Local author publishes first poetry anthology


By Jonathan Martin


A local poet has published her first anthology.

Karen Kirby has only lived in Amherstburg for a short time, but already she has decided the town is where she wants to release the past two decades’ worth of work.

Her journey into the poetic arts began some 15 years into her tenure with the City of Windsor, she said.  Now that she has retired, she said she feels it is time to make her work public.

“I had such a large collection of work,” Kirby stated.  “And whenever I’d share it with friends, they’d say, ‘You should publish.'”

Kirby said she was reluctant to take her friends’ advice at first.  She considers herself to be a private person.  She said that when she saw her poetry connect with its readers, though, she was convinced that publishing was the right thing to do.

Karen Kirby has published her first poetry anthology. The local author’s work is available online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble and she is looking for Amherstburg stores to carry the book as well.


“I find that my poetry helps people,” she said.  “No matter what someone is going through, there’s a poem in the book for them.”

Kirby said her work’s subject matter is heavily spiritual in its nature and deals with themes of personal identity and life experience.  She said when she writes, the verses flow, seemingly on their own.  She said she believes it’s someone else who turns on the literary tap.

“I really do believe it’s God,” she said.  “Sometimes, I’ll wake up quite early in the morning, write a poem and then go back to bed.  If I wait, it’s gone.”

The book features a collection of poems written over more than 20 years.  Kirby said deciding which ones would be included was challenging, but rewarding.

“I tried not to touch them too much as I went through them,” she said.  “Of course, that’s really hard when you’re staring at them for so long.”

The anthology is set to be released by Tellwell Publishing.  Kirby said she plans on visiting local retailers to see if they will carry her book. It is available online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 recognizes poster and literacy contest winners



Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 wrapped up its poster and literacy contest with the winners being recognized.

There were 57 entries this year over several categories. The winners were as follows:




First – Robbie McLaughlin (Grade 6, Anderdon Public School)

Second – Liam Dixon (Grade 4, Anderdon Public School)

Third – Cadence McLennan (Grade 6, Anderdon Public School)



First – Cam Sinasac (Grade 8, St. Peter’s ACHS College School)

Second – Hanna Hurst (Grade 7, Anderdon Public School)

Third – Michael Sabbadin (Grade 8, St. Peter’s ACHS College School)



First – Ryan Sinasac (Grade 11, General Amherst High School)



First – Jessica Flore (Grade 4, Anderdon Public School)

Second – Keira Hansen (Grade 4, Anderdon Public School)

Third – Shaun Espiu (Grade 5, St. Peter’s ACHS College School)



First – Hanna Hurst (Grade 7, Anderdon Public School)

Second – Maegan Sulja (Grade 8, Anderdon Public School)




First – Cam Sinasac (Grade 8, St. Peter’s ACHS College School)

Second – Konner Lauzon (Grade 8, St. Peter’s ACHS College School)



First – Gabriel Patsouris (Grade 12, Western Secondary School)

Second – Petrina Franz (Grade 12, Western Secondary School)




First – Nigel Kirk (Grade 12, Western Secondary School)

Local poet, writer pens first book and plans book launch event



By Ron Giofu


Writing has been a passion for Linda Bertrand most of her life.

Now, the Amherstburg resident is compiling her poetry, prose and prayers into a new book and is also planning an official launch for her book.

Bertrand is self-publishing “On Wings of Faith, Hope and Love” and is planning a book launch Sept. 18 from 1-3:30 p.m. in the community room at the Libro Centre. She said she has been working on the book for about one year but it is a compilation of works she has done over her 42 years of writing. There are some pieces that are paired with scriptures, she added.

The 144-page book contains about 123 pieces of her work and is her first book. Bertrand said she has worked on two fundraising calendars – one for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) in 2006 and the other for Christ Church in 2008 – and both did well.

“The combination of the two of them raised over $10,000,” said Bertrand.

Bertrand said she is inspired by many things, including her faith, people in her life, nature, humour, every day life experiences and exploring the meaning of life.

Linda Bertrand will have a book launch for “On Wings of Faith, Hope and Love” Sept. 18 in the community room at the Libro Centre.

Linda Bertrand will have a book launch for “On Wings of Faith, Hope and Love” Sept. 18 in the community room at the Libro Centre.

“Mostly I awaken with a need to write in the early morning hours,” she explained.

There have been occasions when she has been given a subject or title to write about, with examples being the dedication ceremonies for the “Keep History Alive” bricks in Navy Yard Park and the heron sculpture dedication, also in Navy Yard Park. She joked she “writes from perspiration” rather than inspiration for those types of works.

Writing became a passion for Bertrand in 1974 when her grandmother died and she wrote a tribute for her funeral. The tribute was published and, along with a return to her faith after a five-year absence, sparked her writing career. She urges people to follow their dreams no matter what.

“Follow your dreams, be true to your dreams, even if they are just glimpses over many years,” she said. “They are there for a reason – to help you to grow into fulfilling your gifts, your purpose and your destiny.”

Bertrand added that she believes one’s true self “is found in the centre of his or her dreams and in the fulfillment of those dreams.”

The book came to fruition with the help of editors, typists, a publishing consultant and friends, including one that said she would cover the publishing costs.

“I’m excited,” said Bertrand. “It’s a dream come true.”

The book launch will feature her reading some of her work and also have a book signing where people can purchase the book for $20. The launch is geared as an adults-only event.