June 5, 2012 Book Launch and Reading at the Bookshelf!
Thanks to The Bookshelf for hosting the very successful and fun book launch of Animal Companions, Animal Doctors, Animal People (poems, essays, and stories on our essential connections), and thanks to the wonderful audience of animal lovers, veterinarians (and the people who love them), and readers of all kinds.
The evening was introduced by Elizabeth Stone, co-editor of the book and dean of Ontario Veterinary College. After giving a little background on the origins of the book, Elizabeth read our all-round favorite sonnet written by a golden retriever, "Golden Retrievals" (by National Book Award Winner Mark Doty). Other readings were from Hilde Weisert, poet and co-editor, and three local contributors:
- Donna Curtin practices veterinary medicine as a mixed animal practitioner in Bruce County, Ontario. She is currently working on a novel and a series of short stories. She read her humorous and perceptive answer to the question, "Don't You Love Animals?" (a knockout, especially in Donna's wonderful reading).
- Eufemia Fantetti graduated from The Writer's Studio at SFU and is currently working on an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. In selecting Eufemia's essay as one of her five favourites, Lorna Crozier wrote "If you ever need a primer about the human/feline connection, all you need to do is read 'How to Become a Cat Person' - the writing leaps with surprises like a tabby on catnip."
- Jeff Thomason is a biophysicist at OVC studying the biomechanics of horses, and the course coordinator for the first-year DVM course in Comparative Mammalian Anatomy. We loved how he combines the perceptions of a teacher and, as he describes it, a "guardian servant" of cats, in his poem, "The Subtle Distinctions between Housecats and First-Year Veterinary Students."
Besides reading her own poem, "Imagination Itself" (which leads off the last section of the book, by that name), Hilde read a short poem from Phyllis Hickney Larsen. Dr. Larsen grew up on Massachusetts farms in the 1920s and early 1930s, studied veterinary medicine in Kansas, taught English in China, and "now, animals abound in her personal poems and essays harvested from memories of at least 85 years." Here is Phyllis' poem:
Two old women in one rocking chair...
I am eighty-two years old
my cat, sixteen
Phyllis Hickney Larsen
If you're in the Guelph area, be sure to patronize The Bookshelf, and find your copy of Animal Companions, Animal Doctors, Animal People there.
The Bookshelf is located at 41 Quebec Street, Guelph Ontario. Click here for directions.
Please check back periodically for updates on more events!
Book contributors: We're putting together a press kit and information if you want to arrange a reading in your area, and will be contacting you soon.