Hi Vicki and Katherine,
I'm sending my next package of donations to the HC archives today. The two books include Eric Amann's autobiography, The House on Fountain Street. This is an extremely rare book which tells the story of Eric's arrival in Canada as a refugee/displaced person after World War Two at the age of thirteen. Interestingly, I don't remember the book even mentioning haiku, although Eric was the godfather of Haiku Canada.
Eric inscribed this copy to me:
Jan. 29, 2009
Thanks for your book Zen River - beautiful & memorable pieces of poetry and prose.
with all best wishes,
The other book is Milkweed: A Gathering of Haiku edited by Marshall Hryciuk and published with his Nietzche's Brolly Press in 1987. It is also inscribed to me and signed by Marshall.
The inscription is difficult to read, but I believe it reads:
An edition for the editor*
*I had previously published Marshall's chapbook this is hilarious with my Unfinished Monument Press
In my first packet I forgot to include my mailing address:
12 Main St.
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reply to Vicki's request for some more info on Eric's book:
By the time I'd decided which books to send next, and prepping the mailing envelope (and lots more reminiscing), I didn't take the time to add the details on Eric's autobiog. Sorry. It's a professionally produced and quite short book, I'm guessing around 100 pages or less. You can read it in a couple of hours. I don't think the packet will reach the UofVic library by tomorrow when you visit, but I hope you have the chance to read it one day. Eric had a much rougher and harder life than most people would imagine, and it's quite amazing that he not only survived the turmoil and difficult circumstances but managed to become a medical doctor!
The several times I met Eric in Toronto at haiku get togethers he was very quiet, modest and somewhat self-effacing. I don't know if it was his modesty or shyness, but as I remember his book doesn't go into any details of his involvement with haiku and the major role he played with developing a modern English language haiku form and community. Curious.
Eric and I exchanged books in 2009 (per the dedication) but I believe he'd self-published his auto-biog. in the early 2000s.
Over the decades I've known a number of people who have donated papers to various archives, myself included. From what I gather donated papers are often just placed in small boxes and left for the curious and researchers to dig through. I don't think librarians, or HC archive committee members, would be expected to catalogue or otherwise delineate materials.
Good luck with your meeting tomorrow with the UofVic Special Collections chief librarians. Hanging out in libraries with librarians is always fun : )-