This week we welcome Ted Staunton, the author of well over 40 books; he writes everything from YA and mid-grade novels to Hi-Los, non-fiction, early chapter books, and of course picture books. His YA novel Who I’m Not won the 2014 CCBC John Spray Mystery Award. Ted’s work has also been nominated for Silver Birch, Red Maple, Hackmatack, Arthur Ellis, and BC Stellar awards. Trained as a teacher, Ted is a speaker, performer, and workshop leader in schools, libraries and venues across Canada. As well, he teaches the Writing Children’s Fiction courses at George Brown College. He has also travelled to Ethiopia several times to work with English language writers and editors there. When he’s not writing, Ted plays in the MAPLE LEAF CHAMPIONS JUG BAND. (He always brings his guitar and banjo to school presentations too.) He enjoys running, reading and writing and listening to music. Born young, he is now older. Ted and his family live in Port Hope, Ontario.
This week we talk to Tom Gannon Hamilton, poet, musician and academic. Tom Gannon Hamilton (Urban Folk Art Salon — Founder/Curator/Host) has been published extensively in literary periodicals and anthologies: Dalhousie Review, Vallum (Canada) Lummox (USA), Verse&Voice (Hong Kong), Voices of Israel and numerous others. His poem Non-Consultant won First Prize in The Ontario Poetry Society (2021) “As Love Lies Bleeding” competition, judged by George Elliot Clarke. El Marillo was awarded First Prize in the 2018 Big Pond Rumours Chapbook Contest. Tom’s full length collections are the critically acclaimed Panoptic (2018) and The Mezzo Soprano Dines Alone (2021), both from Aeolus House. Dr. Hamilton’s scholarly works include an MA Thesis (Inside the Words: The Rise of Dub Poetry 1984) and PhD dissertation (A Poetics of Possibility, 2001). Career Musician since age 14, multi-instrumentalist, virtuoso violinist, Dr. Tom appeared in the TV series Murdoch Mysteries, Netflix production American Gods and feature film Shape of Water which swept the Oscars in 2018.
Today we talk to Meredith K. Hoogendam (Katie/Merkat) is a poet, writer, mother & interdisciplinary artist—including work as a voice over artist and sometime radio host on this station. A former high school teacher and home school educator, she remains interested in educational theory and practice. Folklore, feminism, and a deep love for the natural world inform her art. Her work appears in publications across the U.S. and Canada, including Geez, Mutha & catapult, among others. Her play, Plan X, debuted at the 2019 Spirit of the Hills Northumberland Arts Festival, and her poem “Courage,” was short-listed for Room Magazine’s 2019 Poetry contest. Her most recent collection of poems, Spring Thaw (Glentula Press) launched at Let’s Talk Books in April 2022 as part of their spring reading series. Her next poetry project, Grief Forest, is in the works for 2023. You can find her on Instagram @merkatart.
Join us for a repeat of our conversation with Reva Nelson. Reva is from Hamilton, has a degree in Psychology and Education from Western University, and lived in London, Guelph, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and then Toronto before moving to Cobourg almost 6 years ago. Reva has had several careers, (due to restlessness, not being fired!) as an actor, conference planner, ESL teacher, seminar leader and professional keynote speaker. She was one of the first females in the speaking business, as President of Words Worth Keynotes & and spoke across Canada on Positive Risk-taking and Resilience. Reva is the author of 4 books, Risk It!, Bounce Back!, a memoir—Hippie Chick Abroad, and recently, a book of poetry, Twisted Branches. She volunteers for the Art Gallery, the Civic Awards Committee and several Boards. Reva also writes for newspapers and magazines and enjoys the easy access to the lake and nature that Cobourg offers.
This week, meet Michael Topa, poet. Michael was born in Michigan and has lived and studied in many countries, including Canada, USA, and Afghanistan. He also travelled to India, Pakistan and Nepal. He spent four years in the United States Air Force as a Weather Observer during the Vietnam War and immigrated to Canada when his tour of duty ended, He has worked for many years as a Psycho-educational Consultant and is the co-founder and Director of Greenoaks Educational Services. He has been writing poetry for over 50 years and now a memoir, SHARDS OF GLASS.
WOTH welcomes a return visit from Sue Reynolds. A published novelist and an award-winning writer of poetry and creative non-fiction, Sue has been writing all her life. Her first novel was published in 1992 and won the Canadian Library Association’s YA Novel of the Year award but she never gave up studying the craft of novel writing. She read everything she could get her hands on and took many courses. Through experiencing workshops with Natalie Goldberg, she realized she needed to find community – her tribe – to write with. And so, fifteen years ago, she began passing on what she had learned. In 2002 she took the AWA Certification to lead writing workshops with Pat Schneider (The Writer as an Artist and Writing Alone and With Others) and Patricia Lee Lewis, and she’s never looked back.
Born in Edmonton and raised in Toronto, Michael graduated in English and History at the University of Western Ontario. He worked in construction during his school days and then as a reporter, photographer and editor at newspapers in Timmins and Ajax. After he got his high school teaching certificate he taught for three years. Then he moved to Spain where he taught ESL and learned Spanish Flamenco guitar. Michael has travelled and read widely in philosophy, Canadian studies and religion (Western and Oriental). He has even taught Yoga. As for writing, he has always kept a journal which now exceeds fifty-two volumes. Out of this material he has produced poems, stories and two books. The Disillusioning (published in 2007) and The Lingering Absence (published in 2022). He says he was inspired to write in an effort to fill certain gaps which lingered even though the essential pioneering was pretty much a thing of the past.
An avid reader of mysteries, Vanessa Westermann is a former Arthur Ellis Awards judge, holds an M.A. in English Literature, as well as a Bachelor of Education, and has taught creative writing. Her debut mystery, An Excuse for Murder, was published in 2019. Her latest novel, Cover Art, is the first Charley Scott Mystery and will be released on May 14, 2022. She received an Ontario Arts Council grant, to support the completion of the second book in the series. At the heart of all of Westermann’s stories are strong female protagonists inspired by the heroines in her own life. She currently lives in Ontario.
Ken Morden has lived in Northumberland County for twenty-five years, moving here, after selling his marketing company in Toronto. He and his wife operated a horse breeding farm in Elizabethville until 2020 when they sold it and moved to a 100 acre country property north of Cobourg, along with their two dogs and no horses. Three years ago Ken decided to develop a new career as a writer and since then has written three books – a Morden family historical novel and two murder mysteries. He is currently working on novels four and five. Ken is active in the arts community currently serving as President of Friends of Music, a director of Spirit of the Hills and a member of the organizing committee for the Northumberland Festival of the Arts.
In the final week of Poetry Month for 2022, we welcome Antony di Nardo. Antony has written six books of poetry. His work appears widely in journals and anthologies across Canada and internationally, and has been translated into several languages. He spent the last years of a teaching career in Beirut where he launched his first book of poetry Alien, Correspondent in 2010. He is an active member of the League of Canadian Poets and the Cobourg Poetry Workshop. His latest collection Forget – Sadness – Grass has just been released by Ronsdale Press. The winner of the inaugural Don Gutteridge Poetry Award, Through Yonder Window Breaks will be published shortly by Wet Ink Books