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On Tour

April 14, 2009

Reading in Terrace and Kitimat
Posted by Elise Partridge

Elise Partridge

I felt very lucky to have been invited, along with my fellow author Margaret Horsfield, to read in high schools in Terrace and Kitimat today.  At Caledonia High, three teachers—Geoff Parr and several others (spellings I hope to be confirmed tomorrow) had set up our event in the library.  Margaret gave a terrific talk about some of the eccentrics she’d discovered in the Clayoquot community depicted in her social history, Voices From the Sound.  She imparted some idea of her exhaustive research—all the painstaking work she had done with original documents to help bring this community back to life in her book.  Among other things, she quoted from a moving letter by a First Nations boy suffering from tuberculosis in one of the Clayoquot schools.  She gave the students a sense of how fascinating local history can be and how important it is to try to preserve it. 

Bryan, our wonderfully patient and ever-genial guide, took all of us to Kitimat next.  Katarina Jovanovic reported she’d had a terrific time reading her children’s book to an elementary school crowd in Terrace that morning, while Robin Stevenson was pressed for autographs by the children at her event!  At Mount Elizabeth high school in Kitimat, Margaret and I were greeted by several marvelous classes assembled by a teacher named Dave Durrant.  The students asked both Margaret and me many questions and we wound up feeling not only warmly welcomed but also very stimulated by their curiosity.  As we departed, Margaret and I were asked to sign a brick on an office wall reserved for visitors to the school—we were honored to hear our names would be officially shellacked the next day!  Katarina and Robin also had a very good experience with their elementary-school readings in Kitimat. 

Then we piled into the van again for a lovely drive to a First Nations restaurant, Sea Masters, at a spectacular setting right on the water.  After enjoying delicious seafood and the sunset there, we trundled off for our final reading of the day, at BookMasters in the Kitimat mall, where we were hosted with such generosity by the store’s owners and staff.  The owners even offered trays full of homemade cupcakes, and a gift for each of us writers.  Several of the tour’s sponsors, from Rio Tinto Alcan and Bank of Montreal, were present; Bryan had a ceremony with the cheques and afterward we all got to express our appreciation to them and talk to each other and to the audience members, many of whom lingered to discuss books. 

Tomorrow we’re off to Hazelton.  I’m very grateful for this tour and for my fellow writers.     

Filed under: Northern Leg 2009 | 2 Comments | Permalink

Comments

Teddy & Patrick
Apr 15, 2009 at 02:54 PM

Lucky Terrace and Kitimat to have such a wonderful poet grace them with her beautiful poetry today!  I’m so excited to read more about this Northern Writers’ Journey.

Best wishes to Elise for a terrific northern sojourn!

Teddy & Patrick
Apr 16, 2009 at 12:26 AM

Elise -

Having just seen where on the map Prince Rupert is located, I’m wondering - can you, like Sarah Palin, see Russia from your house?

Much love,
P

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