Monday, August 22, 2011



Spent this afternoon at the launch of Rita Moir's new book, The Third Crop, at the Vallican Whole in Winlaw. It was a beautiful day. We picked up neighbours, Robin and Rebecca, and drove up the Slocan Valley, resplendent in garden greens and summer browns and managed to park reasonably close to the Whole. There must have been 200 people who came out to celebrate with Rita.

There was a huge cake and lots of other goodies to enjoy.

Rita got to sign lots of books, both before and after she spoke about its conception, gestation and birth, thanking the many midwives who assisted as well as the three young writers whose work also appears in the book, Natasha Jmieff, Jordan Mounteer and Martina Avis, who Rita calls "the fourth crop".
Poet Natasha Jmieff. 
Cameras everywhere, in this case, Judie's!

Publisher Diane Morriss of Sono Nis Press, who published The Third Crop.

 Rita, listening to Diane's introduction.

It was a rapt audience. Pretty much always is, when Rita is the focus of attention. She spoke about the importance of community, a theme she explores in the book.

 Got to see lots of friends. That's Shelley and Heather, with Bonnie in the background.

Heather and me. There must have been a book table nearby! (Photo by Judie Gray)

The place was crawling with writers, of course. Anne DeGrace (whose next book, Flying with Amelia, launches next month!) and Tom Wayman in conversation.
The launch was barely over and already there were people outside on the porch enjoying the book!

And what a book it is! It chronicles the people who lived and worked in the Slocan Valley until the 1940s in a winning combination of Rita Moir's exquisite language and the wonderful photographs she talks about. It begins: "Four distinct groups of people arrived in the Slocan Valley, through choice or by force, by the middle of the Second World War...Aboriginal people lived in this valley first; then came the European and Doukhobour settlers, then the Japanese-Canadians." 

One of the wonderful photographs in the book. This one's of a wedding party in 1950.

I'm looking forward to reading The Third Crop, and to examining more closely all the pictures. My parents came to Bonnington and South Slocan in 1911 and 1921. I know how many albums and shoeboxes of old photographs there are in my family. I cannot imagine the work that went into amassing all these and annotating them so clearly. Kudos to Rita and the team at Sono Nis.

That was my day. How was yours?



Razovsky said...

Looks like a wonderful book! Thanks!

Monica Devine said...

So happy to have found a fellow northerner poet and writer; getting ready to face the stark gray winter days, but it will be less of a chore following other poets!

Bill Metcalfe said...

Thanks for this great post Linda. I have linked to it and quoted from it, and also included the full text of Rita's speech at Arts in the Kootenays, here:

theresa kishkan said...

Thanks so much for this, Linda. Rita is a wonderful writer and I look forward to this book.
Theresa K.