Today marks the tenth anniversary (already!!) of Canadian icon poet Al Purdy’s death, and is thus deemed National Al Purdy Day. Harbour Publishing writes on their site that “Purdy fans across the country are planning their own “Purdy Parties” to help raise funds to protect Al’s old A-frame home in Ameliasburgh, Ontario as a writer’s retreat.” I wish I’d read that before today.
I’m an Al Purdy fan, living in Al Purdy country. If you like, you can read my little tribute to him here. Now, I’m not about to celebrate his significant contribution to Canadian literature by cracking open a beer in the Quinte Hotel in Trenton (about 15–20 mins. away and the site of one of his poems), but I will grab his Collected Works and read a poem or two in memory. I wish I could donate to keeping his A-frame house in Ameliasburgh from being turned to scrap. That house has seen a lot.
I wonder what Margaret Atwood is doing. Perfect Peggy and Awful Al were friends.