Alix Hawley delights Kingsville audience

For our fourth annual event, we were thrilled to host Kelowna, B.C.-based author Alix Hawley. Best known for her 2015 Amazon.ca First Novel Award-winning novel All True Not a Lie in It, Alix has also attracted acclaim for her prize-winning short stories. Earlier this month, she traveled over 2,000 miles to join us here in Kingsville, where she read at our summer reading with Windsor Poet Laureate Mary Ann Mulhern.

Holding an outdoor event is always a gamble. That’s especially true during the summer months in extreme Southwestern Ontario, when the weather can be capricious. Would it rain? The forecast wasn’t clear. So instead of holding our reading at the lake, as planned, we convened at Red Lantern Coffeeshop in downtown Kingsville. I was apprehensive about the change at first, but soon a crowd arrived—over thirty people—and my worries dissipated.

Alix Hawley

Alix Hawley

Windsor Poet Laureate Mary Ann Mulhern

Windsor Poet Laureate Mary Ann Mulhern

As always, we began with a reading from one of our region’s talented local writers. Mary Ann Mulhern, Windsor’s Poet Laureate, opened with her first prize-winning poem, “Freedom’s Rail,” about Harriet Tubman. She went on to read new works from her forthcoming collection, set to be published this fall by Windsor’s Black Moss Press. For more on Mary Ann’s excellent work, including a list of her books for sale, I’d suggest following this link to her publisher’s website.

Next came the afternoon’s guest of honor, Alix Hawley, who read passages from her two novels. Both books of historical fiction follow the life of Daniel Boone, the so-called “White Indian” who helped settle Kentucky during the American Revolution. But together, they’re much more: a complicated love story between Boone and his wife Rebecca; an adventure story set in the untamed wilds of eighteenth-century America; and an examination of the odd (yet uniquely American) way in which a simple man was formed into a mythic figure—during his own time, to his own bafflement. Given their intelligence, mystery, and beautifully spare language, it’s no surprise they’ve attracted such great acclaim.

After the readings concluded, the crowd broke to mingle and have their books signed.

We were especially excited to feature Woodbridge Farm Book’s latest chapbook essay, “Your Eye: On Photography,” written by Alix, and published in honor of her stay. It’s the third installation in our Writers at Rest series, where authors reflect on their pastimes and hobbies. As the title reveals, Alix chose to write on photography, an interest she’s held since childhood. It’s a beautiful work that any fan of Alix’s (or photography, for that matter) will love. You can find signed copies for sale on our website’s Chapbook page, which you link to in the toolbar above.

youreyeonphotography.jpg

Many thanks go out to all those who helped make this event a success, especially our readers, Craig Marentette of Red Lantern Coffee Co., Black Moss Press’ publisher Marty Gervais, Woobridge Farm Books’ co-publisher Chris Andrechek, Sharon Hanna, Dierdre Brode, Martha Thiessen, and all our loyal audience members.

We’re already looking forward to next summer, when we’ll celebrate our fifth anniversary with more great residencies and events. Until then!

—Grant