17 October 2010

Celebrating McFadden, Real Resident Reading, Mansfield Launch Party ... and more!

So much has been happening. A week ago last Thursday, David McFadden was surprised in the Mansfield Press office by a 70th-birthday party and the presentation of a festschrift with contributors from across the country.

Dave was lured to his celebratory fate with the promise of a lecture on Chile by Jim Smith. But when he opened the door, his eyes immediately fell on his 96-year-old dad sitting there. And then a big cake that read, "Dave — You're 70! Be calm, honey!"

In a highly secret operation, Jim Smith and I began planning both the festschrift and the party about six months ago. It was pretty tricky getting the various names and addresses and figuring out who was important in Dave's life. I'm sure we missed a lot of people. But we did our best.

The party was a blast. Dave's father (Bill) was there, and Dave's brother (Jack), and Dave's daughter (Jenny) and granddaughter (Chloe). Four generations of McFaddens, and every one of them a wonderful person! Lots of writer friends, and others close to Dave. Stan Bevington, Merlin Homer, John Boyle, Leslie McAllister, Paul Vermeersch, Victor Coleman, Richard Huttel, Margaret Hollingsworth, Paul Dutton…

Denis De Klerck, the publisher of Mansfield Press, was generous enough to offer his beautiful office for the occasion, and to provide some great wine. Stan Bevington and the crew at the Coach House press did a beautiful job on the book, and were also very generous in their billing on this non-commercial venture.

It was a really excellent party. It was a thrill, too, to be able to honour a great writer like Dave, someone who has been a great influence, and a great friend.

Here's the book, A Trip Around McFadden. Contributions from many of the above, plus Diana Hartog, bill bissett, George Bowering, Michael Dennis, and so many more…

Meanwhile, over here in Kingston, where I'm spending the fall as writer-in-residence, October 4 kick-off of the Real Resident Reading Series was a standing-room-only success, with fine readings by Elyse Friedman, Jeff Latosik and Jennifer Londry.

The second instalment of the Real Resident Reading Series takes place tomorrow night (October 18) at 7:30 pm at the Grad Club on Queen's Campus:

And finally, for now, looking forward to this Tuesday night in Toronto, when Mansfield Press celebrates its 10th anniversary with the launch of five new books and guest readings by the poets Denis De Klerck published in his inaugural year. This will also be the launch of my imprint, "a stuart ross book." There's a lot going on in Toronto this Tuesday night, but this'll be a wonderful party. Here are the details:

Over and out.


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