Friday, January 19, 2018

Janus Reading

Great readings last night (january 18 2018) at the Mary J. Black Library. First up was Donna White who read a moving excerpt from her book Arrows, Bones and Stones: The Shadow of a Child Soldier. This is the second book in her Stone Triology. (Available at Chapters, Amazon etc)

Donna, a world traveller, told us about meeting Ugandan child soldiers who had escaped captivity. Many suffered from post traumatic stress syndrome. They experienced nightmares and sometimes day visions which stopped them in their tracks.

Sixty thousand children were abducted by the war lord and subjected to terrible suffering. She read about a short ceremony that one woman used to help a little boy whose trauma overwhelmed him.  A very moving experience for those of us in the audience.

This was followed by three powerful poems by Annette Pateman. The first was called Women Left Behind. In many developing countries the men have to go abroad to look for work. Promises are made. He will send for you. But for some women the summons never comes. They see others get the promised letter and "gyrate with joy" but for them-- nothing.

Marion Agnew, well known local writer, is working on a novel titled Making Up the God. She read a short selection, very peppy, about a family and especially one little boy and his aunt Simka. The excellent dialogue from both the aunt and the child gave the work interest and  energy.

The final reader was Debbie Metzler who read a story called Ping. An unpopular and bullied little boy dreams of super heroes, makes drawings of super heroes and then, finds a super hero. A heart breaking and heart mending story.

I always enjoy these readings and I could see the audience did too. We have so much talent in Thunder Bay.  Many thanks to NOWW, Mary J. Black library and the readers themselves.

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