Expansion, Picton Gazette

There is no lack of things “literary” to do this coming weekend as Sept. 22-23 finds the library participating in a number of events!

The library is participating in the Taste event at the large Loch- Sloy hangar (follow the signs – the location will be well marked). On Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. we will be featuring local publishers, their publications and with some of the authors on hand to autograph their works. As well the local history publications of the Prince Edward Historical Society will be available for purchase. It will also be a chance to see what the expanded Picton library will look like. If you wish you can purchase library mugs and buttons at our table – all proceeds to help with the building fund. The publishers are donating a portion of their sales to the building fund.

The Ameliasburgh Fair is on this weekend as well and the Friends of the Ameliasburgh and Consecon branches will be on site with their annual Ameliasburgh Fair Book Sale. The Friends have faithfully worked the two days of the fair for years. All the proceeds from the two-day event support improvements to the local branches of the library. Meet your neighbours, view the exhibits, sample the food and lay in some quality reading material.

While you are in the village you may want to do a bit of a walking tour. Raymond Brassard of the A-frame board of directors has put together a brochure: A Walking Tour of Al Purdy’s Ameliasburgh. The brochure will be available to pick up from the Friends book sale table. It includes a short history of the A-frame, directions to Grove Cemetery and the Millpond, Quinte Educational Museum, the Ameliasburgh Historical Museum and the Ameliasburgh Heritage Village.

The brochure also mentions the Ameliasburgh branch of the library renamed in 2001 a year after Al Purdy’s death the Al Purdy Library. This weekend, conclude your stroll of the village with a visit to the Al Purdy A-frame. Over the spring, summer and fall the cottage is the private home of the year’s writers-in-residence.

The A-frame Association is holding an open house this weekend in order to give the public an opportunity to visit the site where Al wrote some of his most famous poems. Since July 2014 the A-frame has operated as a retreat for Canadian writers, and to increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of Canadian poetry and literature.

The County of Prince Edward Public Library has had the privilege over this past summer to host talks and workshops given by this season’s A-frame residents. Last weekend at the Picton branch, Mark Jacquemain gave a workshop for anyone interested in writing for young readers. In August Jeff Latosik lectured on the evolution of social history.

Al and Eurithe Purdy purchased the property on Roblin Lake in 1957 for $800. It took most of their savings. They purchased $500 in reclaimed materials and with the help of Eurithe’s family the A-frame went up. To quote Ray Brassard: Something happened to the poetry as the A-frame went up. The lake, the village, the region, perhaps the effort to plant roots clearly inspired Al. The “voice” we now know so well emerged. His breakthrough collection, Poems for All the Annettes,” was published in 1962. By 1965, he had won a Governor General’s Award for the collection The Cariboo Horses. The house was built: the career launched.

If you have always wanted to see the A-frame and tour the home where Al worked visit this weekend after Taste on Saturday or after the Ameliasurgh Fair on Sunday. The property will be open to the public free of charge both days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visit the library web site at peclibrary.org to check dates and times for these and other library events. You can also check the progress of our capital campaign on our web site.

-Barbara Sweet