The Al Purdy A-Frame on Roblin Lake has been host to writers and poets since it was built by poet Al Purdy & his wife Eurithe in 1957. This tradition now continues through the Al Purdy Residency Program, organized by the Al Purdy A-Frame Association.
Jessica Bebenek is the current writer-in-residence. Jessica is a poet, bookmaker and artist, and she has agreed to share her bookmaking experience at a workshop at the Ameliasburgh Branch Library on September 23 at 2 p.m. Join her to create a simple book that is easy to photocopy, inexpensive, and a great way to share and disseminate ideas. No experience is necessary. Space will be limited to comply with COVID restrictions, so please register at peclibrary.org or by calling the Branch at (613) 968-9327. Jessica shared that while she is at the A-Frame, she is working on the second half of No One Knows Us There – her poetry collection in two distinct halves. The first half was written while she was caregiver for her grandfather in palliative care. As she works on the poems in the second half, she is reworking, adding on to, and rewriting poems in the first half. It’s fitting that she is working on this collection at the A-Frame, which was also reworked and added on-to as Al and Eurithe were able to find and repurpose materials. Jessica explains that the house feels a bit like a collage as sections were added on and that poems also feel a bit like a collage in that poets pull ideas from here and there. Jessica also resonates with the house as she is planning to build a similar home with reclaimed materials with a focus on environmentally friendly building techniques. While in Ameliasburgh, she is enjoying the quiet and finding it’s helpful with her writing, letting her mind wander.
BOOK SALE As part of the Ameliasburgh village lawn sale on Saturday, September 18, drop by the Ameliasburgh Branch library starting at 9 a.m. for a book sale organized by the Friends of the Ameliasburgh & Consecon Branches of the Library. Find great books and all proceeds support the purchase of new books for the library collection.
BOOK SUGGESTIONS: If you haven’t yet explored the work of Al Purdy, consider these titles: The Al Purdy A-Frame Anthology, edited by Paul Vermeersch. This book collects anecdotes, reminiscences, and poems by a roll call of Canadian writers about memorable days and nights spent at the A-frame, along with a selection of Purdy’s own writing showing the depth of his feeling for the place where he put down his roots. Starting from Ameliasburgh – collected prose This selection of almost forty years of essays and includes essays on seeing the world as a Canadian. It begins as a travel diary as Purdy takes the reader riding the rails through the Depression-era West, and continues to Labrador to search for two lost Inuit hunters. It also includes distinctive personal takes on the work of a wide variety of poets and authors.