Hard Light: 32 Little Stories[CD]
Hard Light: 32 Little Stories A Selection of poems from Hard Light, originally published by Brick Books 1998 Hard Light: 32 Little Stories is a retelling and reinvention of tales told to Michael Crummey by his father and other family members about outport Newfoundland and the Labrador fishery of a half-century ago. It's a love-letter to a world and a way of life that has vanished completely in the last fifty years. All of it is true. Even the lies. Michael Crummey (Author) Raised in Buchans, Newfoundland and in Wabush, Labrador, Michael Crummey won the inaugural Bronwen Wallace competition in 1994 for most promising Canadian poet under the age of thirty-five who has not yet published a first book. His first collection of poems, Arguments with Gravity, was published in 1996 and won the Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award for Poetry. Michael Crummey's first foray into fiction came with the publication of a collection of short stories, Flesh & Blood, in 1998. That same year, his second book of poems, Hard Light was released to general acclaim. Since then he has published a best-selling, Giller Prize-nominated novel, a further collection of poems and a work of non-fiction with photographs by Greg Locke. Michael Crummey makes his home in St. John's, Newfoundland. Ron Hynes (Narrator) Ron Hynes began his career as a singer/songwriter in his home province of Newfoundland in the early seventies. While on a theatre tour with the Mummers Troupe in '76 he composed a song called Sonny's Dream that would go on to become a folk classic recorded by dozens of artists worldwide. Ron was a founding member of the Wonderful Grand Band, a musical comedy show featuring a six-piece traditional/folk/rock band together with various members of Codco. The group produced two albums of original work, forty-one half hour TV shows for the CBC plus specials,and toured the country nonstop during it's six year history. Ron's moonlight career as an actor has resulted in two principle theatre roles as Nfld. Songwriter Johnny Burke in 'The Bard Of Prescott Street' and a country legend in 'Hank Williams: The Show He Never Gave', as well as a lead role in the Nfld. Independent film release A Secret Nation for which his original song, "The Final Breath" won a Genie award for best song. Deidre Gillard-Rowlings (Narrator) A professional actor, Didi hails from Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula. She has performed in many productions for stage and film in Newfoundland. Between 2002 -2006 Didi toured internationally as Myra Bennett in Tempting Providence, directed by Jillian Keilley. Didi graduated from Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in 1994 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre. Among her skills, drop spinning, character accents, puppet-making, clowning, mask making, Jazz and Latin dance, stage directing & make up, conversational German and Korean, percussive instruments . . .and wait there's more, Deidre Gillard Rowlings can ''carry a tune in a bucket''. Book Reviews: ...fully inhabits the earth, air, fire and water of Newfoundland...outstanding. The Globe & Mail ... an exquisitely evocative world...the apparently ordinary shimmers with a matter of fact clarity guaranteed to curl your toes. The Toronto Star Audio Book Reviews: From AudioFile Magazine: This collection by Newfoundland poet and fiction writer Michael Crummey was published in book form in 1998, but it feels more comfortable as an audio because it's grounded in an oral tradition. These brief stories-most just two or three minutes long-are based on tales Crummey heard from friends and family, particularly his late father. The two narrators have contrasting styles that work well together-Ron Hynes's salty male voice describes daily life, such as "making the fish" (processing cod), while Deidre Gillard-Rowlings's animated female voice relates the more colorful stories of youthful misadventures. Like a great family story, HARD LIGHT can be heard in one sitting but gets better with repeated listening. From Jay Ruzesky, Malahat Review: There is something pleasing about being read to, especially by practiced voices like Ron Hynes and Deidre Gillard-Rowlings, so it is a delight to hear the prose and poetry from Michael Crummey's Hard Light collected on CD. This audiobook is more than entertainment. It reminds me of Glenn Gould's 1969 radio documentary, The Latecomers, which is a piece that stretched my ideas about form. In that recording, Gould orchestrates a chorus of voices, fading them in, out, and over each other in a nonlinear way to create an impressionistic tableau that is a portrait of life in Newfoundland. Hard Light is similarly a nonlinear sketch of life on The Rock, and particularly a portrait of Crummey's family. It begins with a poem called "Rust" about the hands of a father that look like "a moon rising at the tip of each finger" so that they represent "distance" and "other worlds." His hands are abused by the repetition of "bodies of codfish opened with a blade" and become an image of a map etched by "daily necessities" and "the habits of generation". These hands display the residue of memory, and of a way of life in "time's indelible scar." Looking at a pair of hands can speak of a community; given the labours of these hands, it is not hard to imagine that the experience of others must be similar. In this way, Crummey establishes his methodology in this poem - by telling stories of individuals, he will represent a whole people. The pieces that follow are stories of storms, journeys, work, injustice, and loss. There are also recipes, land-title documents, and songs. Each piece has it's own flavour and contributes to the whole. What comes through is a strong sense of place and tradition, and of an environment that is inhospitable and unpredictable, but embraced by the spirited people who remain there.
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