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Alumnae authors to launch books Wednesday

Relationships are at the heart of two books being launched tonight by Black Moss Press.

Talking Derby, by Kate Hargreaves, explores a young woman’s love affair with her roller skates, and the poetry collection Whisky Sour City, edited by Vanessa Shields, brings together works by Windsor poets to reveal their tangled ties with the city.

Both women are UWindsor alumnae. Hargreaves (BA 2010, MA 2012) received the Governor General’s Gold Medal as the top graduate student in her cohort at the October 2012 Convocation ceremonies. Shields (BA 2002) published her first book, the memoir Laughing Through a Second Pregnancy, in 2011. She received a 2010 emerging artist award from the Windsor Endowment for the Arts.

Hargreaves describes her book as a “love letter to roller derby,” a sport says she has fallen for in more ways than one since taking it with the Border City Brawlers in 2010.

“The vignettes you read here are fictional, but loosely inspired by my experiences as one roller derby skater in one league in one city stumbling my way around the track, through the pack, through the rules, with a smelly gear bag in tow,” she says.

More than 50 writers contributed their voices to Shields’ anthology, communicating their experiences with the sweet and the sour of Windsor.

“I love the courage this collection exudes,” she says. “The poets were not afraid to express their emotions about Windsor, whether they were positive or negative or both.”

Students in Marty Gervais’ practicum course in editing and publishing marshalled both these books through the design and print process, and have organized the free public launch, which gets underway Wednesday, April 10, at 7 p.m. at the Caboto Club, 2175 Parent Avenue.

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