Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sessions about which I've thus far failed to blog

It's a persistent theme for bloggers with off-screen lives, that we regularly fail to write about some of the good stuff. We get busy, and suddenly you're two days past said good stuff, and, well, what are you going to do?

My answer is simply to identify everyone I heard from in the regular sessions, promising to follow up with a little more info on a few of them in the coming days:
  • Ella Soper Jones and Richard Kerridge on environment and apocalypse, more or less -- Ella on Indra Sinha's Animal's People, and Richard on Ian McEwan's Solar (with the grave disappointment that I missed Ivan Grabovac's presentation on Angelina Grimke's story "Darkness")
  • Anne Milne on late 18th-century poet, beauty, and suspected sufferer of rheumatoid arthritis Mary Robinson
  • Robert Brown on Lyotard, and Rita Wong on the good work of Keepers of the Water
  • Jessica Gearing on Janisse Ray's Ecology of a Cracker Childhood (among other works by Ray), Joanna Dawson on Sid Marty's Black Grizzly of Whiskey Creek, and Susan Moore on rats, particularly Bryan Talbot's graphic novel The Tale of One Bad Rat
  • Mark Leeming on Nova Scotia's unique forest history, Emilie Pommier on the roles of animals and environment in sacred folk tales and myths in France and Japan, and H. Louise Davis on the ethics of US food-activism documentaries
  • Lisa Szabo on Harry Thurston and Tim Bowling (on the subject of the "ecoautobiographical"), and Patrick Howard on middle-school Newfoundland kids' use of creative writing as a response to the cod collapse (aka "my panel," on which I was neither the smartest nor the most materially engaged member)
  • Peter Clair on the special characteristics of the Mi'kmaq language (for which I learned to pronounce the term "Pisquisasesigewey"), and Shirley Bear on her own genesis and path as an activist and artist
  • Nick Bradley on David Wagoner and Laurie Ricou (plus the idea of story), Shirley Roburn on what she referred to variously as "wild language," "cosmophony," and "the kinaesthetic nature of local language," and finally Travis Mason on Don McKay's and WH New's "unsonnets" (in Travis' term).
And then there was Friday's keynote, an incredible antiphonal reading by Harry Thurston and Anne Simpson, and tonight's post-banquet event featuring Nancy Holmes and Don McKay. Truly, an embarrassment of riches. I'll dribble out some notes over the next little while, but I'm hoping others will add to the good work done by CBU student volunteers Sara and Sarah!


  1. hey Richard,
    thanks for the reminder of all the great sessions I missed.
    While I would love to take credit for my kind and talented colleague's blogs - we are actually two different CBU student assistants (Sara and Sarah) and we were both moved to blog by Heather Davis' presentation on Spiral Garden!
    thanks to speakers, participants and delegates for an eye opening and inspiring weekend. Glad I could be a part of it.

  2. Thanks for the note, Sara -- correction made, and thanks also for your kind words re conference. We couldn't have done it without your help.