The 3 Nations Anthology is on its way from the printer this week. I am proud to say that McNaughton & Gunn, a woman-owned printing company which we used to print Off the Coast, also printed this anthology. CLMP, the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses recommends them, and with good reason. They do a wonderful job and their customer service is fabulous.
The cover image is a photocollage of local impressions, the bridge across the narrows from Lubec to Campobello Island, a blueberry barren, a map of Passamaquoddy Bay, a fish weir, and an image of the St. John River.
New England and Atlantic Canada share borders, boundaries, blood, and heritage. The land is disputed in places, in others the US and Canada share responsibility, and Tribal Lands reside as sovereign nations within their borders. The poems, essays, and short stories in this anthology explore the things that divide, the bridges between, and the intense love of this rugged region they hold in common.
The book contains essays, poems, and short stories from:
Michael R. Brown, Dennis A. Camire, Wendy Cannella, Barbara A. Chatterton, Daniel Crowfeather McIsaac, Frances Drabick, J. C. Elkin, Kathleen Ellis, Jéanpaul Ferro, Stephanie S. Gough, Jason Grundstrom-Whitney, Grey Held, Leonore Hildebrandt, Andrea Hill Suarez, Carol R. Hobbs, Paul Hostovsky, Robert P. Hunter, Cynthia Huntington, Sonja Johanson, Susan A. Johnson, J. Kates, Charles A. Kniffen, Michele Leavitt, Carl Little, Joyce M. Lorenson, Donna M. Loring, Frederick Lowe, Sharon Mack, Dr. Charles E. McGowan, Mark Melnicove, Rowan P. Miller, Caroline Misner, Sarah X Murphy, Susan Nisenbaum Becker, Ellie O’Leary, Fredda Paul, John Perrault, Patrick Pierce, Bruce Pratt, Patricia Ranzoni, Susan Reilly, Bunny Richards, John Rule, Cheryl A. Savageau, Catherine Schmitt, Lee Sharkey, Grace Sheridan, Karen Skolfield, Karin Spitfire, Elizabeth Sprague, Emma Suárez-Báez, David R. Surette, Jeri Theriault, Cindy Veach, Robert J. Ward, Danielle Woerner, and Leslie Wood.
The book received wonderful advance praise from Chris Benjamin, Managing Editor, Atlantic Books Today; Silver Atlantic Journalism Award winner, 2014; Patricia Smith,
author, Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the 2014 Rebekah Bobbitt Prize, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize (The Academy of American Poets), and the Phillis Wheatley Award in Poetry; and Joseph Bruchac, winner of the Writer and Storyteller of the Year Awards from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas and founder of the Greenfield Review Literary Center.
From the opening pages of the 3 Nations Anthology, Elizabeth Sprague’s “This That This” emphatically announces a book pulsing with the heartbeat of the land. In these works of poetry, fiction and essay, disparate voices gain cohesion in their celebration and memory of specific land features: bodies of water, storms, animals, and in their ability to connect them to identity, ancestry and culture. The words herein embody this land and call readers home to it; we are compelled to follow.
… utterly vital missives from a world we all desperately need to know, the world where water aches an impossible blue, land lies nurtured and
unscarred, and a precipitous beauty startles from all corners… this long-
overdue collection is like pulling a deep, revivifying breath into the body.
And we’re reminded that the world conjured so faithfully in this work is
still there, where it’s always been, still waiting for us.
In many ways, the 3 Nations Anthology is a breath of fresh air. The idea of bringing together Canadian, Native, and New England writers is, in itself, a refreshing change from the literary and cultural barriers that we all too often allow to come between us. The fact that this collection is so well-edited, blending new and more established, prose and poetry, is another reason for celebration. Each page is like turning a corner on one of those Maine seacoast roads and suddenly seeing an entirely new vista opening up in front of you. There are too many fine writers and memorable poems, essays, and stories for me to list in this brief comment. So let me just quote these lines from a piece by Dan Crowfeather McIsaac that catch the spirit of this collection: “My brothers and sisters, the walls are everywhere and they are very high indeed. But they are not too high if we work together. Come—give me your hand….”
The book is now available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. In the coming weeks, there will be a series of readings, in Canada and around New England. As soon as the schedule is firmed up, I’ll post the dates.