"In his 10th book, Ken Rivard shows himself to be a pro at capturing the realities of working-class humanity. MOTHERWILD is a work of beauty, a coming-of-age story and the eventual healing of a mother-son relationship. Rivard's writing is honest, refreshing, startling, imaginative and gets the reader emotionally involved. MOTHERWILD is a really good read!"--W.P. Kinsella
In December, 1959, A Montreal boy named Joey Cantell rolls out from under his bed and kills a rat with his hockey stick. He worries. He is afraid of his mother. He is afraid of what he might do to her. He is afraid of what she might do to herself. Joey's relationships on this working-class, Montreal street are mostly based on how he relates to his mother and to Celine Lesage, the girl downstairs. Mother. Rodent. The story ends with a surprising revelation and then years later, the slow restoration of a mother-son relationship."
CALGARY BOOK LAUNCH at 7 p.m. on October 2, 2014 at the Memorial Park Branch of the Calgary Public Library, 1221- 2nd Street, S.W., Calgary.
Saturday, October 11 from 1:00-3:00, book signing at Owl's Nest Bookstore, 815 A- 49th Avenue, S.W., Calgary.
Thursday, October 30 from 7:00-10:00, reading at Shelf Life Bookstore, 1302- 4th Street S.W., Calgary.
For a list of review quotes on many of Rivard's books, click here.
MISSIONARY POSITIONS (fiction, Black Moss Press, 2008) "Developing different protagonists with distinct voices is tough but Rivard pulls it off. A master of imagery...once again Rivard treats these very personal subjects with humanity. MISSIONARY POSITIONS reads real, touches readers deeply, and hits home on many fronts."Wendy Rajala, THE CALGARY HERALD
WHISKEY EYES (fiction, Black Moss Press, 2004) "Rivard's flash fiction works...inventive...poetic... all relate to a single narrative arc and thus create a moving and lasting impression. In an era when more and more people live to an advanced age, many readers are likely to relate to Mark's (the main protagonist) dilemma and find the subtlety and humanity with which Rivard treats this very personal, yet universal theme to be a source of comfort and quiet inspiration."K Gordon Neufeld, THE CALGARY HERALD
WHISKEY EYES (fiction, Black Moss Press, 2004) "An intense book that deals with the substantial emotional involvement stemming from the responsibility of caring for aging parents."Jennifer Partridge, THE CALGARY HERALD
WHISKEY EYES (fiction, Black Moss Press, 2004) "Demonstrates the problem when those aged parents become the children...a difficult problem handled brilliantly."Kirk Layton, CHAPTERS/INDIGO website
FRANKIE'S DESIRES (poetry, Quarry Press, 1987) "Rivard feels closer to the down and out than to the high and mighty. Frankie, whose frank desires, devilish sense of humor and ironical awareness of his own devilty, makes the book lively. Rivard is a fine reporter of the foibles of this protagonist. The wit is rich and typical of the tone of this artfully sophisticated but innocent- even simple looking- work. Like Frost before him, Rivard is touching the heart with Frankie's apparent naivete, only pretending to be Everyman. This lovely, lively, loving work may be the most important repositioning of a Canadian poet to appear this year... establishes him as a powerful writer and this collection is recommended for libraries with Commonwealth, Canadian and contemporary shelves. Rivard, the Calgary poet of the unforgettable Frankie, will be heard from again and again."Robert Solomon, SMALL PRESS
FRANKIE'S DESIRES (poetry, Quarry Press, 1987) "Frankie ain't beautiful but he's audaciously real."Mark Lowey, THE CALGARY HERALD
MOM,THE SCHOOL FLOODED (children's literature, Annick Press, 1995, revised/re-issued 2007- Korean rights old to Gibburi, 2009): "Readers are left with a brilliant illustration to let their minds solve the rest of the story. MOM,THE SCHOOL FLOODED is an excellent story to add to your collection."John Dryden, CM MAGAZINE
MOM,THE SCHOOL FLOODED (children's literature, Annick Press, 1995, revised/re-issued 2007- Korean rights old to Gibburi, 2009): "The book's success is based on its perfect marriage of text and illustration. Ken Rivard's closing dialogue involves the reader in the creative process, providing firsthand experience of 'creative storytelling'."Christine Linge, CM MAGAZINE
BOTTLE TALK (fiction, Black Moss Press, 2002) "Intensely written with compelling, graphical honesty. Rivard is an astute observer. Reading this book is like probing an open wound that has not healed. It is a brilliant collection of truth and glimpses into ones very soul."Anne Burke, PRAIRIE JOURNAL
BOTTLE TALK (fiction, Black Moss Press, 2002) "In this collection of short monologues, Rivard explores alcoholism with an approach that ranges from humorous to brutally frank. The voices we hear in BOTTLE TALK are male and female, young and old, drunk and sober, and always convincing. This is largely due to Rivard's ability to vary his style from tight and poetic to sloppy and colloquial in a way that makes each persona distinct and believable. BOTTLE TALK is an excellent display of Rivard's talent as a writer. It is dynamic and sincere, and althought it is connected by a common thread of alcoholism, the ugly truths that Rivard forces us to view with wide open eyes, are not just those of alcoholism but the basic truths of humanity and life."Heather Doody, CANADIAN BOOK REVIEW ANNUAL
FRANKIE'S DESIRES (poetry, Quarry Press, 1987) "Frankie's Desires become ours-to live-to open up to- to understand."Gerald Hill, THE EDMONTON JOURNAL
FRANKIE'S DESIRES (poetry, Quarry Press, 1987) "Ken Rivard's poems are sad/funny reflections of ourselves as we dream-desire our way through the maze that is defined as life. His verse lines echo in the ears of all who would listen to him."Michael O Nowlan, CANADIAN BOOK REVIEW ANNUAL
Ken Rivard was born and raised in Montreal. He is the author of ten published books of poetry, fiction, and children’s literature. His writing has appeared in numerous anthologies, in many regional and national publications, and on the CBC. His books have been finalists for the Writers Guild of Alberta Book Awards and the City Of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize. He has worked as a juror for both the Alberta and Saskatchewan book awards and has been the Writer-in-Residence for the Calgary Public Library and the Writers Guild of Alberta. In 2005, Ken was nominated for the inaugural Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards. He lives in Calgary.