This book contains stories, essays, poems and dramatic monologues by some of Alberta’s best writers. The pieces are far ranging in their subject matter, from relationship narratives to insights about landscape, from rainy day noir to futuristic card games, from the power of chocolate to reflections on art and identity. It is safe to say you can expect the unexpected.
These pieces illustrate the broad range of talent in Alberta and show the many paths writers can take during their lives. There are three youth winners, including a story written by an 11-year-old. There are 16 Amateur winners, and as many Professionals. The judges were Albertan writers respected around the world: Governor General’s award winning writers Sharon Pollock (Dramatic Monologue), E.D. Blodgett (Poetry & Poetic Prose), Gloria Sawai (Short Story), and GG nominated writer Aritha van Herk (Creative Nonfiction). Here it is possible to see that a youth writer can become an amateur, then a professional, and perhaps one day a GG winner.
The entries are all 1250 words or under and are perfect for short reads during a bus trip or at lunchtime or just before bed. Many you might want to read again and again. Dip into this superb collection of writing that exposes the wealth of talent, ability, and artistry that exists in Alberta.
About the Editor
A.G. Boss is the Entertainment & Drama Producer for CBC in Alberta. Boss’s past stage plays include My Burning Bush, Curves in the Road, and Swimming with Goldfish. His CBC Ideas docudrama updrafts was nominated for some of the world’s top radio awards, including a Peabody, a Gabriel, a New York Festival, and a Prix Italia. His monologue Reflecting Reason was inspired by a sudden recognition of similarities between a child and its parents. The piece is about the formation and discovery of identity, and it also examines the roles of commerce and art.
The standout story is first-place professional winner Leslie Greentree’s “The Brilliant Save,” about amateur hockey heroics and male braggadocio: how the guy who can stop a puck with his tough exterior becomes a metaphor for a life cut short by adolescent bravado…the story is terse and economical, handling the conventions of the Freytag triangle with wit and grace. Professional first-place winner Rebecca Bradley turns in the standout performance with her “Wedding in Sepia,” a meditation on a wedding picture, circa 1911, Calgary, which makes much of body language, eye contact, and poise and pose to adumbrate the lacunae in Victorian manners and behavioral/dress codes, and speculate from empirical evidence on future relations. Second Place, Professional Category winner Caterina Edwards offers a similarly laconic, masterful piece of retrospective narration that contrasts a little girl’s perceptions to the larger movements of history. The timing is perfect and the control of colloquial speech rhythms and the Mother Goose melodies of children’s sentence inflections note perfect. Editor A.G. Boss kicks off the dramatic monologue section with a piece of his own, “Reflecting Reason,” as if to set the tone or show the others how such a marvel of concision can be constructed… It’s a clever, witty piece, a kind of cartoonish fractured fairy tale.
A strong collection of Alberta voices.
Alberta Anthology 2006, A.G. Boss, Poetry, ISBN 978-1-897181-06-5, 168 pages, Paperback, 6″ x 9″, $18.95