Archive for June, 2012

Alice inducted

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Alice on the big screen at Edmonton’s Winspear Centre with Mayor Stephen Mandel

Alice Major has been inducted into Edmonton’s Arts and Culture Hall of Fame. The designation honours outstanding individuals and groups whose body of work in arts and culture has brought recognition to the city. Other writers previously inducted include Rudy Wiebe, Douglas BarbourMyrna Kostash and Greg Hollingshead.

Awards for Intersecting Sets

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Alice is celebrating June with two awards for Intersecting Sets: A Poet Looks at Science. First, on June 7, she received a gold medal in the 35th National Magazine Awards for “The Ultraviolet Catastrophe”. This essay from the book had been excerpted in special “Quarc” issue of The New Quarterly.

Two days later, she received the Wilfrid Eggleston Award for non-fiction from the Writers Guild of Alberta at its awards gala. The jury’s praise was enthusiastic: “Measured against the writer’s intentions and the pleasure it offers to readers, this book is practically perfect.”

Another transit of Venus

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

To mark the rare astronomical event happening today, here’s a poem. “Transits of Venus” appeared in my first poetry collection, Time Travels Light.

Transits of Venus
Vancouver airport. I have crossed this space before
leaving lovers—a small planet moving slowly
over a vast and polished floor, circled by strangers.

Beyond the lounge window, gray skies, gray tarmac.
Straight, white, painted lines plane off across
the wide-winged delta and intersect the arc

of the horizon. I watch a train of luggage carts
cut a tangent towards me, towed through a bubble
of silence—sound severed from me by glass—

and think of moon buggies, vehicles designed
to cross the surface of a satellite, exploring flat
gray plains, Mare Oscularum, Mare Incognita.

I am exploring the thought of leaving you—
you the men who stayed there on the Island,
you, the men who left on flights back east.

Transits of Venus occur perhaps too often
in my life. The inner planets, small separate
circles, cross the blazing surface of the sun

and then separate, depart to shine alone,
the wandering ones together only for a time,
contained by the bright circumference of love.

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