Al Purdy Writer-in-residence Program Launches its Fourth Summer Season

Two writers chosen for working retreats in 2018 at the A-frame
Concert to highlight new work based on Purdy poem

The Al Purdy A-frame on Roblin Lake is set to open April 15 for its fourth summer hosting writers-in-residence. Four Canadian writers will work in the seclusion of the lakeside retreat during the 2017 season.

The four are Jeramy Dodds, James Arthur, Oana Avasilichioaei and Autumn Richardson.

“It will be so exciting to welcome our fourth group of young and talented Canadian writers,” said Jean Baird, president of the Al Purdy A-frame Association. “I cannot overstate the Association’s pride in having restored the A-frame as a literary destination, and to all who have contributed to this effort.”

At the same time, two writers have been announced for the spring and early summer of 2018: Brian Brett of Salt Spring Island, B.C., and Maria Sabaye Moghaddam of Kanata, ON.

Brian Brett, winner of the CBC Literary Award for Poetry in 2011, is the author of more than a dozen books. He has authored two CDs of “talking songs, and his works have appeared in multiple pamphlets, broadsides, anthologies and magazines. A freelance critic since the 1970s, his columns have appeared in major newspapers across the country. Brett was friends with Al and Eurithe Purdy and will be working on a decades-long project during his residency – Voice: A Natural History of Poetry – a combined memoir and natural history of world literature.

Maria Sabaye Moghaddam has published three books in Persian, and over a hundred essays, articles and interviews in print and online media. Currently, she is writing a collection of short stories about the daily lives of Iranians in the aftermath of the 1979 revolution, with a focus on women and children. She plans to continue with that project during her residency in 2018. A strong advocate for arts and culture, she has worked as a volunteer in various capacities as an arts organizer, publicity coordinator, spokesperson, and artistic director in cultural events and festivals in Toronto.

A portion of the proceeds from a Sesquicentennial concert at Picton’s Regent Theatre on May 14 will go to support the A-Frame Association. Featured will be composer James Wright’s world premier of “Sleep Softly Spirit of Earth,” performed by the Command Performance Choir and the Goulbourn Jubilee Singers. The lyrics of this new work are based on Al Purdy’s poem The Dead Poet.

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.

For further information:
Jean Baird:

Donations to the Al Purdy A-frame Association can be made HERE.

Tickets to the Sesquicentennial concert can be purchased by calling the Regent Theatre at 613-476-8416 or online at

1 Comment

  1. reshaad on July 18, 2017 at 10:15 PM

    Hi, I was just wondering how to apply for the A-frame program?