The Saint City Writers are an unstoppable force … a veritable city institution. No pandemic can stop this writers’ circle from holding regular meetings — online, naturally — nor can it stop them from compiling another treasure trove of local stories for their annual anthology.
Anthology #8 has just been released. Good Old Gossip features the poetic and narrative writings of nearly a dozen of the circle’s almost 30 members.
“It's a celebration to do it every year. It is a success,” offered writer and representative Ewa Kolacz.
The book also acts as a double tribute of sorts. The book cover painting is by the late Pat Trudeau, and one of the stories is the last published work by Kay Guthrie, who passed away earlier this month at the generous age of 95. She contributed to seven of the eight anthologies, including this one.
“She has a beautiful story in this anthology,” Kolacz said.
The Old Woman and the Grizzly Grey-Graks is perhaps best described as a parable.
“I really like how she converted her anxiety over being locked down during the pandemic in a retirement home into a fairy tale about an old woman who lived in a cave, and then she was saved by her great grandchildren. I really admire her. Kay Guthrie was my role model. She was so inspiring: she was active and involved,” Kolacz added. “She was very active [until] the very last days. That's really inspiring.”
If you're looking for a new writer, there's Vic Mitchell, whose story An Early Skiff of Snow is a humorous take on one person's idea of the fall harvest. If you prefer something that reminds you of the heat we experienced in July then best go with Rod Matthews's On a Hot Summer Night. There's poetry by David Henry Kligman, former Gazette editor Carolyn Martindale, and Faye Wong. Kolacz herself recaps her pandemic experience with the delightful story The Year of the Red Tail.
To dive into this anthology and the seven previous publications of the Saint City Writers, they are all available to be borrowed at the St. Albert Public Library. The local writers’ circle still holds regular meetings online starting at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. Send an email to [email protected] to learn more.
The Saint City Writers offer a forum for adult writers to present their work, and to give and receive constructive feedback. To keep abreast of the group's events, visit the library's website at sapl.ca and search "Saint City Writers" under Events. New members are always welcome.