A book about "slide hauling," a type of seasonal winter work using horses, which was common until the late 1980s in Tilting, Fogo Island, Newfoundland. Maintaining the slide paths was a communal activity: oral history describing the slide hauling process, watercolours of memorable places along the paths revealing place, maps and photographs from the author's 1988 trip on the winter slide path with his Newfoundland dog Sophie and with Andrew and Neil McGrath and their horse Brandy extend the metaphor of Newfoundland traditions as slow art. Below each watercolour a small map with a red dot animates the moving locations along the path, and under this map the place name is identified. On facing pages, transcripts of interviews on slide hauling conducted in 1988 with Ted Burke, Dan Greene, Fergus Burke, Pearce Dwyer and Jim Greene are presented. None of the men from their generation are alive today, and the information in this book is just a small sample of the deep knowledge they had of Fogo Island's landscape and history. Mellin's glorious watercolours showwinter's changing light and weather conditions from early morning to early evening.
About the authors
Robert Mellin is an Associate Professor at McGill University's School of Architecture in Montreal. He has been a registered architect since 1978. In 2002 he was elected to the R.C.A. (Royal Canadian Academy), and he was elected to Fellowship in the RAIC in 2009. He has received eight Southcott Awards for his heritage conservation projects in Newfoundland, and in 2005 he received a Manning Award from the Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. In 2006 he received the Paul E. Buchanan Award for excellence in fieldwork and interpretation from the Vernacular Architecture Forum. He is past-Chair of the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. His book Tilting: House Launching, Slide Hauling, Potato Trenching and Other Tales from a Newfoundland Fishing Village was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2003 and it won the Winterset Literary Award. In 2011, Professor Mellin's book Newfoundland Modern: Architecture in the Smallwood Years, 1949-1972, was published as part of the McGill Queen's/Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation Studies in Art History series.
Bernice Morgan (b. 1935), a life-long Newfoundlaner, lives in St. John's. Her stories have been published widely in literary journals, and in 1996, she was named Newfoundland Artist of the Year for her writing. Her novel Waiting for Time (Breakwater, 1994) won the Thomas Raddall Award for Fiction, and Random Passage (Breakwater, 1992) has been developed as a TV series. "Poems in a Cold Climate," which first appeared in The Fiddlehead, is from her collection, The Topography of Love (Breakwater, 2000).
Stan Dragland was born and brought up in Alberta. He was educated at The University of Alberta and Queen's University. He has taught at the University of Alberta, at The Grammar School, Sudbury, Suffolk, England, in the English Department at the University of Western Ontario in London, and in the Banff Centre Writing Studio. He now lives in St. John's, Newfoundland. He was founding editor of Brick, a journal of reviews and founder of Brick Books, a poetry publishing house, which he still serves as publisher and editor. Between 1993 and 1996 he was poetry editor for McClelland and Stewart. He has published three previous books of fiction: Peckertracks, a Chronicle (shortlisted for the 1978 Books in Canada First Novel Prize), Journeys Through Bookland and Other Passages, and (for children) Simon Jesse's Journey. He has edited collections of essays on Duncan Campbell Scott and James Reaney. Wilson MacDonald's Western Tour, a 'critical collage,' has been followed by two other books of criticism, The Bees of the Invisible: Essays in Contemporary English Canadian Writing and Floating Voice: Duncan Campbell Scott and the Literature of Treaty 9, which won the 1995 Gabrielle Roy Prize for Canadian Literary Criticism. 12 Bars, a prose blues, was co-winner of the bp Nichol Chapbook Award in 2003, the same year Apocrypha: Further Journeys appeared in NeWest Press's Writer-as-Critic series. Apocrypha was winner of the Rogers Cable Non-Fiction Award in 2005. In April 2004 the stage adaptation of HalldÛr Laxness's The Atom Station, co-written with Agnes Walsh, was performed at the LSPU Hall in St. John's. His most recent book is Stormy Weather: Foursomes, prose poetry from Pedlar Press, was shortlisted for the EJ Pratt Poetry Award in 2007. He is editor of the recently-released Hard-Headed and Big-Hearted: Writing Newfoundland, a collection of essays by Newfoundland historian Stuart Pierson.