Andrea Torrey Balsara is a children’s author and illustrator. She always dreamed of being an illustrator, but her first published book was one that she wrote herself. She published many books for the educational market, including the novels The Present, for young adults, and Parker Shanahan: Survivor: Against All Odds for middle-grade readers. After several years of writing, the opportunity finally arose to illustrate her own book, GREENBEARD THE PIRATE PIG and the sequels which followed. Andrea is also the illustrator for the picture book series, HAPPY THE POCKET MOUSE, written by Philip Roy. Recently, her YA novel, THE GREAT AND THE SMALL was chosen for the list of the Best Books for Kids 2018 put out by the CCBC. The book has now also won a Moonbeam Award.
Ronald Mackay is the author of two memoirs and a number of plays. Last week on our show, Ronald read, “My Father invites Angels” , a Christmas story from his time as a young man working in the Canary Islands. This week we are re-playing the show he made with us about his memoir, of those formative years, FORTUNATE ISLE, A MEMOIR OF TENERIFE, as he releases the Spanish edition of this book.
This week we wish you a Happy New Year with seasonal stories and poems. Maureen Mullally reads a poem, written by her late husband, Brian, about a childhood mystery of her own, called TWO OLD GENTS. Then, Felicity tells a story based on the exploits of a donkey that she and her siblings were given as children, titled STAGESTRUCK. In the second half of the show, listen to Ron Mackay read about his experience of Christmas as a young man in Buena del Norte on Tenerife. And finally Gwynn shares her story of Christmas in Africa, MUSHROOMS AND MISTLETOE
Janet Stobie is a writer, family counselor, storyteller, and ordained minister, During her nineteen years in parish ministry, Janet was particularly appreciated for her work with young people and children and she has written a number of books for children both ones which are biblically based and some which deal with current social issues. Her young adult novel FIREWEED now has a sequel, TO BEGIN AGAIN, published this past year.
Wally Keeler, who was born and raised in Cobourg, talks about his work. He now describes his occupation as Poetentate, and his location as People’s Republic of Poetry. His poems have been published in a number of literary arts journals, including Prism, Impulse, the Fiddlehead, Descant, West Coast Review and others. His poetry collection Walking on the Greenhouse Roof was published by Delta Canada, Montreal, to excellent reviews. Wally’s primary life interest is poetry and he has spent his life promoting it. Today he talks about some of his recent projects.
Erika Rummel is the author/editor of many non-fiction, historical works, the most recent being A NOBEL AFFAIR, an edited collection of correspondence between Alfred Nobel and his mistress, Sophie Hess. A Viennese newspaper reviewed the book, and the article “trended”, garnering some 300 comments and now the Austrian broadcasting company wants to interview her. This interest prompted Erika’s latest novel, THREE WOMEN AND ALFRED NOBEL. Her previous novel THE PAINTING ON AUERPERG’S WALL was published last spring and has led to a contract with her new publisher to re-publish several of her earlier novels, so the past year has been a very busy one for her
Poet, Antony di Nardo, talks about his work as a poet and introduces us to his exciting new collection, SKYLIGHT. Antony was born in Montreal and is the author of four books of poetry. SKYLIGHT, was published this fall by Ronsdale Press. His writing career began as a journalist, publishing and editing a weekly newspaper in Northwestern Ontario. Work from previous collections has been translated into both French and Italian, and appears in several anthologies. His first book, Alien, Correspondent, was nominated for the Acorn-Plantos People’s Poetry Prize and the Re-Lit Award. He has been shortlisted for The Malahat Review’s Long Poem contest and in 2017 he won Exile’s Gwendolyn MacEwen Prize for Best Suite of Poems. He divides his time between Sutton, Quebec and Cobourg, Ontario.
Gwyneth Hoyle graduated from University with a degree in Maths and Science and her first job was in Chalk River as a Human Computer just like the women recently celebrated in the movie Hidden Figures. For many years Gwyneth was the librarian at Peter Robinson College, Trent University and played viola for the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra. But she has also had a life-long interest in the Arctic and canoeing and has written extensively about these. Now retired, she continues to research and write about northern subjects. In addition to articles on canoeing and the historic fur trade, she has written three books, Canoeing North into the Unknown, Flowers in the Snow, and The Northern Horizons of Guy Blanchet.
Carol Finlay is the founder and director of Book Clubs for Inmates. She was among 26 people presented with the Order of Ontario at a ceremony at Queen’s Park in June 2017.Carol is an ordained Anglican priest, a retired English teacher and the organisation she founded and nurtures now has over 80 volunteers running reading groups in 28 prisons in all parts of the Canada. Listen to hear Carol explain how reading groups affect prisoners lives.