Re-visiting Windigo ( a poem I wrote about a place I loved)


I know I’ve posted this before but I ventured to submit it to Northern Cardinal Review, an online magazine I happened upon today:

 

Windigo

Ripples lick the rocks

As the pines and birch politely applaud

Gulls catching their petits déjeuners

In the waking lake.

 

Sky’s amethyst shroud cascades

Towards the western shore

And the water’s silky blue

Becomes the pewter and emerald of armour.

 

The fleeting storm rumbles to the west and north

Dragging a chair across a distant wooden floor

But our only thunder is from a train

Rolling to market behind its mournful whistle.

 

The winds shift, the shroud – like a chameleon -

Becomes soft pillows of gray and white.

Lake Simcoe’s armour is but a duvet;

The white top-sheets being turned down toward Windigo.

 

Once here, and with dusk approaching,

The sheets are smoothed, the pillows fluffed

And the sun sinks past the foot of the bed

Leaving colours of peace and wonder.

 

No sooner are distant pinks orange, and oranges purple,

Then a star pierces the darkening blue

And the trees begin to sigh, knowing the moon’s glow

Over Windigo will keep watch another night.

 

Kenn Chaplin

(July 30, 1993)

 

Kenn Chaplin is a Toronto, Ontario blogger, amateur photographer and long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS. Windigo is the name of a cottage on Lake Simcoe, north of Toronto, which support groups for people living with HIV/AIDS were graciously loaned, in the late 1980s and early ’90s, as a place of quiet retreat. Kenn was grateful to have been a part of several of these retreats. In one group photo he is the lone survivor, apart from the facilitators who – in the case of that particular group – were not HIV-positive.

“Neuf couleurs au vent” by Daniel Buren


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Montréal’s steadfast, enviable care for public art, as a community (elected and unelected alike), is no better exemplified than in what flaps gloriously in the breeze just off the south-west corner of Parc La Fontaine in another little park unto itself – Place Urbain-Baudreau-Graveline.

Nine rectangular banners are fixed on individual brushed aluminum poles with vertical stripes of green, red, yellow, blue and black.

Originally commissioned by the Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal (CWC) the work, by Daniel Buren (1938-), originally from les Hauts-de-Seine, France, was presented in Québec City during festivities held to mark the 450th anniversary of the arrival of Jacques Cartier in 1984. It then made its way to Montréal in September of 1996.

Neuf couleurs au vent is known as a sculpture in situ, and on a gusty day I can state from personal experience that it makes a gentle, almost nautical-seeming, alarm clock – should you be staying close by as I do when in Montréal!

Finding Émile


I reached another marker this week in my posthumous, intriguing, fan-like relationship with Montréal poet Émile Nelligan (1879-1941) when Craig’s partner, Claude, drove me to the site of his burial in Cimetière Notre-Dame-des-Neiges. Even with a map of the cemetery it took us a while to find Marker #588 in Section N. At 350 acres, and with fifty-five kilometres of road, Notre-Dame-des-Neiges is Canada’s largest cemetery, dating back to 1854, and fast closing in on a population of one million people’s remains.

He even wrote about the place, the only reference in his works to Montréal:

Notre-dame-des-neiges

Sainte Notre-Dame, en beau manteau d’or,
De sa lande fleurie
Descend chaque soir, quand son Jésus dort,
En sa Ville-Marie.
Sous l’astral flambeau que portent ses anges,
La belle Vierge va
Triomphalement, aux accords étranges
De céleste bîva.

Sainte Notre-Dame a là-haut son trône
Sur notre Mont-Royal ;
Et de là, son oeil subjugue le Faune
De l’abîme infernal.
Car elle a dicté: ” Qu’un ange protège
De son arme de feu
Ma ville d’argent au collier de neige “,
La Dame du Ciel bleu !

Sainte Notre-Dame, oh ! tôt nous délivre
De tout joug pour le tien ;
Chasse l’étranger ! Au pays de givre
Sois-nous force et soutien.
Ce placet fleuri de choses dorées,
Puisses-tu de tes yeux,
Bénigne, le lire aux roses vesprées,
Quand tu nous viens des Cieux !

Sainte Notre-Dame a pleuré longtemps
Parmi ses petits anges ;
Tellement, dit-on, qu’en les cieux latents
Se font des bruits étranges.
Et que notre Vierge entraînant l’Eden,
O floraison chérie !
Va tôt refleurir en même jardin
Sa France et sa Ville-Marie…

Below, closer to his home as a teenager on rue Laval (also shown) near Square Saint-Louis, is a bust of the young Nelligan, which enjoys a prominent place in that lovely park.  It remains a somewhat bohemian, albeit pricier, neighbourhood of artists and students among whom, over the objections of his parents, he found companionship among peers.

Born at 602, rue de La Gauchetière (not far from present-day Gare Centrale) on Christmas Eve 1879, and baptized at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church on Christmas Day, he was the first son of Irish immigrant David Nelligan and Emilia Amanda Hudon, a francophone and daughter of the former mayor of the lower St. Lawrence town of Rimouski. Two younger sisters, Beatrice and Gertrude, followed. It cannot be overlooked that Nelligan’s bi-cultural background represented something essential to the understanding of Montréal culture at the time (think of Hugh MacLennan’s later work “Two Solitudes”). At the time of Nelligan’s birth, the percentages of francophones and anglophones in the city-proper was tied (and the English overwhelmingly waved power over the French). It was only after the annexation of outlying “towns”, which have been part of Montréal for generations now, and with increased migration from rural areas to the city, that the proportion of francophones grew to 75% by 1920.

On the outside, his childhood would have appeared to be pretty good, spent between the family home in Montréal and their summer residence in Cacouna, not too far from his mother’s birthplace. However Nelligan skipped school increasingly, devoting more and more time to his love of writing poetry. He left school outright in 1897, over the strong objections of his working-class father.

Childhood, despair, difficult relationships with his individual parents right out of a session with Freud, social awkwardness, love, sin, music and a morbid fascination with what he viewed as the relief of death dominate his work.

The story is told, in the preface to P.F. Widdows’ bilingual edition of “Émile Nelligan – Selected Poems”, of David Nelligan sending his son off to Liverpool, as something of a would-be merchant mariner. Alas he was back home in two months. His father having given up on him, as Widdows writes, “he never again submitted himself to what the world and his father called work”.

Émile’s work, however, his poetry, continued unstopped.

His first published poem appeared in the journal Le Samedi de Montréal on June 13, 1896, which he submitted under the pen-name Émile Kovar. It was Rêve fantasque, an early indication of his fascination with death, even suicide.

Qu’il est doux de mourir quand notre âme s’afflige,
Quand nous pèse le temps tel un cuisant remords,
-Que le désespoir ou qu’un noir penser l’exige -
Qu’il est doux de mourir alors!

My shaky translation:

How sweet to die when our soul is grieved,
When we weigh the time such a bitter remorse,
-Such black despair of thinking that is required
It is sweet to die then!

Nelligan was just sixteen years old.

Between 1896 and 1897 he met, and was taken under the wing of, Roman Catholic père Eugène Seers, better known in Montréal literary circles as Louis Dantin. An encouraging critic of Nelligan’s work, he published some of his religious-themed poems in the newsletter of his Order and was instrumental in preparing his protegé’s collected poems for publication after Nelligan’s mental breakdown.

Joining, quitting, then re-joining, l’École littéraire de Montréal which met at the Château Ramezay (pictured below in Old Montréal) Nelligan’s brief public reading stint came to a dramatic end during the presentation of three of his poems to members, one of them his most well-known La Romance du vin. Following a rapturous reception from his audience a nearly-ecstatic Émile Nelligan was carried away on the shoulders of his friends during – or after – which he suffered a psychotic breakdown.

That was May 26, 1899.  He was diagnosed with irreversible psychoses, before schizophrenia had been named.

At the insistence of his parents, Nelligan was confined to la Retraite Saint-Benoît, a Catholic brothers’ retreat centre at the eastern end of the Island of Montréal. He was moved to what was then the Saint-Jean-de-Dieu asylum in 1925, where he remained until his death on November 18, 1941.

In 1979, to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth, Canada Post issued a commemorative stamp which paid tribute to one of his most widely-read poems Le Vaisseau d’Or:

“Le Vaisseau d’Or”

C’était un grand Vaisseau taillé dans l’or massif: 
Ses mâts touchaient l’azur, sur des mers inconnues; 
La Cyprine d’amour, cheveux épars, chairs nues, 
S’étalait à sa proue, au soleil excessif. 

Mais il vint une nuit frapper le grand écueil 
Dans l’Océan trompeur où chantait la Sirène, 
Et le naufrage horrible inclina sa carène 
Aux profondeurs du Gouffre, immuable cercueil. 

Ce fut un Vaisseau d’Or, dont les flancs diaphanes 
Révélaient des trésors que les marins profanes, 
Dégoût, Haine et Névrose, entre eux ont disputés. 

Que reste-t-il de lui dans la tempête brève? 
Qu’est devenu mon coeur, navire déserté? 
Hélas! Il a sombré dans l’abîme du Rêve! 

“The Ship of Gold”

It was a great ship carved from solid gold:
Its masts touched to the skies on uncharted seas;
Venus, goddess of love, her hair streaming, her flesh bare,
Flaunted herself on the prow beneath a blazing sun.

But one night it struck the great reef
In that treacherous ocean where the Siren sang,
And the horrible shipwreck tilted its keel
Into the depths of the abyss, ineluctable coffin.

It was a ship of gold whose diaphanous sides
Revealed treasures which the profane mariners,
Loathing, Hatred, and Neurosis, disputed among themselves.

What remains of it in the brief tempest?
What has become of my heart, a deserted ship?
Alas! It has foundered in the depths of the dream!

Source: Wikipedia, translator unknown

My very first introduction to Nelligan was through the music of pianist and composer André Gagnon .  On an early album was a tune entitled “Nelligan”.

Then, around 1990, Gagnon collaborated with playwright Michel Tremblay and mounted an opera/musical “Nelligan”.

One of Nelligan’s poems Soir d’hiver was put to music by the recently-deceased Claude Léveillée

Ah! comme la neige a neigé!   Ah! as snow snowed!
Ma vitre est un jardin de givre.   My window is a garden of frost.
Ah! comme la neige a neigé!   Ah! as snow snowed!
Qu’est-ce que le spasme de vivre   What is the spasm of life
Ô la douleur que j’ai, que j’ai!   Oh the pain I have, that I have!

Tous les étangs gisent gelés,   All ponds lie frozen,
Mon âme est noire: Où vis-je? où vais-je?   My soul is black: Where am I living? Where am I going?
Tous ses espoirs gisent gelés:    All his hopes lie frozen:
Je suis la nouvelle Norvège   I am the new Norway
D’où les blonds ciels s’en sont allés.  Hence the fair skies are gone.

Pleurez, oiseaux de février,   Weep, birds of February,
Au sinistre frisson des choses,  The thrill of sinister things,
Pleurez, oiseaux de février,   Weep, birds of February,
Pleurez mes pleurs, pleurez mes roses,   Weep my tears, cry my roses,
Aux branches du genévrier.  On branches of juniper.

Ah! comme la neige a neigé!   Ah! as snow snowed!
Ma vitre est un jardin de givre.   My window is a garden of frost.
Ah! comme la neige a neigé!   Ah! as snow snowed!
Qu’est-ce que le spasme de vivre   What is the spasm of life
A tout l’ennui que j’ai, que j’ai!…   For all the trouble I have, that I have! …

A lovely boutique hotel in Vieux-Montréal, complete with the renowned Verses restaurant, bears his name and celebrates his legacy. Hôtel Nelligan opens onto the cobble-stoned Rue Saint-Paul

Having learned about Nelligan’s impressive body of work (to say nothing of a promising career) dashed by mental illness that was treated with the crude methods of the day, I felt some identification with him – if only in the sense of having felt private despair.  I almost never fail to walk past Nelligan’s bust in Square St-Louis when I’m in Montréal.  I am so pleased to be connecting my love of André Gagnon’s music, the poetry of Émile Nelligan, my fascination with Nelligan landmarks downtown, and now his grave-site on the beautiful slopes of Mont-Royal.

André Gagnon


The upright grand piano in our living-room was given a good work-out most days when I was a kid, if not from older brother Craig or me (our sisters never took to it) then most certainly from Mom’s many piano students on weekdays after school, evenings and the occasional Saturday.  Piano music, therefore, is something I have always appreciated – and in most every genre of music.

I latched onto a recording artist during the 1970s and claimed his music as my own.  In fact I just came across his most recent recording on iTunes.  Prolific and well-loved Québec musician André Gagnon, not to be confused with impressionist André-Philippe Gagnon, was born 2 August 1939 in Saint-Pacôme-de-Kamouraska, one of nineteen children!

Map picture

The artwork on the cover of Gagnon’s album, Le Saint-Laurent, coupled with the very dramatic music of the title track, convey so well the ever-changing light, wind and colours of the widening river here with rolling hills adding to the beauty.

1252073628_le-st-laurent

Hand-in-glove with Le Saint-Laurent (1977) is Neiges, released in 1975, which introduced Gagnon to more fame in Canada outside Québec.  Incidentally, even at times when Gagnon appears to have vanished from the public eye here, he has maintained a very busy performance relationship with the people of Japan.  These two albums have travelled with me over the years in their LP, cassette, CD and now mp3 formats.  Also, if you’d like to get a sense of him in concert (which I’d highly recommend), he recorded a concert in Montréal a few years ago when the Bell Centre was named for the Molson family or their famous products.  I actually prefer the live version of Neiges as it, and all selections from other albums played that night, was souped up with some brilliant orchestration!

While a student at Niagara College I chose Gagnon as my subject for a music feature assignment.  In addition to highlighting his music, his record company (STAR, a division of Polydor) sent me an interview he had done with a Montréal radio personality which I was able to edit into my program.

I had the pleasure of seeing him live on two occasions, in the early eighties, back when I was playing the aforementioned albums over and over again.

The first time was at Massey Hall in Toronto, my first-ever visit there, on a date with a female co-worker from St. Catharines.  Of course that hall is pretty magical, as it was that evening.  The next time, if I’m not mistaken, was at Brock University in St. Catharines.  The music was fantastic but the concert ended a little strangely when the audience seemed more interested in getting home than anything else.  He acknowledged a couple of us yelling for more and sent us home happy with an encore.

Back when I first became a fan I was aware that he lived in a beautiful home on square Saint-Louis between the bohemian rue Prince-Arthur, the Latin Quarter, and the lovely public square.  It was no accident that his residence was once home to iconic, tragic nineteenth-century Québec poet and friend-in-history Émile Nelligan .  He and famed playwright Michel Tremblay would later collaborate on a modern opera, Nelligan, featuring some of his more well-known poems, a recording of which was later issued.

Well, as we used to say in the newsroom, talk about “burying the lead”!

André Gagnon has returned to the recording studio after seven years away from the environment.  The result? Les chemins ombragés (Shady Lanes), beautiful music he says was inspired by nature. Gagnon performs both solo and accompanied by l’Orchestre Symphonique de Trois-Rivières, under the direction of Jacques Lacombe (who also conducted an orchestra assembled for the Molson Centre concert).

D i s c o g r a p h y
This is a list of André Gagnon’s albums.  He also had several successful singles which were not part of an album release.

Year
Title

1964
André Gagnon – Piano et orchestre

1965
Léveillée-Gagnon

1966
Une voix, deux pianos

1968
Pour les amants

1969
Notre amour

1969
Mes quatre saisons

1971
Let It Be Me

1972
Les Turluteries

1972
Encore

1973
Projection / Les forges de St-Maurice

1973
Les grands succès d’André Gagnon

1974
Saga

1975
Neiges

1977
Le Saint-Laurent

1978
Mouvements

1981
Virage a gauche

1982
Les grands succès/Greatest Hits

1983
Impressions

1986
Comme dans un film

1989
Des dames de coeur

1990
Nelligan (with Michel Tremblay)

1992
Noël

1993
Les jours tranquilles

1993
Presque bleu

1994
Romantique

1995
Piano

1996
Twilight Time

1996
Musique (Coffret de collection)

1997
André Gagnon au Centre Molson

1997
Éden

1997
La collection émergence

1999
Juliette Pomerleau

1999
Printemps

1999
Été

1999
Automne

1999
Hiver

2001
Histoires rêvées

2003
Piano solitude

2010
Les chemins ombragés

Messiah the Musical


handel I know, I know – George Frederick Handel’s famous work is actually an Oratorio.  (A musical would require lots of period costumes and at least one big dance number!  Now imagine combining that with Mel Gibson’s gratuitously blood-letting Passion of the Christ.  No, let’s not.)

This was the time of year, probably forty years ago, that I first heard Messiah performed.  More about that presently.  Contrary to common practice, when versions of the Messiah compete with one another in the city, the work was not written for Christmas. Only the first part of the composition has to do with the birth of Jesus. The second and third parts focus on the stories of his death, resurrection, sending of the Spirit at Pentecost, and then the dream of a final resurrection of all believers. (Think of the overwhelming conclusion Worthy is the Lamb and Amen.) Handel’s masterpiece was first performed in Dublin on April 13, 1742, 19 days after Easter.

The very next year a lasting tradition was born when, as the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus began during a performance on March 23, 1743, King George II rose to his feet. Speculation as to why have ranged from His Majesty needing to stretch his legs, his mistaking the opening notes for the national anthem, to his simply being so overwhelmed with the music that he felt compelled to stand. Nevertheless people the world over still rise at the sounding of the first notes of the Hallelujah Chorus

It was spring, before Easter, somewhere in the early 1970s that I first heard Messiah.  Hardly a stellar performance, I’ve only enjoyed better and better renditions since.  The venue was a United Church in Cornwall, an industrial place of about 50,000 just across the Ontario border from our home in (Salaberry-de-)Valleyfield, Quebec.  I don’t remember what sort of orchestra was involved, if any, and I would only be guessing if I called the choir The Seaway Valley Chorus, a combined choir from every church from Brockville to Lancaster.

A family friend, Robert, was minister at this church and he and his wife, Marilyn, and their children were back and forth with us three or four times each year.  Unfortunately this was one of the last times we saw Marilyn, who died of cancer following a brain tumour.

Something eerily similar comes to mind as I listen to I know that my Redeemer liveth which comes right after Hallelujah.  As organist and choir director of a very small United Church in Valleyfield, Mom was fortunate to have two very talented soloists. One of them, Martha, a contralto, sang this piece on a couple of Easter occasions before she died of cancer.

The sum-total of the music, combined with a great performance – either live or recorded – completely eclipses whatever bittersweet associations I have with the work from my early days of learning about it.

Recording resistance and history through music in Palestine


Songs from a Lost Homeland, which originally aired on Al Jazeera English last year, is in the programming rotation again this weekend.

Is there a song in the west right now with even a small percentage of the punch of these musicians? I hope you get a chance to see the entire documentary. There’s another absurd segment where Israeli forces, tipped off that a Palestinian musician had a bunch of his CDs in his car (that can’t be good!), pull him over at a makeshift check-point and take them away.

While I’m sure I will look in on the Oscars presentation Sunday night it’s not hard, what with what’s going on in Libya, northern Africa and the Middle East, to see how completely shallow this is.

To say nothing of Charlie Sheen.

We just don’t know how good we’ve got it, do we?

The 70s certainly weren’t ALL bad. R.I.P. Lindsay Cullen.


high school years

Yesterday I learned of the death, on New Year’s Eve, of one of my favourite high school teachers. A reporter from The Gleaner, the local small-town newspaper, contacted me when she saw that I had written a letter which mentioned Lindsay Cullen a while back.

I was a student of his from approximately 1972 to 1977. After being
recruited into the CVR choir by Mrs. Hooper, immediately upon entering
Grade 7, it was not long before I was able to express interest in the
school band.

I had piano experience but did not have a band instrument in mind when
I started. I also explained to Mr. Cullen that, being left-handed, I
might have difficulty with some of the instruments. His solution was
a great one, pulling out a trombone and showing me how the slide can
swing under the main part from the right side to the left and be
secured into place. Problem solved!

Eager to try something new in later years I played the tuba. This was not the huge tuba which literally wraps around your body (that would come later) but one which sat in my lap. I loved the tuba! The A&W “Root Bear” got lots of free advertising on the bus home some days. To this day I can pick out the bass line in just about any music I hear and it led me to singing bass for a number of years in choirs as an adult.

The much larger tuba, or sousaphone, came into play during
extra-curricular activities with Lindsay as I joined the Ormstown
band. This was a great experience as I met youth and adults enjoying
music together be it at the Ormstown Fair parade or at international
parades in Rouse’s Point, N.Y. and other border communities.

Finally, I was trained on the baritone saxophone – my first experience
with a reed instrument but with that familiar bass/baritone line I
enjoyed so much.

Mr. Cullen’s appreciation of me, though never in doubt, was confirmed
in a very meaningful way when the Music Prize was one of my awards at
CVR’s Graduation of 1977.

His passing leaves a rich, wholesome musical legacy in the Chateauguay Valley.

Autumn Writing Group


note
Following three successful summer workshops seventeen participants, including facilitators Linda Dawn and me, have signed up for the fall writing group starting 15 September and continuing most Tuesdays thereafter through 8 December from 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. You do not need to have attended the workshops to join us nor are you required to commit to coming every week. Writing is focused in the memoir genre, beginning with the theme Identity on the topic of Place.

At our first meeting we will begin to get to know one another better, discuss the group’s guidelines, fall dates and topics. (There is a sink and kettle in the room so we can make tea or you could grab a coffee from plentiful shops in the area.) Generally, we’ll sit in a circle, first focusing on the evening’s topic, then writing on it using clipboards donated by one of the workshop participants. At the second meeting on 29 September approx. six writers will take turns reading what they wrote about Place, the first week’s topic. (Please note there is no meeting 22 September.) Reading of a previous week’s writing will begin at about 7:40.

We work on the premise that all writing is good writing. The goal is to get stories of our life on these topics on paper in our own words from week to week at home then bring them to the group to share at the next meeting. This group is not about grammar or spelling or punctuation (those mechanics come way down the road). We all have stories to tell. This is just the beginning, so come on out and be part of it!

Where: Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W., Toronto (just west of Spadina)
When: Most Tuesdays, beginning September 15, from 7:30 – 9:00 pm

Beatrice (Bea) Arthur: May 13, 1922 – April 25, 2009



A great scene from “The Golden Girls”, although I remember Bea Arthur from her 70′s show “Maude” and her first portrayal of that character on “All in the Family”.

The hilarity of Bea Arthur, and the rest of “The Golden Girls” helped get me through some of the roughest moments in the early years of AIDS.

What a contribution to life to have made so many people laugh, while never shying away from taking courageous stands on so many social issues!

As an aside May 13 was my brother Craig’s birthday, 33 years after Bea’s. There were definite similarities.

Mixing analogies with Easter sensibilities


Perhaps it is the season but it has been interesting to see the number of hits my night-time photo of Almuth Lutkenhaus-Lackey’s “Crucified Woman” has been getting at my photo blog photosbykenn.

The dramatic sculpture stands in a clump of birch trees within a courtyard of the University of Toronto’s Emmanuel College, the local theological college of The United Church of Canada. The closest it came to having a conventional church home was when Clifford Elliott, Minister of Bloor Street United Church from 1975-86, had it installed there in 1979. Sufficient discomfort with the sculpture’s controversy led to its relocation to Emmanuel, where it probably enjoys more prominence – and generates a wider variety of comments – than it might have at an individual church.

Dr. Elliott’s ministry had a tremendous influence on my brother’s days as both a student and young minister.

This being the 30th anniversary of the sculpture, this Saturday, April 11, 2009 will see the launch of a year of reflection. At 8:30 PM all are invited to gather at the statue (east side of Emmanuel College at 73 Queen’s Park Crescent) for a short launch before joining in a candlelight procession to Bloor Street United Church for the Easter Vigil service.

Still Here: A Post-Cocktail AIDS Anthology


Mt. Sinai Hospital, TorontoMt. Sinai Hospital

I will be out of town so I’ll miss this, unfortunately, but here’s the information:

Life Rattle Press is pleased to invite you to a reception celebrating the publication of

    STILL HERE: A POST-COCKTAIL AIDS ANTHOLOGY

Mount Sinai Hospital and the Department of Psychiatry, The 2008 Narrative Matters Conference: Storying Our World, Ontario HIV Treatment Network and Life Rattle Press are pleased to announce the launch of
STILL HERE: A Post-Cocktail AIDS Anthology – Writings from the Mount Sinai Therapeutic Writing Group
Edited by Allan Peterkin, M.D., Julie Hann, OT

Wednesday, May 7, 2008, at 6:00 pm
The ballroom of the Courtyard Marriott Hotel
475 Yonge Street, Toronto

You can order the book here.


Digg!

I’m being published, on paper even, in a book!


Not just a letter to the editor, nor a link from a blog (not that there’s anything wrong with that), I shall be published in a book – an anthology – to be called Still Here: A Post-Cocktail AIDS Anthology and released some time this year by Life Rattle Press.

I just signed the consent form.

The anthology is selected short stories which have come from several years of work in the Narrative Group of the Psychiatric Department’s Clinic for HIV-Related Concerns at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital. (I might rightly receive some constructive criticism over the length of that sentence!) These groups are run twice a year, by Dr. Allan Peterkin and occupational therapist Julie Hahn, with participants writing each week on set topics, quite general, that have stood the test of time – such as an experience in a health-care setting, loss, and change.

The two stories of mine which have been selected are “A Sense of Peace After 13 Years”, based on this, and “Chopin, Roman Polanski and a Cab”.  I presume there might be a little editing, at the very least in the formatting.

Since Life Rattle Press is a non-profit publisher my payment shall be two copies of the book. Hey, that’s honour enough for me! It will certainly encourage me to keep writing!

Digg!