On Friday at 7 p.m., three capable writers will entertain you with readings from their latest works at the Slocan Community Library.
Ernest Hekkanen will present imaginative stories from False Memories and Other Likely Tales; Sean Arthur Joyce (a.k.a. Art Joyce), will again visit the library, this time to launch his new book of poetry entitled The Price of Transcendence; and Owain Nicholson, recent recipient of the Banff Centre Bliss Carman Prize for Poetry, will introduce his work.
Nicholson is a poet from Winnipeg and the West Kootenay. He is a recent graduate of the University of Victoria in both creative writing and anthropology. As a working archaeologist in the oilsands boreal forest, his poems often explore people, our histories, the dig site, and how we choose to interact with nature.
His work has appeared in Planet Earth Poetry’s recent anthology Poems from Planet Earth, as well as in Prairie Fire, a Canadian literary magazine of new writing. He won their Bliss Carman Award in 2014, and placed second in the same competition in 2013. On Sept. 26, 2014, Nicholson was presented with a jeweller-cast replica of poet Bliss Carman’s ring at the Poetry Bash of Thin Air 2014. He will be returning to the Slocan Valley fresh from his recent travels.
You will also meet Ernest Hekkanen from Nelson, a most prolific writer and publisher of all kinds of work. Along with so many other skills and achievements, Hekkanen is editor-in-chief of The New Orphic Review, an independent literary magazine, and has published 47 books. Listen to this description of his latest book of tales that ‘unfold in the landscape of his youth’: “All the stories in False Memories and Other Likely Tales are fundamentally true, although the author’s reconstructions are as inventive as the imagination will allow, or so he would have us believe.”
Hekkanen freely admits “Life colours our memories, and in the end, the colouring is what we remember best.”
A year ago, Sean Arthur Joyce included the Slocan library in the tour to launch his successful non-fiction book, Laying the Children’s Ghosts to Rest: Canada’s Home Children in the West. He returns now with a book of poetry released in April, in time for National Poetry Month. It was published by Hekkanen’s New Orphic Publishers of Nelson, and was edited by Tom Wayman (another friend of the library), who calls it “a first-rate collection.”
Several poems have been featured in The New Orphic Review. Hekkanen writes of The Price of Transcendence: “This elegant collection of poems left me feeling sweetly melancholic. I was touched.”
In it, Joyce draws on his close interactions with birds and other animals that share this planet with us. “When we see them as individuals with their own lives and communities, rather than a disposable commodity, we are on a potential path to ‘transcendence’ beyond our limiting tendency to see humans as the centre of the universe.”
Each writer will be featured for about 20 minutes, followed by time for questions. The library is located at 710 Harold St. across from the Harold Street Cafe, and operated completely by volunteers.