9535 Jasper Avenue

Don't miss it! Write the date on your hand!

Future Saloon dates: April 8 and May 13.
(We also have an “Artery Literary Saloon” Facebook page.)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February Lit Saloon Recap: Reading, Drinking and Fighting

Last Thursday night’s Artery Literary Saloon was packed with nail-biting excitement. We assembled a stellar panel of U of A English prof Rob Appleford, author Marina Endicott, book seller Laurie Greenwood, librarian Amanda Bird and CBC's Chris Martin as moderator / instigator to discuss the Canada Reads 2010 selections and debate the whole notion of contests like Canada Reads from all different perspectives. Our loyal audience of Saloon goers cheered and boo’d as they saw fit, and CBC Radio Edmonton taped the whole dang thing for posterity. Frankly, we all worked up quite a thirst.

Luckily, CBC Radio wine columnist, contributing editor of Tidings magazine and Edmonton wine store owner, Gurvinder Bhatia, was there. He was in charge of finding the perfect wine for each of the five books, staking out new and unexplored territory in the field of book and wine matching. Us being us – remember December’s ultra-competitive book-smelling competition? – we made a contest out of it.

At the beginning of the evening, we snared our three Instant Wine Experts (IWEs): author Myrna Kostash, Edmonton Litfest producer David Chereos, and manager of the Whitemud branch of the Edmonton Public Library, Jason Openo. We set them up wtih splashes of all five wines. We opened the bar to all in attendance and the literary proceedings began in earnest. Our panelists read selections from the five books. Gurvinder took us through a sniffing, swirling and a careful tasting of each. The IWEs also chimed in, describing the five wines in excruciating literary style. Finally ballots were cast. Against all odds, we had a winner, and many who came close. As usual, we were loaded with prizes.

Want to drink your way through the Canada Reads 2010 book list? Here are Gurvinder’s wine picks, with some choice oeno-literary commentary by our IWEs. (Note, we all had had quite a bit of wine by this point!)

Drink Renwood Vineyards Old Vines Zinfandel as you read Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald.

“Heavy tannins redolent with shadow and shot through with irreducible hope…” DC

“Fruit, oak, tannins, well-balanced, and deep. A great example of its genre.” JO

Drink Small Gully Shiraz “The Formula” as you read Generation X by Douglas Coupland.

“Good nose, big mouthfeel…almost harsh in a dangerous way.” MK

“Intellectually pixieish” DC

Drink Fabiano Valpolicella Classico Superiore Negraro Ripassato as you read Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott.

“Like Audrey Tatou, this wine matures from sip to sip. Soft and silky.” MK

“Flights of alchohol-infused glee…” DC

Drink JoieFarm A Noble Blend as you read The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy.

“Like Gwyneth Paltrow. It gets nicer the more you drink it.” MK

“A mishmash of style and ideas.” DC

“Would either be great on a sweltering summer day or with berries at the end of the day when you’re ready to call it quits and cuddle.” JO

Drink Black Lagoon Chardonnay as you read Nikolski by Nicholas Dickner.

“Darker than expected.” DC

“Like Mel Gibson or Hugh Grant.” MK

If you want to recreate this at home, all of these five wines are available at Vinomania wine store.

Thanks to the various entities who donated prizes to our February Saloon: Mission Hill Family Estate for the bottle of 2007 Pinot Noir, Sandhill Book Marketing for the donation of Wisewoman's Cookery: Food Sex Magic & Merriment, Fork in the Road winery for the bottle of Oliver Block 249 Red, and CBC Edmonton for the box sets of the Canada Reads Selections and ultra-cool courier bags loaded with goodies.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

February's here and the Literary Saloon is back and looking for a fight!

This month at the Literary Saloon we bring you Canada Reads: the Onstage Tussle. A glittering panel of local big-mouths/hot-shots including our own Canada Reads nominee Marina Endicott will face off against one another in response to the CBC-inspired provocation: "Literature is Not a Game. . .or is it?' CBC radio itself will be there manning the spitbuckets and recording the action as it unfolds.

On the table: What's the deal with the whole Canada Reads thing anyway? Is it good for Canadian literature? Why can't I, as a proud Canadian and CBC listener, just read what I want? Who is this Jian Ghomeshi guy? Why is his hair like that? Can I have more wine?

And the answer to that last question is Yes! By all means! Because the evening will also feature a wine-tasting with CBC wine columnist Gurvinder Bhatia, who'll be helping us pair each of the Canada Reads nominated books with an appropriate wine selection. Drinking and books--it just doesn't get any better.

And just to top things of, a quick hit of the amazing local artist, illustrator and gadabout Raymond Biesinger "who likes conceptualizing, minimalism, art, and progressive politics." And also. . .wine! (We assume).

And, oh my god, the prizes people. More prizes at this Saloon than any Saloon hence. And you *know* how much we like giving prizes. We're talking TWO complete sets of the Canada Reads books to give away and TWO wine-related gift packages as well.

So, come. Get angry along with our panel. Get tipsy with Gurvinder. Get conceptual with Raymond. Get in on it while the gettin's good.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

February's Literary Saloon = Pugnacity & Imbibing

Dear everyone, Deets re: Feb 11's Saloon will be posted shortly. This month: Canada Reads, Drinks and Fights! (Drinks wine and fights about literature that is.) Join us for a PO'd, pugnacious panel discussion on CBC's Canada Reads. Calm down afterwards with a wine tasting, pairing wines with the Canada Reads book choices. Something floral to go with The Jade Peony perhaps? An earthy red to accompany Fall on Your Knees?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Marina Endicott on Reading; Also Writing

Why here's our own Ms. Endicott on the Ceeb site, touting our humble Saloon:

Welcome to the Official Internet Home of the Artery Literary Saloon

Red-headed stepchild of local novelists Marina Endicott and Lynn Coady, the Literary Saloon serves up heady cultural cocktail of storytelling, talks, music, art, dance, film, theatre and yes—even literary readings.

October, November and December's Saloons have been the talk of the town, featuring lit luminaries like Lisa Moore, Shani Mootoo, Karen Solie, Greg Hollingshead, Ted Bishop, Thomas Trofimuk, Marguerite Pigeon and Annabel Lyon. We've also tossed Salsa dancing, chocolate tasting and book-smelling (this was a contest) into the mix, and every month we offer fabulous door prizes. The event features every-friendly bar-service, delicious Artery-made eats, and wonderful on-site book seller Laurie Greenwood, of CBC radio song and story.

Keep checking back for February's line up. And write to us at to suggest guests, contests and anything else you'd like to see, do, hear, learn, taste, win or otherwise consume.