<![CDATA[artifactversion]]>https://www.erinbow.com/blogRSS for NodeMon, 28 Nov 2022 04:35:00 GMT<![CDATA[Oh my oh my oh GG]]>https://www.erinbow.com/single-post/2019/12/30/oh-my-oh-my-oh-gg5fb54a220904c0001771459eMon, 16 Dec 2019 01:53:00 GMTerinnbowHere's a round up of photos from one of the most stunning nights of my life -- the ceremony awarding the Governor General's Literary Awards.

The ceremony was held at Rideau Hall -- the residence of the Canadian Head of State, the Governor General -- currently Julie Payette, an astronaut. It's an enormous stone mansion with beef eater guards and protocol officers in naval dress uniforms who walk you through the five important steps of getting such an award. In most years it's a ballgown and tux events; this year they changed the dress code to cocktail but I had already ordered a ballgown so I wore the heck out of that thing.

(Official picture that came later -- me and the head of state.)

The actual ceremony was held in the “tent room” -- an old tennis court that has been lined with pink and white fabric and hung with oil paintings of white guys in robes. It’s quite a thing to turn around and face this room: the fabric walls, the huge chandeliers, the crowd and lights and cameras and the head of state ..... But I did it and I didn't faint.

None of us did. Sydney Smith teared up. And the amazing poet Gwen Beneway, who is Metis, actually called out Canada's ongoing genocide against the indigenous people to the GG's face -- it was stunning; she was so brave. Two young women did dramatic readings of poetry; they were amazing.

And then we had food -- I tried caviar! It tastes like fish! -- and mingled and took a tour of the hall and mingled and stayed until the band was putting instruments into their cases.

Here are some photographs.

<![CDATA[There are book signings and then there's ... this.]]>https://www.erinbow.com/single-post/2019/12/12/there-are-book-signings-and-then-theres-this5fb54a220904c0001771459fFri, 13 Dec 2019 01:53:00 GMTerinnbow

<![CDATA[The New York Public Library year-end list]]>https://www.erinbow.com/single-post/2019/12/01/the-new-york-public-library-year-end-list5fb54a220904c000177145a0Mon, 02 Dec 2019 01:56:00 GMTerinnbow

So happy to see the STAND ON THE SKY on this list of best books of the year from the New York Public Library. If you're looking for presents, by the way, this is an excellent searchable list -- certainly I've found some favorites here.

<![CDATA[STAND ON THE SKY just won a GG!!!]]>https://www.erinbow.com/single-post/2019/10/29/stand-on-the-sky-just-won-a-gg5fb54a220904c0001771459dTue, 29 Oct 2019 23:42:27 GMTerinnbowNews broke at the crack of dawn this morning: my book, STAND ON THE SKY, has won a Governor General's award -- the oldest and highest profile award in Canada. This is a huge deal. I'm so excited -- I hardly know what to say.

I think I'm going to need a ball gown.

<![CDATA[Photos from Mongolia (shale)]]>https://www.erinbow.com/single-post/2019/10/27/photos-from-mongolia-shale5fb54a220904c0001771459cMon, 28 Oct 2019 00:51:22 GMTerinnbowWhen I realized my story STAND ON THE SKY needed to be set in Mongolia, I scratched out a couple of sample chapters so I could beg for a grant. I got the grant – and I stopped writing. I really wanted to find the shape of the story after I’d been. (Turned out that I found it while I was there.)⁣ .⁣ Naturally many of the things in the sample chapters turned out to be a little off, because I’d only done book research. But I’d written the bit where Aisulu rides up to an outcrop of shale to seek the eagle nest and rescue the orphaned baby eagle. And when I finally got to Western Mongolia, there it was, just as I’d pictured it, the shale outcrop.

It was almost eerie. I wanted to put a blue scarf and a good stone at its base, to thank the universe. ⁣

I am grateful to these stones, this land. ⁣ ⁣

<![CDATA[Stickers!]]>https://www.erinbow.com/single-post/2019/10/05/stickers5fb54a22386df200176453b5Sun, 06 Oct 2019 03:08:00 GMTerinnbowSo the Canada Council sent me a set of GG Finalist Stickers, and I hooked up with my friend Ishta Mercurio took them down my local Indie, Worrds Worth books, and put them on stock copies. See the delitght.


<![CDATA[STAND ON THE SKY is up for a GG!]]>https://www.erinbow.com/single-post/2019/10/02/stand-on-the-sky-is-up-for-a-gg5fb54a22386df200176453b7Thu, 03 Oct 2019 01:35:00 GMTerinnbowSo this morning the list of books nominated for the GG -- the Governor General's Award -- came out. I saw it in my e-mail, and really just scanned it briefly. I didn't see my name or my book cover, so I sighed and went to the basement to help clean up the sewage leak. (UGGGH don't ask.)

Then my Twitter notifications started rolling in.

And I'm up for it. STAND ON THE SKY has been nominated for a GG. And I'm on the actual air. I am standing on the sky. As writers we are not allowed to admit that we want these things, but I wanted this thing. A lot. For this book, which is truly the book of my heart.

The Governor General's awards are Canada's big national awards -- like the National Book Awards in the States. They're given in seven categories, including the one I'm up for, literature for young people. They are worth $25K, a big shiney seal, and of course ALL THE GLORY. Even being nominated is a huge, life-changing, career-making thing. I can't believe it. I am so happy.

<![CDATA[Fall Festival wrapup]]>https://www.erinbow.com/single-post/2019/09/15/telling-tales-wrapup5fb54a220904c0001771459aTue, 24 Sep 2019 19:21:00 GMTerinnbowThis fall I went to Telling Tales, to Lethbridge's Word on the Street -- the best little fest in the West -- and into the schools as part of the Authors in Schools program of Kingston WritersFest. And now I'm home!

Telling Tales broke its 10-year streak of being blazing hot and sunny by being cold and rainy. I wore my black rain coat and one of my Mongolian scarves and my step-dads' black wool hat and didn't realize that the general effect was Gay Lesser Pratchett.

Telling Tales was packed with soggy happy reading families. I hung out with readers and other authors.

In Lethbridge I got to talk with Waubgeshig rice Rice, who wrote the best thing I've read this year: Moon of Crusted Snow. Plus he confirmed my private theory about the book!

And in Kingston I read to a tiny country school which had never had an author visit, and a gymful of 250 4 -6 graders, who acted as if they'd never had an author visit -- they were all so excited. I've never been to Kingston before and I'd like to go back. It's lovely.


<![CDATA[Photos from Mongolia (technology)]]>https://www.erinbow.com/single-post/2019/08/05/photos-from-mongolia-technology5fb54a220904c00017714598Mon, 05 Aug 2019 15:58:00 GMTerinnbowOne of the things I want readers to take from my STAND ON THE SKY is the realization that the culture of Kazakh nomads is not a museum piece: it's a living culture that exists in today's world.

Many of the traditions are old -- the art of eagle hunting, for instance, is at least 4000 years old -- but that does not mean they're unchanged. Traditional elements and modern innovations exist side by side, and the culture is in the middle of many changes.

Here, Kazakh kids watch cartoons inside their ger.

Alimbai, the eagle hunter, on his cellphone.

Photo yanked from Pintrest, but we did encounter a young man transporting his eagle on a motorcycle.

(Motorcycles are widely used in Olgii. I can't drive one but did learn the art of riding pinion while hanging onto the driver for dear life.)

One of the changes sweeping Kazakh eagle hunting culture is that the newest generation of children training with eagles includes a few girls, which is a shift from the way it's been practiced in the last few hundred years. (Going further back there's a tradition of ancient female eagle hunters.) My character, Aisulu, is not based on any of them, but stories like hers are unfolding right now.

Here's my friend Tansaya, who was my guide in Mongolia: a remarkable young woman who grew up in the gers, grew up with eagles, and went off to get a degree in gender studies.

She's in costume here -- you're more likely to see her in a sweatshirt or a pretty blouse -- but don't mistake her for a thing of the past.

<![CDATA[Fall Festivals!]]>https://www.erinbow.com/single-post/2019/07/15/fall-festivals5fb54a22386df200176453b6Tue, 16 Jul 2019 01:33:00 GMTerinnbowSo far, I'm lined up for Telling Tales in Rockton, Ontario (a big outdoor family reading festival near Hamilton -- also in easy reach of Toronto, KW, etc), Word on the Street in Lethbridge, Alberta, and the Kingston Writersfest in Kingston, Ontario. I am booking school visits for October - December.

<![CDATA[Let us have no science without art]]>https://www.erinbow.com/single-post/2019/06/22/let-us-have-no-science-without-art5fb54a220904c0001771459bSat, 22 Jun 2019 23:22:00 GMTerinnbow

Several people who heard me read this on the stage at the Margaret Atwood event have written to ask for a copy of this poem. This poem is written to be performed -- it's a bit melodramatic on the page -- but it was a barn burner on the day (as poems about the Haber Bosch process usually are) and I am glad to share the text.

There was once a man named Fritz Haber

(Let us have no science without art.)

Who in a time when Europe was starving

(Let us have no science without art)

Learned to cool and crush

The atmospheric nitrogen.

(Let us have no science without art.)

It’s called the Haber process, and it gave us

the first fertilizer. They sang of it:

Bread from the Air.

(Let us have no science) Haber saved us,

Made us seven billion. But the thing about cool and crush

(without art) is that it has many uses.

There was once a man named Fritz Haber.

A German. An assimilated Jew.

(Let us have no science without art.)

Who in 1916 for the Ministry of War

cooled and crushed

chlorine into canisters.

(Let us have no science without art.)

Who took those canisters to the Belgium trenches

To study those waves of green and terror.

Let us have no science. Let us not say

Heavier than air, when we mean it poured,

When we mean it slunk

a wave of rats into the belly of the trench.

Let us not say 67 thousand men

Let us have no science without art.

There was once a man – a German, a Chemist, a Jew.

Fritz Haber came home from the front

Full of discovery. He threw a party.

(Let us have no )

At which his wife shot herself. He left her dying

And went to gas again. They gave him, later,

a Nobel Prize. They exiled him later – to England, Switzerland.

The best chemists of his age spat in his face.

And which would you? Close your eyes.

Say with me: let us have no science. There’s nitrogen

in my body – one molecule in three

Are implicated. There’s chlorine in my DNA.

Let me tell you one more story.

There was once a man

Named Fritz Haber, who fed the world

By learning to condense and manufacture gasses.

He made nitrogen fertilizer, chlorine weapons, and

One thing more: a cyanide, an insecticide called Zyclon.

With its warning smell removed, at Auschwitz, Zyclon B,

where the Haber family --

Let us have no history.

<![CDATA[Photos from Mongolia (eagles)]]>https://www.erinbow.com/single-post/2019/10/25/photos-from-mongolia-eagles5fb54a22386df200176453b0Wed, 05 Jun 2019 00:14:00 GMTerinnbowI have never known an animal so amazing as a Golden Eagle.

My new book, STAND ON THE SKY, is about the relationship between a girl named Aisulu and the golden eagle Toktar. Aisulu rescues Toktar as a baby -- he's orphaned -- and hand-raises him. Later she learns to fly him, even though among her people being an eagle hunter is something that's usually done by boys.

To find Aisulu's story, I went to Mongolia, where I lived with a family of Kazakh nomads who kept two eagles, a young eagle only recently taken from her nest, and a six-year-old eagle captured from the wild and still in training.

My friend Seanan Forbes was there too, and she took these pictures. Click to enbiggen.

All Mongolian pics are by Seanan Forbes, writer, photographer, traveller, teaching artist. The grants that sent me to Mongolia came from the Canada Council and Region of Waterloo Arts Fund.

<![CDATA[National Magazine Awards]]>https://www.erinbow.com/single-post/2019/06/01/national-magazine-awards5fb54a220904c00017714599Sat, 01 Jun 2019 18:33:00 GMTerinnbowFlying high after opening for, you know, ATWOOD last night, tonight I went to the star studded National Magazine Awards, where I sat next to -- gulp -- Michael Ondaatje. My poem from the New Quarterly, "Too Strong to Stop, Too Sweet to Lose," did not win, but it was a truly dazzling evening.

New Quarterly Editor Pamela Mulloy with Ondaatje.

<![CDATA[Margaret (Atwood) and me.]]>https://www.erinbow.com/single-post/2019/05/30/so-this-happened5fb54a22386df200176453b2Thu, 30 May 2019 15:28:00 GMTerinnbowMargaret Atwood was very nice. I sent her a book a while back and she brought it along so I could sign it.

The stage was very big

Poets normally read to six people, one of whom is nappign and two of whom are waiting for the mic.

And I was, frankly, a rock star. I read three poems, one framed around Fritz Haber (written for the occasion), one about Pavlovsk Station (the one from Best Canadian Poetry) and one about General Relativity (always a barn burner poetry topic). And I very nearly got a standing ovation.

This was. A thing.

Many people asked me afterward to post the Fritz Haber poem, so I will, soon.

<![CDATA[Atwood is next week!]]>https://www.erinbow.com/single-post/2019/05/21/atwood-is-next-week5fb54a22386df200176453b1Wed, 22 May 2019 00:16:00 GMTerinnbowWHO IS OPENING FOR MARGARET ATWOOD? I AM OPENING FOR MARGARET ATWOOD.

The dress is ready. But is the author?

<![CDATA[Photos from Mongolia (inside and out)]]>https://www.erinbow.com/single-post/2019/05/07/photos-from-mongolia-inside-and-out5fb54a22386df200176453b3Wed, 08 May 2019 01:36:00 GMTerinnbow

My new book, STAND ON THE SKY, takes place in a Kazakh nomad community in Western Mongolia. The countryside, wedged between the Gobi desert and the high Altai mountains, is stark and beautiful -- and perhaps in reaction, the Kazakh built world is absolutely jammed with color.

On the outside, Kazakh homes -- yurt-like tents called gers -- are plain canvas, but inside everything is colourful and patterned. The walls are covered with hand-embroidered panel -- a Kazakh woman will make one every winter. The tablecloth had flowers. The bowls were bright red and bright green and gold. The floor was turquoise linoleum. More was more and it was beautiful.

All Mongolian pics are by Seanan Forbes, writer, photographer, traveller, teaching artist. The grants that sent me to Mongolia came from the Canada Council and Region of Waterloo Arts Fund.

<![CDATA[It's launch day! STAND ON THE SKY is out!]]>https://www.erinbow.com/single-post/2019/03/05/its-launch-day-stand-on-the-sky-is-out5fb54a22386df200176453b4Wed, 06 Mar 2019 03:08:00 GMTerinnbow

Today is the day. My first true middle grade, STAND ON THE SKY, is out today, from HMH Kids Books in the US, and from Scholastic here in Canada. It should be in bookstores coast to coast to coast!

This is the book of my heart. I have always wanted to write a book about brothers and sisters -- I was very close to my late sister, to whom this book is dedicated.

I've always wanted to write a book about falconry -- the art of hunting in partnership with falcons, hawks, or eagles. I've been obsessed with it ever since came across a hawk caught by its jesses in the woods behind my house, when I was only eight or so.

Also, I really, really, really wanted to write a version of Where The Red Fern Grows (or Sounder, or Old Yeller) that had a happy ending.

So here you go. Where the Red Fern Grows, but in Mongolia, with a sister, a brother, an eagle, and a happy ending.

<![CDATA[OLA Wrapup!]]>https://www.erinbow.com/single-post/2019/02/04/ola-wrapup5fb54a22386df200176453afTue, 05 Feb 2019 02:09:08 GMTerinnbowWhile it would probably be more useful to blog about where I'm going, not where I've been, that would require me to be organized. So. I'm just back from the Ontario Library Association superconference, which is the nearest thing Canada has to something like a national BookExpo. It's huge and always packed -- lots of chances to see writers peeps.

My highlight? I got to sign my ARCs for the very first time! Stand on on the Sky will be out in one month!

<![CDATA[Photos from Mongolia (landscapes)]]>https://www.erinbow.com/single-post/2019/01/21/photos-from-mongolia-landscapes5fb54a219e3be00017e7e946Tue, 22 Jan 2019 01:42:18 GMTerinnbowOf all the gers on all the steppes in all the world, this one is dearest to my heart. In the summer of 2015, I lived here.

Here's the scoop: to find a shape for a story set in Mongolia, I went to Mongolia. Together with my friend Seanan Forbes and our guide Tansaya Khajikhan (daughter of eagle hunters and holder of a degree in gender studies), I lived with and worked alongside a family of Kazakh nomads in the Olgii aimag (province) in Westernmost Mongolia.

My Mongolian middle grade adventure, STAND ON THE SKY, out March 5 from HMH Kids in the US, and from Scholastic Canada in Canada. Over few months I have many pictures to share, and you can see them on my Instagram, @erinbowbooks, with the hashtag #StandOnTheSkyPhotos.

Here are some glimpses of the astounding beauty of the Mongolian landscape. Click to enbiggen.

All Mongolian pics are by Seanan Forbes, writer, photographer, traveller, teaching artist. The grants that sent me to Mongolia came from the Canada Council and Region of Waterloo Arts Fund.

Stay tuned; I've got more of these in weeks to come.

<![CDATA[Hornbook!]]>https://www.erinbow.com/single-post/2019/01/17/hornbook5fb54a219e3be00017e7e947Fri, 18 Jan 2019 00:04:00 GMTerinnbowI'm happy with this feature in The Hornbook. I so hope it will help my wee book soar!