November 6, 2006
At the Gordon Best Theatre, 216 Hunter Street, W., 8:00pm
A recipient of The LaPointe Prize for poetry, double-winner of The People's Political Poem contest, and runner-up in the Surrey International Writers Conference Contest, Lea Harper is the author of two collections of poems, All That Saves Us (Black Moss Press, 1998), Shadow Crossing (Black Moss Press, 2000) and a chapbook, Unclaimed Baggage (Littlefishcart Press, 2005)
Ms. Harper’s poems have been widely published in literary journals in Canada, U.S. and the UK. She has received grants from the Ontario Arts Council and The Canada Council for both music and poetry. Her songs have received a Juno nomination and won a Canadian Reggae Award. As a journalist, her articles and essays have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines. She lives and writes on a lake in the Haliburton Highlands, north of Toronto.
Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Catherine Jenkins spent much of her childhood travelling in Europe, eventually settling in Peterborough, Ontario. Catherine holds an Honours B.A. in Philosophy and Cultural Studies, as well as an M.A. in Methodologies for the Study of Western Culture and History, both from Trent University in Peterborough. After living and working in Peterborough, Ottawa, and a cabin in the woods, she moved to Toronto in 1996. She currently live in the Annex neighbourhood.
Her poetry has been published in numerous journals in Canada and the UK. As well as her first collection of poetry, blood, love & boomerangs and my novel Swimming in the Ocean both from Insomniac Press. She's also written a screenplay entitled Pairs & Artichoke Hearts and a book of photos and text entitled Charlie & Moon & Skye & I. Right now she's compiling a second collection of poetry and working on her second novel.
She also runs a freelance editing business as Solidus Communications and a series of creative writing workshops.
"I’ve worked on and off as a picture researcher for non-fiction books," says K.I. Press, "during which time I looked at an awful lot of archival photographs. A few years ago I came across a book called Types of Canadian Women, Volume I, a 1903 illustrated biographical dictionary of society women – artists, nurses, missionaries, activists and philanthropists, as well as plenty of women whose claim to fame was being rich or titled – who were more or less Canadian. The pictures grabbed me first, but the biographies drew me in. They were so boring, yet there were phrases that suggested what wasn’t being told. Some of these women had been to war zones or lived through rebellions or performed heroic feats that were alluded to in a single phrase. What if, I thought, their biographies told just the good parts? I looked for the book’s promised Volume II to no avail, instead finding a librarian’s note in the catalogue: ‘Volume II never published?’ I knew I had to write it."
Written as a fantasia of archetypes, Press’s collection takes a jab at the notions of archetypes and gendered behaviour, and at the patronizing undertones that coloured the original. Illustrated with archival photos, this collection of prose and poetry is an album devoted to a more ambiguously female experience of Canada, stretched across several lives, the poet’s eye opening in a different life and the same life with each turn of the page.
With subtle misunderstandings, quiet subversions and all-out rebellions, Types of Canadian Women, Volume II uncovers the psychological knots that once and still snag female ambition and relationships. Using the turn-of-the-century occupations and preoccupations that shaped the original collection, Press illuminates her portraits of farming, pioneering, politics, writing, painting, acting, athletics, childbirth, homemaking, religion, education, romance and psychosis with fantastical and symbolic elements to create a series of narratives that slip almost imperceptibly from reality into imagination and back again.
KI Press appears courtesy Gaspereau Press.
Since the emergence of his first collection in 1982, John Terpstra has gained recognition as a poet of great precision, compassion and attentiveness. With a fascination for geology, family, heritage, community and faith, he has trained his eye variously on his Hamilton neighbourhood, his Dutch background, the joys and peculiarities of marriage and parenting, as well as on issues of environmental degradation, local economy, security, society and questions of hope. This collection, Two or Three Guitars: Selected Poems from Gaspereau Press, brings together highlights from each of Terpstra’s full-length publications, from Scrabbling for Repose (1982) to Disarmament (2003).
Terpstra’s poetry has always posited a candid, congenial mix of whimsy and contemplation; an extended project of giving history, and institutions like the future and the church, a place in the everyday. With a concern for the specifics of experience, and particularly shared experience, he possesses a remarkable talent for synthesizing the accumulation that lurks behind every interaction.
John Terpstra has published seven books of poetry, including the GG-nominated Disarmament (2003) and the Bressani Award-winning Forty Days & Forty Nights (1987). He is also an acclaimed prose author. Falling Into Place (2002) is his creative investigation of the Iroquois Bar, the geologic formation that supports one of Canada’s busiest transportation corridors. Most recently he has published The Boys: Or Waiting For the Electrician’s Daughter (2005), honouring the lives of his wife’s three brothers, each of whom lived with muscular dystrophy until their early twenties. The book was shortlisted for the prestigious Charles Taylor Prize and the BC Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. John Terpstra lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where he works as a writer and cabinetmaker.
John Terpstra appears courtesy Gaspereau Press.