On Sunday, Christine McNair and I wandered around the 20th anniversary Eden Mills Writers' Festival, just near Guelph, Ontario. McNair (I produced "poem" handouts by myself and McNair for the event) was heading there anyway, and let me tag along with her and friends Amy Dennis (we picked her up in Burlington) and Abby Whidden (who was reading in the Fringe category, and we picked up in Toronto). I had never been to Eden Mills before, despite many years of wanting to go, and it was raining when we got there. Eden Mills is such a pretty little town. Apparently the whole town loves Leon Rooke. In front of "Jenny's House," which was also used as the festival "hospitality suite" for the various authors, there was a banner that said "We Love Leon Rooke." I mean, who doesn’t?
[David McGimpsey & Paul Quarrington, above] Some of the participants in this years festival included writer Amatoritsero Ede, Nigerian poet/editor, who was also the PEN Canada writer in exile at Carleton University a few years ago, David Chariandy, Patricia Claxton, Karen Houle, David McGimpsey, Rebecca Rosenblum, Leon Rooke, Alistair MacLeod, Janice Kulyk Keefer, Lawrence Hill, Paul Quarrington, Anita Rau Badami and Nadine McInnis. Some of the others wandering around included Kitty Lewis, working the Brick Books table, Stephen Henighan, Shane Neilson and Paul Vermeersh. I think I want to read at this event next year; maybe with my new poetry collection from Talon?