Three new Canadian writers chosen for A-frame residency

March 4, 2015

For immediate release

AMELIASBURGH, Ont. – Three Canadian writers have been chosen to join the original seven in working retreats at the Al Purdy A-frame house in Prince Edward County. Among the three is the first appointment acknowledging and encouraging academic research.

The three new participants are Nicholas Bradley, Sadiqa de Meijer and Ben Ladouceur, all of whom will take up residence in 2016.

Four previously announced writers will be in residence in 2015-16. They are Kath MacLean, Laurie Graham, Helen Guri and Rob Taylor.

“In addition to welcoming our first researcher in 2016, we hope to add a workshop as early as  this summer,” said Jean Baird, president of the Al Purdy A-frame Association. Details will be made public at a later date, Baird said.

The A-frame was built on Roblin Lake in 1957 by the late Al Purdy, one of Canada’s greatest poets, and his wife, Eurithe. Thanks to the generosity of Eurithe Purdy and donors from across Canada, the A-frame was acquired in 2012 by the Al Purdy A-frame Association, a national non-profit organization with a mandate to promote Canadian literature and to preserve the home as a retreat for future generations of Canadian writers.

The A-frame was the centre of Purdy’s writing universe and a crossroads on Canada’s literary map. In their 43 years there, the Purdys hosted a who’s who of Canadian authors: Margaret Laurence, Milton Acorn, H.R. Percy, Michael Ondaatje and dozens of others.

The three new writers-in-residence designated for 2016 are:

Nicholas Bradley, June 2016. Currently the William Lyon Mackenzie King Research Fellow at Harvard University, Bradley will be the first research writer-in-residence, which is limited to one a year. He is an Associate Professor at the University of Victoria (B.C.) and recently edited and published We Go Back in Time: The Letters of Earle Birney and Al Purdy.

Sadiqa de Meijer, July 2016, grand prize winner of the 2012 CBC Canada Writes Poetry Prize. Her debut collection, Leaving Howe Island, was a nominee for the Governor General’s Award for English-language poetry in 2014. Sadiqa lives in Kingston, Ont.

Ben Ladouceur, September to November 2016, is a poet, editor and teacher living in Toronto. He was the winner of the Earle Birney Poetry Prize in 2013. His first book of poetry, Otter, is being published this spring.

Previously announced writers-in-residence:

Kath MacLean, April-June 2015. Her award-winning poetry, prose and non-fiction have been critically acclaimed across Canada. Author of  for a cappuccino on Bloor (winner of the New Muse Award) and Kat Among the Tigers, the Edmonton resident has also released a performance poetry CD, Seed Bone & Hammer.


Laurie Graham, July 2015, a native of Alberta, lives in Toronto and is a teacher and the assistant editor of Brick magazine. Her first collection of poetry, Rove, was published by Hagios Press in Fall 2013.

Helen Guri, October-November 2015, is the author of Match, a collection of poems published by Coach House Books in 2011. Her poetry column on Random House of Canada’s Hazlitt website was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2013. She is currently working on her second collection of poetry, tentatively titled Oracle. Helen lives in Toronto.

Rob Taylor, April-May 2016, is the author of The Other Side of Ourselves, a collection of poems published in 2011 by Cormorant Books. He is working on a master’s degree in creative writing at the University of British Columbia, and on a second collection of poems.

The Al Purdy A-frame Association gratefully acknowledges the generosity of all donors to the project. They are crucial to the success of this effort.

Special thanks are extended to major donors ($5,000 to $55,000): The Glasswaters Foundation, The Good Foundation, Avie Bennett, The Metcalf Foundation, George Galt, The Chawkers Foundation, Michael Audain, Jeff Mooney and Suzanne Bolton, Leonard Cohen, Rosemary Tannock, Tom and Helen Galt, The Scott Griffin Foundation, Harbour Publishing, and Yosef Wosk.

For a full list of donors, go to

Fundraising efforts continue and are critical to the success of the writer-in-residence program. Online donations are being accepted through PayPal at, or cheques may be sent to The Al Purdy A-frame Association, 4403 West 11th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. V6R 2M2.


For further information:

Steven Heighton: 613-546-9677

Jean Baird: