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
Kate Rogers’ poetry recently appeared in the “Neighbours” issue of SubTerrain and the following anthologies: Looking Back at Hong Kong (CUHK Press), The Beauty of Being Elsewhere and Dove Tails: Letters from the Self to the World, the 10th Anniversary Writing for Peace Anthology, among other publications. Kate’s essay “The Accident,” appeared in the Spring 2021 Windsor Review. Kate’s reviews have been published in many journals, including; Arc Poetry Magazine, Verse Afire, and in Prism International. Kate volunteers for the League of Canadian Poets and Art Bar, Toronto’s longest running poetry reading series. Her most recent poetry collection is Out of Place, published by Aeolus House/Quattro Books, Toronto, in 2017. Kate re-patriated to Canada in late 2019 after teaching in Hong Kong for two decades.
Meet Judita Pamfil. Judita was born in Romania, Transylvania, Cluj of mixed Jewish, Greek. French, Romanian ancestry and grew up playing along two elongated shadows: The communist dictatorship and family accounts of the Holocaust. She studied Art History at the University of Bucharest, worked briefly as a curator at the Fine Arts Museum in Cluj and wrote poetry and prose in Romanian. She left Romania with a husband and baby daughter for Israel and left Israel for Greece as a political refugee. She came to Canada as a landed immigrant where she worked as a curator at Nexus Art Gallery, pursued further studies in Art education and French, and taught art and French with the TDSB. She continued writing poetry and prose but now did it in English. After moving to Port Hope, she self- published Moon Songs; a Selection of Poems
Our celebration of Poetry Month 2022 begins with interviews with and readings by Jessica Outram, Cobourg’s 4th Poet Laureate. She is a Métis writer and educator with roots in the Georgian Bay Métis Community. She currently works as Principal of Indigenous Education, supporting all schools K-12 in Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board. As Poet Laureate, Jessica curates a weekly email series, Poetry Present. Since July 2021, she has also featured a local poet in “Cobourg Now” by sharing one of their poems and writing an accompanying letter in Letter to a Poet. In 2021, Jessica shared monthly prompts and collected poems in an evolving eChapbook, Cobourg Present, that grew in to a 120 pages of poetry featuring 37 poets. Jessica also has a strong presence as a blogger at Sunshine in a Jar and on other social media where she posts among other offerings her engaging photographs taken on her Poetry Walks