AX Literary Series: An evening with Melanie and Martha
- Where: The AX Gallery
- When: Friday, June 30, 2023 (Reading: 7pm)
- Reading Cost: Free, donations appreciated.
AX is pleased to welcome Melanie Craig-Hansford and Martha Vowles to the AX Gallery! As part of the AX Literary Series, Melanie and Martha will be hosting a joint literary event at 7pm, taking turns reading from their most recent works.
Melanie will be reading from Tonight We Sleep with the Window Open, a combination of the poetry and drawings she created after returning to Belleisle Bay. Melania has won The Dawn Watson Memorial Award for Best Poem from the Writer’s Federation of New Brunswick in 2018 and 2020.
Martha will be reading from her memoir Senior Management: Parenting my Parents, which chronicles her years of managing the care of her elderly parents as together they slipped into dementia. Her book won the NB Book Award for non-fiction in 2022.
About Melanie Craig-Hansford
Melanie Craig-Hansford lives in Hampton, N.B. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (1984) and a Bachelor of Art Education (1985) from NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She studied painting for a year in 1982 at Fortman Studios in Florence, Italy. She taught high school in Kingston, Ontario for 27 years. In 2014 she retired and moved home to New Brunswick. Since 2014 Melanie has been very active in the art and writing communities of Southern New Brunswick.
From 1999-2011 Melanie wrote opinion editorial columns for the Kingston Whig Standard, Kingston, Ontario. In 2012 she co-authored a book called Prayers for Women Who Can’t Pray, published by Wintergreen Studios Press. She won The Dawn Watson Memorial Award for Best Poem from the Writer’s Federation of New Brunswick in 2018 and 2020. In 2017 Melanie Won a Mentorship scholarship from the Writer’s Federation of New Brunswick. She has had her work published in anthologies and journals. In January 2023 her first collection of illustrated Poetry Tonight We Sleep With the Window Open was published by Chapel Street Editions, Woodstock, NB.
She spends her time now painting and writing poetry, walking her dog and trying to beat her husband at scrabble.
Reading Description: Will be reading from Tonight We Sleep with the Window Open.
Tonight We Sleep with the Window Open combines the poetry and drawings Melanie created after returning to Belleisle Bay; it is a record of a personal journey and the exploration of a remembered and loved region of New Brunswick.
The pen and ink drawings are often haunting in their graphic reflection of the personal journey and in their depiction of the life, landscape, and built environment of the local terrain.
The poems create a blended narrative of thoughtful observation. The author reaches deep into the living presence of the natural world, weaves in her memory of ancestors, and celebrates the surrounding cosmos that nourishes her creative life.
About Martha Vowles
Martha Vowles is the author of Senior Management: Parenting My Parents, published in the spring of 2021 by Nevermore Press in Lunenburg, NS. The book won the NB Book Award for non-fiction in 2022.
Martha was brought up in rural Québec, nourished by Québecois and English culture and language. In 1977, she moved to Atlantic Canada to attend grad school at UNB.
From a very early age she has had an appreciation for the power and artistry of stories. A retired speech-language pathologist, she finds inspiration for her writing in nature, people, and the commonplace events of daily life. Now that she looks at the world through a writer’s eyes, she sees characters, scenes, and plot potential everywhere.
Martha lives beside the Wolastoq River, just outside Saint John, with her husband and a succession of dogs and cats.
Her current projects are another memoir, a collection of short stories, a poetry collection, and a novel set in Nicaragua in the 1980’s that is on the back burner beside the soup pot.
Reading Description: Will be reading from Senior Management – Parenting my Parents.
Senior Management – Parenting my Parents is a memoir told with grace, poignancy and humour, the author chronicles her years of managing the care of her elderly parents as together they slipped into dementia—from a chaotic Christmas, to an addled father who insists on driving, to calls to the police, to trips to the hospital, to a high-priced care facility that lost track of her stepmother. At age 55, author Martha Vowles became a first-time parent. Her new charges were reckless, accident-prone, pig-headed, over 80 years old and bigger than her.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.