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Bruce Meyer brings out readers and writers

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THUNDER BAY, ON ----   March 7, 2010 -----  What makes great literature? Bruce MeyersBruce Meyer addressed this topic in his lecture at Lakehead University on Friday night. Bruce travelled to Thunder Bay at the request of Bookends, a small reading group that has been reading and discussing literature in the city for the past 20 years.

The book club has been debating who might be the great authors of the 20th century, yet the question remained, what makes literature great? Through personal connections Joan Skelton (author of The Survivor of the Edmund Fitzgerald) knew of Bruce Meyer, professor of literature at Georgian College.

Meyer’s life has been passionately immersed in literature from the time of his childhood. His enthusiasm for literature has made him a compelling speaker and he is amongst TV Ontario’s top 10 short list for the Top Lecturer Award.

So with Joan Skelton’s invitation, Bruce Meyer spoke to an audience of 100 at Lakehead University on Friday night. His topic of course was, “What makes Literature Great?” Stan Kurisko, chair of Bookends expressed surprise and delight at the number of people who showed up for the event. The media was very co-operative in supporting this lecture. In planning the lecture the small group enlisted the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, The Ontario Arts Council, Thunder Bay Public Library, the Writers Union of Canada, Lakehead University and Confederation College. While Bruce was in the city, the members of Bookends decided to share his expertise with other literature groups in the city.

Lyle Nicol and the members of NOWW (Northwest Ontario Writers Workshop) became involved and organized a Saturday workshop for writers. The lecture on “Creating Visual Literature” was given at the Waverly Resource Library auditorium. Once again numbers were about three times expectations. One of the trivial bits of information I learned was how William Shakespeare managed to write his name into the King James Version of the Bible.

Writing is a skill that needs to be studied and practiced. Like music if you ever want to become good you need to learn and share with others. Bruce Meyer visit showed the depth of the reading and writing community in Thunder Bay, and I am sure the public response will encourage Bookends and other groups to bring more lectures and workshop specialists to our city.

Bert Rowson
Arts Editor: LakeSuperiorNews.com

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