Monday, March 09, 2009

The Montreal Storytellers

Over at the Vehicule Press website I came across this great photo of the Montreal Storytellers. John Metcalf to the left there. Not sure who's beside him, though Ray Smith is left-centre, and I think that's Ray Fraser beside him. A young Simon Dardick, I'd wager, behind these two, dead centre. Clark Blaise coming up to Fraser's shoulder, with perhaps Tim Struthers behind him, Hugh Hood bringing up the right. That's the best that I can guess.

The Storytellers consisted of Metcalf, Smith, Fraser, Blaise and Hood. If the stars align, we might publish three of them in 2010: Clark Blaise's and John Metcalf's next collections of short fiction, alongside the next installment of Ray Smith's Bottomly Series. Should this happen I think a world tour -- or at least a Canadian one -- will be absolutely necessary, complete with tour shirts. Now: if only we could get The Dead Milkmen back together: then I'd be truly happy.


Anonymous said...

That's actually Ray Fraser next to Metcalf.

Great pic!

Melanie said...

I'm pretty sure that's David Homel in front of Simon Dardick, with the curly hair.

Anonymous said...

John Metcalf's on the left. Hugh Hood is nowhere to be seen. Don't know about the others.

LunaMoth1 said...

It's still a mystery to me how these guys who -- apart from Hood -- had very little to do with Montreal, decided to become known as The Montreal Storytellers.

LunaMoth1 said...

Actually I take that back: Hood was from Toronto. Clark Blaise is American, and was just elected to the Order of Canada. Ray Fraser? Ontario guy. Ray Smith? Now back in Cape Breton. John Metcalf? Last time I saw him he "hated Frenchmen"...

So what brought them all together under Vehicule's banner, to become the Storytellers of Montreal? Weren't there any Montreal writers with stories?

Aha -- could it be they were brought together to prevent the real stories from being told in public? Was there a "problem" they came to cover up? Were they in any way connected, perhaps unwittingly, to military intelligence... ?

Homel went on to write a semi-fictional account of his parents who appear to have been double agents sent to Russia during the Cold War.

And thanks to "voices" like these, Anglo Montreal remains the literary garrison state it always was.