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.'" All profits from The Al Purdy A-Frame Anthology will go towards preserving the Purdy home as a retreat for future generations of Canadian writers.
About the authors
Al Purdy’s down-to-earth voice populates thirty-three books, including The Cariboo Horses (1965), North of Summer (1967), Sex & Death (1973), and Piling Blood (1984). The two major collections of his work are The Collected Poems of Al Purdy (1986) and Beyond Remembering: The Collected Poems of Al Purdy (2000). Purdy died in Sidney, BC, on April 21, 2000.
Robert Budde teaches creative writing and critical theory at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George. He has published four books (two poetry—Catch as Catch and traffick, and two novels—Misshapen and, most recently, The Dying Poem). He maintains two online literary journals at and .
Russell Morton Brown is a professor in the department of English at the University of Toronto. An editor for the University of Toronto Quarterly, the editor of The Collected Poems of Al Purdy, and co-editor with Donna Bennett of the New Anthology of Canadian Literature in English, he was also Editorial Director of Poetry at McClelland and Stewart for five years.
Paul Vermeersch is the author of three collections of poetry: The Fat Kid, Burn (a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Award) and, most recently, Between the Walls. He is also the editor of the anthology The I.V. Lounge Reader. His next collection, The Reinvention of the Human Hand, is forthcoming in 2010. His poetry has been published widely in literary journals and magazines. He lives in Toronto, where he works as a teacher and serves as poetry editor for Insomniac Press. He is a long-time reader and admirer of the work of Al Purdy.
"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."
Yann Martel on The A-Frame Anthology
Other titles by Al Purdy
Laurier Poetry Pack #5
Laurier Poetry Pack #4
Wilfrid Laurier University Press
We Go Far Back in Time
The Letters of Earle Birney and Al Purdy, 1947-1984
Poems for All the Annettes
The More Easily Kept Illusions
The Poetry of Al Purdy
The Collected Letters of Al Purdy
Necropsy of Love
The Collected Poems of Al Purdy