The Miramichi Fire: A History by Alan MacEachern

“Whatever happened to the Miramichi Fire? I first came across it in George Perkins Marsh’s groundbreaking 1864 Man and Nature, the first modern treatise on humans’ effects on nature. He recalled it in these terms: “The great fire of Miramichi in 1825, probably the most extensive and terrific conflagration recorded in authentic history, spread its ravages over nearly six thousand square miles, chiefly of woodland, and was of such intensity that it seemed to consume the very soil itself.”

Death Between the Walls: An Old Manse Mystery by Alexa Bowie

As far back as 1992, the trade journal Publishers Weekly reported that “cozy mysteries, especially those with female protagonists, are the new publishing rage, outpacing crime novels that feature male private eyes and police detectives.” Twenty-eight years later, the genre is still with us and going strong.

Enter newcomer Alexa Bowie, the alter ego of Chuck Bowie, an author that is well-known in these parts, being from the Miramichi and all.…

Wayne Curtis Receives the New Brunswick Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Literary Arts

a recent Words on Water event at the Newcastle Public Library, a series of engraved wood plaques crafted by local artist Gloria Savoie was unveiled. They are to mark the “indoor” portion of the Miramichi Literary Trail. In attendance were the authors Sandra Bunting, Chuck Bowie, Doug Underhill, and Wayne Curtis. All read from their works and there was much conversation afterword.…

Mill Cove Coffee in Miramichi

Ever since the Miramichi area lost the only bookstore it had several years back (due to fire), there has been a void for readers here seeking out the latest and greatest books to read. (There is an excellent used book store in Miramichi, The Book Nook). Kathleen and James Smith, the owners of Mill Cove Coffee in Downtown Newcastle have taken steps to alleviate the situation by offering a good selection of new releases, both local, national and international in its spacious location.…

A Tribute to Raymond Fraser 1941-2018

It was with great sadness that I learned of Raymond Fraser’s passing the other day. Sharon, his ex-wife had posted on his Facebook feed that Ray was ill and in hospital in Fredericton. He wasn’t suffering, she said and he soon died peacefully. He was 77 years old. While I had met Ray several times when he came back to Miramichi to launch one of his books, and we were “friends” on Facebook, we never exchanged more than a few words either in person or online.…

Fishing the High Country: A Memoir of the River by Wayne Curtis

Miramichi author Wayne Curtis has always been a prolific author (this is his eighteenth release) whether he is writing prose, poetry or non-ficton, but the past few years have been watershed ones for his faithful readers. And as Mr. Curtis gets older (much like the rest of us) each new release is more precious than the last one. Fishing the High Country: A Memoir of the River (2018, Goose Lane Editions) is no exception.…

Announcing the 2018 Shortlist for “The Very Best!” Book Awards!

September is almost here and it is time to announce the shortlist for “The Very Best!” Book Awards. This year, to simplify things, I have narrowed down the categories to three:

  • Fiction (Novel or Short Fiction)
  • Non-Fiction
  • First Book (Fiction and Non-Fiction)

clean suds logoAlso, this year, for the first time, I have a small, but unique, award to give each winner: a “soap book” which is a bar of handmade soap encased in a specially designed book cover!…

Through Sunlight and Shadows by Raymond Fraser

Sadly, Through Sunlight and Shadows would prove to be Raymond Fraser’s swan song, as he passed away just a few short months after its publication. It is his fourteenth book of fiction and is an all-new volume of “memoirs” of his fictional/semi-autobiographical character, Walt Macbride. While regular readers of Mr. Fraser’s will be familiar with Walt in all his manifestations, his youngest days growing up in Bannonbridge (an alias for Chatham, NB) are lesser-known.…

The Art and Passion of Guido Nincheri by Mélanie Grondin

The beauty of many old churches (particularly cathedrals, basilicas, etc.) is in their architecture as well as in their religious art, whether it is the many large frescoes or the exquisite stained glass windows that adorn them. The late (1885-1973) Italian-Canadian artist and stained glass master Guido Nincheri has enjoyed a recent resurgence of interest, thanks to his grandson Roger Bocchini Nincheri who has been tirelessly photographing and cataloging his grandfather’s hundreds of existing works.…

Long Ago and Far Away by Wayne Curtis

Perhaps you have to be from rural New Brunswick (even the Miramichi) to fully understand Mr. Curtis’ past, his father’s and his grandfather’s lives lived on a farm where you logged some trees for money, grew some crops to feed yourselves and your old mare Jenny and lived in a house with no running water, no indoor plumbing, and little to no insulation.…

Homecoming: The Road Less Travelled by Wayne Curtis

Prolific Miramichi author Wayne Curtis, whose most recent collection of fictional short stories was In the Country (2016, Pottersfield Press), has just released a new collection entitled Homecoming: A Road Less Travelled (2017, Pottersfield Press). The book’s thirteen stories, many interrelated, contain the idea of returning to a place either one has escaped from or returning to in order to make amends with those from the past:

“it is like I have to return to that place to see how much of my past was real and how much was an illusion, and if either is still there.”

The Back Road and Beyond by Robert McKay

Miramichi author Robert McKay is back with another self-published volume of personal stories to follow-up on his 2010 book The Back Road. That book was a look back at life growing up in Newcastle (now part of the amalgamated city of Miramichi) in the 1940’s and 50’s. They are for the most part humorous recollections, being composed of the type of adventures to be had by a young lad and his friends in a simpler, carefree time.…

For the Love of It: 60 Years of the Miramichi Folksong Festival by Susan Butler

The Miramichi Folksong Festival has been held continuously for 60 years now, making it the longest standing folk song festival in Canada. Its director (and a performer) of the past 35 years is the irrepressible Susan Butler, a true “Miramichier” if there ever was one. Now, she has compiled the Festival’s history as well as her own in a self-published book entitled For the Love of It: 60 Years of the Miramichi Folksong Festival. 

Death Dealer by Kate Clark Flora

On January 26th, 2003 David Tanasichuk of Miramichi New Brunswick called the Miramichi Police Force (MPF) to report that Maria, his wife was missing. He stated that she had been gone since January 14th and he hadn’t heard from her since. An MPF constable, in following up on the call said: “Hi David, I understand you haven’t seen your wife since January 12th?”…