Winnipeg Arts Council

Ariel Gordon & Mitchell Toews Dual Book Launch

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Join Ariel Gordon and Mitchell Toews for the hybrid launch of their new books from At Bay Press, Siteseeing and Pinching Zwieback, featuring readings and a conversation with Sue Sorensen.

The launch will be hosted live in the Atrium of McNally Robinson Booksellers, Grant Park and also available as a simultaneous YouTube stream. The venue is accessible.

Siteseeing is a poetry collection, a call-and-response co-written by Ariel Gordon and Saskatchewan writer Brenda Schmidt. Ariel intended to write about urban Manitoba, the city and its trees, and Brenda was to write about rural Saskatchewan and birds. Over the course of the year, the matter of place took over and the intentions branched and flew apart. The poets wrote about the natural world and people making their way through it all. They wrote home as they found it.

Pinching Zwieback is the debut short fiction collection from Mitchell Toews. It is focused on recurrent, related characters with a common reality: small town Mennonite life. Toews, who grew up in his parents’ Mennonite bakery in Steinbach Manitoba, employs a gritty style containing psychological depth. Toews’ stories reveal the truth behind the fiction.

Ariel Gordon is a Winnipeg/Treaty 1 territory-based a writer, editor, and enthusiast. She is the ringleader of Writes of Spring, a National Poetry Month project with the Winnipeg International Writers Festival that appears in the Winnipeg Free Press. Her first two collections of poetry won the Lansdowne Prize for Poetry. Her most recent books are the essay collection Treed: Walking in Canada’s Urban Forests (Wolsak & Wynn) and the first book in the public poetry project TreeTalk (At Bay Press), which was nominated for three Manitoba Book Awards. This is her fifth book.

Mitchell Toews has placed stories in 120 literary journals, anthologies, and contests since 2016. A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Mitch was recently a finalist in the following major contests: the 2022 Humber Literary Review Canada-wide Creative Nonfiction contest, the 2022 J.F. Powers Prize for Short Fiction, and the 2023 Dave Williamson National Short Story Competition. Mitch is currently working on his debut novel and curating a second collection of stories. Mitch and his wife Janice live in their 1950 cabin in the Whiteshell Park and may be found on the water, on the trails, or loose, in the wild air.

Sue Sorensen teaches English at Canadian Mennonite University, where she is also the director of CMU Press. Sue is the editor of West of Eden: Essays on Canadian Prairie Literature and the author of A Large Harmonium, The Collar, and the forthcoming poetry collection Acutely Life.