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3rd Annual Purdyfest Schedule (Press Release)


press release June 11/09

The third annual PURDY COUNTRY LITERARY FESTIVAL (PurdyFest #3) will
again be held over the August holiday weekend. This year events have
been expanded to five days and four locations: Malone pioneer hamlet,
Marmora, Brighton, and Ameliasburgh. Co-organizer James Deahl has called
PurdyFests “Woodstock for poets”.

Activities begin on Thursday, July 30, with a HAIKU DAY garden party at
ZenRiver Gardens retreat in Malone. Haijin Claudia Coutu Radmore will
lead in the creation of a linked haiku sequence called renga, and all
poets are invited to participate. Popular Marmora singer/songwriter
Morley Ellis will perform at many of the Marmora area events.

Poetry activites continue on Friday at ZenRiver Gardens, with the annual
POETS FOR PEACE meeting chaired by Hamilton poet James Deahl scheduled
for 3 pm. This will be followed by a casual MEET & GREET and POTLUCK
SUPPER for participants. The elements willing, a campfire round robin
poetry reading will complete the day.

On Saturday, August 1, a SYMPOSIUM ON AL PURDY will be held in the
Marmora Library Building. Participants include poets David Day and James
Deahl, and philosopher/author Terry Barker. In the evening ANOTHER DAM
POETRY READING will take place on the island in the Marmora Dam. Over 40
poets have already committed to reading at PurdyFest #3, and many of
these will be reading their poems published in the special Canadian
issue of “Dreamcatchers'” magazine.

On Sunday, Aug. 2, events move to Brighton, where they will be organized
by Canada-Cuba Literary Alliance President Richard (Tai) Grove. Over a
dozen of the poets who attended last summer’s PurdyFest have work
included in the launching of AND LEFT A PLACE TO STAND ON, a fund
raising anthology from Hidden Brook Press for the restoration of Purdy’s
historic A-frame house and the possible formation of a
writers-in-residence program.

On Monday, Aug. 2, there will be another PICNIC WITH AL in the little
cemetery where Al Purdy is buried in Ameliasburgh.

All Purdy Country Literary Festival events are free, and in the
democratic spirit of People’s Poets Milton Acorn and Al Purdy, most
events will offer everyone attending a chance to read at least one of
their poems.

PurdyFests have become an increasingly important literary and cultural
event. The highly published and the yet-to-be-published meet and mingle
on common ground in the ruggedly beautiful countryside Purdy
immortalized in his poem “The Country North of Belleville”. Dr. John
Burke, who attended PurdyFest #3, described as “transformative” readings
by Ottawa poet Jim Larwill and Montreal poet Katherine Beeman.

Other events will likely be planned for PurdyFest #3, and times and
locations will be posted as they are confirmed. Limited rough camping is
available, and information on area bed & breakfasts and motels can be
obtained from the various township websites. For further information on
PurdyFest #3, please email Chris Faiers at: zenriver[at]sympatico[dot]ca

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