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Former CBC host has audience in stitches with poems on seniors’ moments

authors-fest-at-mary-magWriter and former CBC host Bill Richardson had more than 100 County Authors Festival attendees in stitches as he read from his new book of poems about the indignities of aging.

“You know how we’re all supposed to be doing Sudoku and crosswords and things, which makes perfectly good sense. When I was writing I started with cocoon, then got to typhoon to get to what I wanted, which was typhoon.”

He explains his pocket-sized book is a guide to wisdom, whining and wonders of being a senior citizen and also pays homage to poems he loved as a child.

“They’re narrative poems, meant to be read out loud,” he said. “I think of them as indignities that come with aging” – things like forgetfulness, looking, or not looking your age and driving skills.”

Bill-Richardson‘The First Little Bastard to Call Me Gramps: Poems of the Late Middle Ages’, looks at the tarnish on the golden years and brought bursts of laughter from his audience.

The Vancouver-based writer, also recently collaborated with composer and singer Veda Hille in the creation of Do You Want What I Have Got? – A Craigslist Cantata, which was staged at the Factory Theatre in Toronto. His books include Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast, which won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, and After Hamelin, a novel for children that was a winner of the Silver Birch Award.

Richardson was host, Thursday night, of the seventh annual County Reads event where five County residents championed their chosen Canadian books.

The event, drawing more than 200 people, saw ‘Translation is A Love Affair’ championed by Dorothy Speirs, as this year’s winner.

“The presenters were impassioned, articulate, and persuasive,” said organizer Anne Preston. “The voting was close. The event was made even more special by having Bill Richardson moderate. His expertise at moderating, knowledge of Canadian Literature and wit enhanced this literary evening.”

Ken Murray presented ‘Three Day Road’ by Joseph Boyden; Charles Morris presented ‘A Complicated Kindess’ by Miriam Toews; Melanie Duigan presented ‘His Whole Life’ by Elizabeth Hay and Hiliary Fennell presented ‘The Reason You Walk’ by Wab Kinew.

The Authors Festival events continue tonight and through the weekend. See schedule below, or visit


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