Join us for a special remembrance of writer, playwright, and publisher Geoffrey Ursell. This online memorial event features host Brenda Baker, along with writers and publishers David Carpenter, Faye Rafter, Nik Burton, and Robert Currie. We will look back fondly on Geoffrey's work with writing and writers in Saskatchewan and remember his contribution and legacy with Coteau Books to the publishing industry in Saskatchewan. This event is co-sponsored by SaskBooks and the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild.
Brenda Baker is a writer-performer from Saskatoon with a couple of books and a few CDs to her credit. She was the “star” of Geoffrey Ursell and Barbara Sapergia’s children’s show, Prairie Berry Pie. She also worked with Geoffrey as the acting manager of Grain Magazine, as well as the events coordinator and member of the board for Coteau Books.
Saskatchewan-born and journalism-trained, Nik Burton was the first SWG Executive Director, from 1976-1981. He worked as Literary Arts Co-ordinator at the Saskatchewan Arts Board until 1988, when he moved to Edmonton to be the Executive Director of the Book Publishers Association of Alberta. Returning to Regina in 1994, he again served at the Arts Board before taking the Coteau Books Managing Editor position in 1996. He retired from Coteau in 2015 and moved to Vancouver Island later that year.
Robert Currie is a former Saskatchewan Poet Laureate, the author of 8 books of poetry and 4 of fiction. Along with Geoffrey Ursell, Barbara Sapergia and Gary Hyland, he was one of the founders of Coteau Books and served on the Board for over 40 years.
Faye Rafter is a former board member of Coteau Books and a long-time supporter of the arts. Initially a librarian at Regina Public Library, she moved to the University of Regina to teach and soon managed the student residence. She has been the Executive Director of the University of Regina Faculty Association and was employed as an Executive with the Government of Saskatchewan before leaving to form her own consulting company. Currently, Faye explores a range of artistic pursuits and volunteers extensively with the Regina Floral Conservatory.
David Carpenter began writing as a reviewer and translator. During his first year in Saskatoon, he saw a performance of the Moose Jaw Movement and resolved to switch lanes and become a writer. He has written and published a dozen books that he admits to and several more that he doesn’t. In this voyage from scholar to writer, Geoffrey Ursell was a big influence.