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Book launch featuring poems on Amherstburg buildings being held soon

UW students pose with their poetry anthology.

A pair of poetry anthologies are being launched next month, one of them centring on Amherstburg.

The University of Windsor’s editing and publishing practicum is teaming with Black Moss Press and Black Dog Entertainment to present “What Time Can’t Touch – A Love Letter for Amherstburg.” The new book is a poetry collection and it is being launched alongside a second poetry anthology called “Where the Map Begins: Windsor Through Poetry.”

Cristina Matteis-Stenlund and Sarah Murphy, two students who are members of the practicum, noted the Amherstburg book is based on the Windsor book.

Matteis-Stenlund indicated the Windsor title has its roots dating back to last year with Richard Peddie, an Amherstburg businessman and co-owner of Black Dog Entertainment in attendance. From there, the idea of an Amherstburg book began.

Marty Gervais, professor, journalist and publisher of Black Moss Press, worked to have both books formally launched together this year.

“What Time Can’t Touch” features the work of poets Teajai Travis, Karen Rockwell, Rawand Mustafa, Laura Mulrooney, Barry Brodie and Dorothy Mahoney. Murphy pointed out the poems were based on Meg Reiner’s book “Heritage Buildings of Amherstburg” though poets took it one step further and imagined “human stories” of what it could have been like to occupy them.

Murphy added Gervais has a lot of contacts and used them to come up with the list of poets inside the new book “What Time Can’t Touch.” Matteis-Stenlund stated there will be books available for sale at the launch events, noting one will be in Windsor and the second in Amherstburg.

Matteis-Stenlund continued by stating they see the two books as ways to bring Amherstburg to Windsor readers and vice versa.

The editing and publishing practicum is described as “a rigourous, year-long course that challenges students to apply their critical literary skills in a real-world context.” The team consists of 30 students that focus on all aspects of publishing from editing the initial manuscript, cover and interior design, marketing and promotion.

“I’m looking for the best,” said Gervais. “I look upon these courses as collaborative experiences. We are working together on this book as a team.”

The Windsor event will be at Mackenzie Hall, located at 3277 Sandwich St., April 2 starting at 7 p.m. There will be a live performance with local talent, words from Amherstburg Mayor Michael Prue and a chance to meet the poets. The second event will be April 6 in the River Bookshop’s “Hole in the Wall” where there will be artwork for sale and poetry readings in a more “intimate” atmosphere. Meghan Desjardins, lead bookseller at River Bookshop, noted she is a former member of the practicum and it means a lot to her. Desjardins added Reiner’s book will also be on sale at a special price of $24.95.

The Hole in the Wall event space will soon see a renovation, she added, with further details to come.

Book launch featuring poems on Amherstburg buildings being held soon

By Ron Giofu

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