The Al Purdy A-frame Residency: Deadline to Apply
October 21, 7:00 PM EDTFree
The A-frame house at the edge of Roblin Lake was built in 1957 by Al Purdy and his wife Eurithe. The Purdy house is now the site of the A-frame Residency Program, under which writers are offered a time and place to work in a location that is attractive and of historic significance. Each year between mid-April and mid-October, the house will be open for the residency. Writers who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents (landed immigrant status) may apply for a term of two to twelve weeks. The residency will be open to all writers, but preference will be given to poetry and poetry projects. Each year the Selection Committee will also consider proposals for a one- to four-week project in critical writing about Canadian poetry, and will be open to unusual and creative ideas for residencies.
While the primary aim of the A-frame is to provide writers with time and space to concentrate on their projects, the residency also gives them the opportunity to interact with the community. As part of the residency plan, writers are encouraged to develop a community-based project. Such projects should provide the opportunity for writers to interact with the local community but should not require more than one or two days of the writer’s time over a four-week period. Katherine Leyton’s project was How Pedestrian. Katherine travelled the community with a video camera and asked people to read Purdy poems. She also had friends and other writers visit, and recorded their readings. The recordings were posted to her blog and a final performance was held in Rednersville at Active Arts Studio.
One possibility would be to invite other writers and artists to visit, develop a performance event that could be staged at the Townhall in Ameliasbugh. Writers are encouraged to be innovative about the community project aspect of the application.
Young writers tell us they are particularly grateful that they can bring spouses and children to the A-frame. To date there have been several infants and toddlers, and some teens – our Poetry Families. We do as much as we can to connect young families with local resources to help them with their stay – provide playpens, cots, and connections to daycare and summer camps.
Travel to Ameliasburgh will be paid. Those awarded the residency will be given a stipend of $750 dollars ($600 honorarium and $150 travel) a week while living in the A-frame, and will be free to spend their time on their writing. Residents will be expected to participate in one public event for each four weeks of their stay, or complete a community-based project as noted above – the event could be a reading, lecture, workshop, an event in a local school or some other literary activity – and to consider other reasonable requests. These events will take place in one of the larger communities nearby: Picton, Belleville, Kingston, Tweed, Trenton. Residents will be offered a temporary library card for the excellent library at Queen’s University in Kingston, where many of Al Purdy’s papers are held. Those awarded a residency will be asked to donate at least one copy of one of their books to the Residency Library at the A-frame. Writers in residence will also be encouraged to make themselves known at the Purdy Library in Ameliasburgh and to donate a book. They may also wish to discuss with the local liaison the possibility of working with local schools.
Applications should include:
- A brief professional curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages)
- A plan for your residency at the A-frame (max. 2 pages)
- A letter of reference (if desired by the candidate)
- A 10-20 page sample of recent writing
- Community-based project, if one is being proposed (1 page)
- Your address and phone number
Applications should consider “Why the A-frame?” and “Why now?”
Successful applications will be asked to submit a grant proposal to the Canada Council for the Arts for matched funding for the residency, and travel expenses. A final report is due two to three months after the residency is complete.
Applicants should propose alternate residency dates if possible.
 Pending successful CCA and OAC funding
 Pending successful fundraising
How to Apply for July 2023-June 2024 Residencies
- Read all of the information above.
- Send six hard copies of the application and the accompanying material to:
The Al Purdy A-frame Association
401—4542 West 10th Ave.,
Vancouver BC V6R 2J1
- Email electronic copies of the same files to email@example.com. Please send one email with all documents and a subject line that includes your name and “20XX residency application.”
Please be sure to add your address and phone number. Any questions can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Applications for residencies from July 2023 to end of June 2024 will close on October 21, 2022 – mailed materials must be postmarked October 21, 2022, or before. Electronic copies must be received by 4 p.m. PT. If you wait until the last day – October 21, 2022 – to mail your hard copies, please send by courier.)