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Kingston Bookmark Unveiling: The Convict Lover by Merilyn Simonds

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Domino Theatre

52 Church Street

Kingston, ON K7M 1H3

Canada

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Project Bookmark Canada is pleased to announce its 18th Bookmark — and the City of Kingston's second — for a passage from THE CONVICT LOVER by Merilyn Simonds.

Everyone is warmly invited to the official launch of the plaque monument on Saturday, September 30, 11a.m., 46-52 Church Street, Garrigan Park, site of the Kingston Penitentiary quarry (c1919). Author Merilyn Alice Simonds is giving a literary tour of Portsmouth Village at 12:15pm.

The unveiling is hosted by Project Bookmark Canada in partnership with the City of Kingston, and with the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Kingston WritersFest (https://www.kingstonwritersfest.ca/event/00-project-bookmark-unveiling/).

Merilyn Simonds was born in Winnipeg in 1949, and raised in Brazil and in southwestern Ontario. She moved to the Kingston area in 1987 and became an integral part of the city’s literary community, eventually creating Kingston WritersFest and serving as its founding artistic director. Simonds is the author of multiple works of fiction and non-fiction.

In 1987, she happened upon a cache of letters in the attic of her home, written by a prisoner in Kingston Penitentiary to a sixteen-year-old girl who lived in Portsmouth village on the brink of the prison quarry, where convicted men broke stone ten hours a day.

In The Convict Lover, Simonds blends fact and fiction, imagining a more complete story for the real convict Joe Cleroux (who called himself Daddy-long-legs in his letters) and the real girl, Phyllis Halliday (who was known to Cleroux as Peggy).

The book was published in 1996 and was nominated for the Governor General’s Award. It was adapted for the stage by Layne Coleman in 1997 and in 2016 inspired Hot House, a play by Judith Thompson. The Convict Lover was first published by Macfarlane, Walter & Ross (http://merilynsimonds.com/books.html#convict).

Please donate to the KINGSTON Bookmark at http://www.projectbookmarkcanada.ca/give - thank you!

http://www.projectbookmarkcanada.ca/
647 646 2622 (Laurie Murphy)
Project Bookmark Canada

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Domino Theatre

52 Church Street

Kingston, ON K7M 1H3

Canada

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