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Thursday, 23 October 2014 06:02

Writers celebrate City of Swift Current’s 100 years

Written by  Madelon A. Smid
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Prairie Quills is an ecletic group of writers from within Swift Current and surrounding area. Prairie Quills is an ecletic group of writers from within Swift Current and surrounding area. File photo

Members of the Prairie Quills Writer’s Group embraced the idea of centring their fifth anthology, Reflections From The Creek, around the centennial celebration of Swift Current and community.

The writers bring the history, people and places from the past to life, as they offer up a varied collection of fiction, non-fiction, memoir, poetry and literary pieces. Each work focuses on a tidbit or two from Swift Current’s past.
Bill Gibbs, a contributor, explains, “I write short stories and poems mostly to entertain and to some extent to educate. Sometimes, I learn something about myself in the process.
“Hopefully, the stories and poems are a way to always remain a part of my family. My short story in this anthology, celebrates the short life of Dennis Pool who was a friend of mine.”
Anthea Loran, a long-time resident of the city shares memories of her work with the Horticultural Society, the Southwest artist’s group, the voluntary Fish Organization (the precursor to Home Care), as well as the history of many of the landmark buildings.
She paints entrancing pictures of the wild life she’s seen walking along the creek with her husband Ralph.
Norm Krell and Irene Bingham grew up on farms and tell fascinating tales of their experiences visiting the city,to shop, show animals at the annual Exhibition or visit the Santa Claus parade. The long drives to get to a dentist or doctor, to sell produce or come together as a family speak to the heart of the reader. Here are rites of passage, with which many can identify.
Moving to the city, returning to the city after a long absence, and leaving the city are also explored in works of fiction.
Peggy Worrell’s story features the famous cottonwood north of the city.
Madelon Smid follows the removal of buildings at the Second World War Flight Training Base to the Matador Co-op near Kyle.
Joyce Oleson describes the reunion of her family years after they have left the ancestral farm.
Tekeyla Friday offers up the paranormal, as her characters fight evil, long suppressed beneath the ground bordering the city. Here you see creativity unbound.
Dianne Miller, whose story and extensive research focused on the University Women’s Club, writes about the anthology: In this collection, Prairie Quills members reflect upon the history of Swift Current, a city stitched to the land by this timeless seam of flowing water.
These writers have come a long way in the 12 years since the groups’ inception. Seven members are published authors, and the quality and depth in their writing shows clearly in the collection.
The Prairie Quills invite the public to the Gala Launch on Nov. 7, 7-10 p.m. at The Swift Current Art Gallery 411 Herbert Street E. For a cover fee of $5 one can experience an entertaining evening of readings, live music, period costumes, door prizes, cash bar and appetizers. Reflections From The Creek and other works by authors will be available.

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