Thank you all for coming to our launch for the new edition of A Suit of Nettles on May 25.
Special thanks to London actor Jeff Culbert, for capturing the spirit of the geese characters, and to Richard Stingle, long-time friend and colleague of James Reaney, for his thoughts about the poem and the poet.
Thanks also to our wonderful hosts, the London Public Library, who made us all feel at home.
From the January eclogue:
With the other geese within the goosehouse
There lived, I know not how, various kinds
Of geese: some like a cat, some like a mouse,
Some like a groundhog and some like lions,
Some like two straight parallel lines,
Others more circular in character,
Some shallow and some deep as mines,
Others than chaos far more muddier,
And whether you should parcel fast or loose
Some could not be but simply described ‘Goose’.
On May 6 in Stratford, Ontario, Stratford Central Secondary School welcomed poet and playwright James Reaney as the first inductee to the school’s Arts Hall of Fame. James Reaney went to high school there from 1939-1944.
Reaney’s family, including his sister Wilma McCaig and his brother Ron Cooke, attended the induction ceremony at Central last week. In honour of the occasion, students staged the opening scene of James Reaney’s play, Colours in the Dark. James Stewart Reaney (James Reaney’s son) gave thanks on behalf of the Reaney family. “This kind of recognition, I know, would have touched Dad deeply,” he said.
On May 6 in Stratford, Ontario, Stratford Central Secondary School will host an arts gala evening to launch the school’s new Arts Hall of Fame and celebrate its first inductee, James Crerar Reaney, who went to high school there over 60 years ago. Over the years, James Reaney maintained ties with the school and led workshops there for two of his plays, King Whistle and Alice Through the Looking Glass.
May 6, 7, and 8, in Strathroy, Ontario, Evelyn D’Oria and the students of Strathroy District Collegiate Institute will present James Reaney’s adaptation of Alice Through the Looking Glass. There will be three evening performances of the play starting at 7:00 pm, and a matinee on Saturday at 2:00 pm.
On May 25 in London, Ontario, the new edition of James Reaney’s A Suit of Nettles will be launched at the London Central Library, 7:00 pm. This long poem won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 1958. The new edition, published by The Porcupine’s Quill, is charmingly illustrated with woodcuts by Jim Westergard.