Al Purdy A-Frame Project

"So we built a house, my wife and I

our house at a backwater puddle of a lake

near Ameliasburg, Ont."

Al Purdy In Search of Owen Roblin

Al Purdy is arguably one of the most important Canadian poets of our time. Al was born in Wooler, Ontario in 1918, raised in Trenton, and educated at Albert College in Belleville. At a young age, he headed west for B.C. and this was to be just the beginning of a lifetime of much travelling throughout Canada which is reflected in his writing. Many of his poems read like entries in a diary and the history that is told within is immeasurable. Al and wife Eurithe built the Purdy A-Frame house in Ameliasburgh, Ontario which would serve as a meeting place for hundreds of writers over many years. The whole edifice, Al observed, ‘bent a little in the wind and dreamt of the trees it came from.’

The list of people who travelled to the A-frame includes Margaret Atwood, Earle Birney, George Bowering, Lynn Crosbie, Dennis Lee, Steven Heighton, Patrick Lane, Lorna Crozier, Margaret Laurence, Jack McClelland, John Newlove, Anna Porter, Elizabeth Smart, Michael Ondaatje and the list goes on and on.

A foundation has been developed to save the A-Frame for the purposes of developing a retreat for Canadian writers. The Writer - In- Residence program was designed by David Helwig, Steven Heighton, Karen Solie and Rob Budde.

This coming Saturday, October 17, 2009 from 10am - 1pm there will be a fundraising auction at the Al Purdy library in Ameliasburgh with the proceeds going to the A- Frame Trust Project. As Jean Baird noted in her announcement about the event “The auction will include small items, sentimental trinkets and household items /furnishings from the A-Frame as used/purchased by Al, Eurithe Purdy and the many literary visitors to the cottage. There are some volumes of old books and magazines that will be included in the auction.”

At this close of summer, beginning of fall, come join us in a one-of-a-kind fundraiser. It promises to leave you Naked With Summer in Your Mouth.

The Al Purdy Library, Ameliasburgh, County Rd #19 in the village of Ameliasburgh. Continue through village to STOP SIGN and turn immediately left on Whitney Rd.


  1. I am pleased to report that the auction was a success. Michele Lintern Mole, organizer of this event, said that an intimate crowd of devotees were in attendance and they enjoyed bidding on Al and Eurithe Purdy collectibles. What a treasure, to have a little piece of Purdy inspiration.


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