Last night Ken Rockburn interviewed Barry Callaghan. The i-view was very interesting. I have to admit I've never read anything by this man. In school we had to do "More Joy In Heaven" by his father, and I hated that, but that's not the same thing, is it? Anyway, this man told fascinating stories about broads, basketball and the blues, and his various interviews of people such as Golda Meir and other icons from the 50s and 60s.
The whole evening had a nostalgic feel to it, which was added to with the William Hawkins launch. Three folkies sang his music, Bruce Cockburn read a glowing tribute and then William Hawkins read his poems. I could easily imagine sitting in Le Hibou, seeing all those guys in berets up on stage, saying their words. His poetry is very creative, intellectual and humourous. My favourite line of the evening was something he quoted: "Publishing a book of poetry is like throwing a rose petal into the Grand Canyon. And then listening for the echo."
I'm always so enlightened and amazed at the Writers Festival. There always seems to be some formerly well known somebody that pops back up again. Not having been involved in Ottawa's writing community until five years' ago, it's all lost on me, but all of a sudden there are all these fans, familiar with William Hawkins' work and lining up to buy his books. It certainly made the evening magical.
Tonight there's a full roster of poets, and I'm looking forward to that. I've been saving my book buying pennies for this one.