Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Berton’s Legacy

When he died in 2004, historian, broadcaster and journalist Pierre Berton left behind many legacies. For Canadians, his huge and important backlist will ensure his immortality. A string of culturally important books, beginning with 1958’s Klondike: The Last Great Gold Rush, shed light on an aspect of Canadian history that had been previously documented by less talented scribes. Berton brought a certain wit and verve to his chronicles, something that had often been lacking in the sort of writing in which he indulged.

Over the years, Berton received many awards including the Order of Canada, three Governor Generals awards, the Stephen Leacock medal, the Canadian Booksellers Award as well as numerous honorary degrees. And, since 1996, four writers a year have been spending three months each on retreat at Berton’s childhood home in Dawson City in the Yukon.

The four writers who will spend time at Pierre Berton House between July 2009 and June 2010 were announced just a few days ago. Pasha Malla (The Withdrawal Method); Linda Goyette (The Story That Brought Me Here); Mylène Gilbert-Dumas (Lili Klondike) and Jeramy Dodds (Crabwise to the Hounds).

Since the program began, 45 writers have spent time at Berton House. While in residence, writers receive a monthly honorarium, perform public readings and involve themselves in other community activities. Eligible writers are Canadians who have published at least one book and are established in any creative literary discipline including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, journalism or writing for the stage or screen. More information on applying can be downloaded here.


Post a Comment

<< Home