Local poetry fans won’t want to miss a ‘triple launch’ of poets’ new works set for Nov. 27th in the Coconut Room downtown.
The evening, which is also a fundraiser for the League of Canadian Poets, begins at 7 p.m.
City-based poets/authors Kimmy Beach and Leslie Greentree are hosting the event, which will feature Peter Midgley, Jenna Butler and Jeanette Lynes, who all have had books coming out with Woslak & Wynn this fall.
“I’m of the school that says we write in solitude but we come together as community,” explained Beach, reflecting on the joys of bringing such talented authors together and presenting their works to an audience. “In doing things like this, you bring together all of these people – we are a tight-knit bunch of people – but we are very open to any kind of community that wants to come. There are always faces we don’t recognize at (these functions).
“So for me it’s about bringing together readers and writers and just having a damn good time. If people buy books, great, because that’s what we are about but it’s not all that we are about. We have things to say, and if we have friendly, supportive places in which we can read our books – it just makes for a beautiful evening,” she said, adding how grateful she and Greentree are for the community support that helps make these events a reality. “The most important thing about this industry is people. It’s about connections, friendships and people.”
Meanwhile, Butler, who is based in Edmonton and teaches at Red Deer College, is releasing A Profession of Hope: Farming on the Edge of the Grizzly Trail which is described in the following publisher’s preamble.
“Early in the winter of 2006, Jenna Butler found herself standing on a cold country road, looking over an unpromising quarter section of northern bush. With the glow of her car’s headlights, she surveyed an abandoned grain bin, listened to the howl of a coyote pack and the call of a great horned owl, and knew a switch had flipped inside of her. Passionate about small farming and organic practices, Butler and her partner have withstood drought, floods, insects and their neighbours’ disbelief over the past nine years to create Larch Grove Farm.”
Beach said the book is about Butler’s experiences in bringing the farm, which is located north of Edmonton, to fruition and becoming not only an organic farmer but also part of the community.
“In the process of writing this book, she had learned not only about farming, but about community and what it means to belong somewhere,” she said. “She’s a wonderful addition to our community. We are fortunate to have her, and she’s building up a nice following in town here – people really like her because she’s a terrific writer and she’s a really nice person. We are delighted that she’s here.”
Lynes is releasing Bedlam Cowslip: The John Clare Poems.
According to publisher notes, Lynes, who hails from Saskatchewan, turns her attention to the life and work of John Clare (1793–1864), the renowned poet of the countryside and one of England’s greatest working-class bards.
Beach described her as a writer who takes her subject matter, “Researches the heck out of it and distills it in these magnificent books. She’s a fantastically talented author. She’s also really fun-loving, really humourous and a very down to earth and affectionate person.”
Finally, Edmonton-based Midgley was in Red Deer last year for the release of his book Counting Teeth: A Namibian Story. His newest title is called Unquiet Bones. “Midgley does not shy away from politics, whether documenting efforts to uproot colonialism or the number of murdered Aboriginal women in Canada,” reads the publisher notes. “In these dramatic and uncompromising poems, Midgley roves between Canada and Africa, stopping briefly to consider struggles for democracy in places as diverse as Hong Kong and Ancient Rome.
Meanwhile, Beach and Greentree are acclaimed and extremely gifted authors in their own right. Besides The Last Temptation of Bond, Beach’s other titles include Nice Day for Murder: poems for James Cagney, Alarum Within: theatre poems, fake Paul and in Cars.
Greentree’s titles include guys named Bill, go-go dancing for Elvis and a volume of short stories entitled A Minor Planet for You.
Beach also mentioned that there will be two prize packs full of books the night of the launch – thanks to the generosity of Wolsak & Wynn and Noelle Allen. The prizes will be raffled off with proceeds going to the League of Canadian Poets. “That money goes back to funding for readings like these – so it’s all full circle.”
For more information, check out ‘Wolsak and Wynn Triple-Header in Red Deer’ on facebook.