Tag Archives: Noreen Shanahan

How funny is death? SPOW Conference Part Two

Or is that really the question I want to ask? I am forever niggled by something having to do with writing obituaries and it has, partly, to do with the reactions from womenfolk and menfolk, children folk too (although less … Continue reading

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Timbits and dinosaur poop

Writing the lede to a piece of journalism can feel like dangling from a rope over the abyss. I’m there now, puttering up to write another obituary, sitting in a Queen Street coffee shop while rain thunders down, trying to … Continue reading

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A toast to James Pon’s grandfather

James Pon’s grandfather filled my mind during this rail trip from Montreal to Toronto last month. It was he, along with hundreds of other Chinese workers, who built this railway–although on the other side of the Rocky mountains. Last month, … Continue reading

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Writing about housewives

How do I write about housewives? It has been my consistent belief that there is a story, nay, many stories, in every individual life. It’s just a matter of finding them. Sometimes it means sitting someone down, making this person … Continue reading

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Differences in labour and the need for choice

Sometimes I sleep among the dead. Anxiety stirs me in the night, often after I file an obituary with the Globe & Mail. I can be lost to all worldly cares, softly purring, tucked away all feline-like in bed when … Continue reading

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Vera Barker and President Kennedy

“It’s my Grandma’s birthday! I pledge to drink wine in her honour too.”  That’s an email sent to me by Vera Barker’s granddaughter, Heather Anne, earlier today. “It’s also the day they shot Kennedy but we don’t talk about that … Continue reading

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Voices of the “untongued dead”

I recently came across an essay by Matthew Skelton, a teacher of book history in Mainz, Germany. He describes sorting through a collection of old books and papers left by an obscure librarian named Elma Mitchell after her death in … Continue reading

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Raymond Souster: Toronto poet and sometime-beatnik

I can tell from the sunlight on the window sill that this day means business.  Raymond Souster was sometimes called the Bard of Toronto. Or street-poet-in-residence. One fellow poet called him “Canada’s Homer,” because at the end of his life, … Continue reading

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Au Revoir, Montreal

Finally, a Toronto poem because my writing retreat ends today and I’ll board the VIA train tomorrow morning. Back to my home in Toronto’s Film District. Thanks for reading my little words y’all.  Making movies CBC radio urges donations. I … Continue reading

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By the River, a poem

Walking memories by the river We dream for our children resurrect the ugliest visions a rock to dangle over sharp waters drag a body from the river, hotly awaken. Once a small girl strolls along the Humber with her grandfather … Continue reading

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