Haviland Club Open Mic features Deirdre Kessler and John Flood, May 13

Poet Laureate Dianne Hicks Morrow invites readers and listeners to the May 13th Open Mic event, on Tuesday, May 13, from 7-9 p.m. in the Haviland Club’s Great Room.

For the first time there will be two featured readers: Deirdre Kessler, well-known author and award-winning educator; and John Flood, poet and publisher.

Deirdre Kessler is author of a baker’s dozen of children’s and young people’s books, including Canadian Children’s Book Centre award-winning Brupp Rides Again and Lobster in My Pocket. Her biography of Wanda Wyatt, A Century on Spring Street, and her videoscript for Like the Back of My Hand: The Journals of Geoff Hogan, won P.E.I. Museum & Heritage Foundation writing awards. In August 2014, her latest children’s book, Born! A foal, five kittens, and Confederation, set in 1864, illustrated by Brenda Jones, will be launched at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery. Her poetry collections include Afternoon Horses (Acorn Press, 2009), Subtracting by Seventeen (Saturday Morning Chapbooks), and Rearranging the Sky.

Deirdre teaches children’s literature, creative writing, and the course on L.M. Montgomery with the UPEI Dept. of English. She was 2010 recipient of a UPEI Award for Teaching Excellence. Long ago but not far away, Deirdre was asked by visionary Harry Baglole to join Allan Rankin and himself to begin a new publication under the aegis of the P.E.I. Museum & Heritage Foundation, The Island Magazine, a publication still going strong today. When Harry Baglole envisioned and created the Institute of Island Studies, Deirdre was editor of the first Island Studies books and the Institute’s newsletter. In 1995 she began Indigo Press, a year or so before Indigo Books & Music existed. Soon after the other Indigo began, she used to receive giant orders on her Indigo Press fax line for books she had not published.

John Flood is the author of two books of poetry that reflect his northern vision … The Land They Occupied and No Longer North. His publishing ventures, which span a forty-year period to the present … the periodicals Boréal and Northward Journal, and the publishing house Penumbra Press … were and are devoted to the literature, art, and culture of the North. For 25 of those years, John was also a fulltime professor of English at a university in northern Ontario (this university was in the Guinness Book of World Records as the smallest university in the world!), and for five years was the president and general editor of Carleton University Press. Among the many citations he has received is the George Wittenborn Award of Excellence for publishing in the visual arts, presented by the Art Libraries Society of North America.

Returning to Prince Edward Island in 2009, he has broadened (one might say, “narrowed”) his editing and publishing focus onto the history and heritage, culture and arts of the Island. Most recently, he was the recipient of a PEI Heritage Award for The Master’s Wife: The Book and the Place, which is also shortlisted for a PEI literary award in the nonfiction category. He has also become active as an advocate for people living with Alzheimers and other related dementias.
Everyone is welcome. Readers can sign up at 7 p.m. to read their own poetry or prose, anywhere from three to five minutes.

Admission is free or by donation. Please contact Dianne at peipoetlaureate@gmail.com with any questions.

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