Friday, May 23, 2008

Joel Thomas Hynes' Down to the Dirt on Talking Books

Novelist and critic Nathan Whitlock writes on Joel Thomas Hynes' Down to the Dirt on his blog:

On Monday, I taped an episode of CBC Radio's Talking Books with Ian Brown. I was part of panel discussing Joel Hynes’s first book, Down to the Dirt, which, if you haven’t read, I recommend you go do so.

Now. (I can wait.)

The discussion (which should air either this Saturday or the next – I’ll let y’all know when I know) was breezy and entertaining, etc., but I never got around to making the point I wanted to about Hynes’ book, which is that it is about authenticity, and the fervent search therefor, or rather the desperate attempt to maintain a personal, sexual, cultural, and political sense of authenticity when all the world’s forces seem deadset on destroying all such notions.

To read the rest of this post, please click here.

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Down to the Dirt is available as an unabridged audiobook from Rattling Books, narrated by Joel Thomas Hynes, Sherry White and Jonny Harris.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Free Books!

Publishers dabble in digital tales
JAMES BRADSHAW
From Thursday's Globe and Mail
May 22, 2008 at 3:54 AM EDT

A pair of Canadian book publishers dipped their toes ever deeper into the online world this week by offering free digital downloads of entire books.

House of Anansi Press and HarperCollins Canada have decided to make the full text of a single book available to readers for a limited time, hoping to attract new readers, raise the authors' profiles and boost sales of traditional copies.

Jon Evans's mass-market paperback Invisible Armies can be read for free until June 30 through the HarperCollins read-only interface called Browse Inside, which normally allows readers access to excerpts of books. HarperCollins chose Evans because of his enthusiasm for the experiment and for his status as an established writer with a solid following that they hope to expand.

To read the rest of this article, please click here.

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In related news, writer John Degan has decided to offer his Amazon.ca/Books in Canada Award shortlisted first novel, The Uninvited Guest, as a free download. Find it here. Degan's Globe essay on copyright and his free novel experiment can be found right here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Down to the Dirt Movie Clip

Quill & Quire recently mentioned the screening of Down to the Dirt at the Cannes festival. The film is an adaptation of Joel Thomas Hynes' first novel. You can watch a clip here.

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Down to the Dirt is available as an unabridged audiobook from Rattling Books, narrated by Joel Thomas Hynes, Sherry White and Jonny Harris.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mavis Gallant in the Ottawa Citizen

Mavis Gallant Remembers the Revolution
Keith Spicer, Citizen Special
Published: Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Appraising her white asparagus with lifted eyebrow, Mavis Gallant is living proof of playwright-wit Sacha Guitry's dictum that no woman in Paris is over 40. So when Madame Gallant chronicled France's student-worker May madness of 40 years ago, she was very young -- in fact, Guitry aside, she landed in Paris from Montreal in 1950 at age 28.

Her eyewitness classic, Paris Notebooks, remains one of the most vivid perspectives on how students occupied the Sorbonne in May 1968 and 10 million strikers paralysed the nation. A year later, their earthquake finally drove President Charles de Gaulle from office.

Its aftershocks ripple through France today. And graying rebels of '68 -- many now in high office -- tally their mixed accomplishments. Politically, these soixante-huitards ("sixty-eighters") failed: their mish-mash of Marxism, Maoism, posturing, partying and poetic nonsense changed little in France's power structure or economy. But socially and culturally, they won: sexual freedom (a central motivation), women's lib, divorce, academic democracy, human rights and cocky irreverence ("It is forbidden to forbid") blew the roof off de Gaulle's repressive, ossified society.

To read the rest of this article, please click here.

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Mavis Gallant's short story collection, Montreal Stories, is available as an unabridged audiobook from Rattling Books. It was named as one of the twelve best fiction audiobooks of the year by Audiofile magazine. Narrated by Margot Dionne with musical interludes by Angèle Dubeau.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Michael Crummey's Labrador Trip

from today.mun.ca
By Janet Harron

From April 8 to 11, Michael Crummey went where no writer-in-residence has gone before.

Thanks to the initiative of Memorial University’s English Department Mr. Crummey enjoyed a full five days of intense activity in Happy Valley/Goose Bay and Labrador West. One of the highlights of the trip for Mr. Crummey was an informal meeting with a group of local writers.

“There were writers there at all stages – some who were writing as a hobby, others who were interested in how to get published. The discussion was all over the map … which was great,” says Mr. Crummey.

The experience brought back his own excitement when author Kevin Major paid a visit to his high school in Labrador City.

“What a thrill it was to meet a writer from the place I was from, actually doing what it was I wanted to do.”

In addition Mr. Crummey read from his work at several well-attended formal events at the College of the North Atlantic and at the public library in both Happy Valley/Goose Bay and Labrador West...

To read the rest of this article, please click here.

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Michael Crummey's poetry collection, Hard Light: 32 Little Stories, is available as an audiobook from Rattling Books. It is narrated by the author, Ron Hynes and Deidre Gillard-Rowlings.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Andy Jones and Robert Joy at the St. John's Comedy Festival

from the St. John's Comedy Festival website:

From June 18 to 22, twelve of Canada's top comedians will crack ribs in the City of Comic Legends.

Back again are Shaun Majumder and Mark Critch of 22 Minutes. Newcomer-locals John Sheehan and Jonny Harris join the cast, as does Winnipeg Comedy Festival founder Al Rae, award winning Debra DiGiovanni, Jennifer Grant and Tim Nutt!

This year's 'Fest has also added a two-day Comedy Workshop, an Open Mic Night, and An Evening with Uncle Val starring Andy Jones! The Sunday Night Gala moves to the Molson Theatre in Mile One Centre. It will be hosted by our own CSI:NY star Robert Joy, feature Canadian comedy legend Mike MacDonald, and be recorded for broadcast by CBC!

Tickets on sale May 14th at noon!

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Letters from Uncle Val, a series of fictional letters from Andy Jones' incomparable comedic character of the stage play An Evening with Uncle Val, is available from Rattling Books. Written and performed by the author. Robert Joy is the narrator of Rattling Books' unabridged audio version of Michael Winter's acclaimed novel, The Big Why, as well as a narrator on Robin McGrath's Coasting Trade.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Don McKay Reads at Banff Centre for the Arts

Griffin Poetry Prize-winning poet Don McKay will give a free reading at the Rolston Recital Hall in Banff, Alberta as part of the Banff Centre's Writing Studio reading series. The reading will take place on Thursday, May 15, at 7:30 PM.

Click here to visit the Banff Centre's website
.

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Don McKay is the author of numerous books of poetry, among them Songs for the Songs of Birds, an audiobook recently released by Rattling Books. Songs features a selection of previously published and unpublished poems read by the author. McKay's rich reading voice is complemented by recordings of birdsong, identified to species.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Robin McGrath and Mary Dalton Shortlisted for Heritage and History Award

Writers' Alliance Announces the Shortlist for the 2007 Heritage and History Award

(May 13, 2008 – St. John’s, NL) In partnership with the Historic Sites Association, the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador administers the Heritage and History Award for a work of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or children’s/young adult literature that exemplifies excellence in the interpretation of the history and heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Historic Sites Association sponsors this award as a way to demonstrate appreciation for those writers whose exploration of their culture and heritage has shaped their writing.

The 2007 Heritage and History Award Shortlist, listed alphabetically by author:
  • Vikings to U-Boats: The German Experience in Newfoundland and Labrador by Gerhard P. Bassler (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2006)
  • Red Ledger by Mary Dalton (Véhicule Press, 2006)
  • Covenant of Salt by Robin McGrath (Killick Press, 2005)
  • Lost Country: The Rise and Fall of Newfoundland, 1843-1933 by Patrick O’Flaherty (Long Beach Press, 2005)
The winner of the 2007 Heritage and History Award will be announced during the local Atlantic Book Awards reading, to be held on Thursday, May 15, 2008, beginning at 7 p.m. at The Studio on Water Street in St. John’s.

The Heritage and History Award was first presented in 2004 and is awarded annually. The winner receives a $250 cash prize. Past award winners include talented authors Michael Crummey, Maura Hanrahan, and Robin McGrath. Currently, the shortlist is selected from among those books submitted to the Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards.

Gerhard Bassler, a Professor Emeritus in Memorial University’s Department of History, has written extensively on German-speaking migrations to Newfoundland/Labrador and Canada. His last three books are Sanctuary Denied, Alfred Valdmanis and the Politics of Survival, and Vikings to U-Boats. He is currently completing a book on post-World War II German migrations to Canada. Bassler has lived in St. John’s since 1965.

Mary Dalton is one of Newfoundland’s most prominent poets. Dalton has published four collections, for which she has won multiple awards, including the 1997 Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Competition for Poetry, the 1998 TickleAce/Cabot Award for Poetry, and the 2005 E. J. Pratt Award for Poetry. Currently living in St. John’s, Dalton maintains an active academic interest in Newfoundland poetry while also researching contemporary Canadian and Irish poetry.

Robin McGrath is the author of a number of works, including Escaped Domestics, Hoist Your Sails and Run, Donovan’s Station, Salt Fish and Shmattes, and Livyers World. She is winner of the Henry Fuerstenberg Poetry Prize, the Geldert Medal, and the inaugural Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage and History Award. McGrath lives in Goose Bay, Labrador, where she is on the Board of Directors of Them Days magazine and is a feature writer for Labrador Life.

Patrick O’Flaherty was born in Long Beach, Conception Bay. He is the author of two books of short stories, two novels, a survey of writing about Newfoundland and Labrador, and a travel guide that is now in its third edition. In collaboration with historian Peter Neary, he wrote Part of the main: an illustrated history of Newfoundland and Labrador and edited an anthology of writing about Newfoundland and Labrador. More recently, O’Flaherty completed two volumes on Newfoundland political history, Old Newfoundland: A History to 1843 and Lost Country: The Rise and Fall of Newfoundland, 1843-1933.

- 30 -

Media contact:
Shoshanna Wingate, Executive Director
Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador
102-155 Water Street
St. John’s, NL
Tel: 709-739-5215
Email: wanl@nf.aibn.com

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Robin McGrath is the author of numerous books, among them Donovan's Station and Coasting Trade. Mary Dalton is the author of the acclaimed poetry collection, Merrybegot. All three books are available as unabridged audiobooks from Rattling Books.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Michael Crummey and Bernice Morgan Discuss the Historical Novel

Authors Michael Crummey and Bernice Morgan have a habit of setting their stories in the past. They were brought together by CBC Radio at Memorial University in St. John’s to discuss the interplay of history and fiction in their writing.

CBC host Jamie Fitzpatrick posed the following questions: How strictly should a novel follow historical record? What kind of responsibility does the author have when a character is based on a real person?

To read more or to hear their conversation with CBC's Jamie Fitzpatrick, follow this link.

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Michael Crummey is the author of the audiobook Hard Light: 32 Little Stories, a collection of poems narrated by the author, Ron Hynes and Deidre Gillard Rowlings. It is available from Rattling Books.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Word of the Week (May 11-17) over at REDEFiNE iT: Dictionary of Newfoundland English: gawmoge

May 11 - 17 Word of the Week
over at
REDEFiNE iT: Dictionary of Newfoundland English:

gawmoge


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Each week Rattling Books brings you a Word of the Week at our REDEFiNE iT: Dictionary of Newfoundland English Blog and the original REDEFiNE iT facebook group.

The word of the week is first revealed each Sunday morning on CBC Radio's Weekend Arts Magazine with host Angela Antle.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Andy Jones Performs for the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services

Writer and actor Andy Jones will be appearing at the Reid Theatre for the CACUSS Convention (Canadian association of College and University Student Services), Memorial University of Newfoundland, on June 23, 2008.

For future tour dates and other news about Andy, check out his website.

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Letters from Uncle Val, a series of fictional letters from Andy Jones' incomparable comedic character of the stage play An Evening with Uncle Val, is available from Rattling Books. Written and performed by the author.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Susan Rendell Interviews Michelle Butler Hallett

Rattling Books author Susan Rendell's Independent interviews Michelle Butler Hallett, one of the nominees for the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council's Emerging Artist of the Year Award.

Jagged glass and feathers
Writer Michelle Butler Hallett: the light and dark sides of a swiftly tilting planet
By Susan Rendell
Monday, May 05, 2008

“Hallett seems often to be creating from a subliminal place, riding on intuition …”
The Globe and Mail (review of The Shadow Side of Grace)

Walking downtown to meet local writer Michelle Butler Hallett is making me feel pretty virtuous, physically and spiritually. I’m not out of breath, although a polar wind has one arm across my windpipe and I haven’t walked anywhere except around the house in over a week.

I’m moving serenely through the Wasteland: the streets are bare except for dog leavings, whirling dervish plastic bags and shrouded figures trying to protect themselves from spring’s psychotic resistance to itself.

But not even leering clumps of rotten-toothed snow can put a cramp in my soul today. I’m eager to spend some time with Hallett, who’s something of an enigma to me. We have a nodding acquaintance, and I’ve read and admired The Shadow Side of Grace, her 2006 collection of short stories, and her 2007 novel, Double Blind...

To read the rest of this article, please click here.

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Susan Rendell is the author of a short story collection, In the Chambers of the Sea, available as an unabridged audio book from Rattling Books narrated by Anita Best, Deidre Gillard-Rowlings, Joel Hynes, Susan Rendell, Janet Russell, Janis Spence, Francesca Swann and Agnes Walsh.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Rattling Books releases new poetry title by Don McKay, Songs for the Songs of Birds

Songs for the Songs of Birds
by Don McKay

A selection of poems selected and read by Don McKay.

Poems selected by the Author on the theme of birds, birding and flight. The work of a much loved Canadian birding poet Songs for the Songs of Birds celebrates the way birds "articulate the air" and considers what the world would be without them.

Narrated by the Author, the soundtrack features bird song recordings identified to species. Listen to poetry while learning bird songs!

Many of the poems in this selection have appeared in previous printed collections of poetry by Don McKay: Camber (McClelland & Stewart, 2004), Strike / Slip (McClelland & Stewart, 2006). A few make their first appearance in this selection.

Field Recordings of birds by Dave Fifield
Cover photograph of a Song Sparrow by Dave Fifield
Cover design by Mike Mouland
With thanks to Stan Dragland.

the poems:
in aornis
alibi
field marks 2
close up of a sharp shinned hawk
song for the song of the white throated sparrow
song for the song of the chipping sparrow
song for the song of the common raven
song for the song of the canada geese
early instruments
midwintering
the bellies of fallen breathing sparrows
adagio for a fallen sparrow
field marks
bird that never wert
song for the songs of the common loon
pine siskin
song for the song of the varied thrush
song for the song of the wood thrush
ascent with thrushes
ravens at play over mount work
sometimes a voice
lift
drag
load
hover
angle of attack
plummet
glide
hang time
turbulence
sometimes a voice 2
but nature has her darker side
nocturnal migrants
a barbed wire fence meditates on a goldfinch
summer at leith
gynecology
UFO

Praise for Don McKay

”These exuberantly musical and shrewd poems are ecological in the fullest sense of the word: they seek to elucidate our relationships with our fragile dwelling places both on the earth and in our own skins.”
— New York Times Book Review

“He is our most inventive poet, a master of metaphor and a stylist with impeccable tone.”— Patrick Lane, Globe and Mail

“In McKay’s work, attention is the foundation of a poetics and an ethics in which otherness is respected, indeed cherished, for its ability to unhouse.”— Judges’ citation, 2007 Griffin Poetry Prize

Flashback: Michael Crummey and Lisa Moore

Here's a blast from the not-so-distant past--a 2005 article from Quill & Quire on Rattling Books writers Michael Crummey and Lisa Moore:

Two faces of the Rock
Lisa Moore and Michael Crummey showcase different visions of their shared corner of the world

by Alison Dyer

We’re sitting in Lisa’s yellow and pink kitchen at the back of her old St. John’s townhouse, which shoulders up to its neighbours on a steep hill. She shakes blond curls from her face and with a wide, open smile offers me a tea. Michael is already sitting at the table, back propped against the wall. Sloping eyebrows and soft eyes like he’s absorbed some tenderness, some ache of the landscape.

Michael Crummey and Lisa Moore are undoubtedly two of the hottest writers on the Rock, and both have much-anticipated new novels coming out this fall: Moore’s first, Alligator (House of Anansi Press), in September, and Crummey’s second, The Wreckage (Doubleday Canada), in August. The two have been close friends since Crummey’s return to Newfoundland four years ago, but Moore says, “it seems like we’ve known each other much longer.” They’re comfortable interrupting or finishing each other’s thoughts, and each is quick to champion the other’s writing.

To read the rest of this article, please click here.

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Michael Crummey's poetry collection, Hard Light: 32 Little Stories, and Lisa Moore's short story collection, Open, are both available as audio books from Rattling Books.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Figgy Duff Reunion

Legendary Newfoundland folk-rock group, Figgy Duff, will perform at this year's Writers at Woody Point Festival. See the Western Star article below:

Figgy Duff reuniting for Writers in Woody Point Festival
MICHAEL RIGLER
The Western Star

The remaining members of beloved Newfoundland group Figgy Duff are reuniting for some special performances this summer to help mark the fifth anniversary of the Writers in Woody Point Festival.

This summer also marks the 100th anniversary of the Woody Point Heritage Theatre - the main venue for the writers' festival.

Organizer Gary Noel said one of the festival's creators, Stephen Brunt, is largely responsible for getting Figgy Duff to reunite for their first performance in over nine years.

The band, made up of Pamela Morgan, Frank Maher, Kelly Russell, Dave Panting, George Morgan, Philip Dinn and Rob Laidlaw, will be celebrated for their cultural contributions. A host of well-known performers, including Ron Hynes, Anita Best, Mark Bragg, Des Walsh, Charlie Payne, Daniel Payne, Ellen Power and Canadian folk legend Sylvia Tyson, will be on hand to perform with the band.

Morgan said she gladly accepted Brunt's invitation to this year's festival, and once the remaining band members heard of the plan, they quickly jumped on board.

"Stephen Brunt asked me to produce a tribute to Figgy Duff for the festival," Morgan told The Western Star. "I put together an alumni house band for the tribute, then it was just a few short steps further to a full reunion, and everybody was into it. So why not?"

The opening concerts are slated for Tuesday, Aug. 12 and Wednesday, Aug 13 and the writers' festival will run from Thursday to Sunday of that same week...

To read the rest of this article, please click here.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Joel Thomas Hynes Wins Artist of the Year Award

Joel Thomas Hynes was awarded the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Artist of the Year Award at a ceremony this past Saturday evening.

from The Telegram

This year's Newfoundland and Labrador Art Council awards gala opened with the heart-pounding throat-singing and guttural rhythms of the Nipik Inuit Singers, who were joined by the Dzolali African Drum and Dance Ensemble before Hey Rosetta (the evening's house band) rose from the ashes at the rear of the Reid Theatre stage to inject their trademark pop-rock-haunting-string combo...

To read the rest of this article, please click here.

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Joel Thomas Hynes is the author of two novels. His first, Down to the Dirt, is available as an unabridged audiobook from Rattling Books, narrated by the author, Sherry White and Jonny Harris.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Word of the Week over at REDEFiNE iT: Dictionary of Newfoundland English: cross-handed

May 4 – 10 Word of the Week
over at
REDEFiNE iT: Dictionary of Newfoundland English:

cross-handed

The word of the week is released each Sunday morning on the CBC Radio program Weekend Arts Magazine with host Angela Antle.
http://www.cbc.ca/wam/

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Latest Blog Post from Lisa Moore: CO2 and Methane Rose Sharply in 2007

Rattling Books has been reading the work of Newfoundland based author Lisa Moore for some time. Thanks to the Internet and it's fairy-like capacity to lead one astray we are developing an interest in the online writings of another Lisa Moore, a scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund.

The Environmental Defense Fund maintains a Blog called Climate 411 which it describes as "the voice of the experts at Environmental Defense Fund, providing plain-English explanations of climate change science, technology, policy, and news"

The latest post: CO2 and Methane Rose Sharply in 2007

Friday, May 02, 2008

Telegram article on May 3rd Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council annual awards show

Cross-culture celebration print this article
Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council adds international spice to annual awards show

HEIDI WICKS

Special to The Telegram

From Afghani, Thai, Indian, Japanese or Greek fare to traditionally downhome Mac 'n' Doo at Get Stuffed on Water, the food scene in St. John's has become an explosive mesh of worldly tang and Newfoundland staple dishes. Toutons are served with a hint of curry-cinnamon, fish and brewis with ginger root.

The local arts scene has followed the trend - if it didn't start it - embracing artists from all over the globe to expand and enlighten local products. Locals inspire internationals, and vice versa. The theme Weaving Our Culture is reflected in this year's Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (NLAC) awards show, happening Saturday evening at the Reid Theatre, in Memorial University's Arts and Administration Building.

Danielle Irvine is directing and producing this year's show.

"My grandfather is 97 years old now, and when he was young, Water Street was always sort of an international hub," she says, explaining her inspiration for the show's international theme. "People stopping here from around the world, or stopping here on their way somewhere, are always going to bring a piece of away to here, and a piece of home away, to join together to inform each other and making each other richer."

Irvine believes that the oil and gas industry, along with international university students, are creating a resurgence of that intercontinental meeting point.

"It's beautiful to watch," she continues, "because there's been an increased appreciation of our own culture, but intermingled with it are all these other homegrown cultures that have become part of ours."

The evening will be hosted by Neil Butler and Deidre Gillard-Rowlings, and includes performances by the Nipik Inuit Drummers, Dzolali African Drum and Dance Ensemble, along with internationally inspired artists like Shelley Neville, a soprano who has been performing in Italy, and Mary Dalton, a poet whose writings are Newfoundland-inspired.

Read the rest of this article in the Telegram.

Joel Hynes at the Cannes Film Festival

Local film is in the Cannes
'Down to the Dirt' headed to world's biggest international film festival

ALISHA MORRISSEY
The Telegram

A trip to the Cannes Film Festival is enough to excite even the unflappable Joel Hynes.

The local award-winning author, playwright and actor, is headed to France early next week with local filmmaker Justin Simms to show their independent film "Down to the Dirt," based on Hynes' debut novel.

"It's pretty overwhelming ... it's all good news all around and, hopefully, it will draw some attention to a little small independent flick that has exceeded all our ambitions, even," Hynes says. "I'm very happy with it. All the performances are really strong, the writing is really strong and it was a great directorial job by Justin and it was a nice end product to a little team we had there."

Hynes' book and the film tell the story of Keith Kavanagh - a hard-drinking hooligan with heart from the Southern Shore...

To read the rest of this article, please click here.

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Down to the Dirt is available as an unabridged audiobook from Rattling Books, narrated by Joel (Thomas) Hynes, Sherry White and Jonny Harris.

Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Site: Agnes Walsh

Agnes Walsh was raised in Placentia, on the west side of Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula. She now divides her time between St. John's and Patrick's Cove, around the Cape Shore from Placentia, not far from the gannet sanctuary at Cape St. Mary's. She has published poetry in several magazines and anthologies and, recently, on the buses of St. John's. Her first book of poems is In the Old Country of My Heart, published by Killick Press of St. John's in 1996. Time Before Thought, her autobiographical collaboration with Mercedes Barry and Andy Jones, appears in Stars in the sky morning: Collective Plays of Newfoundland and Labrador, edited by Helen Peters...

To read the rest of this entry by writer and editor Stan Dragland, please click here.

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Agnes Walsh is the author of two collections of poetry, In the Old Country of My Heart and, most recently, Going Around with Bachelors. Both are available as downloadable MP3s (read by the author) from Rattling Books.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Tom Pow on Don McKay


Just came across this piece (from Arc) by Scottish poet Tom Pow on the poetry of Don McKay:

In “Fridge Nocturne”, a short poem near the beginning of Don McKay’s selected poems, the sleepless poet lies listening to the sound of his fridge, ‘the old/armless weeping willow of the kitchen’. The fridge’s “Humble murmur” brings to his mind several distant rivers—“the Saugeen, the Goulais/the Raisin”. The permeability of the border between the domestic world and the wilderness which lies beyond it marks a landscape whose vastness teaches early that, “Lonely is a knife whose handle fits the mind/too well, its oldest and most hospitable friend” (“Nocturnal Animals”). However, “There is a loneliness/ which must be entered rather than resolved” (“On Leaving”) and to enter the wilderness with Don McKay is to have the sharpest, most informed and responsive guide...

To read the rest of this article, please click here.

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Rattling Books has just released Songs for the Songs of Birds, a selection of poems on the theme of birds, birding and flight written and read by Don McKay. The soundtrack also features bird song recordings identified to species.