Apr 192013
 

Back from epic, marathon reading and interview trip to Ontario. Arrived in an ice storm. Gorgeous reading events hosted by Ian Bell (his father was my Grade 11 history teacher) and John B. Lee (multiple publications on NC). NC Contributing Editor Sydney Lea was there and I managed to get a photo of him looking like God at the reading in Highgate. Also my very first book publisher, Marty Gervais. The mix of music (Ian Bell and the amazing Michael Schatte) and literary reading was surprisingly entertaining. People paid money to come. Doing two events back to back with a long car ride in between (with stops to visit memorials for famous forgotten Canadian poets and to cast an eye on John B. Lee’s ancestral farm) made me feel like I was on tour with a troupe of actors.

Sunday, I had brunch with the Jernigans, Kim who used to edit The New Quarterly, and Amanda, the poet, and her husband, the photographer John Haney (both Amanda and John have appeared on NC). This was all the more remarkable since they had not had electricity since Thursday (the ice storm). Then I drove to Waterloo to see Jonah and also Dwight and Kathy Storring (Dwight published a play on NC; their son Nathan has an essay here).

Do you get the impression that there are secret NC cells planted all over (you know, mostly so I can travel without paying for food)?

The photo below was taken by Zach Melnick during the War of 1812 documentary interview he did with me on Thursday in the farmhouse living room.

dg

Pic-007

DG being interviewed at the farm, photo by Zach Melnick

DSCF5999

Sydney Lea reading in Highgate, Saturday evening

Michael Schatte compilation, on tour with us he performed solo

DSCF6014

Possum I found in a den by the pond at the back of the farm

DSCF6020

You can hear the dog whimpering next to me. Notice the feet. I once raised a young opossum, called Snuffy, at first I kept him in a fleece-lined leather glove (approximating a mother’s pouch, I thought). My friend Bruce Hiscock did a drawing which hangs in the house. When he seemed big enough, we let Snuffy go in the woods. My great-grandfather was an amateur poet who called himself “Possum” and kept a stuffed opossum in his store. I published an essay about him in The New Quarterly a couple of years ago. More information than you need, right?

DSCF6024

DSCF6028

First flowers, Coltsfoot

DSCF6032

My father once planted a small field with Scotch pine to sell as Christmas trees. As he once observed, they kind of got away from him.

DSCF6040

Daffodils in the woods. There are patches all through the woods, planted by DG’s mother.

DSCF6048

The farm buildings from the east.

DSCF6058

Dog

DSCF6069

DSCF6080

Dog investigating possum den

DSCF6087

Coltsfoot

DSCF6094

Geese by the pond

DSCF6103

Laneway. To the right, a spruce windbreak. To the left, a field of oak and white pine planted over 15 years ago for eventual harvest.

  4 Responses to “Out and Back: DG’s Odyssey in the Great White North”

  1. Great photos! Seeing life bloom up North evokes hope – here in the Boston area we are praying for life to re-bloom soon.

  2. Wonderful show-and-tell, Doug!

  3. Love the pictures and the possum video, Doug (and the Possum story). Beautiful awakening land.

Leave a Reply