This week we continue to celebrate Poetry Month as we discuss his work with poet, MIchael Topa. Michael was born in Ann Arbor Michiganbut when his mother was hospitalised for severe depression, his father sent him to live with his uncle, a thoracic surgeon in Dallas. Texas. In 1962-3, Michael lived with his uncle’s family in Kabul and that year Michael was able to travel to Pakistan, India and Nepal. Michael spent 4 years in the United States Air Force as a Weather Observer during the Vietnam War then immigrated to Canada. He studied at the Universities of Michigan, Guam, York and Toronto, worked as a Psycho-educational Consultant and is the co-founder and Director of Greenoaks Educational Services. He has been writing poetry for over fifty years.
We continue our celebration of Poetry Month with a programme about Wally Keeler. He was born and raised in Cobourg and now describes his occupation as Poetentate, and his location as People’s Republic of Poetry. His work has 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, in 1969 to excellent reviews. Wally’s primary life interest is poetry and he has spent his life promoting poetry. Please join us.
Kathryn MacDonald loves exploring places and experiencing different cultures which has led to her newest collections of travel poems, for which the working title is Bluu/Azul/Blue Part 1 “Cure for Love: Flight”; Part II “In Love with the Wind”. Kathryn taught online courses in literature and writing through Loyalist College, but in 2013 sailing distracted her and her life took a sharp turn. For several years she spent much of the year in the Caribbean with extended stays in Cuba. Now back in Canada, she looks forward to giving workshops here. She is the author of a poetry collection, A Breeze You Whisper (Hidden Brook Press, 2011) and other poems have been published in literary journals such a Descant and Fiddlehead.
To celebrate Poetry Month, a discussion of poetry with Gwynn and Felicity and a collage of readings by local poets including Ted Amsden, Gil McElroy, Gwynn Scheltema, Katie Hoogendam, Wally Keeler Janet Richards, Richard Tai Grove, Bridget Campion, Jessica Outram and Felicity Sidnell Reid.
Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer and writer. His family immigrated to Canada when he was 8 years old and he attended university in Hamilton, and Toronto. He spent 30 years as a trial lawyer in Toronto, except for 7 years in the mid-80’s when he studied acting and formed his own theatre company TheatreDynamics. Then he returned to criminal law. For the past 16 years he has spent most of his time in Europe and Africa defending generals and presidents accused of war crimes. Since 2015 he has lived in Campbellford. Throughout his legal career he has kept writing and has succeeded in publishing in many genres over the years.
Paul Nicolas Mason was born in London, England, first attended school in Zimbabwe andhas lived in Canada since 1966. Paul was a teacher for over thirty years, but during that time he wrote plays and novels. His plays include Circles of Grace, The Discipline Committee, and Sister Camille’s Kaleidoscopic Cabaret, and his novels are Battered Soles, The Red Dress and The Night Drummer. In the fall of 2017 he published his first children’s book, A Pug Called Poppy. Since retiring Paul has become a voice, film and television-actor. In the last two years he has appeared in over thirty-five projects.
Rene Schmidt is the author four books of non-fiction about Canadian Disasters. The first of these sold over 57,000 copies, the most recent published in 2013 is Canadian Disasters—43 True Stories. His novel Leaving Fletchville, published in 2008, was highly recommended by several reviewers and was the Red Maple Honour book in 2010. He has also written numerous articles for magazines and professional journals.
Maya Tyler is an author of paranormal romance novels. She views fiction as a genre with limitless possibilities, providing a much-needed escape from the realities of life. Maya’s paranormal romances entertain with complex plot twists and happily-ever-afters. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family—reading books, listening to music, and drinking coffee.
Ruth Clarke is the author of a number of books of non-fiction, but has sometimes used fictional characters as narrators in her historical works. She has also written a field guide to Alderville’s Black Oak Savannah, with her partner, biologist and artist Rick Beaver, and Buffers, Boundaries and Barricades, a coffee table book of photographs and musings. Her short stories, memoirs and journalism have been published in anthologies, journals, magazines and newspapers.
Melody Crowe is an elder of Alderville First Nation. She studied at Trent University and in 2007 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award for the preservation of Language and Culture from the Union of Ontario Indians. She has worked tirelessly for the preservation of Ojibway culture and language for more than 22 years and is currently First Nation Education Liaison for Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board. Through her company Aandeg Productions she has produced a variety of materials dedicated to creating a deeper understanding and appreciation of First Nation culture, knowledge, language and wisdom. Her most recent project is a documentary film called, What We Want You to Know.