Laurie Block is an award-winning writer and storyteller from Brandon, Manitoba, who has performed in schools, communities, and festivals in Canada and the United States since 1987. A former Early Years educator, Laurie teaches and facilitates storytelling and creative writing workshops for all ages. His writing has been produced on the professional stage, and published in anthologies, in magazines throughout Canada, and in three volumes of poetry: Governing Bodies; the bilingual collection, Foreign Graces/Bendiciones Ajenas; and Time Out of Mind, winner of the inaugural Lansdowne Prize for Poetry. His stories have won the Prairie Fire Fiction Contest, the 2004 National Magazine Gold Medal Award, and a 2008 Western Magazine Award Gold Medal.
From a well-travelled suitcase jammed with everyday materials, Laurie improvises props and costumes for stories that grab attention, liberate laughter, and invite participation in a playful exploration of memory and make-believe. Homemade haircuts and bears in bad moods; tongue-tied monsters and long red scarves – the stories mirror the world of children as they grow and stretch the limits of their abilities, autonomy, and, occasionally, the facts. Mature audiences delight in a grandmother’s touching love affair with the renowned artist Marc Chagall in this poetic and energetic romp through a world of travel, technophobia, and vasectomies. These are stories that touch the human landscape of spiritual hunger, unconditional love, and unexpected wisdom.