Purdy's words echo outside iconic A-FramePosted Aug 1, 2013 By Richard Turtle
EMC News - The work of Al Purdy continues to inspire and impress. And it continues to resonate.
Whether it be a poem penned half a century ago or the small home he built with his wife on the edge of a tiny lake, it has a remarkable and humble durability.
Dozens of people gathered last weekend at the Al Purdy A Frame on Roblin Lake to remember the late great Canadian poet and continue to support and promote plans to create a writer in residence program there.
Purdy, who penned more than 40 books during his career, built the small home along with his wife Eurithe spending much of their time there in the ensuing decades before he passed away in 2000. Eurithe Purdy, who now lives in Belleville, was among those in attendance at the First Annual Al Purdy Picnic, joining the crowd to hear recitations and reflections presented in the open air from the deck overlooking the water.
Organizer Michele Lintern-Mole welcomed the visitors and introduced about a dozen readers who offered a glimpse into the breadth of Purdy's work and his impact on other writers, educators and readers across the country for more than 50 years. Music was provided by quartet Station Road, who played a pair of acoustic sets of familiar country and folk tunes.
Picnic lunches were available for purchase at the Town Hall with regular shuttle service running to and from the A-Frame, where parking was prohibited. Several visitors opted to walk the approximately 1.5-kilometre distance in what turned out to be ideal weather for a backyard reading.
Once onsite, visitors were free to casually walk the grounds and take in the sights and sounds around them. Lintern-Mole also urged those in attendance to take part in a walking tour of "Al's Ameliasburgh" with Conrad Beaubien. Points of interest for many visitors included the "Wilderness Gothic" church, the Purdy Library and the Grove Cemetery. She also thanked readers for sharing their "cultural, literary and social memories."
Work on the A-Frame is ongoing and the Al Purdy A-Frame Association was one of many event partners and supporters.
"This is great," says poet Chris Faiers who travelled from Marmora to attend the picnic. "It's just such an amazing place." Familiar with the locale, the A-Frame and the nearby Grove Cemetery, Faiers, a longtime admirer of Purdy's work, will be hosting PurdyFest for the seventh year this weekend, which will include Another Dam Poetry Reading in Marmora on Saturday.
Purdy's work is also heavily featured in the play Al Purdy At the Quinte Hotel, which will be performed as an A-Frame fund raiser at the converted United Church in Rednersville (116 Barley Road) on September 28.