Mark Abley, Poet, Journalist, Editor & Non-Fiction Writer.
Monday, April 14, 2014 at 2:00 PM
***** PLEASE NOTE: The date of this meeting has been changed to Monday, April 14th *****
“Conversations With A Dead Man” will be the topic of the speaker at the April meeting of the Canadian Club of the Yamaska Valley. Mark Abley, known to many for his bi-monthly “Watchwords” column on language in the Montreal Gazette, is a poet, journalist, editor and non-fiction writer. His latest book, “Conversations With a dead Man: The Legacy of Duncan Campbell Scott”, lends a voice to someone who has recently been referred to as “a Canadian Black Sheep”. Duncan Campbell Scott who was one of Canada’s leading poets in the early part of the last century, was also superintendent and deputy minister in the Department of Indian Affairs from 1913 to 1932,and advocated the assimilation of Canada’s First Nations. He implemented the now-condemned residential school policy. His policies have been denounced as tragic errors—sources of many of today’s ills that afflict native people. Mark Abley was intrigued by Scott who wrote glowingly about native culture in his poetry even as he sought to crush and assimilate native people through his government policies. “I decided I had to bring him back to life so I could confront him with all the questions rolling around in my head,” says Abley. Who really was Duncan Campbell Scott? How could he be a celebrated poet and, at the same time, be the engineer behind Canada’s notorious residential school system? This baffling contradiction and mystery will be addressed by Abley as he introduces his latest biography.
N.B. A representative of Brome Lake Books will be present at the meeting with copies of the book for sale (cash or credit card only).