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Brain Injury Support Meetings

If you or someone you know is a brain injury survivor then Brain Injury Support Meetings are for you [ ... ]

Stretching the season

The Canadian Safe Boating Council would like boaters to enjoy all that fall boating has to offer but [ ... ]

Absurdity, Woe Is Me, Glory Be

J. J. Steinfeld

Absurdity, Woe Is Me, Glory Be—J. J. SteinfeldFiction writer, poet, and playwright J. J. Steinfeld’s latest poetry collection, Absurdity, Woe Is Me, Glory Be, has been recently published by Guernica Editions. The one hundred poems of this new collection confront, grapple with, explore, argue with, and ultimately embrace the human condition as they hover between what the author sees as the absurd and the existential elements of life, wending their way through the worldly and otherworldly aspects of existence, the ordinary and the extraordinary spheres of being. These poems ask questions of what it means to live in this world, to flee from it, to return to its emotional gravity. Absurdity, Woe Is Me, Glory Be deals with themes of love and creativity and madness, attempts to make sense out of senseless. These poems ask the reader to join the writer in states of being and worlds hovering between the absurd and the existential.

Picture J. J. Steinfeld walking down a busy street. He carries a book in each hand; one is maybe a prayer book and the other a book of jokes. What he expects in this neighbourhood is mostly bad news. A small crowd listens while the poet defines the nature of irony. He says “I thought that Heaven would be so much different.”

“The poems are best when the knife cuts closest.”—David Helwig, PEI Poet Laureate (2008-2009), author of The Year One and Keeping Late Hours

“The subtitle, One Hundred Poems Hovering Between the Absurd and the Existential, to J. J. Steinfeld’s new poetry collection is the key to unlock the world view the poems embody: woe and glory. Side by side are sorrow and exaltation, fear and laugher, and, above all, there is the astonishing intelligence of this high-energy poet who holds onto childlike wonder and awe of life while conducting a scintillating and profound existential dialogue with the reader. Buckle up.”—Deirdre Kessler, PEI Poet Laureate (2016-2018), author of Afternoon Horses and Mother Country

“Once more, J.J. Steinfeld stretches the boundaries of the absurd and the existential, hoping to wake us up to the absurdities of the modern world. These poems achieve an intriguing alchemy between the ordinary and the extraordinary, the strange and the chilling.”—Mark Sampson, author of Weathervane and The Slip

Fiction writer, poet, and playwright J. J. Steinfeld lives in Charlottetown, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published eighteen books: two novels, Our Hero in the Cradle of Confederation and Word Burials, twelve short story collections —The Apostate’s Tattoo, Forms of Captivity and Escape, Unmapped Dreams, The Miraculous Hand and Other Stories, Dancing at the Club Holocaust, Disturbing Identities, Should the Word Hell Be Capitalized?, Anton Chekhov Was Never in Charlottetown, Would You Hide Me?, A Glass Shard and Memory, Madhouses in Heaven, Castles in Hell, and An Unauthorized Biography of Being—and four poetry collections, An Affection for Precipices, Misshapenness, Identity Dreams and Memory Sounds, and Absurdity, Woe Is Me, Glory Be. More than 400 of his short stories and 800 poems have appeared in anthologies and periodicals, at least one piece in every Canadian province and internationally in eighteen countries, and over fifty of his one-act plays and a handful of full-length plays have been performed in Canada and the United States.

J. J. Steinfeld: Essays on His Works

Sandra Singer editor

J. J. Steinfeld: Essays  on His Works—Sandra Singer editorGuernica Editions has published a book dealing with the writing of author J. J. Steinfeld. Compiled and edited by Sandra Singer, J. J. Steinfeld: Essays on His Works is a critical look at PEI writer J. J. Steinfeld’s extensive and prolific writings in poetry, fiction and theatre, ranging from early work on post-Holocaust themes to later examinations of absurdity and existentialism. Among the essay contributors to this collection, which also contains a wide-ranging interview with J. J. Steinfeld, are Raina L. Shults, Michael Greenstein, Richard Lemm, Mark Sampson, Ellen S. Jaffe, George Elliott Clarke, Sandra Singer and Shane Neilson.

From the essays:

[Our Hero in the Cradle of Confederation] captures the “laissez fair” spirit of our times where, as metaphoric Islander, one may cast an ironic, critical gaze, smell disparity and hypocrisy, and feel desperation within the Island’s shores and ideological tides, yet retain “hope” and aspire to “fight back.”—Richard Lemm

Oscillating between the chronotopes of World War II and contemporary North America, [Steinfeld’s] narratives form intriguing circuits of connection and disconnection […]. Steinfeld’s conversation with Kafka accords with the view that history’s clocks are not in unison and that their worlds split apart and clash in fearful asymmetry.

—Michael Greenstein

Bad Bad Boys: Small Tales of Big Adventures

Dale Small

Bad Bad Boys Small Tales of Big Adventures—Dale SmallDale Small has written a new book called Bad Bad Boys: Small Tales of Big Adventures. It’s a book/memoir of stories published by Tangle Lane Press. Foreword is by Island author and publisher David Weale.

This “disclaimer” by Dale Small on the back cover provides a good foretaste of what you will find in his book:

“Within this collection of tales are persons whose names are real. On the other hand, there are others whose names have been changed to protect friends and innocents. Still others have been changed to protect me from those who are 1. Prudes; 2 Humour challenged; 3. Overly sensitive; 4. Litigious; 5. Super sanctimonious; 6. Hypocrites; and other assorted kill-joys who may choose to annoy me in my old age. No offense intended. DS”

The Devil is Smooth Like Honey

Mima

The Devil is Smooth Like Honey—MimaThe Canadian author known as Mima (PEI’s Michelle Arsenault) has recently published her eighth book, The Devil is Smooth Like Honey, the sequel to Always be a Wolf.

El narco. A monster. Un diablo. Jorge Hernandez had been called many things and it always made him laugh. If there was one word that could be used to describe him, it would be untouchable. Corrupt politicians, succumbing to his charming disposition, had contributed to Jorge’s success, but it was often the underlying threats behind his handsome smile that sealed the deal. He was unstoppable.

In Paige Noël, he met his match. A woman who was as dangerous and sadistic as she was soft and gentle, the last thing he expected was to propose after an explosive first meeting, but the intense fire between them was as addictive as the thrill of violence and power.

When some of his personal enemies turn up dead, Jorge shuffles his daughter into a Canadian school, deciding that things are getting a little too hot in Mexico; but does life ever slow down in this dark, underground world? The devil is smooth like honey but is heaven ever far away?

www.mimaonfire.com

The Island Magazine Number 81

Spring/Summer 2017

The Island Magazine Number 81, Spring/Summer 2017 is available. Articles in this issue are: Promise and Disappointment: Princetown’s Failure as a County Town by Earle Lockerby; “All Had a Pretty Good Night”: A Teenager’s Diary in 1933/”Tout le monde a passé une belle soirée”: Journal d’une adolescente en 1933 by Georges Arsenault; Come From Away: The Natural History of Lupins on PEI by Karen Samis and Boyde Beck; Provenance Being Our Guide: Introducing Caroline Louisa Daly, Victorian Artist by Paige Matthie and Leviathans by Edward MacDonald. Cover illustration is by Caroline Louisa Daly. The Magazine is a semi-annual publication of the human and natural heritage of PEI published by PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation. It’s available at Beaconsfield, Charlottetown and at local book stores. This issue is dedicated to the memory of E. Boyde Beck, editor of the magazine from 1997-2017.

The Communities of Lot 16: 200 Years of Our History

Donna Lyle

The Communities of Lot 16: Two Hundred Years of Our History—Donna Lyle

The Communities of Lot 16: Two Hundred Years of Our History, is written by Donna Lyle, on behalf of the Lot 16 Seniors History Committee. The new book is 224 pages and features over 200 archival photos, collected by committee members from their own photo albums, and albums of their neighbours. In addition to historical information on the area’s schools, businesses, churches, transportation, and more, each property in Lot 16 is detailed from its origins to the current day.

Blood and Stars

Jaime Lee Mann

Blood and Stars—Jaime Lee MannBlood and Stars, the fifth novel in Jaime Lee Mann’s popular Legend of Rhyme series for middle grade readers, launches on September 23 with a book signing at Indigo Charlottetown from 1 to 3 pm.

Several years ago, PEI author Jaime Lee Mann started writing down the bedtime stories she told her daughters when she realized they couldn’t get enough of the tales. Now she is preparing for the release of the fifth title in the popular Legend of Rhyme series, Blood and Stars.

This magical tale picks up right where the last instalment, Second Twin, left off, and it like previous books in the series, it is filled with mermaids, unicorns, goblins, witches, and several special sets of twins. To fully enjoy the Legend of Rhyme series, Jaime Lee encourages new readers to begin with the first book in the series, Elora of Stone, before moving on to Into Coraira, Teagan of Tomorrow, and Second Twin.

Blood and Stars is published by Blue Moon Publishers and marketed by DigiWriting, both firms based in Toronto. For information visit BlueMoonPublishers.comJaimeLeeMann.com

Historic Furniture of Prince Edward Island

James W. Macnutt
Photography by Maurice Roy

Historic Furniture of Prince Edward Island—James W. Macnutt, Photography by Maurice RoyThe Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation has announced the publication of Historic Furniture of Prince Edward Island, the first comprehensive survey of Prince Edward Island historic furniture. Clearly written by James W. Macnutt and beautifully illustrated by Maurice Roy with over 750 color photos, this rich volume describes and analyzes a wide range of Island-made and imported furniture covering over 200 years of Island history. Historic Furniture of Prince Edward Island, which will be available in early September, is a hard cover, 352-page book. Contact 902-368-6603 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information or pre-orders.

Cod Only Knows

Hilary MacLeod

Cod Only Knows—Hilary MacLeodAuthor Hilary MacLeod’s Cod Only Knows is the sixth book in The Shores murder mystery series, from Island publisher The Acorn Press. The books are set in a small fishing village in PEI, inspired by Sea View, MacLeod’s summer home for the past 27 years. The series began in 2010 with Revenge of the Lobster Lover. It won a CBC Bookie Award the following year for Best Mystery, and was followed by Mind Over Mussels, All is Clam, Something Fishy, and Bodies and Sole.

“The Shores series is as much about people and place as about plot. The same characters inhabit the stories book after book,” says MacLeod. There’s Gus Mack, the octogenarian quilter, who sees everything that goes on in the village from her kitchen window. Hy McAllister is the “come-from-away” would-be sleuth who’s clumsy with corpses. “She trips on them, throws up on them and stumbles across them constantly,” MacLeod says. And Jane Jamieson, is the by-the-book cop, who’s transforming into a maverick under the influence of the sea air, rural beauty and eccentricity of The Shores.

In this latest Shores book, Cod Only Knows, ninety-year-old Abel Mack has gone fishin’—and gone missing. He’s been after a giant codfish that trails murder and mayhem in its wake. Mountie Jane Jamieson suspects he may be dead—by foul play or exposure. His wife Gus insists he’s alive and sure to return. But does Abel even exist outside Gus’s memory or imagination? 

On September 2 the author will attend a Meet and Greet signing at Indigo in Charlottetown from 1 to 3 pm.

Blue Waiting

Sean Wiebe, Celeste Snowber

Blue Waiting—Sean Wiebe, Celeste SnowberBlue Waiting is a new collection of poems from Charlottetown poet Sean Wiebe and West Coast poet Celeste Snowber. The poets say that Blue Waiting has been formed through the geography of living. This geography takes shape in the edges of islands, mountains, families, and most of all the terrain of the inner life. In two voices, it explores many issues facing the coasts from both a male and female perspective.

Performer and author Patrick Ledwell says “There’s a time in Island summer when salt water reaches body temperature. Stepping into the work of these two poets is a reflective immersion in similar currents. The writing is beautifully poised on moments when clear boundaries between self and world let slip, and admit again the onrush of magic.”

Sean Wiebe lives in Charlottetown and is an associate professor of education at the University of Prince Edward Island. Since the inception of the International Symposium on Poetic Inquiry, he has been an integral part of the poetic inquiry community. He is the co-editor of Resonance: Poetic Inquiries of Reflection and Renewal (2016, in press), and was the co-editor of “Poetic Inquiry in/for/as,” a special issue of in education, 2014. He has been the principal investigator on four Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council funded projects investigating the digital economy and new literacies. His current grant, based on findings generated from multiple sites across Canada, investigates how establishing a creative ethos in schools might support teachers as contributors to Canada’s creative economy.

Celeste Snowber is a dancer, writer, poet and educator, who is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. Her essays and poetry have been published in ournals and chapters in books and she is the author of Embodied Prayer and co-author of Landscapes in Aesthetic Education. Her most recent collection of poetry is Wild Tourist and her book, Embodied Inquiry: Writing, Living and Being through the Body was released in 2016. She is recipient of the 2016 Ted T. Aoki Award for Distinguished Service in Canadian Curriculum Studies. Celeste continues to create/perform site-specific work in connection to the natural world and is presently the Artist in Residence in the UBC Botanical Garden.

Sean Wiebe will launch Blue Waiting at the UPEI Faculty Lounge on September 22 at 6:30 pm. All are welcome to attend.

Events Calendar

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Some Upcoming Events

The Children Act

September 27–October 4
City Cinema PG, language warning
Dir: Richard Eyre, UK, 105 min. Emma Thomps [ ... ]

Tétreault & Scarfone

Classical cello and piano September 23
Harbourfront Theatre Stéphane Tétreault, cello, and Marie- [ ... ]

Forage PEI

First annual food industry symposium in Charlottetown October 18 & 19
Various locations A new a [ ... ]

Recent News & Articles

Drawing the line

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

Free transportation at Cloggeroo

The provincial government will sponsor free transportation at this year’s Cloggeroo festival to he [ ... ]

Charlottetown’s Historic Squares exhibit...

The City of Charlottetown Planning and Heritage Department has created an exhibit exploring the hist [ ... ]