Saturday, 22 June 2019

Guest Poet Donna Allard of Aldouane, New Brunswick.

International Beat Poet Laureate

An impressive achievement and recognition. The Scribbler is beyond pleased to have Donna as our guest this week. She has agreed to a 4Q Interview and sharing some of her work.


I am the voice of my life.

Donna Anne Allard is a Canadian author based in New Brunswick, Canada. Beginning at a young age, Donna began to explore her rural countryside―first on road trips with her parents, then on her own by van. The landscape, with its roadside truck stops, restaurants, and wanderers, figure prominently in her poetry. She is the author of 8 books of poetry.


Donna Allard’s poetry has appeared for the past thirty years in literary publications across Canada, as well as a number of other countries around the world. She is the founder and organizer of the Sojourner Literary Festival - next festival 3rd weekend July 2020 theme - “perfect vision”.


Donna Allard: “acadianrose”—Acadian-born, New Brunswick-based poet, and peacemaker. She became inspired by Canada's Peoples' Poet Milton Acorn, and poet-editor Libby Oughton. Her mentor was poet-activist Valerie LaPointe.



4Q: It is wonderful to have your work recognized by the National Beat Poetry Foundation whose roots go back to the 1940’s. Tell us about this Donna.


DA: Well Allan I was surprised, shocked, and humbled to be nominated by such a prestigious organization. Apparently, they were watching my every move online for a few years. When the Co-founder Colin Haskins wrote I said yes without hesitation. It is very difficult to get recognition in our own country so I jumped like a salmon for the fly! On Valentine's Day 2019 I received an email stating I was accepted. What a lovely gift! I cried because I was about to quit writing 100% by March 1st.  I cannot say how proud I am to be the 1st and maybe the only person to represent Canada, and of course, my small fishing town of Richibucto. Even now I am still in disbelief lol.


National Beat Poetry Laureate Foundation Inc., CT, USA


4Q: You will soon be publishing your 7th book of poetry titled Ghost in the Window, a poetic journal.  What can you tell us about it?


DA: Yes, my 7th book of poetry and a few more manuscripts awaiting to be published. ‘Ghost at the Window’, was difficult to write, since I usually keep my personal life private. There maybe another two books to follow this one with the same theme. I am too close to it to say how I feel so here are my editors' words...

In this personal collection Donna Allard provides her readers with a snapshot of her years growing up, time missed with parents while away at high school during her mother’s battle with cancer and the continuing love that both demonstrated during moments of reprieve. There is a sense of the everlastingness that comes from moments when her memories flood in and then abate repeatedly. She doesn’t shy away from addressing the awkwardness of youth or the feeling of sometimes being talked about and watched, perhaps judged, by people who have no business doing so.

The entire collection can be read as a chain-work of thought as life progresses and is presented in an interesting mixture of poems and prose that read much like a journal.

As the editor, I found this book a joy to read and work through, very nearly coming to tears of my own at one point where I not only related but experienced a certain depth of the despair Donna must have felt at that point in her life. It’s a very intimate offering!

~ Ronda Wicks Eller journalist & publisher




4Q: Please share a childhood memory or anecdote.


DA: Summer excerpt:

...She was a very strong woman with a dry wit, clever as a

fox, loving and kind and a great cook. It was difficult

to see her in her favorite chair– she used to tower over it

at 5’ 10” but now she sat like a child awaiting an abusive


That is what cancer is…


4Q: You are the founder and organizer for the Sojourner Literary Festival. The next festival is scheduled for 2020. What can you tell us about this?


DA: Yes Allan, 3rd weekend in July - Sojourner Literary Festival 2020 “perfect vision”. Held during the Scallop Festival. I received a lot of slack for picking these dates, as I see it scallops, fireworks, arts & crafts, music... poets and writers from around North America can see what we have to offer and savor the deliciousness of our piece of God’s country.

Sojourner Official Website (best viewed on a laptop/computer):


4Q: Who is your favorite poet(s) and who or what inspires you?


DA: Canada’s Peoples’ Poet Milton Acorn who I met when I lived in Charlottown, PEI. After he passed away, I was asked by the National Milton Acorn Festival to be a board member, I said YES...  that salmon & fly thang....

I met so many poets it is hard to pick just a few but I will try: Rita Joe, Harry Thurston, Richard Doiron, bill bissett, Yukon Poet Laureate PJ Johnson, Poet Laureates George Wallace & Ron Whitehead, Paulette Dube, Nicole Brossard, Sheree Fitch & Ronda Wicks…. I can go on and on lol. GG Award winner Don McKay (I attended a workshop with him in the 90’s), editor Libby Oughton and poet-activist Valerie LaPointe inspired me.



Donna’s Poetry

(Copyright is held by the author. Used with permission)


war musket grasses (Bay of Fundy)

1st Place Award Canadian Poetry Association 2006


I see no soldier’s uniform as I walk along these shores

but fresh blood cliffs, musket grasses,

and a labyrinth of our relics,

the unfolding of this puzzle to figure out a broader picture,

as rose clashed with la fleur de lys

like an arcane shared by a friend

who said to follow water trails

like a pirate in search of chest, as magnet speaks closer to sand…

He said many have found treasures under the sheet of their own graves.

Yet I favour its peaceful clay to dye denim & origin,

as I connect with those who fell for their flower & sleep inside

this bay of mud.


Today hooves flirt in Fundy sun,

safe & watchful over my eyes

and I wonder if that story was ever passed to their offspring's,

since man conquers on a saddle.

Come walk with me, sense a presence, their memory

dancing with tides, like a final oratory

along red cliffs & grassy shores.


Let me retreat from time & fog, as I fear ghosts & bellwalkers,

they swear the land still smells powder.



Dedicated to my sister Victorine who passed away 2008


Tu as vu ma soeur dans la mer

Ses yeux bleus et verts

Sa bouche boit l'océan

un soleil se glissant dans le feutre des

rivages déserts rouges

Tu as vu ma soeur explosive

Ses yeux oranges et rouges

à présent un oiseau [pohénix?]

garde le ravage


Ma Soeur Océanne © 2009 Donna Allard



Thank you, Allan for this opportunity to share to my community.  So many have wondered what I have been up to so now they know.


Thank you, Donna, for taking the time to be our guest. Wishing you continued success with your writing.

For you readers interested in knowing more about Donna and her work, please follow these links;

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Six Great Books - Six Great Authors

Who doesn't love a good story?

There are so many great books to read, so many great authors that love telling stories. 

Here's a few I recommend. These authors have been featured on the Scribbler and you will find links to their interview.

I did this a few months back and if you want to check those out go HERE

#1 - Messandrierre by Angela Wren.

A cozy mystery by Angela. I discovered this book on a reading recommendation page from Susan Toy on FB. I like the main character and I love this series.

Goodreads - Sacrificing his job in investigation following an incident in Paris, Jacques Forêt has only a matter of weeks to solve a series of mysterious disappearances as a Gendarme in the rural French village of Messandrierre. 

But, as the number of missing persons rises, his difficult and hectoring boss puts obstacles in his way. Steely and determined, Jacques won't give up and, when a new Investigating Magistrate is appointed, he becomes the go-to local policeman for all the work on the case.

Will he find the perpetrators before his lover, Beth, becomes a victim?

Messandrierre – #1 in a new crime series featuring investigator, Jacques Forêt.

See Angela's visit to the Scribbler HERE

#2 - Guilty Innocence by Maggie James

I like thrillers and this one won't let you down. Twists and turns that are unexpected. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author. 

Goodreads - A letter that reveals a horrifying truth…

Natalie Richards finds more than she bargained for when she snoops through her boyfriend’s possessions: evidence that Mark Slater was once convicted of a brutal killing. Heartbroken by what she’s discovered, Natalie’s dreams of a future with him collapse.

Only the other person jointly sentenced for Abby Morgan’s murder, the twisted and violent Adam Campbell, knows the truth. That Mark played no part in Abby’s death.

Meanwhile, circumstances have thrust Mark back in contact with Adam, who, aged twenty-five, is more domineering and chilling than ever. Can Mark rewrite history and confront his nemesis?

A gritty novel examining child murder and dysfunctional families, Guilty Innocence tells of one man’s struggle to break free from his past.

See Maggie's visit to the Scribbler HERE

#3 - The Conclave by S. C. Eston.

This is a captivating story by a exceptionally talented author. I enjoy fantasy and this one is a fine example of this genre. I highly recommend it.

Goodreads - It all came down to this. A traitor. ~

The city of Telstar has been freed and the enemy defeated. In the streets, the townspeople is celebrating, singing and drinking to the promise of better days to come.

Yet, at the top of an abandoned tower, a secret meeting is about to take place. Although victory was attained, questions remain unanswered. Some of Telstar’s deepest secrets got out and the impregnable city almost fell. It is unclear who betrayed the city and some will not sleep until the culprit answers for the betrayal.

Onthar, a high warrior dedicated to Tyr, deity of courage, takes it upon himself to call on emperor and queen, wizard and warriors, elf and orc, all heroes of the battle, to meet in secrecy and find out who among them betrayed his city.

But these are serious charges and these are powerful individuals. The meeting could easily turn into a confrontation, and if it does, it could achieve what the enemy could not: destroy the very city they all want to protect.

See Steve's visit to the Scribbler HERE

#4 - Harbinger by Ian McKinley.

I read a previous novel by Ian and was hooked. I wanted to read more of his work and it led me to Harbinger which I truly enjoyed as much as his earlier book. I am looking forward to his next one and will be first in line to pick it up.

Goodreads - Rulla, Dealer of Fates, has seen fit to bestow Her blessing on four babes - Cairn, Lars, Lora and Thay - for they are all born on the same night to different mothers. None of the folk of the Darnok clan have ever heard of such a thing. The birthing is made even stranger yet, for once they are safely delivered, the village seeress falls into a trance and chants a verse that hints at future glory. The mothers, finally lying asleep after their ordeals, might have tried to strike a different bargain with Rulla, for She is known as a hard bargainer who stains each rune of glory She hands out in blood.

As the children grow, the townsfolk see only hints of a possible remarkable fate. At sixteen, they are finally accepted into the rite of passage to adulthood; they are offered in tithe to the Sea Wolves, the clan that defends the folk, sails the world’s seas, raids foreign shores, and brings back plunder. Their spirits are high as they venture through the Demon’s Teeth and discover the world beyond the Boldring Mountains.

Ah, but other Gods also have a role to play in any great saga and Tanat the Rogue turns their world on its head one afternoon. The youths are cut-off from their new clan and must survive on their own wits. As they make for home, they encounter Elkor, a mis-shapen outcast who forces them to re-evaluate everything they ever understood about their identity.

Pursued by Korgash, a Straelish lord whose hatred of Elkor and Thorn People (what the Straelings call the Fjordlanders) is only surpassed by his ambition, they discover that they are ill-equipped to inherit the fate supposedly reserved for them and they wonder if prophesy is not all lies.

See Ian's visit to the Scribbler HERE

#5 - One Woman's Island by Susan Toy.

I've enjoyed Susan's short stories since we first met online. She's been a guest several times. I enjoyed this novel very much. You can't go wrong with any of Susan's stories.

Goodreads - Running away from Canada, Mariana hopes to forget a failed marriage and the death of her husband by embarking on a whole new life. She moves lock, stock, and two cats to the small Caribbean island of Bequia. But the move brings more than she could have imagined. New friends ask her to help solve a recent murder in the expat community. And then there’s the problem of her neighbours, a young woman and her children. Seemingly abandoned by family and friends, Mariana believes they need her help! By becoming involved, Mariana is carried along from wanting to simply “live with the locals” to being overwhelmed by their culture, one so vastly different to what she had left behind in Canada that she doesn’t know who among her expat friends she can turn to for advice. So she carries on regardless and discovers that Bequia isn’t exactly the tropical paradise it had promised to be.

One Woman’s Island is the second novel in the Bequia Perspectives series that picks up again a few months in time after the first novel, Island in the Clouds.

See one of Susan's visits to the Scribbler HERE

#6 - The Hummingbird by Stephen Kiernan.

Mr Kiernan is a wonderful read. All his books are highly entertaining. I featured one of his other novels previously and this story is probably my favorite. I recommend anything by him and you won't be sorry.

Goodreads - From the author of the acclaimed The Curiosity comes a compelling and moving story of compassion, courage, and redemption

Deborah Birch is a seasoned hospice nurse whose daily work requires courage and compassion. But her skills and experience are tested in new and dramatic ways when her easygoing husband, Michael, returns from his third deployment to Iraq haunted by nightmares, anxiety, and rage. She is determined to help him heal, and to restore the tender, loving marriage they once had.

At the same time, Deborah's primary patient is Barclay Reed, a retired history professor and expert in the Pacific Theater of World War II whose career ended in academic scandal. Alone in the world, the embittered professor is dying. As Barclay begrudgingly comes to trust Deborah, he tells her stories from that long-ago war, which help her find a way to help her husband battle his demons.

Told with piercing empathy and heartbreaking realism, The Hummingbird is a masterful story of loving commitment, service to country, and absolution through wisdom and forgiveness.

I've not had the pleasure of a visit by Mr Kiernan but please follow this link to his website.

Pick one of these up when you have a chance, or better yet, pick them all up.

Thank you dear reader for visiting this week.