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Monday, 3 October 2011

Tribute to Ray Souster Nov. 22 @ Runnymede Public Library/plans firming up/new RAYMOND SOUSTER AWARD

Hi Everyone,
Plans are going well for the evening tribute to Raymond Souster at Runnymede Branch of Toronto Public Library (TPL). Terry Barker has confirmed the date and time with Branch Head Helen Flint:
Tuesday, Nov. 22.

We have booked the library from 6 to 8 pm, and the tribute will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.

The tribute will be in the upstairs meeting room, which seats about 60. This is intended to be a casual event, and we are hoping for a 'comfortably sized' attendance.

The tribute fits in well with Runnymede's ongoing author reading series, the "Eh List".
Runnymede Branch is also Ray's local library, and it is the site of some of the founding meetings of the League of Canadian poets, so it is a most appropriate venue for many reasons. 

Things are still in the developmental stages, but following is the initial anticipated schedule:

Poet Allan Briesmaster will MC the Tribute. Allan is the Toronto rep for the League of Canadian Poets. To honour Ray, Allan and David Day have promoted the new Raymond Souster Award, which will be given to the League member with the best annual poetry collection (to be ratified at the League's annual meeting next June).

Allan will intro author/poetry historian Terry Barker, who will present a brief overview of Ray's life and seminal contributions to Canadian poetry.

Poet Anna Yin will give a multi-media presentation.

Several writers, in various genres, have agreed to present reminiscences on Ray and his influence on and support of their writing.  Greg Gatenby will speak on how Ray's founding of TO's first reading series inspired him to found the Harbourfront Reading Series. Toronto Star columnist and author Joe Fiorito will tell of meeting Ray, and Ray's encouragement, when Joe first came to Toronto. Poets Norma West Linder, Kent Bowman and Mick Burrs will also give tributes.
If you are, or know of, someone who should be invited to give one of these brief presentations (about 5+ minutes), please contact Terry Barker at 416-491-8676 or contact me by email (Chris Faiers:

Ray Souster is 90, and blind, and we are hoping he will be able to attend and recite from his recent collection BIG SMOKE BLUES to conclude the evening. Come prepared to buy a copy  : )


Anna Yin is arranging publicity photos of Ray and his book for TPL. The evening will be promoted by TPL in the Runnymede Branch flyer and on TPL's website.

Several participants, including Anna and Allan, are members of the League of Canadian poets, and they will coordinate publicity thru the League's newsletter and other resources.

We are starting to beat the drums ssssooffffffffffttttllllllly. The event is almost 2 months away, and we want a nice-sized audience, but we don't want to overwhelm Ray, the library, or ourselves. Everyone involved is very busy with other projects and jobs, except me, and I'm isolated out here in the Marmora hinterland.


The tribute is happening because a number of Toronto poets and friends have been visiting Ray: among them Terry Barker, James Deahl, Donna Dunlop (need her email address pls), Allan & Holly Briesmaster, Kent Bowman and Mick Burrs. It was Terry's suggestion to feature Ray's life and work at this summer's symposium at the Purdy Country LitFest (PurdyFest). Terry and Anna enjoyed giving their well prepared presentations, but it seemed a pity that Ray himself wasn't present.


Suggestions are most welcome, and please direct them to Terry or myself.

peace & poetry power!
Chris ... and Chase ... wrffffffffff  

p.s. thanks to Karl Jirgens for copies of the RAMPIKE magazine interview with Ray

from my blog:

1 comment:

digital certificates said...

Wow its good to hear that Plans are going well for the tribute to Raymond Souster at Runnymede Branch of Toronto Public Library.All the arrangements you discussed are really cool.