A Weekend in the Park for Book Lovers

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

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Written by Kim Mackrael

Sunday afternoonís dreary weather did little to deter the literature fans who gathered in Eden Mills to hear readings, mingle with the authors, enjoy live music and peruse the many books on display at the townís annual Writersí Festival. Though attendance may have been slightly down from previous years, the audienceís attentive focus on readers kept the energy high and the air buzzing with poetry.

Now in its 19th year, the Eden Mills Writersí Festival has grown to feature over 40 established authors and numerous aspiring or ìmodestly publishedî writers of all ages. Less well-known writers are invited to submit samples of their work and enter the festivalís literary contest or read at the Fringe stage, and high school students can participate in the Ishar Singh Poetry Contest.

University of Guelph Creative Writing student Jacob McArthur Mooney read two poems from his forthcoming book, The New Laymanís Almanac. He was featured alongside two other Master of Fine Arts students, all emerging writers who drew an impressive crowd under the trees beside the townís historic mill.

Leon Rooke, winner of the Governor Generalís award for his 1981 book, Shakespeareís Dog, and founder of the festival took the platform later in the day. The long-time Eden Mills resident claims that inspiration and financing have never been problems. ìThe best authors come cheap,î he wrote in his history of the Eden Mills Writersí Festival. ìAll you have to give them is your heart.î

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  1. Posted by: Bethany Klapwyk on Sep 11, 2007 @ 2:21pm

    This past Saturday night, after seeing a flyer advertsing the Eden Mills Writer's festival, I decided to google "eden mills writers festival" for more information. To my suprise there was a bus, a free bus (fantastic!), leaving the UC at 1115 the next day to take anyone interested to the festival. So on Sunday I hopped on the bus with about 2 other people (apparently there werent very many interested students) and headed to the beautiful village of Eden Mills. It was most definately a much needed break after experiencing the craziness of frosh week. I spent the afternoon lying on a blanket in the light misting rain getting carried away by the words of great Canadian authors and feeling very inspired. Okay so maybe sitting around and listening to people reading original stories isn't your cup of tea, but I found that many of the authors had the incredible ability to take simple storylines and through their words provide ground-shattering insights into the human condition (I got goosebumps a couple times...). All in all it was a great experience and I highly suggest it for anyone who is thinking of going next year.

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