Prince Edward County Authors’ Festival

I’ve just come back from the annual Prince Edward County Authors’ Festival, where I hosted a panel discussion with Dani Couture, Colin Frizzell, Sarah Selecky, and Paul Vermeersch. We’d been asked to talk about the writing life, so our conversation ranged widely, from questions about genre, to thoughts about revision (including Sarah Selecky’s interesting idea about revision as translation), to Paul Vermeersch’s eerily exact Al Purdy imitation.

As editor of the Al Purdy A-Frame AnthologyPaul also spoke to the audience about the Purdy A-Frame Trust. Spearheaded by the indefatigable Jean Baird, the Trust aims to purchase, restore and preserve the poet’s house on Roblin Lake as a permanent writers’ retreat. For more information, see Marnie Woodrow’s piece about this in The County Grapevine.

The PEC festival must be one of the best small-town festivals in Canada. Audiences are enthusiastic and well-informed, the venue is spacious, yet intimate, organizers are exceptionally welcoming, and the setting is spectacular. Yesterday, I heard brilliant readings by Steven Heighton, Sarah Selecky, Mariann Ackerman, and Cordelia Strube as well as Catherine Gildiner and Helen Humphreys. What a pleasure to be exposed to new work by these authors and to talk with several fine poets and fiction writers about their process.

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