Tag Archives: Bob McCarthy

Sarnia-Lambton’s Sesquicentennial Celebration – A Literary Reflection

Some people stuff history into a closet. I can attest to that.

Any time I opened a history book in high school, all those dates/figures/names would cobweb my eyes and lull me to sleep at my desk. I’m surprised I even passed the course.

Sesquicentennial Reading Featured books photo 1 - August 22, 2017

History is all around us: a sample of featured books on display during Sarnia-Lambton’s Sesquicentennial Celebration held August 22, 2017.

When all the neighbors pulled out their Canadian flags and other memorabilia to celebrate the country’s 150th anniversary of its Confederation, I felt the urge to de-clutter my office and clear my mind of all the festive noise and streamers. Seriously, how does one erase the controversial rental cost ($120,000) and image of the world’s largest (six-storey, 30,000-ton) rubber duck that made its official Canadian debut at the Toronto harbour during the Canada Day weekend?

That’s when it hit me, as I tugged on a box of unsorted literary magazines, moved a pile of photo albums onto a shelf, and opened a small blue/white/gold cardboard box labelled “The Spirit of ’70: 1870 Manitoba Centennial 1970” .

Decluttering - 47-year-old box

De-cluttering can unearth some historic or memorable treasures.

 

History is someone’s memories. It doesn’t have to be about politics and war. It can be closer to home, even tucked in a drawer inside your own desk.

Why else was I saving this 47-year-old Souvenir Cake Box? I certainly don’t remember the taste or style of the miniature cake or the Centennial event in which I received it. Yet, for all these years, it housed approximately 30 little pencils from my childhood.

Sesquicentennial Reading - Group Photo - August 22, 2017

Featured readers at Sarnia-Lambton’s Sesquicentennial Celebration: (from left to right): Bob McCarthy, John B. Lee, Lynn Tait, Patrick Connors, Norma West Linder, and James Deahl.

Memories matter!

Last Tuesday, several writers gathered for Sarnia-Lambton’s Sesquicentennial Celebration! The audience appeared smaller than normal but similar to the dwindling attendance at other literary events I’ve attended this summer. The emcee (Sarnia poet James Deahl) wondered whether the event would have attracted more people if it had been advertised as a literary versus an historic event. I wondered if people were just overwhelmed by busy summer schedules and are just taking a much needed break.

For those who missed this local August 22nd celebration below are some snapshots spotlighting the six featured readers!

Each of the presentations was thought-provoking and inspiring.

Historian Bob McCarthy shared a moving (and humourous) story about the time his parents forgot to tell him that his family had moved to a different home. The story is part of his memoir collection The Book of Bob to be released November 2017.

Poet/photographer Lynn Tait read six poems including a new creation titled “The Bird Watcher’s Daughter” with the memorable line my heart flies with the cardinal and the powerful poem “Strip” with its hard-hitting line the punishment never fits the crime.

Out-of-town poet Patrick Connors read 8 poems including the poem “Madness” which won third prize in Big Pond Rumours’s Winter 2015 contest: Einstein defined insanity/as doing the same thing//over and over again, while/expecting different results.

Deahl shared work from his new book Red Haws to Light the Field (Guernica Editions, 2017) including the poem “Adoration & Prayer” with its lines Let my tongue be the stonemason’s hammer/let red haws light the field.

Prolific Sarnia writer Norma West Linder shared five poems from her book Adder’s-tongues (Aeolus House, 2012). In her humourous poem “Chokecherries” she reflected on her memories of Manitoulin Island and how her mother sprayed: crimson juice/across the spotless bosom/of her astonished hostess.

The evening concluded with six poems by the prolific out-of-town poet John B. Lee. From his book In the Muddy Shoes of Morning (Hidden Brook Press, 2010), from the poem “Vantage” he provided more sustenance for future thought: I grip at ghosts/and rise like mist in heat/where memory sets heaven/in a bowl of bone….

Sesquicentennial Reading Featured books photo 2 - August 22, 2017

John B. Lee often writes about the history and memory of farming in his poetry books. Most poets will include some form of history or current events in their work.

 

Thanks for the memories….for sharing what matters to you….for teaching me that history plays a vital role in everyone’s life.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE FEATURED READERS:

Patrick Connors: author of Scarborough Songs and Part-Time Contemplative (See Q & A here.) 

James Deahl: launched his 25th poetry title Red Haws to Light the Field (See Q & A here.)

John B. Lee: author of over 60 books and twice winner of both the Milton Acorn Memorial People’s Poetry Award and the CBC’s Canadian Literary Award 

Norma West Linder: author of 25 literary titles and contributor to From This Day Forward (Sarnia-Lambton’s sesquicentennial anthology) (See more info here and here.)

Bob McCarthy: Lambton historian and author of a Lambton Shield’s series of 150 videos celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday year. (See more info here.)

Lynn Tait: award-winning photographer and author of Breaking Away

Interested in attending a future literary event in the Ontario? Check my partial list of upcoming public events, updated weekly or as time permits.

Follow this blog for future Canadian author profiles.

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Historical Fiction Writer Bob McCarthy Fast Forwards to the 21st Century

Laura turned once again to face her cousin Kathy, pausing for nearly a minute before turning back to the audience. With tears in her eyes and sadness in her voice, she said, “I was so alone”. – Bob McCarthy*

 Back in 2013, Sarnia’s historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy published the book Case 666: A Travesty of Justice. The novel travelled back in time to resurrect the true story of Elizabeth Workman, a battered woman who was locally executed after being convicted of murdering her husband.

Bob McCarthy 2016 Photo 2

Sarnia-Lambton author Bob McCarthy with his new novella GENERATIONS (Quinn Riley Press, 2016), a follow-up to his 2013 book Case 666.

On June 19, 2016 (exactly 143 years after her hanging), Bob McCarthy will launch his fictional novella GENERATIONS: The Descendants of Elizabeth Workman. The 132-page book attempts to answer some of the more pressing questions arising from Case 666 including the possible whereabouts and the “nature versus nurture” impact on Workman’s two children: Hugh and Catherine. Published by Quinn Riley Press, the story jumps forward to a Sarnia hospital room in 1940 and continues with a 2016 reunion in an Owen Sound library.

At one point, the character Kathy states, “As the oldest, I would gather my brothers and sisters in my arms. Tell them to close their eyes. We would hide under the kitchen table until it was over.”*

The seriousness and prevalence of domestic violence in society makes this book a difficult topic to address and to read but demonstrates the need for victims to seek help and for crusaders to assist and lobby for change.                                                      

As McCarthy wrote in his Author’s Note: “This story is one man’s way of trying to speak out against pernicious violence directed daily at women and young girls, violence that prevents females of all ages from living full lives and realizing their true potential.”**

GENERATIONS is McCarthy’s 12th self-published book aimed at making Lambton County’s history come alive.

Meet the author this Sunday, June 19, 2016 from 2 to 3 p.m. at The Book Keeper, 500 Exmouth Street in Sarnia.

generations

Bob McCarthy will launch GENERATIONS on Sunday, June 19, 2016, the 143rd anniversary of the hanging of Elizabeth Workman.

Additional information about the launch is posted on this Facebook event page.

An earlier interview with McCarthy discussing his writing process appears here. 

Additional information about McCarthy can be found on his website .

*from the book GENERATIONS: The Descendants of Elizabeth Workman (Quinn Riley Press, 2016) page 112 and 113. Reprinted with the author permission: Copyright ©2016 Bob McCarthy

**from the Author’s Note from the book GENERATIONS: The Descendants of Elizabeth Workman (Quinn Riley Press, 2016) page 127. Reprinted with the author permission: Copyright ©2016 Bob McCarthy

Canadian Author Profile: Gloria Pearson-Vasey – Blends History with Fantasy

Now in plain view, Black Springs Abbey loomed before them, a neglected neo-gothic structure. Ivy wrapped itself protectively around the building’s pale yellow brick exterior, creeping across windows and partially obscuring ornate brackets under the roof’s projecting eaves. Third-storey dormer windows gazed blankly from the once-elegant mansard roof, slate tiles now faded and chipped. – Gloria Pearson-Vasey*

Canadian author Gloria Pearson-Vasey begins her new book Black Springs Abbey with the tires of a police cruiser crunching on gravel. Within one page, her storytelling hooks me.

“Was it some kind of ghost,” he said.

“I don’t know. I’ve never seen a person who fades in and out before.”*

Gloria Pearson-Vasey has published 9 books including Black Spring Abbey/ Early Days of Oil Springs, the double-book recently released with historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy.

Gloria Pearson-Vasey has published 9 books including Black Springs Abbey/ Early Days of Oil Springs, the double-book recently released with historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy.

Several pages later, the police officer drives Hilma down a twisted laneway where the protagonist catches her first glimpse of the abbey, a setting that plays a prominent role in this page-turning novel. Who lives in this abbey and what secrets lie hidden on its grounds? You’ll need to read this historical fantasy to find out.

A seasoned writer and a member of the Lambton Writers Association, Pearson-Vasey is the author of 9 published books: two speculative fiction, two literary fiction/mysteries, three non-fiction books and two historical fantasies including The Bells of Prosper Station and Black Springs Abbey. The latter is part of a double-book published with Early Days in Oil Springs, a historical fiction novel by Sarnia’s Bob McCarthy. The tête-bêche was launched last spring as a commemorative edition celebrating the sesquicentennial of The Village of Oil Springs. See more information about McCathy and the book here.

Gloria Pearson-Vasey’s book tour included a double-book signing, Saturday, May 9, 2015 at The Book Keeper in Sarnia, Ontario. Additional presentations are planned for the fall 2015.

Gloria Pearson-Vasey’s book tour included a double-book signing, Saturday, May 9, 2015 at The Book Keeper in Sarnia, Ontario. Additional presentations are planned for the fall 2015.

Earlier this month, Pearson-Vasey with McCarthy began a series of joint presentations at the Point Edward Library. Additional library presentations are planned for

Petrolia – Thursday, October 15 at 11 a.m.

Wyoming – Wednesday, November 18 at 1:30 p.m.

Courtright – Wednesday, November 18 at 7 p.m.

Watford – Monday, February 29 at 1:30 p.m.

I asked Pearson-Vasey to share her thoughts on her writing process. Below are her responses:      

(1) Describe your book. Why did you publish it?

Black Springs Abbey is an historical fantasy written to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Oil Springs, once known as Black Springs.

I was drawn into the fantasy genre by a creative writing group at LCCVI who set me wondering if the local oil heritage could translate into fantasy. Might the fumes from 19th century oil gushers, fires and nitroglycerine explosions cause some citizens to evolve into timeriders, psychic vampires or guardians?

The result became The Bells of Prosper Station and its sequel, Black Springs Abbey. In the first book, Azur Moonstorey and her companions exit the town library, board a midnight ghost train, and are transported to nineteenth-century Prosper Station (aka Petrolea). Their mission is to rescue Azur’s sister, Hilma, from the psychic vampire, Vek.

In Black Springs Abbey, Hilma is still beset by anxieties and insecurities five years after being rescued. Encouraged to take a position at a dilapidated abbey, she soon discovers that life at Black Springs Abbey can be as unsettling as she feared.

Black Springs Abbey/ Early Days of Oil Springs is a double-book, a tête-beche published by Quinn Riley Press, 2015.

Black Springs Abbey/ Early Days of Oil Springs is a double-book, a tête-beche published by Quinn Riley Press, 2015.

(2) What are you currently working on?

I’m in the final stages of editing my son’s book, Living in the Eye: Life with Autism. The process of updating Kevin’s past book, while integrating his more recent writings and convictions, proved to be more difficult than I’d expected. I hope I’ve done it justice.

At the same time, I’ve amused myself by doing research for my next novel. The characters and storyline are already taking shape although the genre remains a bit hazy. It will not be fantasy or speculative…maybe family saga with a touch of mystery.

(3) How does your work differ from other authors?

I’m a multi-genre author, and I get totally caught up in whatever I happen to be writing. Readers tell me that in both fiction and non-fiction, I have a lyrical voice. I suppose that my love of music, nature and literature contributes to that. Using words to paint scenes and settings can be incredibly satisfying.

(4) Why do you write the way you do? How does your writing process work?

I’m a storyteller, preferring fiction to non-fiction because it provides both adventure and escape from the mundane. And as storytellers do, I write to entertain. Often I weave contemporary issues (social justice, ecology, human foibles) into my novels. I like a story – be it speculative, literary, mystery or fantasy – to be authentic and to end on a note of hope. Before I ever settle down to write, I do months of preparation that includes endless research. I take photos and jot down random thoughts in note books. The anticipation is exciting!

Canadian author Gloria Pearson-Vasey

Canadian author Gloria Pearson-Vasey


Once I steel myself to begin writing seriously, I keep research notes and pictures close at hand for inspiration. In order to immerse myself into the development of characters and the setting in which they dwell, I need to be truly present to both. Blocks of time free from interruption are critical.

Usually I work from an outline with chapters briefly plotted out. As the story develops, the chapters change and move about. The more I write, the more the characters take over, often communicating to me while I sleep. Sometimes they force me to change course, eliminate whole chapters and add new ones.

(5) Is there anything you’d like to add? If so, please share with the readers.

Writing is hard work. Discipline is essential because many writing days, at least for me, start off slowly. But languor ultimately gives way to wisps of enlightenment which in turn grow into periods of happily flowing prose.

If you’re a writer, seek out readers to proof and critique your finished drafts. Be genuinely appreciative of everything they suggest and mull over their words of wisdom. Correct the typos they find and incorporate ideas for change when it feels right. Then follow your heart. It’s your book.

If you’re a reader, please remember that authors love feedback and honest reviews of their work.

Thanks Gloria for the interview.

Additional information about Pearson-Vasey can be found on her website/blog here.

Additional information about McCarthy can be found on his website.

*from the book Black Springs Abbey (Quinn Riley Press, 2015) epigraph from page 11, quoted dialogue from page 6. Reprinted with the author’s permission: Copyright ©2015 Gloria Pearson-Vasey

Watch this blog for additional Canadian Author and Poet Profiles.

 

 

A Canadian Author Profile: Bob McCarthy – A Fascination with Lambton County History

In a hushed voice, she said, “Now, imagine that the woman on trial today is your own mother or your own sister. Try to picture in your mind your own mother or sister being mistreated, suffering for so many years, forced to accept such abuse almost from the day of her birth. If you or no one else did anything to prevent this, would not your mother or sister, forced to live under these conditions, eventually break and knowingly or unknowingly act or react in order to protect the children involved, to break out of this horrible cycle.” – Bob McCarthy

Early Days of Oil Springs/Black Springs Abbey is a double-book, a tête-beche published by Quinn Riley Press, 2015.

Early Days of Oil Springs/Black Springs Abbey is a double-book, a tête-beche published by Quinn Riley Press, 2015.

Sarnia’s historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy writes and publishes books faster than I can read them. With 11 self-published books behind him, he’ll soon be launching Generations, a new historical novella. However, first he will be touring numerous Lambton County libraries, sharing his historical knowledge and promoting his most recent project, a reprint of Early Days in Oil Springs, a commemorative edition celebrating the sesquicentennial of The Village of Oil Springs. The double-book also includes a novel Black Springs Abbey by Petrolia-author Gloria Pearson-Vasey. (Her profile will be shared in the near future.)

Local historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy is touring the Lambton County area with his commemorative edition of his historical novel Early Days in Oil Springs.

Local historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy is touring the Lambton County area with his commemorative edition of his historical novel Early Days in Oil Springs.

Before I continue, I need to disclose that McCarthy and I have been writing friends for almost a decade. Although he is not a poet and my interest in history was soured by the dry presentations of my high school history teachers, we have a mutual respect for each other’s work.

“I only like rhyming poetry,” he admits with a big grin on his face. I laugh because it’s a standing joke between us. I seldom include end rhymes in my work. He often injects humour into his conversations and presentations.

As a retired high school teacher turned writer, McCarthy makes history (especially Lambton County facts) come alive. Although he is best known as a regional writer, he wrote his book Case 666 – Travesty of Justice – The Elizabeth Workman Story to appeal to a wider audience. As stated in this book: “The story of Elizabeth Workman is of national interest, a story about the only woman in Canadian history to be executed after being found guilty of a crime, even though the jury strongly recommended clemency.”

One of McCarthy’s strengths is his ability to promote his work and the work of other writers. He cares about people and recently created a new writers’ workshop group “Writers Helping Writers (WHW)” held Monday afternoons at the Point Edward Library. The open group is composed of writers who are serious about having their work torn apart and edited by fellow scribes. Mutual respect and laughter is encouraged.

He is also a regular reader at Sarnia’s Spoken Word event held the last Friday of every month at the Lawrence House Centre for the Arts.

Earlier this month, Bob was one of four featured readers at the Saturday, October 3rd Bluewater Reading Series event.

Bob McCarthy’s book tour included a double-book signing, Saturday, May 9, 2015 at The Book Keeper. Additional presentations are planned for the fall 2015

Bob McCarthy’s book tour included a double-book signing, Saturday, May 9, 2015 at The Book Keeper. Additional presentations are planned for the fall 2015

Future joint presentations with Pearson-Vasey have been scheduled for five Lambton County Librairies:

Point Edward -Wednesday, October 7 at 10 a.m.

Petrolia – Thursday, October 15 at 11 a.m.

Wyoming – Wednesday, November 18 at 1:30 p.m.

Courtright – Wednesday, November 18 at 7 p.m.

Watford – Monday, February 29 at 1:30 p.m.

I asked McCarthy to share his thoughts on his writing process. Below are his responses:          

(1) Describe your book. Why did you publish it?   

This year is the 150th anniversary of the incorporation of the Village of Oil Springs. I wondered what it was like in the mid 1800’s in the mosquito ridden swamps of Enniskillen, who I might have met in the bog a century and a half ago? Early Days in Oil Springs is a retelling of the years from 1858 to 1863, the era of the Tripp brothers, James Miller Williams, Hugh Nixon Shaw, John Shaw, John Henry Fairbank, Robert McBride and others. I wanted to narrate a novel about the first days of oil, a story about the lives of real people who were a part of the historical past of Lambton County.

Since 2001, Bob McCarthy has self-published 11 books including two illustrated short-story anthologies by Lambton County children and Early Days of Oil Springs/Black Springs Abbey the double-book recently leased with Gloria Pearson-Vasey

Since 2001, Bob McCarthy has self-published 11 books including two illustrated short-story anthologies by Lambton County children and Early Days of Oil Springs/Black Springs Abbey the double-book recently released with Gloria Pearson-Vasey

Early Days in Oil Springs is an account based on a few facts and a gusher of imagination.

Why did you decide to publish it as a double book with another author?

When I found out Gloria (Pearson-Vasey) was writing a fantasy about Oil Springs, we decided to combine our two stories into one book, a double-book, a tête-beche, to commemorate the sesquicentennial of Oil Springs.

(2) What are you currently working on?

CASE 666-Travesty of Justice, a novel I wrote in 2013, is the story of a woman convicted of murdering her husband. Elizabeth Workman, a battered woman, was hanged, in spite of the jury’s strong recommendation for mercy. While trying to locate living descendants, I found a great-great-great-granddaughter, also a battered woman, sexually abused as a child and subjected to both mental and physical abuse as a wife.

My next book, Generations, written as historical fiction, will explore a possible story of the impact of nature and nurture on the descendants of Elizabeth Workman’s two children.

Bob McCarthy writes and publishes books faster than I can read them.

Bob McCarthy writes and publishes books faster than I can read them.

(3) How does your work differ from other authors?

When I am writing a story, I gather known facts, lore or legend and try to imagine how they came about. Then I create characters to hopefully present these facts in an entertaining, interesting and informative manner. I usually write by dictating through Dragon Naturally Speaking, letting my imaginary characters take over and tell the story. Then, it’s on to editing.

Thanks Bob for the interview.

 Additional information about Bob McCarthy can be found on his website.

*from the book CASE 666 – Travesty of Justice – The Elizabeth Workman Story (Quinn Riley Press, 2013) page 164. Reprinted with the author’s permission: Copyright ©2013 Bob McCarthy

Watch this blog for additional Canadian Author Profiles including one on Gloria Pearson-Vasey. Her website/blog appears here.

 

 

October’s Bluewater Reading Series Event Spotlights Nova Scotia, Toronto and Lambton County Writers

“One thing I understood quickly was the poems would be shorter, and seemed to be arriving in a plain kind of language I figured could be read by anyone.” –Chad Norman*

Award-winning Canadian poet Chad Norman may have settled in Truro, Nova Scotia but he’s back on the road with a stop in Sarnia, Ontario in early October as part of his 2015 multi-city book tour. He’ll be sharing work from his sixteenth book of poetry, Learning to Settle Down, a collection of short “laid-backness” themed poems recently published by well-known Windsor publisher Black Moss Press.

Canadian poet Chad Norman is on a multi-city tour with his 16th book of poetry Learning to Settle Down.

Canadian poet Chad Norman is on a multi-city tour with his 16th book of poetry Learning to Settle Down.

Norman’s “impressive writing career spans the last thirty years,” stated his press kit. “He has won the BC Writers’ Poetry Contest as well as the Gwendolyn MacEwen Memorial Award as well as several other prestigious places, honourable mentions and runner-up awards.” His work has appeared in numerous publications across the globe including The Antigonish Review and Fiddlehead.

The League of Canadian Poets new_logo_2

His travel to Sarnia is made possible by The League of Canadian Poets and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Saturday, October 3, 2015 in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.

The 7th reading in the Bluewater Reading Series spotlights both poetry and pose Saturday, October 3, 2015 in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.

During the October 3rd Bluewater Reading Series event, he will share the spotlight with three other guests: Patrick Connors, manager for the Toronto chapter of 100, 000 Poets for Change, historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy, and retired Lambton College Literature Professor Patrick Sheridan.

Sarnia’s award-winning poet Lynn Tait will emcee. Both prose and poetry will be featured.

This community event, open to the general public, starts at 2:30 p.m. at John’s Restaurant on the outskirts of Sarnia, Ontario. Admission is free.

To date, the Bluewater Reading Series committee has organized six other successful readings. Previous out-town guest readers (in alphabetical order) included: Becky Alexander, Clara Blackwood, Allan Briesmaster, Ronnie R. Brown, Barb Day, Andreas Gripp, David Haskins, Laurence Hutchman, John B. Lee, Carol Malyon, Antonino Mazza, Elizabeth McCallister, Michael Mirolla, Kathy Robertson, Denis Robillard, Vanessa Shields, and John Wing Jr.

OCTOBER’S BLUEWATER READING SERIES FEATURED READERS (in alphabetical order):

Toronto poet Pat Connors will read in Sarnia for the first time.

Toronto poet Pat Connors will read in Sarnia for the first time.

Patrick Connors has been published in Zouch Magazine & Miscellany, This Place Anthology, Northern Voices Journal, Poetry’Z Own Magazine, Chrysalis Zine, and was nominated for the 2011 Best of the Net contest. He was Lead Artist in the pilot of Making a Living; Making Art, a project of Cultural Pluralism in the Arts at the University of Toronto. He was literary juror of Big Art Book 2013, a digital project of Scarborough Arts. In celebration of National Poetry Month, he was featured on the blogs of The Toronto Quarterly and the League of Canadian Poets. His first chapbook, Scarborough Songs, was released by Lyricalmyrical Press in 2013. He has also had work published in Belgium, India, and Timmins. He has recently been posted on the Toronto Poetry Map. He is part of an anthology coming out next February in Cuba, and is also working on a full manuscript. He is a manager for the Toronto chapter of 100,000 Poets for Change.

Local historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy is touring the Lambton County area with his commemorative edition of his historical novel Early Days in Oil Springs.

Local historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy is touring the Lambton County area with his commemorative edition of his historical novel Early Days in Oil Springs.

Bob McCarthy: a Sarnia author, historian and photographer, has written three fictionalized accounts based on the lives of his ancestors, two children’s history books presenting Stories of Lambton, five books based on local history in the form of historical fiction and one murder mystery. A member of Lambton Writers Association and Writers Helping Writers, Bob is currently working on GENERATIONS, a follow-up to CASE 666 – the Story of Elizabeth Workman.

Chad Norman’s writing career spans over 30 years. His poetry has appeared in numerous publications across the globe including The Antigonish Review, Fiddlehead, Bogg, Inkshed, Capman, Edge Magazine, The New Criterion, and Voices Israel (Anthology). He has won the B.C. Writers’ Poetry Contest as well as the Gwendolyn MacEwen Memorial Award as well as several other prestigious places, honourable mentions, and runner-up awards. He is also a member of the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia and a full member of The League of Canadian Poets. He organizes and hosts River Words: Poetry & Music festival in Truro, Nova Scotia, each year in July. Learning to Settle Down (Black Moss Press, 2015) is his 16th published poetry book.

Bright’s Grove poet Pat Sheridan is a retired Lambton College Literature Professor.

Bright’s Grove poet Pat Sheridan is a retired Lambton College Literature Professor.

Patrick Sheriden: started writing when he was in first year university. He studied poetry with Robin Skelton and prose with Bill Valgardson. He was a Literature professor at Lambton College for 29 years and helped edit and was published in Rose and Gasoline, a literary journal for teachers and students at the college. He is a former member of Writers in Transition (WIT) and a current member of the Sarnia poetry critique group: ‘After Hours Poets”.

OCTOBER’S BLUEWATER READING SERIES FEATURED BOOKS (in alphabetical order):

Early Days in Oil Springs by Sarnia’s historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy

Early Days in Oil Springs by Sarnia’s historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy

Early Days in Oil Springs- A Historical Novel About Lambton County (Quinn Riley Press, 2015) is a ‘novelized’ re-telling of the first days of oil (1858 to 1863) and the lives of real people who were a part of the oil heritage of Lambton County. It was first published in 2008 and recently reprinted with the book Black Springs Abbey by Gloria Pearson-Vasey. This double-book commemorative edition was issued to celebrate the sesquicentennial of The Village of Oil Springs. It was published with the assistance of a grant from the Creative County Fund of Lambton County.

Learning to Settle Down by Nova Scotia poet Chad Norman

Learning to Settle Down by Nova Scotia poet Chad Norman

Learning to Settle Down (Black Moss Press, 2015) is Chad Norman’s sixteenth poetry book. According to Norman’s press kit, Norman is inspired by the “laid-backness” of the growing town and inhabitants of Truro, Nova Scotia. “Part of his writing process includes taking long walks to ‘stir up the words when a poem is being stubborn.’ Learning to Settle Down is the result of learning to follow his Muse and let the poetry flow.”

Scarborough Songs (LyricalMyrical, 2013) is Patrick Connors’s first collection of poetry. This limited edition handmade book features 20 poems including previously published work in Poetry’Z Own issue, the J Peachy Gallery blog, The Toronto Quarterly, unFold mag, and John Oughton’s blog. Several of the poems have won and/or been shortlisted or nominated for prizes.

Scarborough Songs by Toronto poet Patrick Connors

Scarborough Songs by Toronto poet Patrick Connors


*quote from “An Interview with Chad Norman” originally published in his press kit.

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The Bluewater Readings Series’ September 12th event spotlighted four out-of-town and two local writers: (back row) Elizabeth McCallister, Becky Alexander, Barb Day, and Kathy Robertson plus (front row) Debbie Okun Hill and Phyllis Humby.

The Bluewater Readings Series’ September 12th event spotlighted four out-of-town and two local writers: (back row) Elizabeth McCallister, Becky Alexander, Barb Day, and Kathy Robertson plus (front row) Debbie Okun Hill and Phyllis Humby.

Spotted in London, Canada: A weekend of WORDS

Bravo to the driving force behind words: The Literary and Creative Arts Festival held October 24 to 26 at Museum London, the London Public Library, Western University and the Covent Garden Market in London, Ontario, Canada. More information about the festival can be found on their official website here.

For those interested in poetry, check out #PoetryLab starting tonight (Sunday, October 26 at 5:30 p.m.) at the Museum London, Theatre. It is the closing event for the festival.

Sunday, October 26 in London, Ontario

Sunday, October 26 in London, Ontario

Laurie D. Graham’s Rove (Hagios Press) was a 2014 Finalist, Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, for best first book of poetry published by a Canadian in the preceding year. Her poem suite “Settler Education” was shortlisted for the 2014 CBC Poetry Prize. If you missed Laurie at the Book Fair, see her at tonight’s Poetry Lab event.

Laurie D. Graham’s Rove (Hagios Press) was a 2014 Finalist, Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, for best first book of poetry published by a Canadian in the preceding year. Her poem suite “Settler Education” was shortlisted for the 2014 CBC Poetry Prize. If you missed Laurie at the Book Fair, see her at tonight’s Poetry Lab event.

book_fair_wordfest_2014

Below are some snapshots of the Book Fair held yesterday (Saturday, October 25) at Covent Garden Market!

Local Authors’ Book Fair at Covet Garden Market in London.

Local Authors’ Book Fair at Covent Garden Market in London.

Sarnia’s historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy shares information about his latest book Case 66: Travesty of Justice – the Elizabeth Workman Story (Quinn Riley Press)

Sarnia’s historical fiction writer Bob McCarthy shares information about his latest book Case 666: Travesty of Justice – the Elizabeth Workman Story (Quinn Riley Press) http://robemcca.wix.com/bobmccarthy#!case-666/cuw9

 

Harmonia Press specializes in work by well-known London poet Andreas Gripp. Also featured is work by Carrie Lee Connel, Dorothy Nielsen and Gregory Wm. Gunn.

Harmonia Press specializes in work by well-known London poet Andreas Gripp. Also featured are works by Carrie Lee Connel, Dorothy Nielsen and Gregory Wm. Gunn.

PHOTO CUTLINE: Copies of Tarnished Trophies (Black Moss Press) by Debbie Okun Hill were spotted at one of the Book Fair tables.

Copies of Tarnished Trophies (Black Moss Press) by Debbie Okun Hill were spotted at one of the Book Fair tables.

Watch this blog for more literary news, reviews, and profiles. In the meantime, support your local Ontario arts community. Check out future events here.