Wednesday, February 28, 2018

George Elliott Clarke giving 50th Annual Pratt Lecture March 8

The 50th Annual Pratt Lecture

Thursday, March 8, 8-10 p.m.
LSPU Hall 
George Elliott Clarke is an author of unparalleled versatility, writing highly regarded fiction, drama, poetry, and criticism. His poetry collections include Whylah FallsCanticles I and II, and Execution Poems, for which he won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 2002. He is the author of two novels, George and Rue and The Motorcyclist. His plays include Beatrice Chancyand Trudeau: Long March, Shining Path. He has broken new ground in Canadian literary studies with his analyses of African-Canadian literature. An Officer of the Order of Canada, in 2017 he served as the Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate.
In recognition of the fiftieth anniversary of the Pratt Lecture, Clarke will be reconsidering E. J. Pratt’s Towards the Last Spike (1953) and Br├ębeuf and His Brethren (1940), two presumptive epics that are “weakened by [Pratt’s] essential promulgation of implicit and explicit racialism, which is also reflective of the impossibility of an ethically ‘ethnic,’ Canadian identity.”
All are welcome. There will be a reception following the event, with a cash bar. Admission is free.
The Pratt Lecture is the oldest public lecture at Memorial University. Past lecturers include Dionne Brand, Northrop Frye, Terry Eagleton, Ursula LeGuin, Alberto Manguel, and Anne Carson.
Presented by Department of English, Office of the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences

An abbreviated Time line of the Life and Accomplishments of Sir Wilfred Grenfell

The Following Chronological List of events and accomplishments in the life of Sir Wilfred Grenfell is reproduced from the Grenfell Historic Properties Site (* addition by Rattling Books):

1865 Wilfred Thomason Grenfell born in Parkgate, England, February 28.
1883 Enters medical school at the London Hospital.
1885 Inspired by evangelist Dwight Moody to do God's work.
1886 Becomes a medical doctor and joins the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen.
1892 Comes to investigate the condition of the fishermen on the Labrador coast.
1893 Builds first hospital at Battle Harbour, Labrador.
1894 Grenfell Labrador Medical Mission formed.
1896 Makes first lecture tour of U.S.A.; starts Red Bay. Co-operative
1900 Chooses St. Anthony as headquarters for Grenfell Mission; acquires first hospital ship, Strathcona I.
1901Establishes co-operative lumber mill at Roddickton.
1905 Starts orphanage in St. Anthony; Andrew Carnegie donates travelling library.
1906 Start of Grenfell Industrial Department.
1907 The Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George presented to Dr. Grenfell. Formation of Grenfell Association of America and Grenfell Association of New England.
1908 Brings reindeer to Newfoundland from Lapland; adrift on an icepan, Easter Sunday, April 21.
1909 Establishes non-denominational school at St. Anthony; marries Anne Elizabeth Caldwell MacClanahan on November 18.
1910 Birth of son, Wilfred Thomason, Jr.
1912 Formation of International Grenfell Association; birth of son Kinloch Pascoe.
1917 Birth of daughter, Rosamond Loveday.
1921 Builds brick orphanage at St. Anthony.
1926 Formation of Grenfell Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Grenfell has first heart attack.
1927 Knight Commander of The Order of St. Michael and St. George presented to Dr. Grenfell. New hospital at St. Anthony opens.
1928 Construction of marine slipway and dry dock in St. Anthony.
1929 Grenfell has second heart attack.
1931 Forbes-Grenfell expedition to chart entire Labrador coast
1937 Grenfell retires as Superintendent.
1938 Lady Grenfell dies.
1940 Dr. Grenfell dies.
1978 Formation of Grenfell Historical Society.
1981 Grenfell Regional Health Services established.
1992 The Grenfell Centennial.
1998 Completion of the Grenfell Masterplan.

Unabridged audiobook edition of Adrift on an Ice Pan narrated and produced by Chris Brookes with Jay Roberts and Janis Spence (Rattling Books) is available as Digital Download.

Short Bio of Wilfred Grenfell from Canadian Encylopedia

Grenfell, Sir Wilfred Thomason
Medical Missionary (b at Parkgate, Eng 28 Feb 1865; d at Charlotte, Vt 9 Oct 1940)

The following short bio by TERENCE MACARTNEY-FILGATE is found in the Canadian Encyclopedia:

"Grenfell, Sir Wilfred Thomason, medical missionary (b at Parkgate, Eng 28 Feb 1865; d at Charlotte, Vt 9 Oct 1940). Grenfell entered the London Medical School in 1883 and 2 years later was converted to active CHRISTIANITY at a tent meeting of American evangelist Dwight L. Moody. In 1888 he followed the suggestion of one of his teachers, Sir Frederick Treves, that he join the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. He was made superintendent in 1889 and for 3 months in 1892, at the mission's request, cruised the Newfoundland and Labrador coast where 30,000 stationers, 3300 "livyers" (permanent settlers) and 1700 Inuit received only an annual visit from one government doctor. Grenfell treated 900 patients and saw a great opportunity for medical and missionary work. He raised funds to open the first hospital at Battle Harbour in 1893. Grenfell was a forceful speaker and easily gained the friendship of influential men. His medical mission grew rapidly with hospital, orphanage and nursing stations and the first co-operatives in Newfoundland. Grenfell did not winter in the North until 1899 and spent comparatively few winters there, establishing his headquarters at ST ANTHONY, Nfld. A prolific writer and forceful publicist, he often used artistic licence in accounts of life on the northern coasts. His main financial support came from the US. In 1909 he married a Chicago heiress, Anne MacClanahan, who took him away from life on the coast. Growing friction with the mission eventually led to a split, and the International Grenfell Assn was incorporated in 1912. The practical medical work of the IGA was carried on by dedicated if autocratic doctors, while Grenfell became increasingly involved in fund raising. He was made CMG in 1906 and KCMG in 1927, the year in which he retired to Vermont. Famous in his lifetime, he is now largely forgotten; his papers are in the Yale medical history library."

The unabridged audiobook edition of Adrift on an Ice Pan by Wilfred Grenfell is available as a digital download online from Rattling Books.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Wilfred Grenfell Birthday Special

February 28th is Wilfred Grenfell's Birthday &
Rattling Books is celebrating with a Special.

30% off Adrift on an Ice Pan audiobook Download

1 Day only  (from now until midnight February 28)

How does a man save his own life? In 1908 Dr. Wilfred Grenfell, a medical missionary in northern Newfoundland, was traveling by dog team to treat a patient. In his haste Grenfell took a short cut across the sea ice. A change of wind and ice conditions left the doctor and his sled dogs stranded on an ice pan, their komatik and provisions lost. Grenfell came close to perishing.

Adrift on an Ice Pan is Grenfell’s own account of this near-fatal misadventure. He survived dauntingly cold and seemingly hopeless conditions through an inventive presence of mind and by sacrificing and skinning three of his sled dogs to clothe himself against the elements. Because of his tenacity and quick thinking and that of his rescuers, Grenfell endured.

If you like arctic or outdoor adventure stories or are on the look out for winter survival tips you'll enjoy the blow by blow of Grenfell's tale.

To the memory of Grenfell’s rescuers George Davis, George Andrews, George Reid and Mr. Reid’s two sons. And to Moodie, Watch and Spy whose lives were given for Grenfell’s April 21, 1908.

The unabridged audiobook edition of Adrift on an Ice Pan was recorded and produced for Rattling Books by Chris Brookes.
Read by the following (in order of duration): Chris Brookes as Wilfred Grenfell, Jay Roberts as George Andrews, Janis Spence additional narration and acting direction

Friday, February 23, 2018

Dictionary of Newfoundland English : Marl and variant in poem by Mary Dalton

Today is another one of those winter days on the Avalon when picking frozen cranberries is thinkable.  But thoughts of picking berries in summer are always more attractive.

The following entry is from the Dictionary of Newfoundland English :

marl* v To stroll, meander. P 37 ~ to walk around aimlessly. P 104-58 I thought I'd marl along to see you. P 71-64 He's always marreling down the road somewhere. C 69-17 1 had to marl down here [to school] this marnin' and now I got to traipse back.

marl v (supp) 1983 DAWE & FICKEN 10 While others are busy/Mending their twine,/He marls by the store-loft/Like one of a kind.

A variation of the above appears in the poem Berry Pails by Mary Dalton in Merrybegot, a collection of poems by Mary Dalton, the audiobook edition of which was narrated by Anita Best with Patrick Boyle on trumpet and flugelhorn, published by Rattling Books .

Berry Pails

Gadabouts, those young ladyios -
The house in slings and
The whole works of them
Are gone in back, in on the Runs -
All the way in to Skibbereen.
I'll guarantee they'd better
Marley back here with berry pails
Blue to the brim - else
There won't be a pick in the house
This night of Our Lord
And what they'll be after filling up on
Is a feed of tongues.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

BMO Winterset Award Finalists include Joel Thomas Hynes

ArtsNL has announced the finalists for the 2017 BMO Winterset Award. - Submitted
Finalists announced for the 2017 BMO Winterset Award:

Bridget Canning 
“The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes”, Breakwater Books, St. John’s

Joel Thomas Hynes 
“We’ll All Be Burnt In Our Beds Some Night”, Harper Perennial, imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., Toronto

Wayne Johnston 
“First Snow, Last Light”, Alfred A. Knopf Canada, imprint of Penguin Random House Ltd.,Toronto.

Finalists will read from their works and answer questions from the audience at a public reading and reception at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 21 at The Rooms in St. John’s.

Joel Thomas Hynes is the author of two works of fiction which he recorded with Rattling Books: Down to the Dirt and Say Nothing, Saw Wood.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Ocean Ranger, Stuart Pierson and Ron Hynes

As Stuart Pierson put it,

"...mid-February, 1982, when it was borne in upon us that a "rig" called Ocean Ranger had succumbed to a savage Atlantic storm, had capsized and sunk on the Grand Banks. All "hands" lost, one hundred sixty-eight of them belonging to eighty-four men (there were no women on board), employees of Mobil Oil through its subsidiary ODECO."

So starts the last section of a long essay by Stuart Pierson entitled Medieval Survivals: Reflections on Ron Hynes's cryer's paradise - the final section, dealing with a song Hyne's wrote in respone to the sinking of the Ocean Ranger and the loss of those one hundred sixty-eight hands.

Memorial University of Newfoundland's Public Orator Shane O'Dea referred to the same song, Atlantic Blue when the University paid tribute to Ron Hynes with the degree of doctor of letters, (honoris causa),

"His most haunting song ... the song of the Ocean Ranger disaster. As subtle a song as ever came from this land, it moves through a series of unanswerable questions ... to convey the desolation of that eternally-Valentineless day."

To quote the ending of Stuart Pierson's essay:

"Hynes pared this song down to its starkest possible minimum. A time comes to tell the truth, to understate, to use short words.

Is that you Atlantic Blue?
My heart is as cold as you. "

Hard-Headed and Big-Hearted: Writing Newfoundland by Stuart Pierson, edited by Stan Dragland (2006) is published by Pennywell Books, St. John's, Newfoundland.

Atlantic Blue by Ron Hynes appears on his album cryer's paradise.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Hear Deidre Gillard-Rowlings read a love poem to Jiggs' Dinner by Michael Crummey

As we get closer to Valentine's Day let's not get too close to our own kind just yet.

Hear Deidre Gillard-Rowlings reading Jiggs' Dinner by Michael Crummey from his Rattling Books CD Hard Light: 32 Little Stories, narrated by Michael Crummey, Ron Hynes and Deidre Gillard-Rowlings.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Excerpt: Vikings of the Ice, being the log of a Tenderfoot on the Great Newfoundland Seal Hunt by George Allan England


St. John's, Nf.,
Feb. 9, 1922

Sealing trip arranged on Terra Nova with famous sealing captain. No passenger accommodations. You will be quartered with three junior officers. Be prepared to rough it.


This telegram of good hap put a spur to my preparations and set me packing my warmest kit. It arrived as the climax to long negotiations, for this matter of getting permission to go out with the sealers of the Newfoundland fleet had been rather a business.

Observers and writers are not wanted by the seal hunters. Nobody is wanted among those men of bood and iron, in those far and frozen vacancies - nobody who cannot actively take part in the Saga of Slaughter.

"Three junior officers" sounded encouraging. The words seemed to couple with brass buttons and a smart little stateroom.


And so begins George Allan England's tale of sailing to the ice with Captain Abram Kean on the Terra Nova in 1922. Vikings of the Ice, being the log of a Tenderfoot on the Great Newfoundland Seal Hunt was published in 1924 by Doubleday.
The unabridged audio edition of Vikings of the Ice narrated by Frank Holden is brought to you by Rattling Books.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

New Listening Clip posted to SoundCloud from EarLit Shorts 2

They are Married, a short story by Claire Wilkshire

Another Canadian audiobook short fiction single from Rattling Books