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Saturday, January 18, 2014

'The words in the wall' by A.Purdy

If you are one of the two or three people who have missed the buzz about this scrap of paper, I will connect you via the following links to the story, better told by the A-frame architect/ project manager Duncan Patterson, and Globe and Mail culture columnist Kate Taylor, this weekend.

Duncan's guest post on Inside the House, the blog of House of Anansi Press, tells the A-frame tale of the "terrible poet who become the great poet who become Canada's greatest poet", brilliantly. The article includes links which will bring anyone (should there be one) unfamiliar with Al Purdy and his poetry, up to scholar-speed in no time. Duncan includes a reminder about the Monarch Tavern event Monday night, which you can check out here.

Kate Taylor's account of the poem fragment (characteristic of thousands of similar jot-notes Al must have made over the decades, in search of the poem in everything) in the Saturday Globe and Mail tells the story of this scrap found in the east bedroom wall, during recent A-frame renovations. It's not a poem - it's an idea, an image. I speculate it was written on Al's knee, as Eurithe calmly negotiated miles of bumpy prairie highway, on one of their to-and-fro Canada trips.

Lots of people have been having lots of fun trying to decipher Al's familiar scrawl. Eurithe and I spent time over it when she had it emailed to me over the winter. Having spent years working with bright kids with severe learning disabilities, I long ago learned to tactfully decode peculiar spelling and handwriting. (Because the last thing a reluctant writer needs is a critic). And Eurithe...well, she'd be used to it, wouldn't she?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Let's stay in touch

Purdy Picnic July 2013
As this blog moves away from documenting local links with Al's poetry (he's not writing any more alas), I am using it to add my voice to all of those who are spreading the word about the A-frame Association and events.To that end, here are a few links and an invitation to be in touch.

Add this to your daytimer: The Second Annual Purdy Picnic has been set for July 26 at the A-frame, and locations around Ameliasburgh village in Prince Edward County. Our first Writer in Residence will be your host.
Kelly Bacon, Martin Durkin, Chris Faiers, Richard Turtle
at Active Arts Studio, Fall 2013

Discussions are underway with Jeff Keary of Active Arts Studio to host an event in late August, which will feature the music of Gerry Shatford whose Purdy-inspired jazz is truly fine. More to follow on this.

And just a reminder (you lucky Toronto folk) of the Monarch Tavern event this coming Monday (January 20). The names of the A-frame Writers in Residence for 2013/14 will be announced by poet Karen Solie, and music will be provided by Ketch Harbour Wolves. And some cool Al Purdy stuff on offer, I hear.

The event is listed on the Al Purdy A-frame Association website. Please share this link with those who love Al Purdy and his work; it's a good place to keep updated about the APAFA and its events - and to make a donation to ongoing renovations at the A-frame!

Kate Taylor from the Globe and Mail is writing an article to be published Saturday January 18th about an interesting poem fragment in Al's unmistakable scrawl that was found in a wall at the A-frame. The article will include a photo of the fragment.  Kate has been in contact with editor Sam Solecki to get his scholarly reading.  The Globe will also send out something on Saturday on social media with an image of the fragment, asking what people think it says. Go on, create a poem with the fragment - or find its echo in some of Al's crossing the country poems. An image of the poem fragment has been posted on the website this afternoon!

Don't forget to keep in touch with the A-frame Association and doings at the Roblin Lake via the Facebook page. And please drop by this blog on occasion, also.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

'Purdy Drinks' - an A-frame fundraising event - Monarch Tavern, Toronto, January 20, 7 PM


This just in from Duncan Patterson, the A-frame's consulting architect. A fund-raiser in support of ongoing work at the A-frame:
"Please come raise a glass with us to the legacy of famous Canadian poet Al Purdy at the Monarch Tavern in Toronto on Monday, January 20th.
"Purdy Drinks" will be a casual night featuring readings by acclaimed poets Paul Vermeersch, Jim Smith, and Stuart Ross.  Additionally, Karen Solie (Griffin Prize winner, 2010!) will be announcing the names of the inaugural writers-in-residence at the A-Frame.  All of this will be followed by live music.
Tickets will be $10 at the door, or if you're worried about the evening selling out, tickets will also be available as of Monday January 13th at Soundscapes on College.

All proceeds from the evening will go towards the restoration, rehabilitation, upgrades, and general maintenance of the Al & Eurithe Purdy A-Frame in Ameliasburgh, Prince Edward County and the funding of the Writer-in-Residence program. "