Brandon writer honoured at special reading: A Tribute to Laurie Block

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BRANDON – A writer’s life in poetry, prose, and drama.

That’s what will be featured this month in Brandon at “Coming to My Senses: A Tribute to Laurie Block.”

The English & Creative Writing Literary Exchange at Brandon University (BU) pays tribute to beloved Brandon writer and storyteller Laurie Block at a special reading of his work on Saturday, Oct. 28.

Friends, family, and colleagues will read from Block’s expansive body of work that spans four decades. The award-winning author will be in attendance to meet with his audience.

“Laurie Block has written his way into the heart of this community and province,” said Dale Lakevold, a BU faculty member and co-organizer of the tribute.

“We have been deeply enriched by his many contributions as writer, citizen, community member. We thought the time was long overdue to celebrate his life and creative work – and to do so here in his adopted hometown.”

Formerly of Winnipeg, Block has made Brandon his home for the past 15 years. He is the author of three volumes of poetry, Time Out of Mind (2006); Foreign Graces/Bendiciones Ajenas (1999); and Governing Bodies (1988). His collection Time Out of Mind was winner of the inaugural Lansdowne Prize for Poetry in 2007.

Headshot of Laurie Block standing outside in the winter
Laurie Block is a beloved writer and storyteller in his adopted hometown of Brandon.

His stories have won the Prairie Fire Fiction Contest, the National Magazine Gold Medal Award (2004), and the Western Magazine Gold Medal Award (2008), and his work has been shortlisted four times for the CBC Literary Award.

Block’s play The Tomato King was produced by Theatre Projects Manitoba in 1997 and his short plays have been produced professionally in Winnipeg, Brandon, and Gimli.

His poetry has been described as “moving, honest, and luminous.”

In a review of Block’s collection Time Out of Mind, critic Michael Dennis writes, “The poet’s job is to illuminate, startle, report, imagine, and so on. Laurie Block does all those things and more.”

Block has worked as a creative writing instructor at Brandon University over the past decade and has been an Early Years educator, teaching and facilitating storytelling and creative writing workshops for all ages. He has appeared in recent years at the Brandon Folk Music & Art Festival as the festival’s poet laureate.

The tribute will take place at the Gathering Space in the John E. Robbins Library at Brandon University on October 28, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 pm. The event is free, and all are welcome. Snacks and refreshments will be served.


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