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Island A Cappella chorus

Island A Cappella, PEI’s only female chorus singing four part-harmony in the barbershop style, is  [ ... ]

AVC open house

The Atlantic Veterinary College's 30th annual Open House will take place September 29 from 10 am–2 [ ... ]

The Ballad of Billie Potts

Robert Penn Warren
Illustrated by P. John Burden

The Ballad of Billie Potts—Robert Penn WarrenOne of the most significant early works of Robert Penn Warren (1905-1989)—the American writer and literary critic who is the only person to have won Pulitzer Prizes in both fiction and poetry—The Ballad of Billie Potts has, in the decades since it was released in Warren’s 1943 volume Selected Poems, proven far more universal than its setting of the “land between the rivers” (a marshy, dense, almost primeval bottomland between the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers in western Kentucky) might suggest.

Inspired by the folk tales of Warren’s native state The Ballad of Billie Potts is, on its face, a simple, if unsettling, story: A murderous innkeeper, named Billie Potts, and his wife have a son—Little Billie—whom they both adore. In an attempt to impress his parents, Little Billie attempts to rob and kill a passing traveller… but, in his fumbling inexperience, botches the job and returns home in humiliation. In anger, his father turns him away to make his fortune on his own. Years later, having prospered out West, Little Billie returns to the land between rivers—only to be killed for a bag of gold by his own parents, who mistook him for a wealthy traveller before realizing, through an identifying birthmark, that they have killed the only person they ever loved.

Bunim & Bannigan, Ltd. has released a new edition of The Ballad of Billie Potts featuring a new introduction from John Burt and illustrations by Prince Edward Island illustrator P. John Burden.

Verbatim: A Novel

Jeff Bursey

Verbatim: A Novel—Jeff BurseyVerbivoracious Press is bringing out, as part of its Reprint Series, Island author Jeff Bursey’s biting satire Verbatim: A Novel, originally published in 2010 by Enfield & Wizenty. It’s based on Bursey’s experience working in the 1990s in the Newfoundland and Labrador Hansard, the division in legislative assemblies that transcribes and publishes legislative debates. This paperback edition contains critical assessments: a Preface by Dr. Sascha Pöhlmann and an Afterword by Dr. David Hallett.

The blurbs for the new edition give a good idea of what a reader can expect. Noted American novelist Larry Fondation says: “The present state of politics across the globe is unsettled and unsettling; now is no better time to re-issue Jeff Bursey’s terrific Verbatim: A Novel. In this Hansard-styled parody, Bursey portrays political paralysis and bitter backstabbing. An imaginary transcription of parliamentary proceedings demonstrates the pettiness and nastiness of elected officials and bureaucrats alike. Verbatim: A Novel is simultaneously top-flight satire and emotionally affecting, deploying an experimental form propelling the story forward and keeping the reader engaged. Verbatim: A Novel is an outstanding and timely read.”

Verbatim: A Novel is available from Bookmark and other booksellers, online, and from the publisher by writing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Stand-In

David Helwig

The Stand-In—David HelwigA new novella, The Stand-In, by David Helwig, has been recently published by Biblioasis.

A retired academic is called to a remote university to speak as the replacement for an old friend recently deceased in unusual circumstances. The Stand-In is a transcript of these lectures, revealing a sophisticated tale of art, fame, and adultery that unfolds through rambling anecdotes and flashes of scholarly grandstanding.

“[Helwig’s fiction is] moody, suspenseful and very well-written.”—The New York Times

David Helwig is the author of fifty volumes of poetry and prose, a Member of the Order of Canada, and former poet laureate of Prince Edward Island, where he now resides.

Some Weather We’re Having!

The 2018 PEI weather trivia calendar
UPEI Climate Research Lab

Some Weather We’re Having! The 2018 PEI weather trivia calendar—UPEI Climate Research LabUPEI’s Climate Research Lab has launched the 2018 edition of its PEI weather trivia calendar. Some Weather We’re Having! is available at The Bookmark in the Confederation Court Mall, Murphy’s Pharmacies in the Charlottetown area, or at the UPEI Climate Research Lab on campus.

Co-authored by Don Jardine and Dr. Adam Fenech, the weather trivia calendar is filled with 365 stories about real local weather events from across the Island over the past 250 years and their impact on the everyday lives of Islanders.

“There are so many stories in there,” said Jardine, climate station manager. “There are some sad ones and some funny ones. This year we have a focus on extreme rainfall events and on storms in the Greenwich area.”

“Because of the nature of the Island and the way that we live, we’re very affected by weather. Sometimes it keeps us at home or away from school, and sometimes it drags us to the beaches because it’s so nice,” said Dr. Fenech, director of the lab. “But the weather really controls a lot of what we do and who we are. We say in our calendar ‘Our weather is our story.’ It’s the stories around the weather that are so intriguing.”

The calendar features 365 stories of PEI weather trivia, 12 full-colour PEI weather photographs, stories of PEI as told by our weather, information about Island extreme rainfall events and a history of storm events in the Greenwich area.

A Classical Concert at Carnegie Hall

Carl McNally
Illustrated by Duncan Brooks

A Classical Concert at Carnegie Hall—Carl McNallyCarl McNally has self-published a book entitled A Classical Concert at Carnegie Hall. The small book is illustrated by Duncan Brooks. Carl hopes that both children and adults will enjoy this picture book.

This is no ordinary concert. The instruments in the orchestra include violin, banjo, spoons, harp drums, bells, guitar, trombone, clarinet, steel guitar and electric piano. As Carl says, “What a heck of a din!” And the musicians may not have classical training as they are insects, birds, animals, children, and teenagers. The spotlight turns on them “And the world goes round and round.”

The book is available at the Bookman and from Carl McNally.

The Turnip Tune Up

Kathy Birt
Illustrated by Duncan Brooks

The Turnip Tune Up—Kathy BirtThe Turnip Tune Up, a children’s book aimed at ages 2 and 5 years, is being launched at the Confederation Centre Library in Charlottetown on February 3 at 2 pm.

With ten books to her credit, including a novel, Island author Kathy Birt says she had no plans to do a children’s book until she read a rhyming poem about the turnip to her writers’ group. “TWiG (The Writer’s in Group) members were enthusiastic about the poem and agreed that it would make a great children’s book with the right illustrations,” said the author.

She had no problem finding the right person to do the illustrations. Fellow writer and children’s author Carl McNally had his children’s book illustrated by Duncan Brooks and Birt liked the entire book so much she gained permission to copy the book design from McNally and utilized the talents of Brooks to get just the right illustrations. Birt called upon Kelly Gray, who is studying graphic design at Holland College, to design and complete the book.

Doing a book about eating turnip for Birt was essential at some point in her life. “I wrote the rhyming poem about turnip back in the late 90s at a time when I was interviewing turnip growers. I simply stored it in my Word files with many other pieces of work.

“Pulling it out in 2015 was simply to provide something to read at my weekly meeting with TWiG. But as I read this poem over and over to myself, the notion of using it in a children’s book took form.”

“My plan is a little unusual. I’m rewarding each child who buys a book on the day of the launch, with a turnip, donated by Brookfield Gardens.”

Memories Birt has about turnips include the making Jack-o-lanterns from them in the 1950s for school Halloween parties. Purchase the book to find out more interesting things about turnips.

#BeccaToldMeTo

Spreading kindness, one hashtag at a time
Jason Tremere

#BeccaToldMeTo—Jason TremereRiverview, NB teenager Rebecca Schofield was recently named "Newsmaker of the Year" for 2017 as a result of her goodwill, bravery, and poise in the face of adversity. 

At 17, she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in December 2016 and asked friends and family on Facebook to perform acts of kindness in her honour and tag them on social media with the hashtag #BeccaToldMeTo.

Since that time, the hashtag has spread throughout Canada and the US and made it's way into many other countries worldwide. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has recognized her, "inspiring commitment to community" and local politicians unanimously declared the 3rd Saturday of every September in New Brunswick, "Rebecca Schofield Day."

Becca's Facebook group currently has over 19,000 members and acts of kindness are shared there on a daily basis. The scope of the movement is hard to see without stepping back and seeing the scale of what is happening in there. That's what author Jason Tremere has done by compiling and editing posts from the first 10 weeks of the movement in a new book.

Jason Tremere was born and raised in Charlottetown and later settled in nearby Moncton, NB to raise his family. Early in 2017, he became friends with Rebecca Schofield's father Darren and offered to help create a fundraising book chronicling the many heartwarming acts of kindness. Through over 1,000 acts of kindness big and small, he hopes these stories will spread her message and inspire others to spread good into the world.

The paperback, published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform is currently available on Amazon.ca.

The author is currently planning an in-store book signing in January at Indigo Charlottetown. Net proceeds from book sales are being returned to the Schofield family and this book was created with their full participation. 

Info: Jason Tremere, jasontremere.com/beccatoldmeto-bookThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 506-862-0106

On Five Dollars A Day

An Innocent Abroad in Europe Summer 1965
James W. Macnutt, Q.C.

On Five Dollars A Day: An Innocent Abroad in Europe Summer 1965—James W. Macnutt, Q.C.Austin MacAuley Publishers™ have recently published a novel by James MacNutt entitled On Five Dollars A Day: An Innocent Abroad in Europe Summer 1965.

…”In the mid-1960s there was a concerted effort by governments on both sides of the Atlantic to encourage international students to travel around Europe. It was deemed a matter of great importinace for the young of the New World to see at first ahnd this great concinent, whose millennia-old civilisation had in the previous fift years been battered by two titanic traumas in the shape of the world wars. …,” says Macnutt.

“As a result, young Americans and Canadians—and for that matter, australians and New Zealanders—arriving in Europe could expect deeply discounted prices on account of their student status. More signigicantly, perhaps, they could also benefit from the book that had become a sort of bible for cash-straped travellers: Arthur Frommer’s Europe on 5 Dollars a Day.”

James MacNutt was one of those students. This book is closely based on that first visit that he made to the continent.

In the summer of 1965, Will MacIntosh, a naive but highly inquisitive twenty-two year-old from Canada, embarks on a life-changing excursion through Europe. Arriving there, he finds the trauma of the Second World War still fresh on every street and in every person’s mind.

While his high-minded purpose is to investigate the political complexities of the region and envelop himself in its cultural treasures, Will find himseld drawn to more earthly pursuits—usually alcoholic, but occasionally amorous in nature. Amongst his many adventures, Will is mysteriously spied on in Denmark, tries to discuss politics with some very polite Neo-Nazis in Lübeck, is menaced by East German guards at Checkpoint Charlie, inadvertently joins a deadly demonstration in Athens and is mistaken for the devil in Crete.

Tempering Will’s youthful insights and enthusiasms with its author’s more measured view of the world, On Five Dollars a Day is a snapshot of one man’s interactions with people and places all over Europe. It provides a record of the continent at a particularly critical moment in its history.

James Macnutt has been a practising lawyer for almost 50 years and is a Queen's Counsel. He has visited over 70 countries, some several times, which has enabled him to research and inform his writing. His previous books shared the theme of the description and interpretation of aspects of the history and heritage of Prince Edward Island. While heavily indebted to Macnutt’s visit to Europe in 1965, On Five Dollars A Day is his first foray into fiction.

Auracle

Dawn Mossman

Auracle—Dawn MossmanDawn Mossman is releasing her first young adult novel, Auracle, in January.

Auracle is set in small town Atlantic Canada. It follows one teenage girl as she explores the concept of self through some basic laws of science and her own notions on spirituality.

The biggest things on the minds of most grade 9 girls are the semi-formal and beginning high school next year. Violet and her two best friends are not like most of the girls in their sleepy town. Violet sets off on a spiritual journey with the help of vivid dreams, an unexpected friend, her deceased grandmother and some mentors from another dimension. She begins to see the aura colors of those around her, and comes to realize that everyone is not who they appear to be and nothing in her life or hometown is black and white anymore.

Of the new book Dawn says, “The premise is that everyone is represented by a colour, their aura colour. I named the main seven characters after the colours they represent. The theory is that if everyone on our planet comes together, it will be the equivalent of the spectrum of light coming together to form the colour white…I am not saying it will be heaven but…“

Dawn was born in Montague and raised in Souris. She has been living in Halifax since graduating from college.

Rock Coach

A Practical Guide for Teaching Rock Bands in Schools
Steve Giddings

Rock Coach: A Practical Guide for Teaching Rock Bands in Schools—Steve GiddingsRock Coach: A Practical Guide for Teaching Rock Bands in Schools, by Steve Giddings, is designed with the classically trained school music teacher in mind. It encourages teachers to develop the skill-set to teach a rock group at their school.

This book is designed to guide the teacher through tried-and-true best practices for starting a rock band at their school from the first audition to the final concert and gives them the practical skills they need to become a successful rock coach. Topics include the basics of playing each rock band instrument; how rock music is traditionally learned and transmitted; the by-ear-learning process; the step-by-step process of forming a classroom or extracurricular rock ensemble. It applies to all levels of rock music learning.

There will be a book launch jam on January 20 from 5 to 9 pm at Upstreet Craft Brewery, Charlottetown.

Events Calendar

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Some Upcoming Events

DMayne Event returns

With guests Jerry–Faye, Jamie Comeau and the Crooked Teeth, and Math Class October 12 at Spo [ ... ]

Confederation Centre: Art Gallery exhibi...

Daily
Confederation Centre Art Gallery Places, Paths, and Pauses Marlene Creates Running until Sep [ ... ]

Memorial concert

Kelley Mooney to headline The Nathan Condon Memorial Concert for Suicide Prevention October 5
Trinit [ ... ]

Recent News & Articles

Drawing the line

Profile: Sandy Carruthers by Jane Ledwell Retired for a year now after twenty-five years teaching  [ ... ]

Filmworks Summerside

Film series is back for 7th season Filmworks Summerside opens for their 7th season on September 12  [ ... ]

An Island wish

On August 23, 4 year old Cooper Coughlin will arrive on Prince Edward Island soil for a once in a li [ ... ]