"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Friday, March 4, 2011

Our Pictou Correspondent Writes:

"Read by the Sea is run by a volunteer committee of book-lovers along the north shore of Nova Scotia from Pugwash to Pictou. Our mission is to bring fine writers and writing to our rural area. In the year 2000, with the help and support of the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library, a clutch of three women conceived of the idea and mounted the inaugural festival. Despite a total lack experience, very little knowledge and a miniscule budget, the festival was a great hit. Over the next few years we set out to build a solid foundation for the festival. Now with seven committee members, lots of community support, and a list of sponsors, the festival is flourishing. We have recently expanded our offerings to include The Village Series, which brings year-round readings to villages along the north shore.

"It’s going to be a dazzling combination of music, food and poetry on April 2, 2011 at the Palace Theatre in Pictou when Read by the Sea presents "Elizabeth Bishop in Brazil". Halifax poet and professor John Barnstead will recite selections of poetry and prose from Bishop’s life in Brazil, while the music of Cocada will take you on a journey to the country where this Pulitzer Prize-winning poet made her home for almost twenty years. To enhance the Brazilian flavour of the evening, tapas will be served.

The evening will be introduced by Sandra Barry, one of the founders of the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia, which is marking the hundredth anniversary of Bishop's birth with a series of celebrations -- from concerts to art exhibitions to a literary festival in Great Village. Bishop spent much of her early childhood in Great Village, at her grandparents’ home, and wrote some of her most famous poetry and prose about being a child there.

"Cocada, with Brookfield piano teacher and composer Joanne Hatfield on guitar and vocals, Jef Wirchenko on double bass, and Dawn Hatfield on flute, began with Joanne’s interest in Brazilian music and her learning to play and sing many Bossa Nova standards. Dawn, a music educator, composer and performer, is a versatile musician who plays baritone sax, flute and ukelele. Jef began his professional career at age sixteen with singer/songwriter Shirley Jackson. Well known as a blues bassist, Jef also explores many styles of music, playing in a variety of ensembles. In addition to Brazilian music, Cocada’s repertoire includes original compositions.

"This program was first performed in 2009 as part of the “Brazil in Great Village” weekend. Read by the Sea is delighted to present this encore performance at the Palace, the historic theatre building recently re-opened at 41 Water Street in Pictou. The theatre is on the second floor and offers ample parking in the lot behind the building. Doors will open at 6:30, the performance will begin at 7:00. Tickets for this Read by the Sea fundraiser are $20 and are available at the Village Florist in Tatamagouche, the River John Library, online at www.readbythesea.ca., or at the door.

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