Greg Hollingshead: Golden Pens, Pilot Pens and Telepathic Communication

Happy Friday, Literary Intrepids!

Greg Hollingshead emailing from his my BlackBerry somewhere in Algonquin Park
Greg Hollingshead emailing from his BlackBerry “somewhere” in Algonquin Park

Have you heard award-winning Greg Hollingshead is the 2016 recipient of the WGA Golden Pen Award? Hurray to Greg and special pens! The Golden Pen Award acknowledges lifetime achievements of outstanding writers who’ve spent a significant portion of their writing life in Alberta and produced a distinguished body of work over a longstanding career. We are thrilled to present Greg with this award at our Alberta Literary Awards Wine & Cheese Gala on the evening of Saturday June 4th. Earlier the same day, Greg will open our conference with a keynote speech on The Other Kind of Happiness, where he will address how we, as literary artists, continue to engage a world where it’s said only laws, justice, and technology can save us.

We know from Greg’s official bio that he has published six books of fiction, including The Roaring Girl, The Healer, and Bedlam. He has won the Governor General’s Award, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and has been shortlisted for the Giller Prize. Some of us know him as Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta or Director of the Writing Studio at The Banff Centre. In 2012, he was awarded the Order of Canada.

GH writing on a balcony in Hawaii
GH writing on a balcony in Hawaii

But unless you are a very close friend or family member of Greg’s, you won’t know these five gems!

  1. Greg cannot write unless he is using a (black) Pilot G-Tec-C4 pen
  2. He believes in animal (and human) telepathy
  3. He loves The Larry Sanders Show
  4. Greg has a significant collection of works by Robert Crumb
  5. …and, his favourite food is eggplant (for obvious reasons)

I asked Greg to expand on the point regarding telepathic communication, and this is what he had to say:

“The telepathy is from personal experience and the work by Rupert Sheldrake on people and animals (as in The Sense of Being Stared At and Dogs That Know When Their Masters Are Coming Home).‎ He has no idea how it works, but his empirical studies seem pretty good to me.”

Lulu...are you reading my thoughts again?
Lulu…are you reading my thoughts again?

I googled author/biologist Rupert Sheldrake immediately. Sheldrake worked as a biochemist and cell biologist at Cambridge University and as principal plant physiologist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics. As a biologist and researcher, he developed a controversial hypothesis known as “morphic resonance,” arguing that “memory is inherent in nature,” and that “natural systems, such as termite colonies, or pigeons, or orchid plants, or insulin molecules, inherit a collective memory from all previous things of their kind.” Sheldrake theorizes that morphic resonance is responsible for “telepathy-type interconnections between organisms.”

Whether you are a skeptic of all things parapsychological, or fascinated by the unexplainable events that happen all the time, you can visit Sheldrakes’ website and make up your own mind. There is, of course, the remaining and intriguing question of Greg’s personal experience with telepathy, stories I may only be able to glean via a wine-infused writer’s festival hospitality suite…or maybe…just maybe at the June 4th gala party.


Keynote Address: Greg Hollingshead
Saturday, June 4th 2016
9:30-10:45am, MacDonald Hall, SAIT Campus
Register for full conference
$30 individual ticket

Greg Hollingshead: Golden Pen Award Recipient
Saturday, June 4th 2016
7:30 (Doors) 8:00-11:00pm, MacDonald Hall, SAIT Campus
Join us at the Gala
$40 ticket

Stay tuned next week as we share surprising facts about each of our conference presenters!

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