Joy Kogawa House cited as example as campaign to save Al Purdy cabin in Eastern Ontario starts up.
How important was it to save Joy Kogawa's childhood home?
Joy Kogawa House was recently cited in a Globe & Mail article about then endangered home of Al Purdy in an article by Patrick White titled: The house where Al Purdy lived is on the block
deal of cash and organization, says Don Oravec, executive director of
the Writers' Trust of Canada, which runs Pierre Berton's childhood home
in Dawson City, Yukon, as a retreat, and raised funds to purchase the
Vancouver house where novelist Joy Kogawa grew up. “The trick is not
just buying the house.” Oravec says. “It's also creating an endowment
to maintain the place.
Canadian literature is an important part to our Canadian identity. Sustaining and supporting our writers has long been a struggle and an issue. White writes that the house played an important role in Purdy's development as a poet.
famous metamorphosis in Canadian literary history. Once a struggling
writer of tortured romantic verse, Purdy and his work changed forever
along the shores of Roblin Lake.
“It was really when they left Montreal and built that house that Al
went into a kind of hibernation and came of age as a poet,” says Purdy
friend, poet and House of Anansi co-founder Dennis Lee, who first
visited Ameliasburgh in the sixties to ink a book deal with Purdy.
Al Purdy, his wife Eurithe and their house also played a role in the development of author Michael Ondaatje and other writers by offering them refuge and support.
single book between them when “Al and Eurithe simply invited us in,”
writes Ondaatje in the foreword to Purdy's collected works. “And why?
Because we were poets! Not well-known writers or newspaper celebrities.
… These visits became essential to our lives. We weren't there for
gossip, certainly not to discuss royalties and publishers. We were
there to talk about poetry. Read poems aloud. Argue over them. Complain
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