Spoken Word in Sarnia August 19, 2012

Spotlight to Shine on Norma West Linder, James Deahl and Four New Books

The official Sarnia launch of these new books by Linder and Deahl will take place during the literary and cultural event “Books and Biscotti” hosted by the Association of Italian Canadian Writers (AICW), the Dante Club Literary Committee and other local organizations, Sunday, August 19 at the Dante Club. Additional details will be announced shortly.

“We are so fortunate to have these two professional writers living in our community,” said Spoken Word co-hosts and local writers Debbie Okun Hill and Ryan Gibbs. “Linder has been part of Sarnia’s writing community for over 45 years and has been a mentor to so many emerging writers. Deahl, who recently moved to the area from Hamilton, has been part of the Canadian poetry scene for over 40 years and was a dear friend of such poetic icons as Al Purdy and Milton Acorn. As a co-founder of the publishing company Mekler & Deahl, he launched and built the writing careers of many new and established writers.”

The four spotlighted books include:

  • Adder’s-tongues: A Choice of Norma West Linder’s Poems, 1969- 2011 (Aeolus House) written by Norma West Linder and edited by James Deahl (According to her publisher and Canadian poet Allan Briesmaster, Linder “writes with admirable economy and clarity, and the poems are genuinely touching and moving. The ones about musicians and singers are a treat to read, and those with outdoor settings have been sketched with a beautiful precision. Altogether a very substantial, consistently high-quality selection of work.”)
  • In A Springtime Instant: The Selected Poems of Milton Acorn 1950 -1986 (Mosaic Press) edited by James Deahl, Acorn’s long-time friend and roommate (Considered to be an insider’s look at the legacy of Canada’s Peoples’ Poet Milton Acorn, this 248-page book includes an eclectic range of controversial, political, love and nature poems written by one of the most important Canadian poets of the 20th century.)
  • North of Belleville (Hidden Brook Press) written by James Deahl with photography, layout and design by Richard M. Grove (According to Chris Faiers in an April 2012 review  in The Envoy , this 57-page book is “no less a deeply affectionate homage, in haiku verse, to several distinctive regions in Ontario, such as Red Hill Valley and McMaster Trail.”)
  • Rooms the Wind Makes (Guernica Editions) by James Deahl (According to the publisher, this 160-page collection “continues Deahl’s exploration of the natural world around him in language that is precise and startling, tinged with nostalgia but bravely facing the realities with an eye on the larger picture.”)

This autumn, both Deahl and Linder will go on a book tour with readings expected in several Ontario cities, the east coast and in the U.S. Dates are still being confirmed.

Spoken Word was first introduced over 12 years ago and is held on the last Friday of every month, except July, August and December.  The 13th season of Spoken Word will be launched in September. For further information about Sarnia’s Spoken Word, e-mail spoken-w@hotmail.com or call the Lawrence House at (519) 337-0507.


James Deahl has been part of the national poetry scene for over 40 years and
was a co-founder of Mekler and Deahl, a publishing company that produced 50
books for established and emerging writers. He recently moved to Sarnia from
Hamilton and is the author of 21 books including his most recent work
Opening The Stone Heart (Aeolus House, 2010). In addition to literary
activities, he has taught creative writing and Canadian literature at the
high school, college, and university levels and for several years has been a
full-time writer/editor/translator. He was married to the artist Gilda
Mekler, who passed away in 2007. He is the father of Sarah, Simone, and

His newest work released this year includes: North of Belleville (Hidden
Brook Press) and Rooms The Wind Makes (Guernica Editions). He also edited
In A Springtime Instant: The Selected Poems of Milton Acorn 1950 -1986
(Mosaic Press). A fourth book North Point (Hidden Brook Press) is expected
to be launched later this year.

Norma West Linder is a prolific and award-winning Sarnia writer who taught
Creative Writing and English at Lambton College for 24 years. A member of
numerous national writing organizations and proficient in various genres,
she is the author of five novels, 13  collections of poetry, a memoir of
Manitoulin Island, a children’s book, a one-act play and a biography of
Pauline McGibbon. Her poetry has been published in The Antigonish Review,
Fiddlehead, White Wall Review, Room of One’s Own, Quills, Towards the Light, Prairie Journal, FreeFall Magazine, R & M Journal, Mobius, and other
periodicals. In 2006, she compiled and edited Enchanted Crossroads for The
Ontario Poetry Society. Her latest work included the chapbook Lovely as a
Tree (Beret Days Press, 2010) and When Angels Weep (Beret Days Press, 2009).

Her newest book released this year is Adder’s-tongues: A Choice of Norma
West Linder’s Poems 1969 – 2011 (Aeolus House).

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