A Thunder Bay Story

A Thunder Bay Story
Julia Ann Roy, a black woman, a former slave, illiterate, mothering seven children in 19th century Port Arthur by operating a busy bawdy house on Elgin Street was notorious and shunned. She and her collection of black children are the subject of James Stevens' forthcoming book.

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Kouhi Awaard

Kouhi Award winner Joan M. Baril with grand daughter Meghan Eddy.

Winning the Kouhi Award was a great honour. I still cannot believe it. The Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop (NOWW) established the award in 1999 to "recognize contributions to the literature of northwestern Ontario." The Award is named in honour of poet Elizabeth Kouhi, a very good poet indeed who has appeared on this blog.

It was an unbelievable moment when I walked to the podium.

I am so honoured to follow in the footsteps of other award winners: the late great Richard Wagamese, Michael Christie, Eleanor Barr, Charles Wilkins, Jean E Pendzinol and so many other amazing writers.

This great literary whirl of books, writers, libraries, publishers, conferences, literary blogs, web sites, reviews, readings, discussions and arguments, publishing, book sellers and book clubs has at its core the solitary reader, immersed in the world on the page, but yet surrounded by a literary community which  supports the solitary journey. And this journey can be a momentous one, even life changing. My own life in literature has been a long and checkered one, but like many book lovers, I could not imagine life without books.  Joan M. Baril

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