Slagflower: Poems Unearthed from a Mining Town released by Sudbury's Tom Leduc

As a fourth generation miner, Tom Leduc says he’s always had an interest in the arts.
Tom Leduc, the former poet laureate in Greater Sudbury, has released his first book. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

As a fourth generation miner, Tom Leduc says he's always had an interest in the arts.

He says he never thought he could seriously pursue art, as he's dsylexic and didn't do well with writing in school.

"It wasn't until later in life that I sort of accepted this, understood it and then invited computers into my life which is a massive change," he said.

"This helped me build my confidence."

Now, the former poet laureate for the City of Greater Sudbury is launching his first book, Slagflower: Poems Unearthed from a Mining Town.

"I wanted to give back to a city that's given so much to my family," he said.

"I wanted to delve into my own history. I think it helps to look back at yourself before you move forward."

Leduc says he came up with the term slagfower to describe Sudbury, adding it basically means anything that has been derived out of mining.

'Big achievement'

"When I thought of it, I thought of all the stuff that's grown out of mining, how much our city's grown in the past 40 years," he said.

"When I was born here there wasn't much. There was a lot of blackened rock."

Anyone who has been to Sudbury since then knows that has changed. The city undertook a regreening effort it is now internationally known for.

Leduc says those efforts along with others, including the announcement the smokestack is set to come down, are actions that should be noted.

"It's a big achievement," he said. "At one time, we needed this. We had no choice. But now we've developed stuff to a point where it's refined so well that we no longer need it. I think this is something we need to celebrate."

Leduc says he decided to celebrate by writing poetry about it.

"The slagflower could be anyone of us who have lived through all of this," he said. "The city could be the slagflower itself."

Leduc will be doing a reading from his new book on Monday night at the Sound End Branch of the library at 6:30 p.m.

With files from Markus Schwabe


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