Monday, July 02, 2007

Dudes....when do we leave?

The March Hare is Atlantic Canada's largest poetry festival. The March Hare began as an evening of poetry and entertainment in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, and has evolved into an annual island-wide celebration of words and music. The Hare is loosely associated with Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, and takes place in March of each year. As its reputation has grown, the March Hare has attracted increasingly high-profile poets, authors, musicians and storytellers, featuring in recent years Michael Ondaatje, Alistair MacLeod, Paul Durcan, Lorna Crozier, Patrick Lane, Susan Musgrave, Stephen Reid , Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Wayne Johnston, Stan Dragland, Ron Hynes, Michael Crummey, and many others. Early contributors to the March Hare included Al Pittman, John Steffler, Randall Maggs, Adrian Fowler, David "Smoky" Elliott, Des Walsh, Clyde Rose, Nick Avis, and Pamela Morgan. Many continue to participate in the festival today.

The March Hare was initiated in the late 1980s (1987 or 1988) by Rex Brown, Al Pittman, and George Daniels, as a way to generate business at the Blomidon Golf and Country Club during the winter months (Daniels was the manager there). The exact year the festival began is uncertain, but the 2007 event will be considered the twentieth March Hare. Today, the festival's usual venues are The Columbus Club and Casual Jack's Roadhouse in Corner Brook. The March Hare takes its name from a character in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. According to Rex Brown, the name is also intended as a pun on the words here (celebrating a sense of place) and hear (since its focus is the spoken word).

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