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Al Purdy Picnic

Al Purdy once referred to the doorknob of his A-Frame cottage as “a handle I hold onto the sky with” and that spirit and sensibility again manifested itself at the third annual Al Purdy Picnic, held July 18, 2015. Several well’known Canadian poets, including Robert Priest, Carolyn Smart and Adam Sol, along with current writer-in-residence, Laurie Graham, read from their works to an appreciative crowd seated around the back yard of the cottage. One highlight included Smart’s sampling from her series of striking poems on the infamous Bonnie and Clyde. Numerous volunteers with expertise on the writings of Purdy and on the “A-Frame” itself were present to answer questions and provide information as visitors toured the house and grounds. Books by Purdy and the other poets were also available for purchase. All in all, it was an enlightening, energizing day – lots of people talking, poetry in the sir, some beer and wine too – all providing a momentary sense, at least, of touching that handle in the sky, just as Al would have imagined it.

Submitted by Brian Way

Photo credits: Anne Preston

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