Fraser Valley Poets Society

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Archive for June, 2017

O Canada – book launch

Posted by Violet Nesdoly on June 27, 2017

Just in time for Canada Day, the Fraser Valley Poets Society launched their latest anthology, O Canada: Celebrating 150 Years.

Society President Brayden Sawatzky opened the evening by welcoming us and reading his foreword to the book. Editor Alvin Ens and Associate Editor Violet Nesdoly described the 18-month process that brought the volume from idea to completion. Violet, Alvin, Terry, and Ted read poems from the anthology, and Robert Martens concluded the first part of the evening by reading a poem by Erin Fisher (who contributed to the book but died before the book was published).

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Front cover of O Canada; Editor, Alvin Ens; FVPS President Brayden Sawatzky; Associate editor Violet Nesdoly; T.W. Goodrich; Robert Martins; Terry Broadworth (Photos © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

The intermission began with all book contributors posing with the specially designed cake for a photo, followed by the singing of “O Canada.” (Only two contributing poets missed this evening: Erin Fisher and Nicholas Roberts.)

Thirty minutes slipped by quickly as we purchased books, nibbled on Canada Day goodies, shared conversation, or found a quiet corner to get acquainted with this latest joint endeavour.

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Intermission: We gathered for a group photo, then bought books (T.W. Goodrich at the book table), mingled, and munched on cake and treats (Photos © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

The last half of the evening was filled with O Canada contributors reading selections from the book. It was a thrill to hear our founder Donna Bishop read “Halkomelem: The people of the River; The People of the Land.” At 90+ she’s still going strong!

We listened to poems as diverse as the description of a bad dream (“The Ice, the Sea and Me” – Shelley Haggard) to a tongue-in-cheek look at interesting Canadian community names (“Canada: This Place I Call Home’ – Brenda Firth).

Alvin Ens also read several factoids—alerting us to another feature of the book—75+facts about Canadian history, Canadian literary history, and Fraser Valley Poets Society history sprinkled throughout.

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Open mic readers: Donna Bishop, Shelley Haggard, Jody Aubry, Craig Warren, Alexandra Webb, Priscilla Laudon  (Photos © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

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More open mic readers: Satwant Pander, Brenda Firth, Alvin Ens, Michael Linburg, Terry Broadworth, Brayden Sawatzky (Photos © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

O Canada: Celebrating 150 Years is now available for purchase ($20). Want one? Contact T.W. Goodrich.

The Fraser Valley Poets Society will now take a summer break. But plan to join us when we meet again on September 11, 2017 (6:30-8:30, Clearbrook Library, 32320 George Henderson Way, Abbotsford B.C.).

Have a joyful Canada Day and a safe, happy, poetic summer!

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