AX Literary Series Archives

Our archives are listed in reverse-chronological order, from most recent.

2022

AX Literary Series: Ann-Marie MacDonald

 

November 10, 2022 Ann-Marie MacDonald

AX Literary Series: Ann-Marie MacDonald

AX Literary Series

Thursday, November 10, 7:00 p.m.

Cost: Free, donations encouraged

Location: In-person, AX

Fayne – An In-Conversation Event with Ann-Marie-MacDonald

 

The AX Literary Series, in partnership with the Lorenzo Society, is proud to present award-winning novelist Ann-Marie MacDonald, who will read from her latest book, Fayne, on Thursday, November 10, at 7:00 p.m. Ann-Marie will be joined by CBC host and moderator Julia Wright, and there will be a question and answer period following Ann-Marie’s reading.

Fayne, a tale of science, magic, love, and identity, tells the story of Charlotte Bell, who lives on a vast and lonely estate straddling the border between England and Scotland, where she has been kept from the world by her adoring father, owing to a mysterious condition. Charlotte, strong and insatiably curious, revels in the moorlands and has learned the treacherous and healing ways of the bog from the old hired man, Byrn, whose own origins are shrouded in mystery.

Ann-Marie MacDonald, best-selling author of Fall on Your KneesThe Way the Crow Flies, and Adult Onset, has won numerous awards in her capacity as a novelist, playwright, actor, and television presenter. We hope you will join us in Sussex for this unique opportunity to gain insight into MacDonald’s perspectives and insights as she discusses her work with CBC host Julia Wright.

Please note: Entry for Ann-Marie MacDonald’s reading is free and will be first-come, first served. To avoid overcrowding, those who arrive early will receive admission tokens which will allow them to leave and return when doors open at 6:45 p.m. Admission will be granted to those with tokens. 

There will be a bookseller on hand, and sales and book signings will take place after the event.


About Ann-Marie MacDonald

Ann-Marie MacDonald is a best-selling novelist, playwright, actor, and television presenter based in Montreal and Toronto. Her work in all capacities has been honoured with multiple awards. Her plays are produced and published internationally. She is the author of Fall on Your KneesThe Way the Crow Flies, and Adult Onset. Her work has been translated into seventeen languages. In 2019, Ann-Marie was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of her contribution to the arts and her LGBTQ2SI+ activism. Her new play, Hamlet-911, premieres this summer at The Stratford Festival. 

Fall on Your Knees (celebrating its 25th anniversary this year!) is an award-winning and international bestseller and only the second Canadian book to be chosen as an Oprah’s Book Club pick. And Fall on Your Knees will have its world premiere stage adaptation to four cities – Toronto, London, Ottawa and Halifax – this January. Her new novel, Fayne, her first in eight years, is being released this October. 

About Julia Wright

​Julia Wright is the host of CBC Information Morning in Saint John, N.B. Julia is a “Johner” born and raised, though she left the city long enough to get her BA at UNB Fredericton and Masters in English at McGill University in Montreal. She started working at CBC New Brunswick in 2016 as the morning newsreader for Information Morning Saint John, filling in for maternity leave. A few months later, she was a successful candidate for a full-time position reporting for CBC New Brunswick’s digital platforms. Before she joined the public broadcaster, Julia was a columnist for Vice and the Saint John Telegraph-Journal, and an associate editor at Civilized. Earlier, she founded and edited two independent publications that showcased Saint John stories, characters and creators: ​​Hard Times in the Maritimes and ​​The Tempest. In addition to her fondness for Saint John, she loves photography, microfilm, running, and sushi.

 


Acknowledgements

The AX Literary Series is supported, in part, by the New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, the Government of Canada, and the Lorenzo Society at UNB Saint John.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


September 25, 2022 Hardy Apples with Bob Osborne and Beth Powning

AX Reading Series: Hardy Apples with Bob Osborne and Beth Powning

Sunday, September 25, 2:00 p.m.
In-person AX Gallery
Cost: Free, donations encouraged

Join us at AX on Sunday, September 25, at 2:00 p.m., as we host Bob Osborne and Beth Powning as part of the AX Reading Series. Bob, owner of Corn Hill Nursery, will read from “Hardy Apples” and will discuss his research and path to publication, as well as apple history, cultivation and pests.

Beth will touch on the photography process as well as their collaboration, which began with a handshake at a potluck supper back in 1989. There will be a question and answer period following the discussion.

Although Knock’s Café is closed on Sunday, AX will have a bartender on hand to serve refreshments.

Atlantic Books had this to say about “Hardy Apples”:

Hardy Apples is both a practical guide and a loving tribute to the wonderful abundance and diversity of apple cultivars available to the northern gardener and orchardist. Full of tips, facts, beautiful photographs and fascinating stories about apples both popular and obscure, this book is sure to inform and entertain in equal measure.

About Bob Osborne

Bob Osborne, author of Hardy Apples, is the owner of Corn Hill Nursery in New Brunswick, Canada. He moved to Markhamville, New Brunswick from Connecticut in 1972, where he made furniture for 10 years before moving to Corn Hill in 1980, and founded Corn Hill Nursery in 1982. He is a gardening author, a columnist on CBC radio, and a member of several horticultural organizations.

About Beth Powning

Beth Powning, a photographer of Hardy Apples, lives in New Brunswick. She has published seven books: Home – Chronicle of a North Country Life; Shadow Child; The Hatbox Letters; Edge Seasons; The Sea Captain’s Wife; A Measure of Light and The Sister’s Tale. Her books have been long-listed for the Dublin International Fiction Award and been short-listed for numerous awards such as the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and The Edna Staebler Award, as well as being Globe and Mail Best Books. She has attended literary festivals in England, Ireland, the USA, and across Canada. Her latest novel, The Sister’s Tale, was an immediate Canadian best-seller.  Beth Powning has photographed four previous books, including Hardy Roses with Bob Osborne.

Thanks to the New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture and the Government of Canada. This reading is also made possible with financial assistance from The Canada Council for the Arts through The Writers’ Union of Canada.

 


 

June 25, 2022 Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon and Jacques Poitras

June 25 at 2:00 p.m.

In-person, AX Gallery

Cost: Free, donations encouraged

Join us at AX on June 25, 2:00 p.m., as we host Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon and Jacques Poitras along with moderator Dr. Sandra Bell as part of the AX Reading Series. The authors will read from their books, Shadow of Doubt, the Trials of Dennis Oland and Irving vs Irving: Canada’s Feuding Billionaires and the Stories They Won’t Tell before discussing the common theme of controversy in prominent New Brunswick families. There will be a question and answer period after the discussion. 


About the Authors

Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon is a reporter and web editor for CBC New Brunswick. She previously worked at the Toronto Star, the Ottawa Citizen, and the Telegraph-Journal. She is the winner of a Saint John Arts Award and an Atlantic Journalism Award, and a finalist for two National Newspaper Awards and three Atlantic Journalism Awards, including one for her early reporting on the Richard Oland murder.

The first edition of Shadow of Doubt was a national bestseller and a finalist for an Arthur Ellis Award from the Crime Writers of Canada. It won the New Brunswick Book Award for Non-Fiction.

Jacques Poitras is the provincial affairs reporter for CBC News in New Brunswick and is the author of five non-fiction books, including national bestseller Irving vs. Irving: Canada’s Feuding Billionaires and the Stories They Won’t Tell. Two of his books have been nominated for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and two were nominated for the National Business Book Award. He was born in Moncton and lives in Fredericton.

Learn more about Jacques Poitras on his website.  

Dr. Sandra Bell is a Professor in the discipline of English at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John. She received the Allan P. Stuart Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2006, was a University Teaching Scholar (2009-12), and received the Neil Scott Instructional Leadership Award, the Change One Thing Award in 2016, and the Teaching Innovation Award in 2018. Sandra has presented and published on the writings of James VI of Scotland, I of England, and his mother, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. She is one of three editors of an anthology of sixteenth century prose and verse, published by Broadview Press.

 


Thanks to the New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture for their support of this literary reading. This project is also funded in part by the Government of Canada.



June 16, 2022 James Mullinger

Thursday, June 16, 7:00 p.m.
Cost: Free, donations encouraged
Location: In-person, AX 

Please note: Entry for James Mullinger’s reading is free and will be first-come, first-served. To avoid overcrowding, those who come early will receive admission tokens, which will allow them to leave and return when doors open at 6:45 p.m. Admission will be granted to those with tokens. 

There will be a bookseller on hand, and sales and book signings will take place after the event.

AX is pleased to welcome award-winning comedian and writer James Mullinger to the AX gallery. On Thursday, June 16 at 7:00 p.m., join James and moderator Dr. Gerard Collins. James will read from his newly-published memoir, Brit Happens, and take questions from the audience.

“Brit Happens chronicles Mullinger’s lifetime of adventures, from his beginnings as a shy and nervous kid collecting comedy records at the neighborhood video store, to rising through the ranks of GQ magazine and meeting his personal idols Jerry Seinfeld and Paul McCartney, to imagining the possibility of another life in Canada. From the highs and lows of London to beginning anew in New Brunswick, Brit Happens tells gut-busting stories of success and failure and the unpredictable grind of stand-up comedy. It also offers a laugh-out-loud look at life in Atlantic Canada from the region’s funniest outsider-turned-local.”
~Goose Lane Editions

There will be a bookseller on hand if you would like to purchase Mullinger’s book.


About James Mullinger

JAMES MULLINGER is an award-winning British comedian and the co-founder of [Edit] magazine. He spent fifteen years at GQ magazine before moving to Canada. He has appeared on CBC’s The Debaters, at theatres across the country, and in stand-up specials and movies. Brit Happens is his first book. 


April 30, 2022 What Strange Paradise – An In-Conversation Event with Omar El Akkad

 

What Strange Paradise – An In-Conversation Event with Omar El Akkad

Saturday, April 30, 3:00 p.m.

Cost: Free, donations encouraged

Location: In-person, AX 

What Strange Paradise

How empathy, indifference, hope, and despair each blind us to reality.

AX is thrilled to announce that we are partnering once again with the Frye Festival to host a satellite reading in the AX gallery. On Saturday, April 30 at 3:00 p.m., join us at AX for a literary reading with Egyptian-Canadian author and journalist Omar El Akkad, winner of the 2021 Giller Prize. 

Omar will be joined by moderator Thomas Hodd, and there will be a question and answer period following the reading, as well as an opportunity to purchase Omar’s work from Tidewater Books. 

Please note that, although the event is free, the Frye and AX encourage donations when you arrive to help AX with operating costs, and attendees must register in advance. It’s easy to register—simply visit the Frye Festival website, come see us at AX, or call (506) 433-8351. 

Masks are encouraged, but not required.


About Omar El Akkad

Omar El Akkad is an author and journalist. His debut novel, American War (McClelland & Stewart, 2017), has been translated into thirteen languages. His new novel, What Strange Paradise (Knopf, 2021), won the Giller Prize and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Award, was a finalist for the Aspen Words Literary Prize, and was named a best book of the year by the The New York Times, The Washington Post, and NPR.

About Thomas Hodd

Thomas Hodd is a playwright, cultural critic, and Associate Professor of English at the Université de Moncton. His columns and essays have appeared in Maritime Edit, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, the Literary Review of Canada, and Canadian Art, among others. He is also the author of No Man Is An Island, produced most recently by the Saint John Theatre Company.


Thank you to TD Bank and the New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture for their support of this literary reading. This project is also funded, in part, by the Government of Canada. / Ce projet est financé en partie par le gouvernement du Canada.

 


January 21, 2022 Phoebe Wang, UNB Writer in Residence

 

AX Reading Series: Phoebe Wang, UNB Writer in Residence

 

UNB Writer in Residence Phoebe Wang

Where: Online – contact info@axartscentre.ca for Zoom registration link
When: January 21, 2022, 7:00 p.m.
Cost: Free
Access the Intuitive Publishing workshop information here!

The AX Reading Series is pleased to welcome current UNB Writer in Residence, poet Phoebe Wang. Wang will read from her collected works before taking questions from the audience. The following morning, Saturday, January 22, Wang will host a publishing workshop via Zoom. 

Though AX is offering the literary reading free of charge to the public, we strive to pay artists a fair wage and we are covering a reading fee for the author, thanks to support from the New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture. The literary reading is also funded in part by the Government of Canada. All are welcome to attend. Please contact info@axartscentre.ca for the Zoom registration link. 

 

About Phoebe Wang

Phoebe Wang is a Chinese-Canadian writer and educator and author of two chapbooks and the poetry collections Admission Requirements (2017) and Waking Occupations (2022). She was a co-editor of The Unpublished City, Volume 2, served on the editorial board for Poetry In Voice’s senior online anthology, and is a poetry editor with The Fiddlehead magazine. She is currently the Writer-in-Residence at the University of New Brunswick.


Thanks to the New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture and the Government of Canada for their support of this literary reading.

 



2021

December 5, 2021 An Afternoon with Gerard Collins and Beth Powning

 

Sunday, December 5, 2:00 p.m.

Cost: FREE

AX is pleased to welcome award-winning local authors Gerard Collins and Beth Powning to the gallery on December 5. Gerard and Beth both released novels during the pandemic, and they will read from their new works – Gerard from The Hush Sisters and Beth from The Sister’s Tale – before engaging in a dialogue on writing. There will be a bookseller on hand with copies of their most recent and previous works.

We’re doing something special for this event and compiling some questions for the authors in advance – we’d love to hear from you! Please send your question to info@axartscentre.ca. We’ll choose some of your questions to ask the authors, and there will also be an open question and answer period at the end of the afternoon when you can ask questions from the floor.

Knocks Café has kindly agreed to open in the afternoon to serve light refreshments. All attendees will be required to wear a properly fitting mask at all times in the gallery – it can be lifted to take a sip of a beverage, but must be worn otherwise.

Thanks to the New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture for their support of this literary reading. This project is also funded in part by the Government of Canada.

About Gerard Collins and Beth Powning

Gerard Collins is a New Brunswick-based writer, originally from Newfoundland, whose first novel, Finton Moon, was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, the Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage and History Award, and has won the Percy Janes First Novel Award. In 2019, he turned the Finton Moon experience into a multi-media art exhibition, “The Book that Wrote Itself.” His short story collection, Moonlight Sketches, won the Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award. In 2021, his second novel, The Hush Sisters, won an international Next Generation Indie Book Award in the suspense category and also was a finalist in the paranormal category. 

To learn more about Gerard Collins visit his website

Beth Powning lives in New Brunswick. She has published seven books: Home – Chronicle of a North Country Life; Shadow Child; The Hatbox Letters; Edge Seasons; The Sea Captain’s Wife; A Measure of Light  and The Sister’s Tale. Her books have been long-listed for the Dublin International Fiction Award, and been short-listed for numerous awards such as the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and The Edna Staebler Award, as well as being Globe and Mail Best Books. She has attended literary festivals in England, Ireland, the USA, and across Canada. Her latest novel, The Sister’s Tale, was an immediate Canadian best-seller.

To learn more about Beth Powning visit her website.

 


April 22, 2021 Reading and Q&A – David Huebert, UNB Writer in Residence

April 22, 7:30 p.m.

Cost: FREE

AX is pleased to host an online reading followed by a question and answer session with current UNB Writer in Residence, poet David Huebert, on April 22, 7:30 p.m. Huebert will read from his collection of works, followed by a question and answer session where you’ll have the opportunity to ask him questions about his writing process, published works and more.

Though AX is offering this event free of charge to the public, we strive to pay artists a fair wage and we are covering a reading fee for the author. All are welcome to attend. Please email info@axartscentre.ca to request the Zoom meeting information. 

About David Huebert

David Huebert is the 2020-2021 Writer in Residence at the University of New Brunswick. David’s fiction was the winner of the 2016 CBC Short Story Prize, a finalist for the 2020 Journey Prize, and a National Magazine Award nominee in 2018 and 2019. His fiction debut, Peninsula Sinking, won a Dartmouth Book Award and was runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. His second poetry collection, Humanimus, appeared in 2020. A new story collection, Chemical Valley, will be published by Biblioasis in 2021. 

To learn more about David and his works, please check out his Twitter page or Facebook profile. You can also purchase his works online, through the Bookmark Halifax website.


April 2021 AX Reading Series: New Brunswick Poets in Conversation

AX is pleased to present four New Brunswick Poets in conversation – just in time for April, National Poetry Month, when poets and their works are celebrated.

We had originally planned to host an evening of readings during National Poetry Month last year, but then the pandemic hit. Months later, as it became apparent we wouldn’t be able to host an in-person event anytime soon, we shifted course and welcomed the four poets individually into the AX gallery to film readings and conversation moderated by fellow poet, Dr. Sue Sinclair.

Poets Allan Cooper, Jennifer Houle, Marilyn Lerch and Vanessa Moeller each spoke with Sue about their recent work, their experiences writing during the pandemic, and incorporating the concept of beauty in their work. These conversations and readings are now showcased in a 4-part video series released on the AX YouTube page.

All filming and editing was done in-house, and there were some audio and video distortions in a few spots due to a faulty microphone wire and the use of different cameras. We’ve done our best to minimize these interruptions, and we appreciate your patience as we teach ourselves how to use this new-to-us technology.


About Dr. Sue Sinclair 

Sue Sinclair is a Canadian poet, author of five collections of poetry, all of which have won or have been nominated for awards. Her most recent book, Heaven’s Thieves (Brick Books, 2016), won the 2017 Pat Lowther Award for the best book of poems by a Canadian woman. Sue’s New and Selected Poems will be published by Goose Lane Editions in 2022. Sue teaches creative writing at the University of New Brunswick, where she is also editor of The Fiddlehead literary journal.

Sinclair’s latest book, Heaven’s Thieves, can be purchased through the Brickbook’s website.


About Allan Cooper

Moncton-based Allan Cooper has published over a dozen books of poetry, including The Deer Yard (with Harry Thurston) and The Alma Elegies. Twice recipient of the Alfred G. Bailey Award for Poetry (1987 and 1992), Cooper has also won the Peter Gzowski Award (1994) and been shortlisted three times for CBC Literary Awards.

Cooper’s latest book, Waiting for the Small Ship of Desire, can be purchased through the Nimbus website.


About Jennifer Houle

New Brunswicker Jennifer Houle’s work has appeared in numerous literary journals and her work has won several awards, including The Writer’s Federation of New Brunswick’s Alfred G. Bailey Prize for best poetry manuscript. Her book, Virga, won the Fiddlehead poetry book prize and The Back Channels was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and won the J.M. Abraham Poetry Award.

Houle’s latest book, Virga, can be purchased through the Signature Editions website.


About Marilyn Lerch

Marilyn Lerch is an American-born Canadian poet, teacher, and activist. She formed the Sackville Writers’ Group and Roving Poets, taught creative writing at Westmorland, Springhill and Dorchester prisons, and Memoir with the Tantramar Senior College. She served as president of the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick from 2006 to 2010 and as Sackville Poet Laureate from 2014 – 2018. Her fifth collection of poetry, That We Lived At All, was published in December 2018.

Lerch’s latest book, That We Have Lived at All, can be purchased through the Chapel Street Editions website.


About Vanessa Moeller

Vanessa Moeller’s poems and short stories have appeared in numerous periodicals including The Fiddlehead, Prism International, The Antigonish Review, CV2, The Pottersfield Portfolio and Qwerty, and have won several awards, including the Atlantic Poetry Prize and an honourable mention in the poetry category of the 2010 National Magazine Awards.

Moeller’s latest book, Our Extraordinary Monsters, can be purchased through the Signature Editions website.


The AX Reading Series is made possible thanks to the generous support of The League of Canadian Poets, The Government of New Brunswick’s Department of Tourism Heritage and Culture, Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund, and Community Foundations of Canada


2020

November 29, 2020 Peter Powning: A Retrospective Take-out Book Sale and Signing

AX is pleased to host a “Take-Out” book sale and signing by Sussex-area artist Peter Powning. The event celebrates the release of the book Peter Powning: A Retrospective,  edited by John Leroux and published by Goose Lane Editions.

The Book Sale and Signing will take place at the AX Arts Centre on Sunday, November 29 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Due to COVID-19, the book sale and signing will have a “take-out” format. Books will be sold and signed through take-out doors at AX, allowing guests to line up outside and observe physical distancing. Guests are encouraged to dress warmly, and masks are required, as per government guidelines. Residents of Zone 2 can attend this event.

We look forward to seeing you as AX continues to host safe and engaging local programming during this time.


August 12, 2020 Choice Cuts Open Mic Readings at the Rotary Amphitheatre

On August 12, for the first time since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, AX hosted Choice Cuts in an outdoor setting at the Sussex Rotary Amphitheatre. The event was a huge success with many readers sharing their poetry, short stories, and even excerpts from memoirs. Readers pre-registered to sit in designated bubbles, mics were sanitized between readings, and fun was had by all!


2019

December 20, 2019 The Darkest Evening of the Year

Carolling begins at 6:30 p.m.

Join us at AX in Sussex for a special evening of music, readings, and friendship to celebrate the winter solstice and the shift towards the light as the year draws to a close. We’ll begin with some traditional carols, followed by seasonal readings and musical selections from AX volunteers and supporters of our community arts and culture centre. All are welcome. There is no charge to attend this event, but freewill offerings at the door are welcome.


December 7, 2019 Lee Whitney

We were pleased to present a reading from Lee Whitney‘s new book on Saturday, December 7, 2:00 p.m.

Lee is well known in the Sussex area for the column he published in the Kings County Record for more than 30 years, titled “A Letter From Home,” appearing under the pen name, “Jacob Erdman.”

A selection of these columns has now been published in a book titled Knowing By Heart: A Tribute to a Kennebecasis Valley Homestead Farm, illustrated by Alice Whitney and Lee and Alice’s grandson, Stefan Westner.

Lee Whitney writes about the patterns of the passing seasons on the farm, about the rigours of winter and the flowering of new life each spring. He has been a constant observer of the movement of stars, constellations, and planets in the night sky and has kept a detailed weather journal for many decades. His wide-ranging interests are all reflected in his new book.

Knowing By Heart, published by Chapel Street Editions, has been a family project, and members of the Whitney family joined the author for a presentation on the book and in reading selections from it.

This is a FREE event, and all are welcome.

Image: Alice and Lee Whitney


November 21, 2019 Sheree Fitch

The AX Reading Series is pleased to announce that we will host a reading by multi award-winning author Sheree Fitch on Thursday, November 21, 7:00 p.m.

Fitch, who has more than twenty five books to her credit, will read from her new novel You Won’t Always Be This Sad — A Book of Moments, and will be joined by author Beth Powning as they discuss the book’s creation.

Capturing her own struggles as she emerges from shock in the wake of her son’s unexpected death at age thirty-seven, author and storyteller Sheree Fitch writes lyrically and unabashedly, with deep sorrow, unexpected rage, and boundless love.

This is a FREE event, and all are welcome.


September 20, 2019 Shandi Mitchell

Shandi Mitchell Reading

The AX Reading and Workshop Series is proud to present award-winning author Shandi Mitchell on September 20 and 21, 2019.

Shandi will read from her novel The Waiting Hours on Friday, September 20, at 7:00 p.m., and her reading will be followed by a question and answer period. 

Shandi’s reading is in memory of Susan Kathleen Leyden, long-time supporter of the Lorenzo Society, and is sponsored by Douglas Leyden in partnership with the Lorenzo Society.

See more information about Shandi’s writing workshop, Creating Characters Inside Out.


About Shandi Mitchell
Shandi Mitchell is an award-winning author, screenwriter, and director. Her novel, The Waiting Hours (2019) was recently launched with Penguin Canada and was tagged by CBC Books as one of 28 Books to Watch for in 2019. Her debut novel Under This Unbroken Sky (2009) was simultaneously published by Penguin Canada, Harper Collins US, and Weidenfeld & Nicholson UK, with translations in Chinese, Hebrew, Dutch, and Italian. The book earned several prizes including the Kobzar Literary Prize, Thomas Head Raddall Fiction Prize, and the Regional Commonwealth Fiction Prize, and was long-listed for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

Mitchell has served as a WFNS mentor and adjunct professor of Advanced Creative Writing-Fiction at Dalhousie University. She has also been a story consultant for the NFB, AFCOOP, and Equinox Europe’s International Screenwriters workshop. Born in New Brunswick and raised in Alberta, Shandi now lives in Nova Scotia.


May 10, 2019 Readings & Writing Workshop ~ Jennifer McGrath & Kelly Cooper

Writing for Children

Readings May 10, 7:00pm

Workshop May 11, 9:30am-12:00pm

 

READINGS

May 10, 7:00 pm

FREE

Join us at AX as we host Jennifer McGrath and Kelly Cooper as part of our AX Reading and Workshop Series. Cooper and McGrath, both award-winning authors, will read on Friday, May 10, at 7pm and their readings will be followed by a question and answer period about the fascinating world of writing and publishing picture books for children.

This reading is FREE, thanks in part to a grant from the New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture.

WORKSHOP

May 11, 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

How to Write Books that Kids (and Publishers) Want to Read with Jennifer McGrath

Cost $75

National award-winning children’s author Jennifer McGrath will offer a writing workshop designed to help you hone your craft, reconnect with wonder, gain industry insights, and learn how to navigate the submission and publishing process.

In this workshop, Jennifer will touch on the following:

Information & Insights
Explore:
• What makes a good picture book
• Common mistakes beginners make
• Genres & markets
• What publishers want
• The Dos & Don’ts of pitching an editor

Practice & Practicum
Strategies for:
• Reconnecting with wonder
• Finding your rhythm
• Choosing your words
• Leaving your (adult) ego at the door
• Writing with resonance and relevance
• Letting go

This workshop about the not-so-simple but oh-so-rewarding process of picture book writing is intended for beginner and experienced writers alike.

Cost is $75, and space is limited.

Please register by calling (506) 433-8351 or come in to AX at 12 Maple Ave., Sussex, NB

About Jennifer McGrath

Jennifer McGrath is the author of Gadzooks, the Christmas Goose and The Snow Knows, 2017 recipient of the prestigious Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award for best Canadian picture book for children. McGrath’s books have been included in a number of reading programs, literacy initiatives, and book clubs across the country. With an MA in English literature, she has taught English at both the Université de Moncton and Mount Allison University, and she is also a professional communications writer.

About Kelly Cooper

Kelly Cooper is a writer and teacher who grew up on a Saskatchewan farm with many horses. She has now lived for many years on a New Brunswick farm with her husband, two children and many cows. Her short fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction have been published in a number of literary journals and anthologies. In 2004, Goose Lane Editions published Eyehill, Cooper’s collection of linked short stories, and, in 2014, she won the Open Season Award in creative nonfiction for her memoir piece, “Ten Easy Steps”. Her first book for children, If A Horse Had Words, has been shortlisted for a 2019 New Brunswick Book Award.


April 12 & 13, 2019 Reading and Workshop Series ~ UNB Writer in Residence Phil Hall

Reading: Friday, April 12, 7:00 p.m.

Workshop: Saturday, April 13, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Literary Reading and Q&A Session, and poetry workshop with UNB Writer in Residence Phil Hall

AX is proud to announce a reading and workshop by UNB Writer in Residence poet Phil Hall, as part of our ongoing AX Reading and Workshop Series

The reading takes place on Friday, April 12, at 7:00 p.m. and will be followed by a question and answer period. The workshop takes place the next morning, Saturday, April 13, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the AX Gallery. The reading is free, and the workshop is $30 – there is limited registration, and pre-registration required.

About the workshop
Revision As Invitation and Welcome: A Poetry Workshop and Talk
Cost: $30
Pre-registration: 12 Maple Ave., or call (506) 433-8351. 

For this poetry workshop, Phil Hall offers participants the opportunity to get feedback on two poems – one you send to him in advance, and one you bring with you to be discussed during the workshop. You aren’t required to share your work in order to take the workshop, but it’s a great chance to get constructive feedback on your writing from an award-winning poet and educator. 

There is limited registration for this poetry workshop, so don’t delay. 

Registered participants should send two poems to p.hall1@unb.ca by no later than April 6. Choose one of those poems and bring 12 copies to the workshop. Participants will workshop that poem together, and Phil will give each participant written notes on the other poem that they send him. 

Note: Phil’s reading and workshop are partially funded through the UNB Writer-in-Residence program as well as the Department of Tourism, Heritage, and Culture, which allows us to offer the reading for free and the workshop at a discount.

About Phil Hall

Phil has won Canada’s Governor General’s Award and Ontario’s Trillium Award, and has been twice nominated for the Griffin Poetry Prize. Phil has taught at York University, Ryerson University, George Brown College, and Seneca College. He is Director of The Page Lectures series at Queen’s University, and has been in residency at The Banff Cenre, The Pierre Berton House in the Yukon, Sage Hill Writing Experience in Saskatchewan, and the University of Ottawa. 

The AX Reading and Workshop Series is in part supported by the New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture. Series participants include Sean Michaels, David Adams Richards, Phil Hall, Jennifer McGrath, and Kelly Cooper.

AX is located at 12 Maple Avenue, Sussex, NB. (506) 433-8351


March 29, 2019 Reading and Workshop Series ~ David Adams Richards

Sen. David Adams Richards reading in the gallery, with paintings by Deanna Musgrave in the background

AX Reading and Workshop Series

Fri. Mar.29, 7:00 p.m.

Literary Reading and Q&A Session with David Adams Richards

AX is proud to announce a reading by David Adams Richards, followed by a question and answer period, as part of our ongoing AX Reading and Workshop Series.

Richards has received numerous awards and prizes throughout his career. Most notably, he is one of few writers in the history of the Governor General’s Literary Awards to win in both the fiction (Nights Below Station Street) and non-fiction (Lines on the Water) categories. In addition to these two wins, he was nominated for Road to the Stilt HouseFor Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down and Mercy Among the Children. Considered by many to be Richards’ most accomplished novel, Mercy was co-winner of the Giller Award in 2000 and was shortlisted for the Trillium Award and the Thomas Raddell Award. It also won the Canadian Booksellers Association author of the year and fiction book of the year awards.

The AX Reading and Workshop Series is in part supported by the New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture. UNB Writer-in-Residence Phil Hall appears as part of our series in April, and children’s book authors Jennifer McGrath and Kelly Cooper appear in May, rounding out the first half of the series.

David Adams Richards’ reading will begin at 7:00 pm and will be followed by a question and answer period. Admission is free, seating is first come-first served. Chapters will offer a wide selection of Richards’ book, and he will be available for book signing.

AX is located at 12 Maple Avenue, Sussex, NB.

www.axartscentre.ca

(506) 433-8351


March 1, 2019 Story-Telling Night at AX ~ Gerard Collins

STORYTELLING NIGHT AT AX

FRIDAY, MARCH 1, 6:00 P.M.

When the sun goes down and the sky darkens, storytellers will gather at AX on the first night of March to entertain us with tales of long ago and far away, or yesterday on the farm just down the road. As in days of old before technology ruled the world, we’ll gather around a “campfire” on a late-winter night to bring some warmth to your soul. You, your friends, and your family are welcome to join us – and maybe tell a tale: of your town, your family, school days, or whatever else you please.

You don’t need to be a writer. Just tell us a story. Make us laugh. Scare us a little. Make us smile. But keep in mind there might be kids.

“Storytelling Night” is part of Gerard Collins’ exhibition, The Book That Wrote Itself. An award-winning author and professor of literature, Gerard pays homage to his Atlantic roots, sitting around a woodstove or campfire, when his elders would tell stories of days gone by.

If you know someone who likes to tell a story, or someone who enjoys a good yarn, please tell them about this unique event. Everyone is welcome, and this event is free, thanks in part to funding from the NB Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture.


January 17, 2019 Reading and Workshop Series ~ Sean Michaels

Launch of the new AX Reading and Workshop Series

Join us at AX on Thursday, January 17 at 7:00 p.m. as we welcome award-winning Canadian author Sean Michaels for the first event in our new reading and workshop series. 

Sean will read from his Giller Prize winning novel, Us Conductors, a story inspired by the lives of inventor Léon Theremin and musician Clara Rockmore. 

Joining Sean is Sonya Malaborza, who will moderate a discussion after the reading. Sean will also demonstrate the other-worldly sounds of the theremin — a unique musical instrument controlled without physical contact. 

This event is FREE, thanks in part to a grant from the New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture.

About Sean Michaels:
Sean was born in Stirling, Scotland in 1982 grew up in Ottawa, Canada. Apart from stays in Edinburgh and Kraków, he has lived in Montreal since 2000. Sean founded Said the Gramophone, one of the earliest music blogs, in 2003. His writing has also appeared in The Guardian, The Believer, the Walrus, Pitchfork and at McSweeney’s.


2018

September 28, 2018 An Evening with Foglit ~ Literary Readings

An Evening with Fog Lit ~ Literary Readings September 28, 7:00 p.m.

Join us at AX as authors from theFog Lit Festival venture to Sussex from Saint John for an evening of readings, refreshments, and art. The Fog Lit Festival is a non-profit festival for readers and writers of all ages and abilities.Fog Lit authors Lisa de Nikolits, Pamela Mulloy, Larry Matthews, and Terri Favro will be at AX to read from their books, sell copies of their novels after the event, and participate in a question and answer period.This is a FREE event, sponsored byFog Lit.


August 9, 2018 The Art of Editing ~ Beth Powning & Craig Pyette

Join us at AX as we welcome Craig Pyette to discuss his work as an editor at one of Canada’s biggest publishers. Craig will be joined by local author Beth Powning to give us unique insights into the editing process from both sides. The two will talk about the editorial exchange and the working relationship between author and editor. 

Question and answer period to follow. This event is free of charge and open to all!

About Craig Pyette

Craig Pyette is a senior editor at Knopf Canada. His books have won or been finalists for numerous literary awards in Canada and internationally, including six Governor General’s Literary Award nominations. Craig has ghostwritten memoirs, climbed a mountain with a retired NHL enforcer and driven a wrestler around Western Canada at the end of his life, all to help great stories turn into great books, six of them number-one bestsellers. Craig lives and works in Toronto.

About Beth Powning

Beth Powning lives in New Brunswick, Canada. Her latest bestselling novel, A Measure of Light, was called by the Globe and Mail “shatteringly exquisite…extraordinary…visceral and intense.”

Beth is the author of three novels and three books of literary non-fiction, as well as articles, essays and blog posts. A full-time writer, she teaches workshops, visits schools, sings in two choruses, serves on boards and committees, gardens, photographs, and has chickens and ponies.

Beth is currently working on a new novel.


April 12, 2018 Reading ~ Breach House Gang

Join us at AX for readings from The Breach House Gang of Writers from the Moncton
and Shediac area. The Gang of 12 authors has recently published their 4th anthology and are on a tour to promote their book. 

Come out for a fun evening of readings and conversation.


March 9, 2018 Reading ~ UNB Writer in Residence Colleen Murphy

Join us at AX on March 9 for an evening reading with UNB’s Writer in Residence, acclaimed playwright, filmmaker and librettist, Colleen Murphy. The reading will be followed by a question and answer period. Colleen will also offer a writing workshop at AX the following morning, Saturday, March 10.

Colleen is a two-time Governor General’s Literary Award Winner for Drama. In 2016 she won for her play Pig Girl, and in 2007 she won for The December Man (L’homme de décembre). Twice she has won the Carol Bolt Award for Best Play. In 2017, Colleen had four world premieres in Canada including The Breathing Hole at the Stratford Festival, Oksana G. at Tapestry Opera in Toronto (composer, Aaron Gervais), and The Society For The Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius at Rumble Theatre in Vancouver. 

Other plays include I Hope My Heart Burns First, Armstrong’s War, The Goodnight Bird, Beating Heart Cadaver and The Piper.  Other libretti include My Mouth On Your Heart (composer, August Murphy-King). She is also a filmmaker and her distinct, award-winning films have played in festivals around the world.

Colleen has been Playwright-in-Residence at Finborough Theatre in London, U.K., Necessary Angel Theatre and Factory Theatre in Toronto. She has been Writer in Residence at the University of Regina, the Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer in Residence at McMaster University, the University of Guelph, the Edna Staebler Laurier Writer in Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University, the Lee Playwright in Residence at the University of Alberta, and is currently Writer in Residence at the University of New Brunswick.


March 10, 2018 Writing Workshop with UNB Writer in Residence Colleen Murphy

Writing with Emotional Punch

March 10, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Join us at AX for a writing workshop with UNB’s Writer in Residence, acclaimed playwright, filmmaker and librettist, Colleen Murphy. 

A workshop and discussion on how to create complex characters and how to use them to tell stories that offer the reader an emotional experience. Suitable for all genres and levels.

Cost: $35. This workshop is partially sponsored by UNB, Canada Council for the Arts, and AX‘s programming.

Register at AX,12 Maple Avenue, Sussex, NB or call (506) 433-8351.

Note: Colleen will do a reading and question and answer session at AX the night before, March 9, 7:30 p.m.

About Colleen Murphy

Colleen is a two-time Governor General’s Literary Award Winner for Drama. In 2016 she won for her play Pig Girl, and in 2007 she won for The December Man (L’homme de décembre). Twice she has won the Carol Bolt Award for Best Play. In 2017, Colleen had four world premieres in Canada including The Breathing Hole at the Stratford Festival, Oksana G. at Tapestry Opera in Toronto (composer, Aaron Gervais), and The Society For The Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius at Rumble Theatre in Vancouver. 

Other plays include I Hope My Heart Burns First, Armstrong’s War, The Goodnight Bird, Beating Heart Cadaver and The Piper.  Other libretti include My Mouth On Your Heart(composer, August Murphy-King). She is also a filmmaker and her distinct, award-winning films have played in festivals around the world.

Colleen has been Playwright-in-Residence at Finborough Theatre in London, U.K., Necessary Angel Theatre and Factory Theatre in Toronto. She has been Writer in Residence at the University of Regina, the Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer in Residence at McMaster University, the University of Guelph, the Edna Staebler Laurier Writer in Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University, the Lee Playwright in Residence at the University of Alberta, and is currently Writer in Residence at the University of New Brunswick.


2017

April 24, 2017 Frye Reading with AX ~ Charlotte Gray

On Monday, April 24, 7:00 p.m., the Sussex Regional Library and AX will host best-selling author Charlotte Gray. Gray will read from her works and give an on-stage interview with Stephanie Coburn, discerning reader and past president of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, and will then take questions from the audience.

Charlotte Gray is the author of ten non-fiction bestsellers, including her newest book, “The Promise of Canada: 150 Years – People and Ideas that have Shaped Our Country”. Gray has won many awards, such as the Pierre Berton Award and the Toronto Book Award. Three of her books have been adapted for the screen, including her award-winning “Gold Diggers,” which was made into a mini-series by US Discovery Television. Gray is a member of the Order of Canada and an adjunct research professor at Carleton University. She lives in Ottawa.

Thanks to our sponsor, the Sussex Regional Library, admission is free. This is a terrific opportunity to chat with one of Canada’s best-known authors, so come early and bring a friend!

The Frye Festival feeds imaginations and celebrates reading and writing by connecting authors with our bilingual community. The 18th annual Frye Festival takes place April 22 to 29 in Greater Moncton, NB.


March 24, 2017 Reading and Workshop with UNB Writer in Residence Rabindranath Maharaj

Friday night reading 7pm at Library (Side door entrance)
Saturday morning workshop 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 pm at library, main entrance!

AX and the Sussex Regional Library are co-hosting a reading and workshop by award-winning author and UNB Writer-in-Residence Rabindranath “Robin” Maharaj. Robin’s visit is being sponsored by ArtsNB and the UNB’s Writer-in-Residence program outreach, allowing events to be FREE to participants.

The reading will take place on Friday, March 24, 7:00 p.m. and the workshop is on Saturday, March 25, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Both events are at the Sussex Regional Library.

Robin is the author of “The Amazing Absorbing Boy,” a Trillium Book Award winner and a CBC Canada Reads Ontario Top 10, and “A Perfect Pledge,” Rogers Writers’ Trust Prize winner and Commonwealth Writers’ Prize finalist.

Robin’s free writing workshop is open to all writing genres and will focus on finding sources of inspiration, the importance of “voice,” the elements of plotting, avenues for publication, and guidelines around memoir writing. Beginner and established writers welcome!

Workshop space is limited, so please pre-register by visiting the library, calling 432-4585, or emailing sussexpl@gnb.ca.


November 3, 2017 Alice Whitney Reading and Q&A, followed by the Writers' Federation of NB Gala

Alice Whitney, a longtime supporter of the arts in Sussex, is coming to AX on Friday, November 3, 4:00 pm to read from her new book, Henrietta’s Nightlight.

Henrietta is staying overnight at her grandparents’ cottage for the first time. She would love to see the great blue heron that visits in the morning, but there’s no electricity or running water at the cottage, and the night noises are scary. After a grownup day exploring nature with her grandparents, will she be able to make it through the night?

Please join us in the AX gallery for a reading by Alice, followed by a question and answer period. This event is free.

Immediately following Alice’s book launch, the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick will be hosting their Awards evening at AX, so we hope you’ll join us for a literary-packed day for all ages!


WordsFall 2017 will be held in Sussex on November 3 and 4, with the public kickoff happening at AX on Friday evening, free of charge.

At 6:00pm, the WFNB is serving hors d’oeuvres, and if you’d like dinner, arrive early as Friday evenings at Knocks Cafe are busy. 

At 6:30pm, we’ll hear from the winners of “Unpacking the Personal,” the WFNB-sponsored Sussex High School writing contest, as well as the winners of the 2016 WFNB Mentorship Awards. This year’s winners are Andrea Kikuchi (fiction), and AX‘s own Board Secretary and workshop instructor, Melanie Craig-Hansford (poetry).

These award readings will be followed by book launches by WFNB members who have published books within the last year.

The WFNB is also offering literary workshops at the Lion’s Den on Saturday, Nov 4 – check out their full WordsFall itinerary.