Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Dear Steve, Dear Gordo/ High and Low End Book Gifting

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Last year, I gave you a run-down on My Christmas list. It hasn't changed much. The world hasn't changed much. Evin Prison is still open for business. People are still dying of AIDS. What should be a arable land in war zones is still creating a bonanza for prosthetic manufacturers.

I wish we didn't have to donate to organisations that provide prosthetics. I'd much rather give books.

As I have already written here, I am giving my old schoolmate Gordon Campbell what is now famously known as Stevebooks thanks to the Piguy. I may have cribbed the idea, but it doesn't hurt our premier to get knocked on the head by my brown wrapper mailings of current books. NOEL! Gordo. May the Olympic downhill skier you are so impatient to be photographed with take you all the way down. You deserve it.

Even better, I have had the satisfaction of sending $1000 to Slangspruit School in the South African Townships for Christmas books. In South African currency, this amount, raised at a poetry fundraiser at Victoria City Hall last week, is worth 8K in South Africa. Can you imagine what 8K means to the teachers of these motherless children, all 800 of them orphans of war and HIV AIDS?


The organisation that accepts gifts for the Slangspruit kids is Ukulapha. Google it and see if you can resist the urge to help these beautiful children with books or whatever moves you.

For me, it has to be books, the salvation of lonely children and key to a future of learning and empowerment.

Mrry Christmas, and by the way, my grandchildren are thrilled to share some of their good luck with kids who aren't so lucky. They are learning by helping.

Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Mrs G T Nkabane and the grade seven learners greet you and call your name!

Dear Linda, they are so ecstatic; tears rolled down my cheeks and I wished you were here! Please, I need a photo of you for the children; can you email me one please?

Mr Msomi and GT are stunned by the amount you raised, $1,000 to buy books; I think they are all still mesmerized by this Canadian connection and how luck is shining on them. I also have a huge pile of poems, so heart wrenching and touching and inspiring, to mail to you for the poem-pal school sharing that you have set in motion in Victoria.

The schools break for their year end long holidays 11th December. This gives Mr Msomi time to prepare a classroom to dedicate as a library; the most important item on their wish list! One of the educators is a skilled librarian (I will get photos) and there will be library hours for the learners to borrow books, sit and work at a desk or sit in chairs and read; how cool is that!

They decorated the chalk board with some of the wonderful chalk your brother sent; to say Thank You to You.

The educators are making up a list of books to purchase for the children and all will be stored in the new library....

The little ones; we’re trying to organise a play area for them.

Here is a little lass reading in front of the whole school at the concert Ukulapha video taped; isn’t she a doll?!

GT in her classroom; she wanted you to see all her posters on the wall!

Many faces peering through the window at all the activity!

Mr Msomi & one of the educators; she says ‘call me Princess’.

And Mbali, one of the star pupils, and me representing generous folks such as you Linda! We all send gratitude and love from South Africa!

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Linda Rogers

Linda Rogers is the author of the novels Say My Name (Ekstasis Editions, 2000), Friday Water (Cormorant Books, 2003) and The Empress Letters (Cormorant Books, 2007). She has also published several collections of poetry, including Love in the Rainforest (Exile Editions, 1996), Heaven Cake (Sono Nis Press, 1997), The Saning (Sono Nis Press, 1999) and The Bursting Test (Guernica Editions, 2002).

Go to Linda Rogers’s Author Page