When the nights are long
The north wind doth blow, and all we really know, for sure, is that it will be cold and dark.
The north wind doth blow, and we shall have snow. Though maybe not til after Christmas, like last year. Or maybe scads and scads of it, like the year before. The north wind doth blow, and all we really know, for sure, is that it will be cold and dark. Which just happens to be perfect weather for plugging in some music and reading a good book. And we’re here to help you do just that – with our annual surveys of new local books and CDs.
Tracey Fockler has been providing the survey of new works by local authors and illustrators for many years now – and every year the list has grown, an indication that the region has every bit as vital a literary community as it has a visual arts community. This year’s list is particularly impressive, including two children’s books shortlisted for the prestigious Governor General’s Awards. Lisa Watson came on board last year to help us bring you the best of the local music scene. Lisa is back this winter with a review of this year’s releases. As Elvis Costello is credited with saying, “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” But someone has to do it, or how would you know – and with her eclectic ear finely tuned, Lisa points us in the direction of the tunes most likely to excite, soothe and please.
There’s much more in this issue to warm your nights, but on the topic of writing, I must say a special word about Jeff Rollings’ profile of local newspaperman Wes Keller. I worked with Wes thirty years ago, when we were both relatively new to the area. I didn’t get to know him well. Even then he had something of the air of the enigmatic watcher, just outside the circle of the firelight. Over the years he has become such a fixture there that’s it’s easy to take for granted a style of investigative reporting that is far too rare in this age of “journalismlite” community newspapers. Wes has managed to get up more than a few noses in his day – and that’s exactly what a good newspaperman should do. So thanks, Wes, for guarding the flame.