I know that spring is surely on the way when we are well advanced in our planning for The County Reads and the County Reads Authors Festival. Even as snow storms raged last week I could hold fast to that thought – yes, spring is around the corner. In fact there was some comfort in the fact that a blizzard was raging, evidence that yes, we still had some time!
This is what we know so far. Last year, County Reads enjoyed the largest audience ever in its 10-year history. That set the committee on the hunt once again for a new venue. This year I am happy to report that St. Mary Magdalene Church has offered the sanctuary and the hall free of charge to us for this event. This means that we can listen to the duelling presenters in the church and then proceed to the hall behind for the reception and announcement of the winner.
As well this year we are bringing back our DiscArted Show. Colleen Green is in charge of this part of the program. Contact her directly or through the library to get your application form. DiscArted, you will remember, is an show consisting of art forms made out of read-out books. Books are available at the library or from Books and Company. The finished pieces will be on display at the church during the festival.
Also back by popular demand is our local author and publisher showcase. Local publications will be available for perusal and sale while you await the results of the evening.
Following The County Reads on the evening of Thursday, April 25 , there will be two days of literary entertainment.
Friday, April 26 at 3 p.m. the Milford conversational French group are again this year sponsoring an author as a gift to their leader Dorothy Vincent-Speirs. Last year the group sponsored a visit from Roch Carrier. This year Wayne Grady will speak on the challenges of translation. This is especially meaningful since when Vincent-Speirs participated in the County Reads she defended and won for the book Translation is a Love Affair by Jacques Poulin.
Grady has translated more than a dozen works from French into English. He won the John Glassco Prize for Literary Translation in 1985 for Christopher Cartier of Hazelnut by Antonine Maillet and in 1989 he won the Governor General’s Award for his translation of On the Eighth Day by Antonine Maillet. His talk is a free event sponsored by the Cercle Francais de Milford. Other writers you can look forward to include: Marianne Ackerman (Jump: a novel, Piers’ desire: a novel), Camilla Gibb (This is happy: a memoir, The Beauty of Humanity Movement, Sweetness in the Belly), and Debra Komar (The Bastard of Fort Stikine: the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Murder of John McLaughlin and the soon-to-be released Court of Better Fiction) as well as Sarah Selecky who joined us last year as a participating defender in County Reads.
More information about the authors and the schedule will be forthcoming, but I did want to mention that last year we tried to entice Camilla Gibb to our festival, but unfortunately she was out of the country. This year it was thanks to our new staff member Halliday Reynolds that we were able to reconnect with Gibb. By happy coincidence Reynolds had taken a Humber College course (a graduate certificate in creative writing) and for eight months was mentored by Gibb. She found her to be tremendously helpful, not only in providing editorial advice, but also a real inspiration and foil when brainstorming ideas for plot development. At the end of the course Reynolds had a finished manuscript and had gained a tremendous respect for this gifted author. She is thrilled to reconnect with Gibb. Please join us in welcoming Camilla to Prince Edward County for the County Reads Authors Festival April 25 -27.
– Barbara Sweet