In memory of Andy Suknaski, 1942-2012
Andy was one of those prairie people and artist who showed me how to be one too. I had been away from homeplace for ten years when I returned to Alberta in 1975 to do the research for what would be All of Baba’s Children – I’m still here – and along the way I met Andy, a regular visitor to Edmonton and to my quarter section near Two Hills. (He once stayed a few days at the shack, as I thought fondly of the log cabin, because he knew where the key was, and left me a poem written on a brown paper bag. And then wrote a poem about me and my .22: he seemed to like the idea of a Ukrainian-Canadian Cossack babe.)
Andy represented a series of revelations for me. He wrote/sang a kind of poetry that, now that I think of it, was also a form of creative nonfiction, the sort of thing that DJs would go on to do, “sampling” all kinds of music/texts, sourced from wherever his curiosity, imagination, memory bank and passion took him, in a polyphony of voices, and gave us all permission to do the same. He retrieved for western Canadian and Ukrainian-Canadian writing the narratives of settlers crushed by the very land that was meant to free them, and the narratives of the Aboriginal nations for whom that very earth/zemlya had been motherland. And he did all this with his own earthiness that made him seem a wise old man blown in from the steppes when he was still in his thirties.
God rest the soul of Andrew Suknaski. Eternal be his memory. Vichnaya pamiat’.
4th Biennial Kobzar Literary Award Ceremony, 2012 – Highlights
Aboriginal Writers Collective reads with Myrna in Winnipeg, May 2011
Myrna opens Writers Conference with Andreas Schroeder
View schedule >
Read the jury’s comments of Prodigal Daughter, the winner of the Best Nonfiction Book, from the Awards Gala of the Writers Guild of Alberta conference in Calgary.
Literary Symposium in Toronto celebrates 30th anniversary of Chair of Ukrainian Studies, University of Toronto, April 29, 2011
The Aboriginal Writers Collective and visiting writer Myrna Kostash, author of The Frog Lake Reader invite you to an evening of readings and refreshments.
Thursday May 05 2011 7:30 pm
Winnipeg, Grant Park in the Atrium
City of Edmonton Book Prize
Myrna Kostash NOMINATED
Fernie Writers Conference 2011 Myrna Kostash will be teaching the week long Creative Non – Fiction component
Kostash in Victoria B.C.
January 20, 2011, at Open Space Gallery
Prodigal Poster Victoria January 2011
Prodigal Daughter makes long-list
January 21, 2011 2:30 University of Victoria Slavic Studies Speakers Series
Kostash featured in Orthodox Speakers Bureau
Kostash wins literary prize: Takes home Matt Cohen Award
Prodigal Daughter review in Winnipeg Free Press
October 15 & 16, Saskatoon: appearances at the Saskatchewan Writers Guild conference .
October 17, 1:30 – 3:00, Saskatoon: Literary pow-wow at the Saskatoon Indian and Metis Friendship Centre with Louise Halfe, Doug Cuthand, Rita Bouvier, Morningstar Mercredi and me (I’m presenting The Frog Lake Reader.)
October 22 & 23, Vancouver: appearances at the Vancouver International Writers Festival
November 6, St Albert AB writing workshop
November 16, 5:30 pm, Calgary AB: with Vern Thiessen, “The Making of The Gallows Tree,” a discussion, a Festival of Ideas pre-festival event.
November 20, 3:00 pm at the Stanley Milner Library downtown Edmonton: staged reading of my play, The Gallows is Also a Tree, inspired by people and events from Frog Lake history in 1885, directed by Vern Thiessen; part of The Festival of Ideas.
May 28 2010: The Frog Lake Reader wins the Canadian Authors Association (Alberta Branch) “Exporting Alberta” Award, to assist in the promotion and marketing of the book outside Alberta. In receiving the Award, Kostash expressed thanks for the possibility now to make the book better known in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, especially among Aboriginal communities.
Among the judges’ (anonymous) quotes:
Judges’ comments (anonymous): “The Frog Lake Reader is a book of massive cultural significance…. A fascinating read and visionary accomplishment.” “The Frog Lake Reader is history at its best… This riveting book gives us insights into the different urgencies, currents and personalities that make up our history.” “The Frog Lake Reader is a must-read for those interested in understanding the flow of history, and the tide of events that can lead to unspeakable acts. I can see this book being on the reading list as a required text for many courses across Canada, and beyond.”
This is the group that was part of the program hosted by the Canadian Literature Centre at a fund-raising cocktail party at the newly-opened Art Gallery of Alberta, March 1 2010. We writers were invited to read for a few minutes to a glamorous crowd drinking wine and eating hors d’oeuvres.