This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
I.S.S.N. – 1911-0693 October 15, 2012 Issue 059
Dear CCLA members and Lit Lovers: A quick note with a quick Envoy. Our CCLA member and editor of The Envoy, Stella Mazur Preda, contacted me the other day and told me that the next issue of The Envoy will be postponed by a month and will be coming out sometime in November. Also Stella let me know that she will have to step down as editor because of life’s complications. We look forward to your next issue Stella and will be sad that your contribution to the CCLA and Envoy editor has to come to an end. This issue will just be a quick issue catching you up on the summer that quickly came to a close. It will tide you over until Stella’s November issue. The weather man is warning us that Old Man Frost is hovering just around the corner for some and has already hit for others. So the first frosty bit of business is asking the membership if anyone is interested in being the editor for The Envoy. It need not be a complicated or arduous task. Collect submissions in a folder, do the layout and design, and present an issue as often as you like - as large or as small as you like. Contact me if you are interested. All the best prez tai
Marmora Ontario’s “PurdyFest” Literary Festival, August 3 - 5 Once again CCLA members gathered on Chris Faiers’s scenic riverside retreat- ZenRiver Garden - for poetry readings, this time back-toback with a group of Kingston area writers whose anthology Tai had recently published. Tai, president of the CCLA and publisher of Hidden Brook Press, presided over both sets of readings. The two groups joined in a feeling of camaraderie, we shared a bottle of good Cuban rum, our friend Honey Novick from the Canadian Cuban Friendship Association sang for us, the sun shone warmly . . . and then a big black cloud came and rained on us. But we didn’t let it spoil our fun. Thirty of us huddled under Tai’s large display tents, brought out umbrellas and raincoats, did what we could to hide from wind-blown rain and from water cascading down between the roofs, and kept on reading. Some papers may have got wet but we had a fine poetic afternoon. John Hamley – CCLA member
Remember - if you would like to organize a CCLA reading or festival in your area just let us know and we will get the word out to our members. We have members across the country. We can hook you up with members in your area. ALSO if you would like to present a special issue of The Envoy with a special them let me know what you have planned.
Send me your content for a future issue of The Envoy. Tai — Writers@HiddenBrookPress.com
A BOOK REVIEW In the Embrace of the Alligator by Amanda Hale Publisher: Thistledown Press Ltd. ISBN: 978-1-897235-87-4 $18.95 CAD Pages: 270 I am a Canadian who felt half Cuban This read was outstanding! I was blown away by how much knowledge and insight of Cuba Amanda Hale has and has included in her book – In the Embrace of the Alligator. Her statement “the story of Cuba is in the experience of daily life” (p. 255), is true indeed and flows throughout the story as I was turned into the Canadian narrator. For me In the Embrace of the Alligator was more than a novel, but felt like a work of literary non-fiction, a narrative of actuality as well as a psychological novel. As a reader I was given an insider’soutsider’s perspective on not only the physicality of the characters and their adventures, but also their emotional lives through a mix of first and third person perspectives. To be honest, after only one tourist visit, I do not know Cuba to the extent I want, but after my visit and after reading this book, due to the detail, metaphors, setting, characters, love, deaths, to the degree of the authentic foods, I felt I turned from a pure Canadian to half Cuban. I was engrossed in the heart of Cuba; as Hale said…“Beneath the layers of its onion”…la cebolla. Hale says “Language shapes our thinking and feeling, so there is a part of me now that finds expression only in Cuba” (p.248). As a Canadian who has a strong bond with Cuba and its people, a quote like this I could relate to, because I felt after I left Cuba, I left a part of me behind…a part I never knew I had in the alligator. Reading, In the Em-
brace of the Alligator has only made me realize that Cuba will always have a special place in my heart…mi corazón. As far as my goals concerning Cuba, I very much want to return to Ciego De Avila, where my Cuban adventure started. I would like to participate in literary conventions and to visit good friends there. I hope that my writing will be recognized in other cities and provinces there as well. I am 20 years old, born in Toronto, Canada, West Indian background. My Spanish is growing every day. I am in my third year at York University, majoring in Creative Writing and Literature. It is my priority to take my fiction and poetry further so that eventually it will have potential to be published; not just in Canada, but internationally. I have the intention of learning something new every day whether it’s about writing itself or other writers and their theories. In the Embrace of the Alligator was a wonderful learning and life lesson for me.
CCLA Member – Danielle Dinally
Another 5 star review of The Last Stoic by CCLA member Morgan Wade – see review at – SmashWords.com – https://www.smashwords.com/books/ view/156144 ALSO - his book had been long listed for the Relit Award. Is it time you read his book and sent us a review?
Holguín, Cuba – September 06/2012 Dear Friends, I hope you had a nice summer, and you are doing well. Here, in July and August all the students were on holidays. Beaches, pools, camping sites, everywhere you went it was full of people, but it was great. Monday 3rd was the beginning of a new academic year, now schools are swarming with children in their colorful uniforms. In the end of June, my daughter came with her husband and son and we went touring in a car from Pinar del Río to Guardalavaca. It was fantastic. She arrived 5 days before her family, and we spent those days visiting relatives and friends, shopping, and going around together. Then we travelled to Havana to join the others the day they were arriving. There they hired a car and we spent 2 days in Havana, then travelled to Pinar del Río to visit Soroa and Valle de Viñales, the vegetation and the “mogotes” are awesome. We also went to La Cueva del Indio, where we walked about 200 mts. and then we sailed in a motor boat through a river inside the cave until we came out on the other side. This was a very exciting experience for me. There we stayed for a night, and continued to Varadero (it was a one night stay in most of the places). We visited a crocodile breeding farm that is in the road to Playa Girón, and “The Treasure Lagoon”, amazing places. In Varadero the beach was wonderful, I didn’t want to leave. But in the morning we had to drive to Bellamar Caves and then continue to Cienfuegos. Here we found a beautiful city, an impressive seawall and stayed in Pasacaballo Hotel, just above the bay and in front of Jagua Castle. It’s a pity we didn’t visit it. This hotel has a wonderful sea water pool, we enjoyed it until next day at noon when we drove to Trinidad. This city was a real surprise, I never thought they had so many colonial houses, old streets, and so well preserved (although it’s famous for it). Here we went to Ancón beach. We continued our tour next day to Camagüey, in this city we walked around and discovered many special places. Next we drove to Bayamo (this is a city I love), and walked around and enjoyed it as much as possible. From here we went to Santiago de Cuba and stayed in Villa Gaviota, they have a great pool. In the morning we went to visit El Morro and El Cobre,
then continued to Holguin where we stayed for two days in El Bosque Hotel. Most of the time we were visiting relatives that had invited us for a special dinner or lunch, although we made some time to enjoy the pool. From here we drove to Guardalavaca where we stayed for 6 days, this was my special treat (my daughter knows it’s my favorite beach). On the 19th of July we came back home and they continued driving to Havana, since they would fly from there. I was very happy, but also felt very lonely when they left. Luckily I had a lot to do: a dirty house, laundry, and so on. In August my son came to visit with his family for 5 days. It was during the carnivals, we took my six-year-old granddaughter to all the places she could enjoy. Since they left, that was on the 21st, I am trying to get back to my daily routine but It’s not easy. I have lots of books to read, poems and stories I want to translate, but the weather is really hot, so most of the time I end watching TV or listening to music. I think I am under a slight melancholic state. Nevertheless, I have gone to some literary-cultural activities. Manuel, Adonay and Pablo have spent all these days at home. Manuel, working full time on his books as always. I got them to go with me on a one day trip to Gibara, where we visited Jorge and his family. Pablo, Adonay, and I went swimming for a while. Now I booked in Campismo a one-day tour to Gibara on the 16th for the 4 of us. It is cheap and they’ll give us lunch and snacks, this way we won’t burden Jorge with the cooking. I also went to Guardalavaca on a one-day tour. I intend to go for a weekend when the “low season” starts and it’s cheaper. I love this place, the beach and the pools are good and you can go to the show every night after dinner. There you have a good time and meet people. Miriam Estrella Vera Delgado
DRIVING CUBA To Erich, Diana and Jan… In July I enjoyed An adventurous tour That filled my heart With joy And served to me as Cure. With an audacious Captain And a three-member Crew We rode mountains and Valleys And admired every view. Visiting historical places Caverns and fortresses, We searched every corner… Their secrets tried to Guess. A centenarian seawall Was there for us to admire, A crocodile breeding farm And a magic water fall. Our days were fresh And happy Thanks to beaches and Pools We enjoyed them to the Maximum But followed all the Rules. Zigzagging through The country From the tip to the end So many things surprised Us… We discovered and learned. August 18/2012 My love and best wishes Miriam Estrella Vera Delgado
My dear friends, a couple of news items from the family here. Last Thursday, Pablo was in his learning to bicycle lessons with me (he already drives) and bumped into a cardona hedge (cardona is a very thorny cactus they use to build fences) and scratched his face, chest, head and hands badly. Miraculously, he did not hurt his left eye, his guardian angel must have been alert. Luckily, these were only scratches, he now looks like a Black Foot Indian from the prairies but is ready to go again into his lessons, a brave boy he is. Yesterday, Manuel Alejandro [Manuel’s middle son, a doctor] arrived home from Venezuela. He will be here for a month. He is now more mature and self-assured, I am proud of him and his job healing the poor for almost nothing tangible in return. Last night, we had a historical rainfall, 70 cm in three hours. Probably the universe was moved with my heart because of the return of my son. The symposium is over (an hour ago), at last! I have so many things to do for the weekend that my plan does not include sleeping, and next week looms very busy beyond the Sunday's horizon. Manuel
Coast of Gibara, Cuba
The Grey Dog in the Parking Lot I am so busy as usual but I decided to take a couple of hours and drive 90 minutes north to a poetry reading for the book “That Not Forgotten” that I published and launched in the summer. The editor organized the post-launch reading for the Friday night – it was not obligatory that I go but I wanted to be supportive of the efforts of the editor and authors. I dragged myself from the sofa where I had fallen asleep sitting up while having something to eat after a long day of installing the red metal roof to the new extension I had built a month ago. I darted from my slumber and pushed my way into clean cloths and slumped into my car. I made record time and got to the reading venue just in time. The store where the reading was taking place was called The Cat Saas – a joke on the phrase “The Cat’s Ass”. As I pulled into the small town of Norwood I stopped and leaned out the car window towards a gaggle of teenagers. With carful pronunciation I asked if they knew where the Cat Saas was. The request for directions was met with hilarious cackles and gesticulations. Oh fuck yah man, the fuckin’ Cat’s Ass is just around the corner man. Fuckin’ cool place man, you can’t miss it. Thirty seconds later I was prancing into a very cool store front coffee shop come music store filled with funky stuff. I bought a coffee – decaf – and a muffin. After a quick chit chat with a few friends I settled in for the readings for which I almost fell asleep – a reflection of how tired I was not on the quality of the readings. Half way through I stood at the back with no wall to rest on so that my mind would be alert to the author’s contributions. After the readings and more pleasantries exchanged I headed home tracing my circuitous country route, driving through the tunnel of black, silver headlights piercing the ebony wall. I got to the small town of Hastings where I needed to turn and change highways from #45 to #25. After the turn I drove for 30 minutes before I realized that I had taken the wrong spoke in the convoluted junction. No problem I
thought I will just turn right instead of going all the way back to my miss guided turn. I turned onto a pitch dark road where not even a cow’s silver eyes were present to dart me in the right direction. Oh finally lights in the distance. I must be close to home. I took another turn onto another well marked but desolate road. Strange, very strange, it was the #7 highway. My choice was west to Toronto or east to Ottawa. Toronto I knew was wrong so east I chose. 40 minutes later I arrived, can you believe it, right back at exactly the town from where I had departed. How on earth is that possible!!!!!!!!!! I looked at my map and with no hesitation I headed back out of the now sleeping town of Norwood. A grey haired dog sat in the parking lot of a slumbering Coffee Time store front that I had driven past going into town and once again as I left an hour ago. The dog sat on his left haunch gazing at the flickering street lights most assuredly did not notice the bewildered glaze that veiled my eyes as I slowly, very cautiously drove out of town for the second time. A silly smirk drained from my squinting face. Ok finally there is Hastings again where I must have made my fatal turnabout mistake. A small sigh said highway 45 turn right here. So, there is no way I am going to make that mistake and follow #45 again. With a sense of school boy pride I snubbed the turn and continued straight looking for highway #25. Pride has a way of biting you in the cat’s ass if you are not careful. Three minutes later I realized that I was not on the right path after all. Once again the town of Hastings foiled my return home. I pulled into the parking lot of Smith and Smith Funeral Home to make a quick recalculation. With a tentative smile I zipped through the deserted town and put the pedal to the medal. What I did not realize was that I was driving in the “Twilight Zone”. 15 minutes later, there ahead of me was the Norwood neon flickered grey dog. How on earth is that possible!!!!!!!!!!! I pulled in beside the dog that still sat basking in star light to gather my senses. The map light revealed that I had simply traveled back
through the same tunnel of doom after leaving Smith and Smith’s. It would appear that all wrong turns lead back to the cat’s ass and the neon flickered grey dog. I shut my eyes for ten minutes, composed myself and headed once again into the abyss. When I arrived at the infamous Hastings intersection I sat refusing to make a turn. I sat and read the sign that said #45. I read the sign that said #2 and the arrow that pointed to #10. I consulted my map again and again. At 3 miles an hour I coasted through the red blinking intersection. I coasted towards the #45 against all instinct. I coasted past the familiar Home Hardware store. I gently coasted past the church on the right, the municipal building on the left and finally there it was the arrow under the #25 south sign. I tentatively, ever so slowly coasted to the left of the fork in the road past the monument, over the bridge. I coasted for five minutes refusing to put my foot on the gas until I was finally confident that I was finally out of the Twilight Zone and heading in the right direction. 30 minutes later I was pulling into the security of my gravel Wicklow driveway. For just a moment, a millisecond, I swear I thought that I saw the grey haired dog sitting waiting for me. A raccoon lumbered out of the beams of my car lights. I was finally home. Tai
Coast of Gibara, Cuba
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.