Friday 26 October 2012

The Al Purdy A-frame is saved! But the work has just begun and donations are still needed

A press release from the Al Purdy A-frame Trust:


Work now turns to RAISING FUNDS TO UPGRADE AND INSTALL a writer-in-residence

October 26, 2012

For immediate release

AMELIASBURGH, Ont. – The A-frame home built here in 1957 by the late Al Purdy, one of Canada’s greatest poets, and his wife, Eurithe, has been assured of preservation and a continued vocation as a place for writers to gather and work.

Thanks to the generosity of Eurithe Purdy, who dramatically reduced the asking price for the property, and donors from across Canada, the A-frame was acquired on October 9 by the Al Purdy A-frame Association, a newly incorporated national non-profit organization with a mandate to promote Canadian literature and Canadian writers. A major benefit is planned for Koerner Hall in Toronto on February 6th to continue the restoration of the A-frame.

Now we can turn our attention to the next phase of this effort,” said Jean Baird, president of the association. “It’s not only a celebration of Al Purdy’s legacy, but a mission to educate today’s students on the value and worth of Canadian literature, and to preserve the Purdy home as a retreat for future generations of Canadian writers.”

The A-frame, a lakeside cottage in Prince Edward County, was the centre of Purdy’s writing universe and one of the most important crossroads on Canada’s literary map. In their 43 years residing there, the Purdys hosted a who’s who of Canadian authors: Margaret Laurence, Milton Acorn, H.R. Percy, Michael Ondaatje and hundreds of others.

The association plans to begin work on upgrading the property immediately, and hopes to have its first writer-in-residence installed next summer and working in local schools by fall 2013.

Donors acknowledged

The association gratefully acknowledges the generosity of all donors to the project to date, including writers, poets, publishers, academics, students, booksellers, librarians, lovers of literature and, especially, Eurithe Purdy, who was crucial to the success of this effort.

Special thanks are extended to major donors ($5,000 to $40,000): The Good Foundation, Avie Bennett, George Galt, The Chawkers Foundation, The Glasswaters Foundation, The Metcalf Foundation, Michael Audain, Jeff Mooney and Suzanne Bolton, Leonard Cohen, Rosemary Tannock, Tom and Helen Galt, and Josef Wosk.

For a full list of donors, go to

Fundraising efforts continue and are critical to the next stage of this project—upgrades on the property are required and the association will be building an endowment. Online donations are being accepted through PayPal at, or cheques may be sent to: The Al Purdy A-frame Association, 4403 West 11th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V6R 2M2.

For further information:
Jean Baird
or 604-224-4898

Tuesday 23 October 2012

I'll be reading with two visiting Russian poets this Friday

I'm reading at this event. Please come.
Debut Prize Presents: Rising Russian and Key Canadian Poets
Poets: Beatriz Hausner, Ksenia Marennikova, Kirill Korchagin, Paul Vermeersch.
Moderators: A.F. Moritz, Christopher J. Barnes
Cost: Free!
Join this event on Facebook!
Two rising figures in Russia's poetic scene, Ksenia Marennikova and Kirill Korchagin, among the newest and most provocative voices in their country's rich poetic tradition, come to the Hart House Library at the University of Toronto. These acclaimed young poets read from their work, discuss the variety and richness of contemporary Russian verse, and consider their art and its role in Russia's volatile political and social realities. Reading alongside them will be key Canadian poets Beatriz Hausner and Paul Vermeersch whose work, in breadth of vision and acclaim, both complements and contrasts with that of the Russian poets in interesting and revealing ways. Notable literary experts A. F. Moritz and Christopher J. Barnes will moderate....

See the original posting.

Wednesday 3 October 2012

Video from my Reading at the Pivot Reading Series, September 19, 2012

This video was produced by Spencer Barclay, filmed at The Press Club in Toronto on September 19th, 2012.