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Self-help author, multimedia poet to be featured at Word Up

Brenda Clews and Robin Blackburn McBride will be at Unity Market Cafe on Thursday, Oct. 11


This month's Word Up event features two guest readers, Brenda Clews and Robin Blackburn McBride. The event takes place Thursday, Oct. 11 at Unity Market Cafe from 7 to 9 pm.

Brenda Clews is a multi-media poet and artist. She hosts a Poetry & Music Salon in Toronto and has published the luminist poems (LyricalMyrical Press) and Tidal Fury (Guernica Editions) with solo art shows at York University, Q Space and Urban Gallery.

Brenda Clews’s compelling Fugue in Green is a gothic fairy tale in the tradition of Marie-Claire Blais’ Mad Shadows and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, with a monster, abuse and ghosts haunting the stanzas. Two teens struggle with their psychotic mother as they seek asylum with their father, where psychic connections, tales of abuse and madness, and eventually a deeper love rise to the surface. Sumptuously written, this book delves into mystical visions and deep psychological insights into the creative mind and its relationship to nature, love and madness.

Author and coach in human potential, Robin Blackburn McBride’s self-help ebook, Birdlight: Freeing Your Authentic Creativity, was an Amazon Best Seller, and has been released as a paperback and as an audiobook. In 2002 Guernica published a collection of her poetry, In Green. The Shining Fragments is her first novel. 

The Shining Fragments is a family saga about the Irish in Canada that explores the ramifications of abandonment, obsession, love, memory, and visionary power. Spanning the years 1882-1904, it follows Joseph Conlon from his early childhood in Ulster to his experiences of youth and adulthood as an immigrant. Left behind as a small boy on a Toronto train-station platform like so much forgotten luggage, Joseph grows up in a city bleak with bigotry. He discovers that he has artistic talent and becomes a designer of stained-glass windows. He is haunted by the spirit of his unborn sister, Annie, and the powerful and often conflicting influences of the women in his life. In the end, Joseph must come to terms on the same ground where he was abandoned as a child.

Unity Market Cafe and Studios is located in downtown Barrie at 25 Toronto St.