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Focus on: Prince Edward County
A Guide to Prince Edward County?s Literary Scene
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The one-and-only Prince Edward County is one of Southern Ontario's more precious gems. Practically surrounded by water, with Lake Ontario to the south, the head of the St. Lawrence River to the east and the beautifully-named Bay of Quinte to the north, it's no wonder that artists and those with inquisitive and reflective souls flock to this region (along with the numerous resident birds). The County, as it's known to locals, is home to the Prince Edward County Authors Festival, Al Purdy's storied A-Frame, Picton's Books & Co, fine wines (always a nice addition to an evening of reading) and much more.

Follow our Focus On series throughout the month of April for author profiles, feature articles and our new favourite, the regional Recommended Reads!

Prince Edward County News

Writing, fatherhood (fragments,

By rob mclennan

Writing. As the baby sleeps. As baby feeds. I type with one hand. Learn to think in short bursts. Pockets.

Think of William Carlos Williams, composing poems on prescription pads between patients. Patience. Short lines quick on paper scraps. How the when of his writing helped shape the what. My thinking exists in shards, in pieces. Fragments.

To write, one must continue to evolve, improve. These fragments of attention.

Therefore, to embrace. If I am to write at all.

A Profile of Nina Berkhout

By rob mclennan

Profile: Danielle K.L. Grégoire

On Sunday, March 30, 2014, poet, performer and organizer Danielle K.L. Grégoire and Ottawa poet, editor, publisher and provocateur Amanda Earl will each be acknowledged at the fourth annual VERSeFest poetry festival as part of the second annual Verse Ottawa Hall of Honour.

Poets in Profile, with Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang

Award-winning writer Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang?s most recent book, Status Update (Oolichan Books), is a collection of poems written in response to real Facebook status updates. Author Ian Williams calls Tsiang?s poems ?strangely illicit.? He writes, ?You wonder about your own conduct. Should you be reading / so closely / the lives of others??

The Proust Questionnaire, with Christian McPherson

Ottawa writer Christian McPherson is the author of four books of short stories and poetry, but it was in his 2010 debut novel Cube People (Nightwood Editions) that he introduced us to would-be writer/government office worker Colin MacDonald. The often hilarious and occasionally terrifying misadventures of Colin continue in Christian?s follow-up, Cube Squared (Nightwood Editions), in which Colin faces off against middle age, an enemy far more threatening and volatile than the slow smothering of bureaucratic and domestic ennui.

In his answers to the Proust Questionnaire, Christian McPherson coins a useful phrase, explains his beverage schedule and reveals a soft spot for little plastic bricks.

The Proust Questionnaire was not invented by Marcel Proust, but it was a much loved game by the French author and many of his contemporaries. The idea behind the questionnaire is that the answers are supposed to reveal the respondent's "true" nature.


Barbara Bell Named Artistic Director of Kingston WritersFest

Congratulations to Barbara Bell, who has been named to the top position at Kingston WritersFest!

Barbara Bell has been with Kingston Writersfest since its launch in 2009 as Producer, and in 2013 as Associate Director. In addition to her many contributions to KWF, Barbara is an award-winning actor, a playwright, director and producer, a freelance editor and she has hosted several seasons of Page Turners for TVCogeco in Kingston.

Kingston Writersfest 2013: Something for Everyone

In Other Worlds: Margaret Atwood, Corey Redekop, moderated by Merilyn Simonds

Put Margaret Atwood, Corey Redekop, and Madeline Ashby on the stage together and you?re asking for it. When told it was his turn to read, Corey joked, ?Aw, I was hoping she?d read first. Then I could say, ?Yeah, Atwood opened for me.??

Grace O?Connell, Alex Porco, Gillian Savigny, Carolyn Smart and Moez Surani on Finding A Voice

Coming up Fri. Oct 11th, from 4-6pm on CFRC 101.9fm's 'finding a voice?, the show will feature a recent event held on Queen?s campus, Sept 21, called ?The Alumni Return, Triumphant!?

In the first hour, you?ll hear the introduction to it by Shelley King, the Head of the Department of English at Queens, as host/moderator - followed by the readings from that event by Grace O?Connell, Alex Porco, Gillian Savigny, Carolyn Smart and the very first portion of a reading by Moez Surani.

Recommended Reads for Younger Readers: Kingston

By Ginger Pharand

In Part 2 of Recommended Reads: Kingston, we focus on local authors of children?s and young adult books. From picture books to teen novels, Kingston writers offer as many literary options for the younger set as for the adults. In this list, explore Canada?s past, the surreal imaginings of bedtime, Victorian London, urban Japan and countless other destinations. Whatever a young mind?s fancy, there?s likely a story waiting among the creative offerings found here.



Photo credit: Pamela Cornell

A Writer's Kingston, with Elizabeth Greene

Poet, educator and arts advocate Elizabeth Greene explores the meaning of place and home in her poetry collection, Moving (Inanna Publications).

Today Elizabeth opens up about the city she calls home for Open Book Ontario?s Focus On: Kingston series, A Writer?s Kingston.

Wayne Grady gets Double Giller Prize Nominations

When the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist was announced yesterday, Wayne Grady had reason to celebrate. Twice. The Kingston author has received nominations for both his first novel, Emancipation Day (Doubleday Canada), and his French to English translation of Louis Hamelin's novel October 1970 (House of Anansi Press).

Read more about Wayne's work and his reaction to his nominations here:

Recommended Reads: Kingston

By Ginger Pharand

Canada?s first capital city, Kingston, is located in Eastern Ontario, halfway between Toronto and Montreal, where the St Lawrence River starts its journey from Lake Ontario to the sea. A city of contrasts, Kingston is home to colleges and universities and limestone quarries, prisons and military bases. One may tour Sir John A. Macdonald?s house in the morning and kayak The 1000 Islands in the afternoon. It is a city steeped in as much writing as history. Second-hand and independent bookstores, the special collections at Queen?s, and a thriving literary community make Kingston the ideal location to explore Ontario?s rich literary offerings. Home to authors in every genre, from children?s books to historical romance to captivating non-fiction and award-winning poetry, Kingston has something for everyone to see?and read!

Photo credit: Pamela Cornell

Your Own Writing Retreat, Kingston Writers Fest Style

The Kingston Writers Festival is one of the most enriching creative weekends of the year, in part because of their incredibly popular Writers Studio master classes, which give participants the opportunity to learn about different aspects of the craft from favourite authors such as Alison Wearing, Corey Redekop, Lauren B. Davis and Wayne Grady. This year, you can turn the festival into your very own writing retreat by purchasing a Writers Retreat Pass that allows you to attend any five Writers Studio master classes for only $125 (plus handling fees).

Writers Retreat Passes must be purchased through the Grand Theatre Box Office in advance of the festival. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone (613-530-2050) or at the box office at 218 Princess St. in Kingston.

For more details about this year's Writers Studio master classes, visit kingstonwritersfest.ca or download the attached PDF.

Without Readers, Would We Write?

The Kingston WritersFest Celebrates Five Years of Writing and Reading

Tickets for Kingston WritersFest are now on sale. Kingston WritersFest runs from September 25 to 29, 2013.

By Claire Grady-Smith

When I graduated from art school, I thought I'd become a full-time writer and artist almost immediately after moving to Toronto. I rented an affordable room in which I made small paintings and compulsively checked the horizon for upcoming literary awards and competitions. I imagined it would take a month or so, six weeks tops, to receive notice that a short story or essay had been accepted into some anthology or other.

Trillium Takes Ontario: Steven Heighton

Open Book loves Trillium season! Find out more about the talented authors nominated for the online gambling appsTrillium Book Award by following our special new series. We'll catch up with as many of these writers as we can in the lead-up to the awards announcement on Tuesday, June 18th. You can hear the finalists read from their nominated works on Monday, June 17th at the Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library. Visit Open Book's Events page for details.

Steven Heighton was nominated for the Trillium Book Award for his short fiction collection The Dead Are More Visible (Alfred A. Knopf Canada). Today Steven tells us about how Kingston's multi-layered character inspires his work, and why hockey is the best means of forgetting.

Prince Edward County Events

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