Welcome to Hillsdale!
In his new poetry collection, Gerald Hill invites you to take a cruise down the streets of Hillsdale, learn about its architecture, rehearse its schoolyard taunts and sample its denizens' favourite drink recipes. Fusing history, geography and autobiography to create a document of life in Regina's suburbs, then and now, Hill peels back placid suburban archetypes to expose the messy, challenging systems churning underneath.
Spend some time in Hillsdale, and you'll soon realize that places have stories of their own, chronicles that can be read as deeply as any book, if you know what you're doing.
About the author
“In celebration of its 50th Anniversary, this Globe Theatre history captures, in historical and contemporary photographs as well as in Gerald Hill’s accomplished storytelling, the struggles and the many victories of one of the most significant cultural institutions in Saskatchewan.Founded in 1966 by Ken and Sue Kramer, the Globe Theatre was Saskatchewan’s first professional theatre company, and, to this day, remains the only professional theatre-in-the-round in Canada.Inspired by their work with Brian Way’s theatre for children in London, England, the Kramers started the Globe as a touring company devoted to young audiences with a guiding philosophy of participation and access for all young people regardless of their location, economic means or initial interest in theatre. A program of six adult productions per season was soon developed as well. The Globe Theatre pioneered a playwright in residence program, featuring Rex Deverell, and the beginnings of professional theatre training in the province. Through the terms of its subsequent artistic directors, Susan Ferley and current director Ruth Smillie, it continues to offer high-quality performances to audiences, professional theatre training to artists and drama classes to children and adults.Through it all, Globe principals have also been high-profile participants in the debates, the struggles and the development of the artistic community of the province as a whole.This is, indeed, a social history to be remembered and celebrated.
- Short-listed, Robert Kroetsch Award for Poetry at the Alberta Book Publishing Awards
- Short-listed, Saskatchewan Arts Board Poetry Award
Excerpt: Hillsdale Book (by (author) Gerald Hill)
You are entering Hillsdale, a southern suburb of Regina. Opened to its first few houses in 1956, Hillsdale was a modern suburb, in the mid-'50s sense of modern urban design. As if protecting two sensibilities, the car and the family, the design featured perimeter through-streets and a snarl of interior bays, crescents, and cul-de-sacs.
I moved to Hillsdale with my parents and sisters in 1961. I moved there again, with my own family this time, in 1995.
By 2008 Hillsdale becomes a textual field on which a boy (1961-1972), and a man (1995-2010) and a traveller (as ever) arrive and leave, return and leave, figuring who and where they are. It becomes a document faithfully received, playfully rendered.
Laid out as streets and crescents on annexed farmland, Hillsdale becomes text and images laid out in this book.
Hillsdale welcomes you.
Praise for Hillsdale:
"An intense and fascinating exploration of the layering of thought and feeling about place that goes much deeper than mothballs. This book-collage of poetry is so down to earth."
~ Fred Wah, former Poet Laureate of Canada and author of Diamond Grill
"Hill is a master at displaying the mystery in the mundane, what we often overlook in the obvious, and the incredible richness of how people ingeniously craft a life for themselves despite social and economic forces that do not operate for their benefit."
~ Tom Wayman, author of Dirty Snow and Winter's Skin
"It's a mark of his skill as a poet, prose writer and researcher that he's able to show Hillsdale, which lies between Albert Street and the University of Regina, south of 23rd Avenue, for what it was, and is: a place of innovation, hope, and occasional tragedy."
~ Will Chabun, Regina Leader-Post
"With maps, photographs, drawings, interviews, and the poems themselves, Hill transports us to the brand new life of a suburb, postwar hope and abundance springing forth in new houses, many children, schools, and the multitude of little stories that make up lives."
~ Bill Robertson, Saskatoon Star Phoenix