YYC Literary Sidewalks

When it rains, words flow!


Calgary Public Library and Wordfest have teamed up to bring to life the wonderful words of several Calgary writers. It’s a gift of pop-up wordy goodness for the citizens of Calgary!

Starting Friday, September 30, sidewalks throughout the City will come alive with literary quotes…whenever it rains (or, heaven forbid) snows. The literary quotations—from the likes of Aritha van Herk, Will Ferguson, and Derek Beaulieu—have been written on eleven City sidewalks in biodegradable sidewalk paint, invisible until water is added.

Watch for quotes from these Alberta authors and more on Calgary's streets this fall, and post your pictures with #YYCLiterarySidewalks.

Weyman Chan

2012-09-23-wcpicWeyman Chan’s second book, Noise From the Laundry, was a finalist for the 2008 Governor General’s Award for poetry and the Acorn-Plantos People’s Poetry Award. His fifth book of poetry, Human Tissue ---a primer for Not Knowing--- was released in Spring, 2016. Parlaying the fraught language of techno-jargon and bio-speak, his latest book tries to re-frame the age-old question, “why are we here?”

Chan's quote appears in Chinatown at the Sien Lok Park entrance, Riverfront Avenue & 1st Street SE.

Suzette Mayr


Suzette Mayr is the author of four novels, including her most recent book Monoceros, which won the ReLit and the City of Calgary W. O. Mitchell Awards, and was nominated for the 2011 Giller Prize, the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction, and Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction. Her novel The Widows was a finalist for the Commonwealth Prize for Best Book in the Canada-Caribbean region. She is a former president of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, and she teaches creative writing at the University of Calgary.


Mayr's quote appears at the Calgary Tower, 9th Ave S & Centre Street.


Kirk Miles


Kirk Miles’ poems have been produced on CBC’s Alberta Anthology and his poetry has been published in journals across Canada. As a playwright he has earned recognition for his work including a playwriting award from Alberta Culture for co-writing the critically acclaimed Juggler on a Drum and in June of 2009 Kirk Miles won the Writers Guild of Alberta Screenwriters Award for a screenplay entitled Shadow Maker. In 2012 Kirk won the Golden Beret Award, a lifetime achievement award in poetry presented by the Calgary International Spoken Word Festival. His spoken word show with Ken Sinclair, midnight yoga for alcoholics, has been seen at several festivals and events throughout Alberta. In the fall of 2007 Bravo aired a half hour special on his life as a poet, playwright and clown.

Miles' quote appears at the Shamrock Hotel, at 2101 11 Street SE.



Norman Ravvin

norman-ravvinNorman Ravvin is a Calgary native who lives in Montreal. His first novel, Café des Westens (Red Deer Press), is set in Calgary; his second, Lola by Night (paperplates books), in Vancouver; while his most recent, The Joyful Child (Gaspereau), moves from the west coast to the centre of the country. Other titles include a story collection, Sex, Skyscrapers, and Standard Yiddish, and Hidden Canada: An Intimate Travelogue. Hidden Canada includes a long personal essay on Calgary's booms and busts.

Ravvin's quote appears at Central Library, 616 MacLeod Trail SE.

Aritha Van Herk

Image of Aritha Van Herk

Aritha van Herk is the author of five novels, Judith, The Tent Peg, No Fixed Address, Places Far From Ellesmere (a geografictione) and Restlessness. Her non-fiction includes A Frozen Tongue, In Visible Ink, and Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta. With photographer George Webber she has published In This Place: Calgary 2004-2011, and Prairie Gothic. Her latest book is Stampede and the Westness of West.

Van Herk's quote appears at Glenbow Museum, 130 9 Ave SE, at the 8 Ave SE entrance.