A writer, artist and teacher, Susan Statham is a graduate of Algonquin College and the University of Waterloo. She attended the Ontario School of Art and the National Portrait Academy and her quest for classical art instruction is the inspiration for her first mystery novel, The Painter’s Craft.
An editor and a contributor to Hill Spirits I, through V, Susan won the Medli Award for most promising manuscript for her second mystery novel, True Image.
She is Chair of the Spirit of the Hills writers group, past president of Spirit of the Hills and president of the Cobourg Art Club. In 2021, Susan received Cobourg’s Distinguished Civic Award for Arts and Culture.
This week we welcome Kim Fahner. Kim lives and writes in Sudbury, Ontario. Her most recent book of poems is Emptying the Ocean (Frontenac House, 2022) and her first novel, The Donoghue Girl, will be published in Spring 2024 with Latitude 46 Publishing. She was the fourth poet laureate for Sudbury (2016-18) and was the first woman appointed to the role. Kim is the Ontario Representative for The Writers’ Union of Canada (2020-24), a full member of the League of Canadian Poets, and a supporting member of the Playwrights’ Guild of Canada. Kim may be reached via her author website at www.kimfahner.com. She is visiting Cobourg to take part in the March Third Thursday Reading organized by The Cobourg Poetry Workshop. At that event, she will read from, Emptying the Ocean.
This week we welcome Karin Wells LLB, LLM, an author, journalist, and lawyer. She is also a sometime actress and worked – briefly – in a pea canning factory. Her latest book, More than a Footnote, a curious and often irreverent look at ten Canadian women who have been forgotten or ignored, has been well received across the country. Her 2020 book The Abortion Caravan: When Women Shut Down Government in the Battle for the Right to Choose” (Second Story Press) was the winner of the OHS (Ontario Historical Society) Alison Prentice Award and shortlisted for the 2021 Shaughnessy Cohen prize, Canada’s premier award for political writing. She regularly contributes to Watershed Magazine focusing on life in Northumberland, Quinte and Prince Edward County. Karin has been recognized as one of this country’s leading radio journalists. Over her career she worked in more than fifty countries making radio documentaries for CBC radio’s The Sunday Edition, hosted by Michael Enright. Her work ranged from on the ground pieces on post conflict resolution in Sierra Leone, South Africa and Mozambique: Canadian mining enterprises in Central and South America; dementia treatment in Denmark; and opera in the English countryside. Her radio documentary work made her a three time winner of the Canadian Association of Journalists Award for investigative journalism. She was twice recognized by the United Nations. In 2021 she produced her first video documentary “The Radio Warrior: – a Tribute to Margaret Lyons”. Karin Wells lives in Port Hope with her little dogs Mimi and Darwin. She is currently working on a new book for Second Story Press and a podcast for CBC Radio based on More than a Footnote.
This week Gwynn and Felicity look both back and forward as they celebrate the longevity of Word on the Hills, taking control of the making of the series in February of 2014 and the setting up of the website wordonthehlls.com where all the shows are archived in March of that year. They comment on the changes made during this period, look forward to the future and discuss some possible innovations for the show. They also ask listeners to send in suggestions for the future of the programme and hope that their audience will respond. Please join us.
Christopher M. Briggs graduated from Trinity College, University of Toronto, with a degree in English Literature and Philosophy. He spent forty years underwriting insurance contracts for large construction projects. He also served as a Captain in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserve. Christopher holds a Creative Writing Certificate from the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies as well as a post-graduate Certificate and Letter of Distinction from the Humber School for Writers. Trial is his first novel. Chris lived in Cobourg for 20 years and was an “extreme commuter” to Toronto on VIA Rail. Currently living in Toronto, he still has friends in Northumberland and loves to visit whenever he’s able.
Marnie Hare Bickle worked for most of her career in music academia as Head of Circulation for the
Music Library at the Faculty of Music, University of Western Ontario; Ontario Regional Director
for the Canadian Music Centre; and Concert Manager for the Faculty of Music, University of
Toronto. She studied piano, voice, and because she was a teen in the 60s, learned guitar and
performed at coffee houses, folk concerts, church events, and community functions. Always a
writer at heart, she has written poetry, songs, short stories and articles. She combined her interest
in music and research to record part of U of T’s Opera School history (1972-1996) as well as
other articles to promote and showcase classical musicians.
She and her husband moved to Port Hope in1997 and she gave private piano, voice and guitar lessons until COVID brought about her retirement. In that family home she found a treasure chest of documents, written by her husband’s great uncle David Ford. After several years of research into Ford’s papers and background she produced her very successful book, Native Born Son: The Journals of David J Ford published by Blue Denim Press in 2018.
This week we welcome Tom Cruikshank. With an abiding interest in local history and heritage architecture, these are subjects Tom has pursued in no fewer than five books. His work includes Old Ontario Houses, Old Toronto Houses and The Settler’s Dream. For the better part of 25 years, he worked in the Canadian magazine industry, first as editor of the locally produced Century Home and later, Harrowsmith Country Life. He is currently at work on an inventory of the older buildings of Hamilton Township. He sometimes uncovers strange stories! The incident is long forgotten, but in 1895, a mailman “went postal” and shot a prominent lawyer to death at his desk in his downtown Cobourg office. It was a bizarre and dramatic scene that plays out like a psycho-mystery movie.
This week our guest is Renee Sgroi. Renee was born and raised in Toronto. She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto and her poetry has been published in numerous Canadian journals and anthologies. A member of the League of Canadian Poets, The Writers Union of Canada, an executive member of the Canadian Authors Association (Toronto branch), as well as a contributing editor for Arc Poetry, Renée’s poems have been published in The Windsor Review, the /tƐmz/ review and The Prairie Journal among others. She recently won 2nd prize in the Carmen Ziolkowski Poetry Prize and continues to make long and short lists worldwide including that for the Fish Poetry Prize. In 2019, her unpublished novel was shortlisted for Canada’s Guernica Prize. She recently read at an Ontario Poetry Society event held in Cobourg. She lives in the GTA with her husband and children.
This week we talk to Sharon Ramsay Curtis. She has always described her artistic interests as a “mixed bag” sampling many types of activities and learning a great deal in the process. After many years of struggling with this she has made peace with the concept and is enjoying the journey. She has successfully combined her skills as a visual artist and as writer in the production of two picture books and is now transforming them into a new format. Please join us.
Join us as we welcome Katie Hoogendam. MERKAT (Meredith Katherine Hoogendam) is a poet, writer and interdisciplinary artist; other incarnations include high school teacher and local community radio host and producer (currently Nightfall with Merkat, for 89.7). Folklore, feminism, archetype and the natural world inform her work. Her writing and images appear in publications across the U.S. and Canada, including Room Magazine, Geez Magazine, Mutha and catapult, among others. Her play, Plan X, debuted at the 2019 Northumberland Festival of the Arts. Spring Thaw, her third collection of poetry, dropped spring 2022 from Glentula Press. She is currently at work on her fourth collection of poetry, entitled Materials at Hand. Find her on Instagram @merkatart.