We awaken to distant thunder,/the sound of rain in the black walnut – James Deahl*
Three cheers and a thunderous applause for Sarnia’s literary couple James Deahland Norma West Linder who continue to travel and entertain readers and audiences with their prolific work.
Norma West Linder – September 9, 2019
James Deahl – September 9, 2019
James Deahl and Norma West Linder are prolific award-winning Canadian writers who call Sarnia, Ontario, Canada their home. Both launched new work on September 9, 2019.
Last month, their double book launch officially introduced Travelling The Lost Highway,Deahl’s 164-page poetry collection inspired by some of the secluded Canadian and American roads Deahl and Linder travelled as a couple plus Perk’s First Love– A 1984 Drum Corps Summer, Linder’s fictional novel aimed at the youth or young adult market.
The double book launch featured more than just two books.
Both shared their work at the literary celebration which also included readings by four contributors to Tamaracksand Lummox anthologies. Guest readers were Joseph A. Farina, Ryan Gibbs, David Haskins, and Rhonda Melanson.
The launch included readings by Joseph A. Farina, Norma West Linder, David Haskins, James Deahl, Ryan Gibbs, and Rhonda Melanson.
i’m in the bus which is really just an old car/and it’s night and pouring rain and i’m/thirteen and the car is jammed with bodies… – Eleonore Shönmaier*
Have you filled your pockets with poems yet? Have you dropped a poetic postcard in the mail? There’s still time to swirl in this whirlwind of poetic celebration. Below is a cluster of literary news items collected and raked up like paper leaves off my desk. Quick, line your calendar pockets with the words of poetry.
Tomorrow (Thursday, April 18 to be exact), The League of Canadian Poetswill roll out nature’s leafy-green carpet to present Poem in Your Pocket Day, another initiative for its National Poetry Month 2019 (#NPM19) celebration. According to the League’s website, “you can carry a poem, share a poem, or even start your own Poem in Your Pocket Day event.”
Have you checked your mailbox lately? Look at what the League snail-mailed to me the other day! I’ve decided to share it a few hours early.
“Canadian literature has emerged as a world literature in the full sense of the term,” – James Deahl, editor of TAMARACKS*
It’s not every day that an American publisher takes an exclusive look at Canadian poetry but last autumn Lummox Press from San Pedro, California forged ahead and published TAMARACKS – Canadian Poetry for the 21st Century, a 240-page anthology edited by Sarnia, Ontario resident James Deahl and compiled for the United States market.
TAMARACKS: Canadian Poetry for the 21st Century (Lummox Press 2018) was edited by Sarnia, Ontario resident James Deahl.
Now it’s time to celebrate!
In less than a month, over half of the 113 contributors of TAMARACKS will begin touring the province and sharing verses from this anthology filled with over 175 contemporary poems ranging in topics from World War I (Robert Acorn’s “Passchendaele”) to Canada’s Residential Schools tragedy (Rhonda Melanson’s “One Catholic’s Apology for Residential Schools”). As of today, eight celebration launches have been scheduled between late March and early May 2019 for such Ontario cities as Hamilton, Toronto, Welland, and Sarnia.
Another celebration, this one organized by the publisher, will be held in California in mid-April. Additional events in London and North Bay are being considered for the autumn.
“the snow is solitary/but not silent/there is the piercing /of the white-stained green” – David Stones*
Writing and reading may be solitary pursuits but like the snow mentioned in DavidStones’ poetic lines above, Canada’s vast literary community is not silent. It is a flurry of words, sometimes a blizzard of voices supported by a potpourri of literary activities and events.
Below is a small scoop of national, regional, or local voices, plus books, projects, and events vying for your attention. May you open your heart this season and welcome the gift of creativity. Several of the local events are free. Many of these books are available for reading from the library.
FOR THE READERS:
NEW ON MY SHELF (in alphabetical order, according to author):
Conditions of Desire (Hidden Brook Press, 2018) by John Di Leonardo. This imprint of the John B. Lee Signature Series is a 74-page debut collection of ekphrastic poems as well as six drawings by Brooklin artist/poet John Di Leonardo. Di Leonardo was recently accepted as a full-member of The League of Canadian Poets and will be the editor/compiler/illustrator for Dancing on Stones, the 2019 membership anthology for The Ontario Poetry Society. More information about this submission call is available here. Watch for a Q and A feature in early 2019.
New books on my shelf.
Out of Line: Daring to be an Artist Outside the Big City (Wolsak and Wynn, 2018) by Tanis MacDonald.What can I say? This book of essays collected no dust on my shelf. It spoke to me immediately and I highly recommend it to my rural (and urban) writing friends. As a former Manitoba resident, I recognized some of the issues MacDonald expressed. As a current writer in rural Ontario, I also found her words inspiring. “Remember that creating art is a Long Game; it will take your whole life to grow into the artist that you are.” (p. 61)