Alberta can boast a lengthy list of writers of various forms of
literature. From the classic, lyrical prose in W.O. Mitchell's masterpiece
of Canadian literature, Who Has Seen the Wind, to Grant
decades-long exploration of Alberta's heritage, Alberta in the 21st
century has a strong literary foundation on which to stand. Alberta writers are winning awards and publishing bestsellers at home
and around the world. From the award winning novels of Peter Oliva and Thomas Wharton, to the voraciously read speculative fiction (SF) novels of Dave Duncan and Pauline Gedge, Alberta's literary disciplines are
Disciplines, or genres, can be looked at as a way of dividing the written
word into smaller, easily understood categories. Works of a genre
share common conventions.
The distinction between poetry and prose is easily shown poems look and
sound different because of the importance they place on word choice and
difference between general fiction and speculative fiction (SF), or
children's fiction is not as pronounced. A SF novel may use prose to tell
its story, but its interest in the unknown or fantastical set it apart
from other genres of prose.
Yet for all the talk of genres and the distinction between types of
writing, writers demonstrate a startling ignorance of divisions. The idea
of genres is for the reader's convenience and writers are not bound to
them. Therefore, on this website you may find the same person listed under
the non-fiction category for her biographical writings as well as the prose
category for her many novels. Such cross-referencing is the only way to
grasp the limitless creativity of Alberta's writers.
Alberta is lucky to have a broad spectrum of writers using any genre
nameable. From the internationally published SF novels of Candas Jane Dorsey,
to the poetry of Doug Barbour, the Albertan literary community does not
lack in diversity.