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No Choice

The 30-Year Fight for Abortion on Prince Edward Island
Kate McKenna

No Choice: The 30-Year Fight for Abortion on Prince Edward Island—Kate McKennaCBC journalist, and former Prince Edward Island resident, Kate McKenna sheds light on the long struggle to provide access to abortion on the Island in her new book, No Choice: The 30-Year Fight for Abortion on Prince Edward Island (Fernwood Publishing).

Abortion was made legal in Canada in 1969, and in 1988 a supreme court ruled that criminalizing abortion was unconstitutional. Despite this ruling, providing access to abortions was not constitutional. However, the procedure falls under Canada’s Health Care Act, which all provinces must deliver. PEI was the exception. McKenna tells us that in the book she illustrates how the influence of the Catholic Church and the Right to Life movement worked to lobby government officials, doctors and even to assume roles on hospital boards in order to prevent abortions from being made available to women on the Island.

McKenna introduces readers to the activists who fought for women’s rights and pro-choice, risking being ostracized and fired from their jobs, and who often paid to take women off the Island to Nova Scotia or New Brunswick to have the procedure performed.

Kate McKenna is a journalist with the CBC. She was a finalist for two Canadian Association of Journalism Awards and a silver medal winner of the Atlantic Journalism Award.

A Blossom for Job

Bob Jensen

A Blossom for Job—Bob JensenNew Brunswick native, and long time PEI resident, Bob Jensen has released a collection of spoken word poetry entitled A Blossom for Job. The fifteen poems were written over the past five years and reflect the author’s own ambivalence towards the Christian faith he was raised in. The material ranges from reverent to critical, questioning the nature of man, the efficacy of faith and the meaning of death.

Jensen will travel to England in August to perform his poetry at the FolkEast Festival in Suffolk with UK recording artist Jake Morley as his accompanist.

A Blossom for Job is available worldwide on iTunes, Amazon, etc. For samples of Jensen’s work visit soundcloud.com or tumblr.com.

Jeopardy

Richard Lemm

Jeopardy—Richard LemmRichard Lemm, PEI author, and a UPEI English professor for many years, will launch his new poetry book, Jeopardy, on June 29, at 7 pm in the Carriage House of Beaconsfield Historic House at 2 Kent Street in Charlottetown. Acorn Press, the publisher, will host the launch.

Jeopardy opens with “Profane and Sacred,” poems conjuring myths and journeys—Adam and Eve’s Edenic choice; a Jewish surgeon’s pilgrimage to Assisi; the poet’s grandfather leaving the family farm for America’s first imperialist war. “Skeletal Blues” explores a couple’s struggle with mental illness and the quest for healing.

“History Lessons” takes readers to the British penal colony in Tasmania, reveals pre- and post- Revolution experiences in Cairo teaching Egyptian students, and encounters an ancient civilization wrestling with cross-currents of modernity and tradition. “The Future Hurtling Toward Us” evokes with humour and urgency our ecological reality and environmental crises.

Lemm has published five poetry collections, including Burning House, Four Ways of Dealing with Bullies, and Prelude to the Bacchanal, which won the Canadian Authors’ Association Award. He has won poetry prizes in the CBC Literary Competition, and a PEI Book Award for Shape of Things to Come.

At UPEI, Lemm teaches creative writing, Canadian, British, and post-colonial literature, and environmental literature. 

Sailing in Circles, Goin' Somewhere

Finley Martin

Sailing in Circles, Goin’ Somewhere—Finley Martin

Not all dreams have happy endingsFinley Martin's Sailing in Circles, Goin’ Somewhere is the funny, bittersweet memoir of a Prince Edward Island man who, over seven years, builds a classic 1930s wooden sailboat and, in 2004, attempts to circumnavigate eastern North America. The author leaves a small fishing port on the Island and tracks along the rugged coast, up the St. Lawrence River, and through the Great Lakes. Alone, he encounters heavy fog, near-collisions with freighters, mechanical breakdowns, enormous seas, several brushes with disaster, and even a hostile reception at one French-speaking port. He meets odd and curious people. It all comes to an inglorious and mundane end when the author and his boat, the Arja D., are stuck in, of all places, Peoria, Illinois. Was it worth it? Maybe. 

Finley Martin will launch his new book Sailing in Circles, Goin' Somewhere on May 19 from 7–8:30 pm at Beaconsfield Historic House, 2 Kent Street, Charlottetown. Finley will be reading and signing copies of his book, which Bookmark Charlottetown will be selling on-site.

Published by Nimbus Publishing. 

www.finleymartin.ca

From Narratives of Teaching Conversations Toward Agency and Authenticity in Education

Sean Wiebe
Craig MacDonald

From Narratives of Teaching: Conversations Toward Agency and Authenticity in Education—Sean Wiebe and Craig MacDonaldFrom Narratives of Teaching: Conversations Toward Agency and Authenticity in Education, written by Sean Wiebe and Craig MacDonald, invites readers into an intimate conversation about the work life circumstances of teachers.

Drawing on the research about teacher worklife on Prince Edward Island, Wiebe and MacDonald contribute a distinct collaborative perspective to discussions about what it means to be a teacher in this time. Through a series of critical questions, they reveal the intricate ways the autonomy, authority, and accountability intertwine and manifest in the daily lives of teachers.

Professor Susan Walsh of Mount Saint Vincent University said, “Wiebe and MacDonald weave together a thoughtful, erudite, and evocative conversation about the complex and fluid spaces that teachers live between school and home.”

Sean Wiebe and Craig MacDonald are professors at the University of Prince Edward Island. They have many years in teaching and researching and have been awarded grants and awards. Their areas of research include: curriculum theory, critical literacy, transformative education, teacher narrative, and arts-based methodologies.

linuslearning.com

Called to Serve: Georgina Pope, Canadian Military Nursing Heroine

Katherine Dewar

Called to Serve: Georgina Pope, Canadian Military Nursing Heroine—Katherine DewarThe newest book from Island Studies Press at UPEI, Called to Serve: Georgina Pope, Canadian Military Nursing Heroine, will be available in bookstores in mid-May. It is being launched in Charlottetown at Beaconsfield’s Carriage House on May 24, at 7 pm. The Summerside launch will be June 24 at 2 pm, at the Eptek Centre.

Georgina Pope (1862-1938) of Summerside, PEI, was a pioneer in Canadian military nursing, whose critical roles as a nursing leader in the Boer War and the First World War have led to her recognition by historians as “Canada’s Florence Nightingale.” She is one of 14 heroes honored with a bronze bust at the Valiants Memorial at Confederation Square in Ottawa. The Canadian Mint produced a $5 coin bearing her image, and she has been recognized by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board.

Pope was the first nurse to ever lead Canadian nurses into a foreign war, the first Canadian nurse to receive the Royal Red Cross 1st Class Medal, the first nurse enlisted into the Permanent Army Medical Corps after its creation and the first Matron of the Canadian Army Medical Corps.

This new book by Katherine Dewar delivers history on the risk and rewards of military nursing in the early 20th century. It details Georgina Pope’s path to power, addresses the significance of her privileged and powerful lineage, the influence of her parents on her world view, and the inspiration of Florence Nightingale who invoked in Pope a “burning desire” to become an “army nurse” in a faraway land.

The story takes us from Georgie’s rather sheltered life in Victorian PEI to the “Boston States,” to the dangerous and primitive conditions she experienced as Superintendent of nurses in two South African Wars; to her work in the formation of the nursing component of the Canadian Army Medical Corps (PAMC); and to the battlefields of Europe during the First World War.

Katherine Dewar is the author of the award-winning book, Those Splendid Girls: The Heroic Service of Prince Edward Island Nurses in the Great War, 1914-1918 which was shortlisted for an Atlantic Book Award, and was chosen Publication of the Year by the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation, and the City of Summerside’s Heritage and Culture department.

Ward’s Valley

Bobby Curnow
Illustrated by Brenda Hickey

Ward’s Valley—Bobby CurnowSaving Ward’s Valley will be gnome mean feat! Ward is a grumpy gnome who only wants to be left alone. He never asked for company…but when his beautiful forest starts filling up with animals, it’s more than just grumpiness that makes him nervous. Mysterious muck-trolls and terrifying humans are invading, and he’ll need all the help he can get to defend Ward’s Valley.

Ward’s Valley is an all-ages fantasy graphic novel written by Bobby Curnow (Night of 1000 Wolves, My Little Pony, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and illustrated by local PEI comic artist Brenda Hickey (My Little Pony, Halls of the Turnip King). Filled with animal antics, edge-of-your-seat action, and the hardships of overcoming loss, it is sure to be a joy for younger readers as well the young at heart.

The graphic novel is published by Top Shelf Productions.

www.topshelfcomix.com

150+

Canada’s History in Poems
Edited by Judy Gaudet

150+ Canada’s History in Poems—Edited by Judy GaudetA new collection of poems, 150+: Canada’s History in Poems, tells the story of 150 years as a country, recreating historical events through the vivid, concrete, human element of our poets’ responses to them. Judy Gaudet has collected poems that tell our story in a unique way: through the personal passions and concerns of artists who offer a range of encounters and attitudes. The poets represent a wide variety of Canadian experience: Indigenous, immigrant, and people from every part of the country and period of our history providing a solid representation of Canadian diversity. Poems come from many significant Canadian poets, as well as some lesser known and emerging poets and folk writers.

This journey through the works of our greatest poets and their reflections on their experiences of the events that have shaped Canada, and continue to shape Canada, provide an exciting and lasting addition to our sense of who we are and where we’ve been, and gives us a basis on which to think about our attitudes and directions for the future.

150+: Canada’s History in Poems provides Canadians with an alternative history to the one they read about in textbooks. Looking at our history through the eyes of our artists is not only enlightening, but can give insight into the powerful truths of our past.

Judy Gaudet created a name for herself as a poet, but to many on her home island, she is also known as a mother, grandmother, genealogist, librarian, and teacher. Gaudet’s poetry work includes a chapbook, Poems, you say (Saturday Morning Chapbooks, 2003), and two full length poetry collections: Her Teeth Are Stones (Acorn Press, 2005), and Conversation with Crows (Oberon Press, 2014). Judy Gaudet lives in Eldon, PEI with her partner, David Helwig, also a poet.

Bookmark, Charlottetown’s independent bookseller, will be holding a poetry event with Judy Gaudet in early June to mark the release of this new book of poetry. They anticipate having 20 local poets reading selections from the book during a celebratory event for this new edition. Watch for details in the June edition of The Buzz and online at www.bookmarkreads.ca.

The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables

The Enchanting Island That Inspired L.M. Montgomery
Catherine Reid

The Landscapes of Anne of Green—Catherine Reid Nineteen of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s twenty published novels are set on Prince Edward Island, but none of them brought PEI more to the world’s attention than Anne of Green Gables. The series has sold over fifty million copies and inspired numerous films, plays, musicals and television series. Anne has turned PEI into a multimillion-dollar tourist destination visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year.

In The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables: The Enchanting Island that Inspired L.M. Montgomery (Timber Press), author Catherine Reid reveals how Montgomery’s deep connection to the landscape of the Island inspired her to write Anne Green Gables. Readers will be immersed in the real places immortalized in the novel—the Lake of Shining Waters, the Haunted Wood and Lover’s Lane. Using Montgomery’s journals, scrapbooks and archives—including a glimpse at Montgomery’s hand-coloured photography—Reid explores the many similarities between Montgomery and her unforgettable heroine, Anne Shirley.

Catherine Reid has taught, most recently, at Warren Wilson College, in Asheville, North Caroline, where she served as director of the creative writing program and specialized in creative nonfiction and environmental writing. In addition to two works on nonfiction, Falling into Place and Coyote, she has published essays in such journals as the Georgia Review, Fourth Genre, Bellevue Literary Review, and Massachusetts Review. She has been a creative writing fellow at the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester Massachusetts, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and has received fellowships from the north Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives and gardens in the mountains of western North Carolina.

Summer in the Land of Anne

Elizabeth Rollins Epperly
Illustrated by Carolyn Epperly

Summer in the Land of Anne—Elizabeth Rollins Epperly

Six-year-old Elspeth’s mother has a surprise in store for her daughters. She’s taking Elspeth and her eleven-year-old sister on a surprise vacation. When she starts reading Anne of Green Gables aloud to the girls, they catch on—they’re going to Prince Edward Island!

Elspeth proudly dons her Anne hat on the ferry, ready to explore the Land of Anne. Although she knows she’s really visiting Lucy Maud Montgomery’s house, she feels like she recognizes everything from the books and is thoroughly enchanted. At first devastated that Montgomery’s first house was torn down by Montgomery’s uncle, Elspeth sees signs of life—chipmunks living in the old cellar. Elspeth’s imagination is ignited. No longer satisfied with pretending to be Anne, Elspeth is instead inspired to become more like Montgomery: famous writer Elspeth of Cavendish, writing about the world she loves.

Elizabeth Rollins Epperly, professor emerita of English, first female president of the University of Prince Edward Island, founder of the L.M. Montgomery Institute at UPEI, grew up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, listening with her sister to their father reading L.M. Montgomery’s novels. Fascinated by the Island, she became the first student to register at the newly amalgamated UPEI. Now a Canadian, Epperly has published books on Montgomery’s writing, photography, and scrapbooks. Summer in the Land of Anne is her first children’s book. Visit her website at www.elizabethepperly.com.

Carolyn Epperly is a nationally renowned professional artist; watercolors are her passion. Her signature memberships include the National Watercolor Society, the Watercolor USA Honor Society, and the International Society of Experimental Artists. Carolyn is a member of Excellence of the South Carolina Watercolor Society, serving as its president in 2011 and 2017. A life-long Montgomery reader and frequent visitor to Prince Edward Island, she is a proud Virginian who now lives in Charleston, South Carolina. Other children’s books she has illustrated include Grammy Comes to Visit and Sammy and the Day Care Bear. Visit her website at www.carolynepperly.com.

Elizabeth and Carolyn Epperly will be launching Summer in the Land of Anne on May 2 at the Faculty Lounge, UPEI, Charlottetown, at 7 pm. All are welcome to attend.

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