Margaret Atwood on Al Purdy's A-Frame

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About two and half hours east of Toronto, beside a tiny lake on a rather ordinary piece of land sits an A-frame house that looks ... unremarkable.  But appearances can be deceiving.
The house belonged to Al Purdy, one of this country's most pugnacious, imaginative and productive poets, Purdy and his wife Eurithe built it with  "unemployment Insurance and pounded thumbnails."

It became a home to the Purdys in 1957, when they bought the land for $800. It was a humble affair without electricity, a toilet - no amenities at all. But, over the years, the house at the edge of Roblyn Lake was finished and became a mecca for poets and writers.

When Al Purdy died in 2000 at the age of 82, a group of his contemporaries - writers and friends - rallied to preserve the legacy of the Purdy house.

They published a book, The Al Purdy A-Frame Anthology - and they held a gala fund-raiser at Toronto's Koerner Hall. Michael spoke to Margaret Atwood onstage.

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This item originally aired in February.

Work is now underway to complete needed up-grades, and the hope is to have a writer-in-residence installed in the A-frame by next April.

Margaret Atwood will return to The Sunday Edition on September 15, to talk to Michael about her new book, "MaddAddam" -- the final volume in her dystopian trilogy that also included "Year of the Flood" and "Oryx and Crake."

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