NEWS & EVENTS
June 2016 Invitation to Lappland
To my surprise and joy, I have been invited to a summer festival in Malmberget, Sweden, birthplace of my grandfather, to make a presentation of Arthur's life and poetry.
This is a grand honour to be able to bring my grandfather back to his country of Sweden.
My eldest cousin Lance and his wife Jeanne will accompany myself and my dear friend Bill who will also photograph the events.
This will be a time of reuniting relatives, most of whom I have never met before, except for Carin and her brother Lars.
They are my father's first cousins; Arthur was their uncle. My sister and I met them last June in Stockholm for the first time. When Carin came to our hotel door, my sister Renie was still in her pajamas. Within moments, we were instant family. Lars brought me a taped speech of Arthur's from a presentation in Malmberget 1959. I cried without ceasing when I heard my grandfather's voice. Carin has been an indispensible bridge for me, in the communication and assistance in organizing this trip back to Sweden.
I cannot describe in words the feelings that are within me as I look forward to June 16th.
I feel like a child at Christmas... and more... it is that warm glow of a shining full circle.
Malmberget is Moving
Malmberget is built around a huge iron ore mining operation. After generations of underground extraction of the resource, the earth has become unstable and houses have been in absolute danger of falling into the huge cavern. Because of this, hundreds of houses have been moved away from the town... the town has had to be relocated.
This festival in 2016 is a marker of the historical origins of the town and its people.
Malmberget has been called the "Scandinavian Klondike" because of the numbers of people that flocked to it when its precious resource was discovered. Its museum and inhabitants have much to share about the history of the area.
Malmberget is within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Laponia. It is the largest area in the worrld with an ancestral way of life based on the seasonal movement of livestock. Every summer, the Saami, or Lapp people, lead their huge herds of reindeer towards the mountains through a natural landscape of glacial moraines and water courses.
This is the original publication from 1934, originally published in Winnipeg by Dahl Printing.
The poems are all in Swedish.
Go Fund Me
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the beautiful evening of the Book Launch at McNally's Bookstore.
The Reader's Theatre from Ellen, Martin and Erin was fantastic.
What a wonderful night with all of you... a warm, happy party on a cold winter's night, that will always be cherished in my memory.
"... I firmly resolve to tell more stories to my children about their grandparents!"
- audience member
"... things have been stirred up in me that I find difficult to describe."
- audience member
"What do you think of when you hear the word grandfather? My grandfather walked with a limp and a cane, and he drank his coffee from a saucer with a sugar cube between his teeth. It is almost impossible for me to think of him in any other way. It may be the same for you. Your image of your grandfather may be etched in your mind through the eyes of a child. Seldom or never do we get a second chance to reflect on our grandfathers as anything else, but just that, grandpa.
Laurel Anderson McCallum got her second chance to meet Arthur Andersson again through space and time when she decided she wanted his book of poetry translated into English. This time he is a young, ambitious man with most of his life still ahead of him, someone who had friends and dreams and reflected on the past, present and the future.
Laurel first contacted me a couple of years ago, while I was living in Sweden. At first this translation was supposed to be something just for the immediate family. I did a couple of “test” poems, and I recall reading them in Swedish and wondering how I should approach the text. The verses were so eloquent, the text so tight and clean, that any tampering would just ruin the whole intent of the poem. I started very carefully, and thought a lot about each phrase, trying different words to see how strong or weak they were compared to the Swedish words. I needed the philosophical and spiritual nature of the poems to stay intact through the translation. Sometimes I thought it worked quite well, other times I wasn’t sure. But when the words came back “That’s my grandpa!” I knew I was on the right track.
Up until a couple of days before sending STOFT to print, Laurel and I discussed different passages, and there were some last minute changes. But I feel, and I hope Laurel agrees, that we managed to get closer to Arthur Andersson’s true intent, and thereby bring back a voice from the past. His words never really got old, but can still touch us with the same raw truth about life and consequences, love and dreams, losses and triumphs.
Here is Laurel Anderson McCallum to tell you about her grandfather Arthur Andersson and his journey from early 20th century Sweden to here with us tonight. "
Sept. 27/13: Book Launch
Scandinavian Centre, TGIF Banquet
Nov. 15/13: Book Signing
Dec.8/13: Book Selling
Jan 31/14: Book Launch
McNally Book Store
June 2015: Personal trip to Southern Sweden where I donated Stoft:Dust of Our Being books to Swedish Sites, including:
- Utrandrarna Hus: The House of Immigrants
Smålands Museum, Växjö
- Emigranternas Hus: Emigrants' House
- The "Emigrants" Movie Set at Klasatorpet, Småland