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 In 2019, her unpublished novel was shortlisted for Canada’s Guernica Prize.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.
Join us for our final holiday show for this year and listen to readings by Donna Wootton, Antony Di Nardo, Sharon Ramsay Curtis, Gwynn Scheltema and John Unruh. We all wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
This week we are presenting the first of three special holiday programmes, this one a repeat from 2019 is a prelude to two completely new shows on December 18th and Christmas Day. Today’s is filled with four stories about Christmases past and present as viewed by Shane Joseph, Linda Hutsell Manning, Allan Seymour and Les Robling. We’re sure you’ll enjoy them as you prepare for your holiday celebrations and send you our very best wishes for a happy holiday season.
WORD ON THE HILLS Sunday at 1.00 pm. Meet John Unruh. John is a Northumberland writer concerned with the value of broken things and how communities come together to fix them. He’s also a consulting technical writer and editor( and occasionally a very competent painter) John grew up in Winnipeg and moved to Cobourg with his wife and son in 2001 where he began his career in civil engineering, working as a documentation specialist and editorial advisor.. In the past year John has put in many volunteer hours to set up and run the ticketing system for the Northumberland Festival of the Arts and has become a highly valued source of answers to technical questions. This year John has published two short stories in Hill Spirits V, Blue Denim Press, and a poem in 101 Portraits, Wet Ink Books. In 2021 he published The Mime and the Girl in the November Issue of The Green Shoe Sanctuary In 2004 his story Angelic won a contest and was published in On Spec Magazine. He has also written several novels which are in various stages of completion. Felicity, Gwynn and Chris are happy to announce that John will be taking over the sound editing for WOTH in January as Chris focuses on other aspects of his busy life. All best wishes to Chris and welcome to the WOTH team, John.
This week our guest is Celia McBride. Celia is a multi-disciplinary artist originally from the Yukon, now living in Port Hope. As a playwright, Celia’s work was developed by numerous theatre companies in Canada (infinitheatre, Nightwood, Factory), and produced internationally by Red Kettle Theatre (Ireland) and Looking Glass Theatre (New York). She was commissioned by the Stratford Festival of Canada for the Studio Theatre’s inaugural season, and Walk Right Up premiered there in 2002. From 2005-2011, Celia was the Co-Artistic Director of Sour Brides Theatre, touring her play So Many Doors (Playwrights Canada Press) across Canada. In 2015, she released a feature film, Last Stop for Miles, adapted from one of her first plays. Since 2014, Celia has been working as a spiritual director and providing spiritual care in long-term care homes. She published O My God: An Un-Becoming Journey, a memoir, in 2022. Please visit celiamcbride.com for more information.
Meet writer, storyteller and ordained minister, Janet Stobie from Peterborough, Ontario. During the last two years she has been working on a picture book for children, Rajah Finds his Wisdom and Breakthrough Moments that are two very different books. Rajah finds his Wisdom has just been released. Including these two new ones, Janet has written and published four children’s picture books, three short story collections, two novels and one worship resource. In addition Janet writes a column for the Millbrook Times, writes a blog that is part of her website, enjoys filling in for colleagues on Sunday mornings at church, and doing guest speaking at fundraisers and group meetings. Janet likes variety.
Today we welcome Ken Morden who lives on a country property with his wife and 2 dogs near Cold Springs. He owned a marketing company in Toronto for 25 years but sold it ten years ago. He and his wife bred, raised and raced Standardbred horses on a farm near Garden Hill for 17 years. They usually had 30+ horses at any one time and another 5 or 6 at the track. They sold this business two years ago. Caroline still has one riding horse but Ken doesn’t ride, having a negative reaction to falling off. President of Friends of Music for the past 10 years, he also sits on the Board for Spirit of the Arts Association Hills, was a member of the NFOTA steering Committee and led the very successful fundraising team for the festival. He took up writing 3 years ago and has written and self- published four books with a fifth due out by year end. He has a short story in Hill Spirits V and belongs to two critique groups. He is now concentrating on developing a series which follows the career of a professional criminal.