Yale’s renowned man-of-letters W.P. Kinsella has invited a few authors to town on Sunday for an afternoon of reading.
Joe Kertes, Dan Needles, Terry Fallis and Trevor Cole, all winners of the Leacock Medal for Humour, will join Kinsella for a special event at the Yale and District Community Centre on Albert Street, beginning at 3 p.m.
The gathering is dubbed Fencepost 13, but organizer Fred Addis, of the Leacock Museum in Orillia in Ontario, admits it’s just a working title.
“These guys get tons of emails and I had to pick something that would make my subject line noticeable,” he said.
“And it is of course a throw to Bill Kinsella and his 1986 Leacock Award winning collection The Fencepost Chronicles as well as the name of Dan Needles’ column.”
So why Yale and why now?
Addis said he tried to visit Kinsella with Paul Quarrington in 2009, but the accomplished musician, playwright, screenwriter and novelist became too ill to make it. When Addis mentioned this unfulfilled wish at a recent Leacock gathering, everyone put their hands up.
“So as much as we’re excited to meet Bill and shake his hand, our visit to Yale is also a tribute to Paul and his legacy as writer and musician,” he said.
Addis is not sure what Quarrington and Kinsella may have had in common aside from their Leacock medals, but they at least shared a love for American short-fiction writer Flannery O’Connor. Kinsella’s iconic story Red Wolf, Red Wolf is a tribute to her and Quarrington named one of his daughters Flannery.
“When Bill called and asked if everyone could read during our visit, well that just put the icing on the cake,” said Addis.
The event represents the first time in the 67-year history of the Leacock Medal of Humour that five medal winners will appear on the same reading bill. Each author will read from their work, followed by a short tribute to Quarrington. Authors’ books will be for sale and signing.
Admission is free and donations will be accepted in support of Story Time in the Park, the award-winning early literacy program.
The event is being coordinated by the Leacock Museum National Historic Site, with support from the Yale Ratepayers Association, Fraser River Raft Expeditions & The Teague House, Baker’s Books, Driving Force, and Banff Centre for the Arts.