This is a book with a mission. On one level it is a celebration of the great Canadian poet Al Purdy by eminent writers who were his contemporaries. It is also part of a campaign to preserve the place that was the centre of Purdy's writing universe--his home, a lakeside A-frame cottage in Ameliasburgh, Ontario, where he and his wife Eurithe lived for 43 years. The cottage was one of the most important crossroads on Canada's literary map, a kind of tribal mustering place for notable Canadian writers from the 1950s to the 1990s including Margaret Laurence, Milton Acorn, Patrick Lane, Tom Marshall, Scott Symons, R. G. Everson, H. R. Percy, Lynn Crosbie, Michael Holmes, Maggie Helwig and a host of others. This book collects anecdotes, reminiscences, and poems by a roll call of Canadian writers about memorable days and nights spent at the A-frame, along with a selection of Purdy's own writing showing the depth of his feeling for the place where he put down his roots.
Eurithe Purdy says Al was always his most productive at the A-frame. "Despite the caviar receptions and gold accolades, he always returned to this jury-rigged little A-frame tacked to a low-slung, leaning bungalow. The whole edifice, he observed, 'bent a little in the wind and dreamt of the trees it came from.' Here, he could observe all his poetry's recurring themes: love, death, ego, 'the glories of copulation.'" Proceeds from The Al Purdy A-Frame Anthology will go towards preserving the Purdy home as a retreat for future generations of Canadian writers.
"It's an evocative mix of reminiscences, poetry, and photographs...the anthology made me feel the creative energy of the place and the fun Al and his gang had there."