Thursday, November 10, 2011

Righting the Wrongs: Gus Wedderburn's Quest for Social Justice in Nova Scotia

Righting the Wrongs: Gus Wedderburn's Quest for Social Justice in Nova Scotia

Marie Riley

Nonfiction: Biography, Nova Scotia, Black History
96 pages
6" x 9" Paperback (includes photographs)
ISBN 978-1-897426-28-9

Order this book from: Nimbus Publishing (or 1-800-Nimbus9) or Chapters or Pottersfield Press mail order.

This is the story of H.A.J. (Gus) Wedderburn. During his 50 years in Nova Scotia, Gus brought his determination and energy to any situation where an injustice needed to be addressed. Growing up in Jamaica, he learned the tenets of respect, fairness and social responsibility from his dynamic family who taught him that giving one's time in the service of others was what life was all about. After studies at McGill University and Mount Allison University, he came to Nova Scotia in 1957 where he took a position as principal at Partridge River School in East Preston, one of the province's oldest Black communities. Here he set out to impress upon students and their families how important education was for them and started a tutoring program that enabled many students to graduate from high school, a first for the community. Years later, former students remember how he encouraged them, recognized their potential and boosted their self-confidence. His was an attitude often not held by teachers towards minority students in those days.

Gus moved on to teach at Bloomfield and Ardmore schools in Halifax, and in 1970, at the age of 41, he changed careers. Three years later he graduated from Dalhousie University's Law School, and practised law until his retirement. Described as "a lawyer with the soul of a social worker," he often worked pro bono and remained a mentor to many young people. A driving force for many years in the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, he was a founder of the Black Educators Association, the Black United Front, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, and the Black Cultural Centre. He was a vocal crusader for the rights of the disadvantaged at a time when discrimination in education, employment and housing was the status quo.

When he died in 2007, Gus could have taken comfort in the diversity of races, religions and political persuasions represented at his funeral—people who came to pay their respects to a gentle, genial man who made a profound impact on his adopted home.

Marie Riley was born and brought up in Nova Scotia. After graduating from Mount Saint Vincent and Carleton Universities she worked as a journalist for the Calgary Herald and for the Canadian Press news agency in Ottawa. In 1970 she went to West Africa with CUSO where she taught at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, and the University of Ghana. Following graduate work at Simon Fraser University, she taught in the public relations program at the Mount until her retirement in 2008.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Mi'kmaq Anthology, Volume Two In Celebration of the Life of Rita Joe

The Mi'kmaq Anthology, Volume Two

In Celebration of the Life of Rita Joe

Edited by Theresa Meuse, Lesley Choyce and Julia Swan

Autobiography, Poetry, Traditional Stories, Essays
224 pages
6" x 9" trade paperback
ISBN 978-1-897426-29-6
(Available in October 2011)

Order this book from: Nimbus Publishing (or 1-800-Nimbus9) or Chapters or Pottersfield Press mail order.

It has been 14 years since the landmark publication of the first volume of The Mi'kmaq Anthology, a project initiated by Rita Joe. Mi'kmaq culture continues to thrive in Atlantic Canada and this new volume brings together many new as well as familiar writers from the Mi'kmaq community. Included are essays on culture, history, and spirituality, as well as autobiography, traditional stories and poetry in this unique volume.

Contributors include Daniel N. Paul, Patricia Doyle-Bedwell, Lindsay Marshall, Catherine Martin, Mary Louise Martin, Robert Bernard, Laura Johnson, Clayton Paul, Denise Larocque, Shalan Joudrey, Peter C. Julien, Marie Battiste, Sunset Rose Morris, Theresa Meuse, Jean Augustine-McIsaac, Alice Azure, John Sylliboy, Denise Larocque, Eva Apukjij, David Marshall, and Charles Doucette. Also included are poems from Rita Joe.

The collection is informative, varied and spirited. It includes a variety of powerful voices on many subjects and is intended to be a celebration of the life of poet, Rita Joe, who encouraged many people from her extended community to write and bring forward their poetry and stories. Rita Joe was born in Whycocomagh in 1932 and received the Order of Canada for her writing and contribution to Canadian culture. Before her death in 2007, she published several important books of poetry and inspired many younger Mi'kmaq authors.

Theresa Meuse is the former chief of Bear River First Nation and has worked in various jobs with Mi'kmaq organizations. She is an educator and advisor and author of a children's book titled The Sharing Circle. Lesley Choyce is the publisher of Pottersfield Press, an English instructor in Dalhousie University's Transition Year Program and the author of a number of books. Julia Swan is an editor with Pottersfield Press and teaches at Dalhousie University.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cold Clear Morning New Revised Edition

Cold Clear Morning

New Revised Edition

Lesley Choyce

A Novel
300 pages
5 1/2" x 8 1/2" trade paperback
ISBN 978-1-897426-32-6
Includes an Afterword and Interview with the Author
Currently in Development as a Feature Film

Order this book from: Nimbus Publishing (or 1-800-Nimbus9) or Chapters or Pottersfield Press mail order.

Now available as an ebook for your ereading pleasure:

Kindle | Kobo | Smashwords |

"I just love this book. The scenes are evocative and meld into the action seamlessly, never seeming to interrupt or delay its movement, yet are so richly detailed. I give special praise to the deeper and much more difficult challenge of creating a believable fictional musician." —Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist of Rush.

Taylor Colby grew up in the tiny Nova Scotia fishing village of Nickerson Harbour, but his guitar-playing skill led him to become a much sought-after studio musician in Los Angeles. Along with him went Laura, his childhood sweetheart and soulmate. In L.A., Laura becomes enamoured with the dark side of rock and roll life, leaving Taylor lost, distraught and deeply damaged. It is then that Taylor realizes he has to go back home to Nickerson Harbour, to confront LauraĆ¢€™s parents, to reunite with his father and confront the truth of his own dysfunctional family.

Back in Nova Scotia, Taylor learns that his mother, who had abandoned him as a child to move to Ontario and remarry, wants to come home to reconcile with her own past. Taylor is haunted by his loss and grief but must also come to terms with some hidden truths about Laura. As he begins to make sense of his past, he befriends a feminist professor from Philadelphia who has run away from a miserable marriage to start anew in Canada with her troubled twelve-year-old son.

Cold Clear Morning is a novel about dreams realized and dreams shattered. It is about love and loss, hurting and healing, grief and forgiving. Taylor Colby speaks his story of love and loss and what it takes to pick up the remains of a shattered life and find renewed purpose and hope. It is the story of going back to the home that you thought you could never go back to. In his odyssey from Nova Scotia to British Columbia, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and back home to Nova Scotia, he attempts to find real meaning to his life of adventure and despair.

"Cold Clear Morning is an evocative read. Watching Taylor Colby, his mother, and his father work through their memories and their pain, toiling towards peace, evokes powerful emotions. And then there is the sea—it speaks through the pages and mesmerizes the soul." —Kimberley Blevins, Regina Leader-Post

Lesley Choyce is also the author of over fifty books, including, for Pottersfield Press: the poetry collection The Coastline of Forgetting, children's books Far Enough Island and Famous At Last, and non-fiction books Driving Minnie's Piano: Memoirs of a Surfing Life in Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia: Shaped By The Sea, and Peggy's Cove: The Amazing History of a Coastal Village. He has also edited for Pottersfield Press: Ark of Ice: Canadian Futurefictions, The Mi'kmaq Anthology, The Mi'kmaq Anthology, Volume Two (with Rita Joe), Nova Scotia: Visions of the Future, Nova Scotia: A Traveller's Companion, and Pottersfield Nation: East of Canada.