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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

"Little Acorns and Milton" - Robert Acorn's memoir

Hi Robert,
The package with your three books arrived today. Many thanks! And thanks for signing all of them, especially the copy of LITTLE ACORNS AND MILTON which you dedicated to me.

After opening the parcel I immediately began browsing LAAM. I love the stories of your childhood adventures with Milt. The image of you chasing Milt around with a hammer as a small lad keeps playing in my imagination ;  )  I can remember a time or two, especially when Milt was my house guest on Rhodes Avenue, when I considered doing the same! The book is a real family treasure of the Acorn family and friends. So many stories - you & Milt going for a hike, & then hitchhiking for the first time. Your dad tying Milt's hands at night so he couldn't pleasure himself - these are priceless insights.

There is something for everyone. Terry Barker will love "The Cross Bearer" chapter for many reasons, one of which is that it gives him fodder for his belief that Milt retained a lifelong devotion to high Anglicanism  :  )

I believe memoir writing is extremely important. Who knows a person and the times they live in better than the person himself, or perhaps his siblings? There are lots of people who wish to re-write history for their own agendas, literary and otherwise. So reading a family history 'from the horse's mouth' establishes a baseline for the truth.

There are other benefits to memoir writing. A quarter century ago I wrote and self-published EEL PIE DHARMA,  my memoirs of living on the streets of England as a hippie draft dodger. My initial intentions were to write a traditional autobiography, but the manuscript turned into one of the first English language haibuns (prose interspersed with haiku). EPD remains a poet's memoir of course, but it has became a lot of other things over following years. It's been used as a reference for the hippie era on Wikipedia, for a BBC documentary on the Thames Valley Music Scene, and a biography of Peter Townshend. It was also a reference & seemingly an inspiration for Hari Kunzru's novel MY REVOLUTIONS, about the Angry Brigade in the UK in the early 1970s. A side benefit of publishing a memoir is we no longer have to keep our memory banks plugged up with these stories, and we can finally refrain from annoying our closest friends with our constant retelling of these adventures.    

I am sure we'll want to use at least a chapter, and perhaps more, of your book in ACORNucopia. Your story(ies) will add a strong dose of authenticity and background to our tribute to your brother. I'm so pleased that Terry Barker remembered you had written it.

After I browsed LAAM and thoughtfully sipped on a beer, I realized that Terry Barker would love to receive the second copy asap, so my little dog & I slipped off to the Marmora Post Office. Terry & I shared one of our long 'editorial' chats tonight, & I assure you he's thrilled that his copy of LITTLE ACORNS AND MILTON is on the way to him.

Thanks also for your other two books, BLACK RASPBERRIES and WHITE STRAWBERRIES. I now have enough reading material to get me through the holidays  :  )

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

p.s. I'll do a posting on my blog about your books - it's fairly widely read among the PurdyFest poetry community

Oak branch with acorns -

On 2013-12-18, at 9:09 AM, Ron Dart wrote:


do you order a copy of Robert's book for me?--seems like a keeper and


Hi Ron,
Perfect description - "a keeper and charmer"! To request a copy you should contact Robert Acorn yourself, by email or even snail mail - Robert isn't addicted to email the way the rest of us are  :  )

TWiG Publications
R.S. Acorn
763 Brackley Pt. Rd.
Route 15
Prince Edward Island
C1E 1C4

LITTLE ACORNS AND MILT is a very well written and published book. Perfect bound, beautiful cover, some nice b&w photographs, 150 pages, no price given. Robert has divided the book into 3 sections: 1.) Milton and Me  2.) Milton's People  3.) Me.

Last nite I read the first 5 of the 6 chapters about Milt:  Tasting Blood, Ice, The Cross Bearer, The Fire, Hotel Fire (Milt's poem), & tonite I get to enjoy the final piece in this section, "Scout's Pace".

Last nite I jumped ahead and read "The School Street Gang's Slingshot Caper", which is sans Milt. It's a hoot as well. I'm sure Robert has created a valuable piece of literature which will transcend his initial intentions & which will go into the annals & canon of PEI literature. There is a lot of PEI history recorded in LAAM, and the book is extremely readable and enjoyable. These are the kinds of books which are slow burners - like Robert himself, who is a late bloomer to literature compared with his older brother. There is an almost dreamy quality to the writing, perhaps because it is a reminiscence of times long past. But there are hints of that sly Canuck humour which Robert shares with his famous bro, & several times I made a mental comparison with SUNSHINE SKETCHES. I suspect LAAM will enjoy a longevity and eventual readership which will surprise the author, Robert, most of all. 

I'm starting to feel we should include a substantial number of chapters from LAAM in ACORNucopia (if Robert's willing). Howard gave Terry & me carte blanche when I asked several times how long ACORNucopia should be. Howard repeatedly replied, "As long as it needs to be." Perhaps ACORNucopia needs to be long enough to include all or most of Robert's 6 chapters on Milt.

peace & poetry power!
Chris ... & Chase Wrffffffffffffffzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


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