Here at WLU Press we’ve been staunch supporters of the fundraiser to preserve Al Purdy’s home. On a number of occasions we’ve solicited donations and sent free copies of The More Easily Kept Illusions: The Poetry of Al Purdy to people who donated $25 or more. Now there is an official publication and I hope that you can make it to a very special launch in Cambridge on November 11th.
Al Purdy A-Frame Anthology Fundraiser & Exhibit at the University of Waterloo
Join Duncan Patterson and George Bowering for the Waterloo region launch of The Al Purdy A-Frame Anthology ($26.95, Harbour Publishing) and the exhibition “Room Enough Between the Trees: Al Purdy’s A-Frame” at the University of Waterloo’s School of Architecture—in the Stantec Gallery located at 7 Melville Street South, Cambridge—on Wednesday, November 11th beginning at 7:30 pm.
Duncan Patterson’s exhibit “Room Enough Between the Trees: Al Purdy’s A-Frame” coincides with the release of The Al Purdy A-Frame Anthology. Duncan Patterson and George Bowering are two of over twenty celebrated Canadian writers who contributed reminiscences and poetry to The Al Purdy A-Frame Anthology. Patterson and Bowering, along with a few other Anthology contributors, will share their A-frame anecdotes at this unique event. Book sales and proceeds from an auction featuring Al Purdy items and artwork will help raise funds for the Al Purdy A-frame Trust, an organization dedicated to preserving the A-frame as a retreat for future generations of Canadian writers.
In 1957, Al Purdy—one of Canada’s most influential and culturally significant poets—began building for himself and his family a lakeside A-frame cottage in Ameliasburgh, Ontario. No writer’s home has played such a starring role in the work of its owner since Orillia stood in as Mariposa in the work of Stephen Leacock. But, more than that, the Purdy A-frame served as a kind of tribal mustering place for notable Canadian writers from the 1950s to the 1990s including Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, George Bowering, Milton Acorn, Patrick Lane and a host of others. The Al Purdy A-Frame Anthology collects memories and poems by a roll call of famous writers about inspiring days and nights spent at the A-frame, in addition to a selection of Purdy’s own writing which shows the depth of his feeling for the place where he put down his roots. The “Room Enough Between the Trees” exhibit will showcase a series of photographs and drawings documenting this house, supplemented by a series of samples of Purdy’s writing which further illuminates the role of the house in both his personal and creative life.
While the “Room Enough Between the Trees” exhibit is scheduled to run from November 6th to November 20th, the opportunity to hear readings from and obtain signed copies of The Al Purdy A-Frame Anthology is limited to the evening of November 11th as Bowering returns to his home in Vancouver, BC the following day. Bowering was the first Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate, he has been made an Officer of the Order of Canada and he is the two-time winner of the Governor General’s Award. For more information, please call Duncan Patterson at (519) 781-2052.
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