After a long winter, it's been wonderful to shake out the dust of those dreary months and plan ahead for summer. First among our doings is a visit from June author-in-residence, Dani Couture — among the most celebrated Canadian poets at work today. Her latest collection, Listen Before Transit, was published in April by Wolsak & Wynn. At around that time, a profile of her ran in Quill & Quire, on which she shared the cover with three other major figures in Canadian poetry. The piece described Dani's practice as "interdisciplinary and intuitive, guided by research and curiosity." The author of three other collections, along with the novel Algoma, her work has been nominated for the Trillium Award for Poetry, received an honour of distinction from the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie Prize for Emerging LGBTQ Writers, and won the ReLit Award for Poetry. Her poems have appeared in publications in Canada, the US and the UK, including Poetry and The Boston Review.
All this makes us excited to host Dani. But what makes the stay even more special is her long connection to Essex County, where many of her relatives live — and have lived for centuries, as descendants of the earliest French settlers. When I met up with her in Windsor earlier this year, Dani told me that she has an uncanny attraction to bodies of water. Could this be from some ancestral memory of living by Lake Erie and the Detroit River? Maybe. I'd like to think so.
In celebration of her stay, we're hosting another one of our popular, informal outdoor readings on Sunday, June 24th at 3 p.m. Dani will be reading with poet and artist Melanie Janisse-Barlow, a local favorite and mainstay of the Windsor-Essex arts community. Rain or shine, it'll be taking place here at the lake. More information on this can be found at the Facebook event page here. Free refreshments will be served — as well as gourmet organic coffee from our good friend Craig, owner of Kingsville's Red Lantern Coffee Co. Books on sale, too. It's going to be a blast.
As if that wasn't enough, we're also excited to announce that our chapbook press, Woodbridge Farm Books, will be publishing the second in our essay series, Writers at Rest: Authors on Their Pastimes and Hobbies. The first of these chapbooks, written last summer by Diane Schoemperlen (who mused brilliantly on the subject of collage-making), was a knock-out success. Earlier this year, the Toronto-based magazine Broken Pencil gave it a glowing review, praising the piece as “a joy … [and] a flash of light on an eccentric medium.” With a fresh new design in the making, we expect Dani's contribution to this series to be as exceptional.
More on this — and much else — to come.