Reading is sexy

Tara Thorne has book news and news news.

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With Easter blizzards and spring winds comes lots of book news, on the heels of another successful Writers' Festival. Beginning April 29 and hitting all four provinces through May 12, the Atlantic Book Festival celebrates local authors via readings, panels, workshops and of course a big honkin' awards show on May 11 at Pier 21.

The shortlist of awards was released this week, and we have many bold names to reveal to you.

Nominees for the Atlantic Poetry Prize: Steve McOrmond (Primer on the Hereafter), Peter Sanger (Aiken Drum) and Mary Dalton (Red Ledger).

For Best Atlantic Published Book: Bruno Bobak: The Full Palette, edited by Bernard Riordon, Goose Lane), East Coast Rug-Hooking Designs: New Patterns from an Old Tradition (Deanne Fitzpatrick, Nimbus) and Ganong: A Sweet History of Chocolate (David Folster, Goose Lane).

For Booksellers' Choice Award: Wayne Johnston (The Custodian of Paradise), Ami McKay (The Birth House) and David Adams Richards (The Friends of Meagre Fortune).

For the Children's Literature Prize: Budge Wilson (Friendships), Janet McNaughton (The Raintree Rebellion) and Darlene Ryan (Saving Grace).

For the Dartmouth Book Award, Fiction: Maureen Hull (The View from a Kite), our own Stephen Kimber (Reparations) and Linda Little (Scotch River).

For the Dartmouth Book Award, Non-Fiction: Keith McLaren (A Race for Real Sailors), Linden MacIntyre (Causeway: A Passage from Innocence) and M. Brook Taylor (A Camera on the Banks: Frederick William Wallace and the Fishermen of Nova Scotia).

For the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize: Johnston, Little and McKay.

For the Evelyn Richardson Prize for Non-Fiction: Marq de Villiers (Windswept), Linden MacIntyre (Causeway: A Passage from Innocence) and Natalie MacLean (Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass).

For the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award: M. Brook Taylor, John G. Langley (Steam Lion: A Biography of Samuel Cunard) and Elaine McCluskey (The Watermelon Social).

And for the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Illustration: Ron Lightburn for Sharon Jennings' The Happily Ever Afternoon, Brenda Jones for Lesley Choyce's Skunks for Breakfast and Odell Archibald for Janet Skirving's P is for Puffin. Stay tuned for more Altantic Book Week news.

This and that

The Centre for Art Tapes is looking for a new artist in residence as well as applicants for its media arts scholarship program. The AIR must currently be a member of CFAT, with three years' practice and a significant body of work under their belts. (Remotes?) The scholarships are more open—if you have a decent proposal and aren't enrolled in some other media arts program, you qualify. You can download applications for both at centreforarttapes.ca/programs.aspx. The deadlines are April 30 for the scholarship and June 1 for the AIR positions, of which there are five.

A pretty stellar comedy weekend starts April 12 with a four-show run from Glen Foster, once billed as "That Canadian Guy," who will be joined at Yuk Yuk's Thursday through Sunday by Dave Millet and Peter White. And on April 15, those clever Picnicface people present a best-of show, where they'll feature the best "sketches, videos, rap songs about Hugh Jackman, etc." at Ginger's at 8pm.

Ellen Page has wrapped shooting in Vancouver on Juno, the Jason Reitman film she's toplining. She plays the title character, a teen who's giving up her unplanned baby to Jennifer Garner. Arrested Development alums Michael Cena and Jason Bateman are among the cast, as is a Rainn Wilson cameo. In a weird Halifax connection, Page's best friend in the film is played by Olivia Thirlby, who appeared in the locally shot Snow Angels, the David Gordon Green film that was acquired by Warner Independent after Sundance but which won't be released until 2008. Page and Thirlby move on to their respective next projects together, as lesbians in love in Jack and Diane. Page is the latter, who's also a werewolf. There will be animation by the Brothers Quay. We have no words, really, except "awesome."

Got any words? Email: tarat@thecoast.ca

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