I Stood There

July 26 2014: 2nd Annual Al Purdy Picnic at the A-Frame…..

It’s the closest I’ve ever managed to get to my literary hero. Standing on his newly built deck outside his home in Ameliasburgh. I’ve never been inside the cabin itself. I figure as a writer, I haven’t earned that right just yet. But thanks to Gerry Fraiberg, who recorded the events that day….I get to see some proof that I was in fact, there.

I was scared – nervous – rusty….I was wearing my Arkells shirt for luck, I was being given 10 minutes to read and I was going to read from my new book called, STEELTOWN FOR MARY. There were camera’s and microphones, a documentary being produced and the whole time I was thinking, I was standing on hallowed literary ground. Before I crossed Al’s driveway, I rubbed some of his gravelled dust onto my shoes. I did the same when leaving

If you’re a writer, this is the place you want to make a pilgrimage to. The same way that if you’re a musician in Canada, you must want to make a trip down the road to the Bathhouse….


My thanks once again to Gerry Fraiberg who brought a portion of my set to light. I cringe a bit at my performance but what the hell….it’s proof. I Stood There. I don’t know if I’ll ever be back to improve upon myself standing on Al’s deck, or if I will ever earn the right to enter his home – but I will be a forever thankful man……for a few hours one summer day…..I stood on Al Purdy ground.

I hope you enjoy the video below:


About Crazy Irishman

Touted as a working man's poet, Martin Durkin has been writing professionally for the last 12 years. He has appeared in over twenty anthologies across North America, including, "And left a place to stand on", a collection of poems and essays about the late great Al Purdy. Durkin has also published two collections of poetry, "Hypnotic Childhood", and "The Sound of Quish". Over the past 4 years, Durkin has been on hiatus for the most part but has recently come back to the poetry scene creating a poetry site called crazyirishman.wordpress.com, where in the past year he has written over 100 poems and created a cross over page on https://www.facebook.com/crazyirishmanpoetry where he gives a story behind each of the pieces written. View all posts by Crazy Irishman

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