Trillium Book Award Author Readings June 16

Bruce Kauffman: From Airwaves to the Anthology "That Not Forgotten"

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Open Book is thrilled to announce the launch of That Not Forgotten (Hidden Brook Press), an anthology of poetry, prose and artwork that explores Ontario's beautiful North Shore region. The launch will take place on Sunday, September 9th at 12:45 p.m. at Kingston's Yacht Club. Visit our Events page for details.

Bruce Kauffman, the editor of That Not Forgotten, describes the response to the call for submission as "both generous and touching." Hidden Brook Press received over 118 contributions from writers and other visual artists who have lost and found pieces of themselves in the North Shore landscape, between Kingston and Port Hope and from the north shore of Lake Ontario up to Highway 7.

Open Book contributor Ashliegh Gehl spoke with Bruce about his love of poetry, the radio program Finding a Voice and the anthology That Not Forgotten.

Bruce Kauffman: From Readings to Airwaves to Anthology

By Ashliegh Gehl

Every Friday Bruce Kauffman heads to CFRC 101.9 FM. It’s a radio station at Queen’s University. When the clock strikes four he takes to the airwaves. For one solid hour he broadcasts the pulse of Kingston’s literary scene.

Finding a Voice is a radio show Bruce started hosting in 2010. Before transporting local poets and authors to the airwaves, he was operating monthly poetry readings at The Artel, a live-in artist-run gallery giving local talent a safe and constructive atmosphere to create. It’s a reading series he still operates.

During these readings Bruce realized a lot of Kingston’s talent was bottled. He wanted to give the poetic voices he was finding an appropriate stage.

“I wanted to expand their voice, to give them a bigger forum, so that’s basically how it started,” he said.

Bruce showcases the work of acclaimed writers such as Steven Heighton and Stuart Ross alongside first-time poets without a published piece to their name. And when it came to selecting the pieces for That Not Forgotten, an anthology he’s editing for Hidden Brook Press, he went with his poignant poetic instincts and chose the best.

“You’re going to find in it first-time published poets who submitted,” he said. “I wanted it to be broad. It was nice to get the bigger names in and the fact that they were interested in being a part of the book – but it wasn’t geared towards that.”

Writers with ties to the north shore of Lake Ontario, from Kingston to Port Hope and north to Highway 7, were asked to contribute. At first submissions trickled in at a glacial pace, but when the deadline neared Bruce was overwhelmed with submissions. Roughly 250 pieces piled before him; a batch he managed to pare down to 118 works. The result is an anthology more than 400-pages long.

“It’s just a wonderful collection of poetry with a bit of short prose thrown in that covers any range of emotions. Perspectives of a time the writers had spent in this area,” he said.

Instead of separating the anthology into chapter headings, Bruce decided to put a call out for artwork. The image at the beginning of each section represents the essence of the next segment of poetry.

That Not Forgotten is Bruce’s inaugural cavort into editing and compiling an anthology.

“It’s been a labour of love, actually. I’ve loved doing it.”

Bruce’s interest in poetry began when he was in university. It was the early to mid-1990s when his passion started to surface. It was also around the time he discovered W.S. Merwin, his favoruite poet.

“His words just wash through me,” he said.

Bruce finds Merwin’s work so captivating, he relates to the greatest mystery of all – love.

“I don’t know how to describe that, I really don’t,” he said. “It’s kind of like love. I don’t know how to describe when you get that feeling or when there’s some sort of connection. And maybe that’s why there’s a vast variety of poets and genres because I think people are searching for that in their lives. Maybe not knowing they’re searching for that.”

Bruce currently has one chapbook and is in the process of working with Hidden Brook Press to publish a collection of his poetry.

To find out when Bruce hosts the next poetry open mic, visit The Artel. Finding a Voice can be accessed by turning the dial to CFRC 101.9 FM in the Kingston-area. You can also tune in online. The show airs every Friday at 4 p.m. From September to April the show is an hour long and runs two hours in the summer, wrapping up at 6 p.m. If you’re interested in learning more about Not That Forgotten, visit Hidden Brook Press for more information.

Ashliegh Gehl is a freelance writer and multimedia journalist.

She has written for the Montreal Gazette, Quill & Quire,, Northumberland Today and The Intelligencer newspapers.

Between countless cups of oolong tea, Ashliegh has been busy working on two books. Visit her website for more information.

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