Monday, October 15, 2007
This little pin
...measures 2.5 X 1.5 cm. Though small in size, it means a great deal to me. It was presented to me yesterday at the SWG's annual general meeting. All the outgoing board members received one. While the SWG president Robert Calder said a few words, I stood beside him and looked around the room at the members. I saw faces of people I don't yet know. I saw the smiling faces of friends. And I saw the faces of people I've long admired not only for their outstanding achievements as writers, but for their steadfast commitment to the community of writers. They are great role models. Tears began to well as I looked at the ones who had come up and spoke to me at my first public reading in 2000 at the launch of the first volume of spring. I didn't know anyone then. I didn't know how or if I'd ever fit in. Their kindness meant a lot. It still does.
The SWG conference and AGM was excellent as usual. It was held at the Hotel Saskatchewan this year. I have nothing but good things to say. I attended the sessions and readings and came away with plenty to think about. Our days wound up in the Monarch's Lounge. The John V. Hicks Awards dinner was held in the Cortlandt Dining Room. The open mic was held there, too. How wonderful to read with that glorious chandelier above our heads!
The open mic, masterfully hosted by Gerry Hill, was special as always. While the open mic had many memorable moments, I was absolutely thrilled when Elizabeth Brewster took the mic. Born in 1922, she has had a long and distinguished career as a writer and academic. And there she was at the open mic, elegant and eloquent, showing a wonderful sense of humour and setting a great example for us all.