SteelTown for Mary, Memoirs From a Dick: Why April 21 Was Chosen as a Release Date…..
So…..you have chosen April 21, 2014……as your release date for SteelTown for Mary, Memoirs from a Dick. Is there a particular reason for that date?
Yes. The Canadian League of Poets have chosen April 21 as National Al Purdy Day. So I thought what better way to tip the hat towards one of the poets I admire most, than by releasing this book on April 21.
This isn’t the first time, you have ‘tipped your hat’ towards Purdy.
No, and it won’t be the last time either. For me, he’s someone whose name should stay in circulation for as long as there is poetry being written.
You have said that your previous book was filled with direct connections to him. Readers can learn more about that here: https://crazyirishman.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/directors-cut-steeltown-interview/
And you have published several pieces about the man over the years while finding your own voice. Your most recent piece being: https://crazyirishman.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/at-the-a-frame/
Is there anything in this latest book that is in reference to the poet you so admire?
Directly? No, This book is completely new territory for me as a writer. It has been called a love letter to Hamilton Ontario, and really, that’s exactly what I was shooting for. Purdy most certainly taught me a great deal, and I hope those who read this book will see the lessons learned while at the same time enjoying something very different and original.
Did you ever meet the man?
No. Someone in the business gave me a phone number to Eurithe and a mailing address many years ago when I published my first book. I worked up the courage at some point to mail the book to her and I did call the number and spoke into a message machine. After many weeks and while I was out of the house, Eurithe actually called me back to say she read the book and thought 1 or 2 of the pieces showed promise.
Very cool! Have you met Eurithe since?
Yeah, I was blown away. The book was raw but to hear her voice gave me hope to keep pushing forward.
I did meet her in 2013 at a Rednersville show where my future editor for this book, Richard Turtle, was presenting a play. Richard Turtle presented David Carley’s one-man play ‘Al Purdy at the Quinte Hotel’ at the Active Arts Studio. I consider that day a pivotal point in my career, as it introduced me to many people in the local poetry and Al Purdy world, who have since been great advocates of my work and this new book.
I was invited to read between showings, and Eurithe was in attendance to see the play. I met her briefly at the back and was so shy, I could barely say more than, hello, when I shook her hand. I wanted to thank her for her phone call many years ago but lost the nerve and she was escorted into the church. I highly doubt she would remember leaving the message, but just the chance to shake her hand was enough for me at the time.
If you could have met Al back in the day, what would you have said?
Wanna a beer? I don’t know, depends on what the setting could have been. But I guess, just that, ‘wanna a beer?’………………
SteelTown for Mary, Memoirs from a Dick will be released April 21, 2014. For updates on where and how to purchase the book, simply click on either of the 2 links provided and Follow for all updates!