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NorthWord launches Issue 21 full of Puzzles amid Alberta Culture Days

Issue 21 Guest Editor Dave Martin with Cover Artist Carmen Wells. Photo by Kiran Malik-Khan

(Fort McMurray, AB, October 3, 2019) It was a perfect afternoon for poetry lovers. With a zestful open mic, and spirited recitations – NorthWord literary journal’s Issue #21 featuring a theme of “Puzzles” was launched at Points North Gallery on September 27, 2019 during Alberta Culture Days. The publication was guest edited by local musician Dave Martin with an exclusive cover created for us by local visual artist Carmen Wells of Ponderosa Studios.

Alberta Culture Days is an “opportunity to discover, experience and celebrate arts and culture through local events and activities across the province…and is part of National Culture Days, which includes 300 communities from coast to coast,” as per the official website.

The event started with a perennial favourite – a conversation with the outgoing and incoming guest editors. The guest editor for our next issue is Hanna Fridhed, local actress and engagement coordinator for Arts Council Wood Buffalo. She shared on picking “Anomaly,” as a theme.

“Anomaly for me is this sense of accepting what was no longer normal after 2016, and finding pieces that fit into a mosaic – whether it was your personal one, or the community you are in. Just because it’s not normal, it’s not wrong, even though it might feel wrong, or others might perceive it as wrong. It’s meant to not fit the pattern,” said Fridhed.

With launching two issues per year, NorthWord aims to host their events during times that match best with the community’s literary arts focus — in April to coincide with National Poetry Month and in September with Alberta Culture Days.

NorthWord’s President Dawn Booth explained how it maximizes, not only the public engagement, but also gives everyone more reasons to celebrate.

“I’m proud to live in a community that continuously focuses on literary arts, and the one thing I love about Alberta Culture Days is that it unites us all, no matter our method of art expression,” she said.

“As for our Puzzles launch, Points North Gallery was the perfect place to host as it is the community's central hub for artists to showcase, and sell their masterpieces. Listening to others share their written words, surrounded by all the beautiful painted and crafted pieces, amplified our event’s mood and setting.”

The group is now accepting submissions for the “Anomaly,” Issue #22. Original poetry of no more than 50 lines, prose, fiction or non-fiction - 3000 words maximum, and art can be sent to All names will be removed, and only alignment with theme matters.

NorthWord is available free of charge at MacDonald Island, Keyano College, Points North Gallery, Mitchell’s Café, Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts, Campbell’s Music, Blossoms YMM at the Tattered Bookshop, and the Thickwood YMCA.

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Board members of the Northern Canada Collective Society of Writers: Jane Jacques, Kiran Malik-Khan and Dawn Booth.


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