James Nowak Talk

by jeremylukehill

Guelph writer James Nowak is giving a talk, “The Burned Hand: English Language and the Natural World”, on Friday October 14, 7:00 PM, at the Guelph Outdoor School (Eramosa River & Cooks Mill Road). Tickets are $10.

Modern English, though widely spoken across the globe, remains a foreign language to all but a few places, including this one. There are languages familiar to these sounds and seasons – English is not one of them. Simply put: English is not at home, here.

Could some part of the widening rift between English speakers and the natural world be accounted for by a human language that cannot understand what the land is saying? Could the memory of such an understanding be found lurking in the lonely, homeless corners of the English Tongue and its history of uproot and conquest?

With old words and stories as his companions, James Nowak will approach these questions in the glow of October firelight. Come sit around this fire and consider the story of our troubled tongue.

James Nowak is purveyor and steward of old words, stories, and sayings. He is a guest instructor at the Guelph Outdoor School and a student of Old, Middle, and Modern English and their whole lot of cranky relatives: among them French, Latin, and Old Saxon. He studies medieval literature and languages at the University of Toronto. His poetry and prose have appeared in several local publications. James performs and speaks for school and community groups, children and adults alike.