Archive for the ‘events’ Category

Breaking the ice (haiku reading and upcoming workshops)

February 5, 2017

For the month of February (which is National Haiku Writing Month), I’m partnering with Vancouver’s Joy Kogawa House to celebrate haiku with events leading up to the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. Last night, I was joined by other members of the Vancouver Haiku Group, as well as visiting poet Carole Glasser Langille, to kick off the month with a reading of prose, haiku and other poetry.

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The weather was more wintery than I expected when I picked the theme (there were more hints of spring in Vancouver by this time last year), but despite the snow, the house was full, and by the end of the evening we’d fully moved into the spirit of spring.

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Cherries in anticipation of the blossoms to come . . .

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In partnership with the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (VCBF), renowned haiku poet Michael Dylan Welch (from Sammamish, Washington) will be teaching a “How to Haiku” workshop at the Terry Salman branch of the Vancouver public library February 18. More info on the VCBF site.

I’ll be teaching a “Haiku Secrets: beyond the basics of writing haiku” workshop at Joy Kogawa House on Feb 25 (move away from 5-7-5 and learn how these tiny poems can express powerful experiences in both nature and urban life). More info on the events page of Joy Kogawa House. To register contact info@kogawahouse.com.

Both workshops are followed by an opportunity to decorate a giant koi “scale” with haiku for a koinobori installation at Sakura Days Japan Fair, which will be held at VanDusen Garden April 8-9 (2017). We’ll also be encouraging participants to submit haiku to the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival international haiku contest.

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koi-installation

(Above photo courtesy of the VCBF and Powell St. Festival)

Siege of Fort Erie – 1814 – 2014

August 7, 2014

Fort Erie gateTwo hundred years ago, in July 1814, American troops attacked Fort Erie (in what was then British Upper Canada). The British surrendered with only a few shots fired (the fort’s commander was later court-martialled for giving up too easily). The British withdrew from the fort, but made plans to get the fort back. In early August, they set up camp outside the fort, just out of reach of the fort’s guns.

After dark, on August 15, 1814, about 2,400 British soldiers, Canadian militia and First Nations allies attacked. Under the cover of darkness and the heavy gun smoke that hung over the surrounding field, the British stormed the walls of the fort and captured the northeast bastion. Within the fort, the Americans turned a cannon around and fired at the British on top the bastion. The British turned one of the captured cannons and fired back. As this close-range cannon battle raged, a spark found its way to the powder magazine under the bastion. The explosion killed 400 men (mostly British and Canadians) and turned the tide of the battle in favour of the Americans.

The British retreated from the fort (with almost the entire column that had attacked the bastion, wiped out), but continued their siege for days. By the time the siege ended on September 17, 3,500 men were killed, wounded, or missing. It was the most devastating and prolonged battle of the war.

Today, Old Fort Erie is a museum, which I visited last fall to research the setting of my new novel Siege (for readers approx. ages 10-14), which will be out October 1. This coming weekend (August 9-10, 2014) hundreds of re-enactors from both Canada and the U.S. will be gathering at the fort to commemorate the 200-year anniversary of the siege. It promises to be the largest War of 1812 re-enactment in Canada. Unfortunately, I won’t be at the re-enactment, but I’ll be imagining the characters of my novel on top the fort’s walls in the middle of the musket and cannon smoke.

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Bamboo & Basho

June 27, 2013

Interested in haiku poetry or how to use bamboo in your garden? This Saturday I’ll be joining other poets from the Vancouver Haiku Group at Vancouver’s Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden for a celebration of bamboo. Angela Naccarato, poet and Intuitive Consultant, will lead haiku workshops (open to anyone visiting the garden, with three workshop times between 1-3pm), and I will be sharing some of my photographs of “bamboo in Basho’s footsteps” (from my last visit to Japan).

Bamboo haiku workshop

A haiku I wrote on my last visit to the garden:

bamboo haiku

Sharing poetry & music (with a historical twist?)

May 21, 2013

If haiku expresses a “now moment,” can haiku be written about the past? I’m immersing myself in early Vancouver history today to see if some haiku emerge, and I’ll be sharing the resulting “historical haiku” Thursday evening at Chapters bookstore in downtown Vancouver as part of a larger celebration of poetry and music with the Vancouver Haiku Group. Everyone is welcome! (May 23, 7-9:30 pm, Robson St. Chapters store)

Chapters Reading

Needs some work, but here’s an example of what I’m working on:

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(Main & 7th Ave about 1899 – I don’t remember where I got the photo from, so I hope I can be forgiven for not giving credit. It is probably from the Vancouver Archives, and I believe most of their old photos are in the public domain.)

Added after the event (in this photo James Mullin’s Asian flute accompanies Kozue Uzawa’s tanka reading):

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The event was led by Angela J. Naccarato, founder and facilitator of the Vancouver Haiku Group, who read some of her own haiku and free verse.  Other poets included Marianne Dupre, Rosemary Carter, Brenda Larsen, Vicki McCullough, Liam Blackstock, Ashok Bhargava, Alegria Imperial, Donna Farley, Kozue Uzawa, James Mullin, and myself, taking the audience on a journey that evoked colours, sounds, and emotions from childhood memories in India to a monsoon in China to swimming with turtles in Barbados to Vancouver’s past to cherry blossoms in Vancouver’s present.

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(Here, Liam Blackstock entertains the audience with charismatic readings/performance of his free verse poetry)

Book launch invitation

April 22, 2012

My new chapter book, Flood Warning, about the Fraser River flood of 1948 (and how a young boy helps to save his family’s herd of dairy cows), debuts this Wednesday at Vancouver Kidsbooks, along with books by three other local authors. Kidsbooks is one of my favourite places to spend some time!

Celebrating Cherry Blossoms -Vancouver style

April 9, 2012

This year’s Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival got off to a perfect start Thursday, April 5, with sunshine and cherry blossoms both cooperating. The Akebono cherry trees alongside Burrard Skytrain station (site of the festival kick-off) were in full bloom!

The event included Taiko drumming and other performances of Japanese music, as well as energetic Bollywood-influenced dancing that got the crowd joining in (led by Shiamak dancers, who are choreographing a flashmob umbrella dance to happen April 14).

The blossoms, people, and multicultural celebration inspired this haiku:

downtown Vancouver
oasis of blossoms
welcomes everyone

(Note: the festival also hosts an annual international haiku contest)

The celebration of blossoms continued at Vancouver’s VanDusen Botanical Garden over the weekend with Sakura Days Japan Fair.

Book Party winds down

May 22, 2011

Launch activities for my new chapter book, Mystery of the Missing Luck, are finally winding down after a busy month of guest blogging, book giveaways (winners listed at the end of this post), and live book events. It’s been a lot of fun, and a little exhausting!

The photo at left is me at a group book launch last Wednesday, which took place at one of my favourite book stores, Vancouver Kidsbooks (scroll down for a link to a blog post about the event). The photo below is the wonderful group of authors who participated in “The Best Mess” Children’s Book Week event at the Burnaby Library, Metrotown (story link below).

Since I spend a lot of time on my own, writing, it’s been great to get out and connect with other authors and hear about their books and projects –and also great to connect with readers!

If anyone’s interested, here are the links to the guest posts I did on my virtual book tour:

– Talking about how the Japanese Maneki Neko (lucky beckoning cat) got into my story, Mystery of the Missing Luck, on author kc dyer’s blog.

– More about the book’s inspiration and what started my interest in writing about different cultures on the Orca Book Publisher’s blog.

– Confession of my life-long love affair with bakeries on author Tanya Lloyd Kyi’s blog.

– My interview on the Children’s Writers and Illustrators of BC (CWILL BC) blog (part of a series of interviews with BC authors)

– Post about the Children’s Book Week event at the Burnaby Library, “Authors agree, the best stories often spring from messy beginnings”

– Post about last Wednesday’s group launch of new books by Orca authors, “The More Books, the Merrier!”

– Join me and others in sharing stories, folklore, and images about Maneki Neko, the Lucky Cat (ongoing)

The winner of the Missing Luck/Lucky Cat prize pack is Aymee Leake (who entered via the Lucky Cat -Maneki Neko Facebook page). Copies of the book go to Lesley McKnight (kc dyer’s blog), Kathy Hawkins Thomas (Orca’s blog), and Jacqui (Tanya Lloyd Kyi’s blog). Congratulations, and thank you to everyone who joined in my book party festivities!

And now, this blog will return to its regular programming (ie. irregular postings of haiku, photos, etc), and I hope to get back to work on my current novel-in-progress…

Fall Book tour

October 25, 2008

If you’re on Facebook, you can check out my fan page, “Jacqueline Pearce,” for more photos of fall in the Cowichan Valley.

Back yard activity

June 17, 2008

A new crow is having flying lessons in my back yard this morning, making lots of noise as it follows one or the other of its parents back and forth between the ceder trees and the roof of the house. At each stop it pauses to squawk for food, which the parent obligingly pops (or should I say regurgitates?) right into its mouth.

And speaking of hatchings and fledgings, this past Saturday I was among over 30 authors and illustrators celebrating new books at the CWILL Spring Book Hatching. You can check out a blog post and some photos of the event here.

Spring Book Hatching 2008

May 24, 2008

This is an event I’m participating in June 14. It was lots of fun last year. If anyone out there is in the Vancouver area that day, come on down and say hello.

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Here’s a link to the CWILL (Children’s Writers and Illustrators) blog, which has more info: Spring Book Hatching 2008 Press Release « The CWILL BC blog