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Laying the Children’s Ghosts to Rest Ontario Tour

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Filed under: Events

By Sean Arthur Joyce 

Autumn is nearly upon us and with it comes a new round of touring with my new book, Laying the Children’s Ghosts to Rest. We’ll start with Ontario, where I have a busy schedule of reading events, the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa conference, and media interviews. The highlight will be the Peterborough event in celebration of Ontario Home Child Day September 28, although the event will be held the day before at Northminster United Church. The program has been organized by the ever-resourceful Ivy Sucee, who at 90 years young, may be one of Peterborough’s most active citizens. It’s fitting that she has received both Peterborough’s Lifetime Achievement Award and a Queen’s Jubilee Medal for her work on behalf of the former Hazelbrae Home that saw 9,000 children, mostly girls, pass through its doors on the way to indentured labour on local farms.

It’s important for artists to remember: We are in service of the song, not our own egos. In part that means constantly reminding ourselves that we all stand on the shoulders of others to accomplish what we do, whether it’s other authors and artists, our social structure, family members or spouses. In that spirit, I’m grateful to my publisher Paul Wilson at Hagios Press, Regina, for immediately believing in my book and backing that up with amazing support. This at a time when a family health crisis has taken up much of his energy. Hagios is supporting the Ontario tour by hiring AJC Media Group, Solange Nicholson and Andrea Christian, to do the publicity for the tour. Already they’ve done an excellent job.

 Further heartfelt thanks must go out to Gary Geddes and the many other writers who have supported this book tour. Gary in fact was instrumental in directing me to Hagios Press and his letter of introduction probably got me past the usual publisher’s ‘slush pile,’ surely the equivalent of Purgatory for every author. I met Gary at a poetry workshop in Nelson’s Oxygen Art Centre about three years ago. I’d cut my teeth as a young poet on his classic 20th Century Poetry and Poetics so I leapt at the chance to meet him. It was a case of instant affinity and he has been incredibly generous in his support of my writing. Meeting his wife Ann Eriksson, a biologist who has turned her prodigious talents to writing novels, was another bonus. Her novels High Clear Bell of Morning and Falling From Grace blend an ecological sensibility with storytelling mastery. This author clearly gets that she is in service of the song.

 My gratitude would not be complete without acknowledging my partner in life Anne Champagne, who has a knack for planning travel itineraries. That’s besides being a first-rate copy editor—one of the best in the country—whose sharp eye passed over drafts of Children’s Ghosts before it ever went to Hagios. Though she modestly understates her abilities she’s also a fine writer and a fine human being.


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