2018 Authors and Musicians

Lillian Allen

Internationally acclaimed poet/performer and language innovator, Lillian Allen works at the intersection of dub, sound and rebel poetics. She has several award winning recordings and several books of poetry to her credit. Considered a cultural de-programmer, Lillian has been a strategic initiator of programs, networks and arts organization in the city for several decades now and has been a a longtime arts activist. Now in her sage years, Lillian is focused on mentoring the mentors and in intensifying her work to decolonize cultures as she remains an instigator of all things radical. She is a professor of Creative Writing at OCAD University and is spearheading the establishment of a new Creative Writing BFA that focuses on creative writing as social practice.

see lillianallen.ca

Elinor Benjamin

Elinor Benjamin has been telling traditional folktales, fairytales and myths in schools, libraries and other venues to listeners of all ages for over twenty-five years. After retiring from a career as a public library administrator, she returned to her native Nova Scotia in 2011 where she is a long-time member of the Storytellers Circle of Halifax, and its current president. In 2015 she was awarded Storytellers of Canada/Conteurs du Canada’s highest award:“Storykeeper” and was chosen as the Annual Honoree at the 2008 March Hare

see elinorbenjamin.ca


Anita Best

Anita Best was born on the island of Merasheen in Placentia Bay on Newfoundland’s south coast the year before Newfoundland joined Canada. When she was a child, television had not yet taken over as the primary source of entertainment, and for many homes on the island, electricity was provided by gas-powered generators. Singing, dancing and storytelling were the main forms of recreation and when the
nights grew longer and colder and the fishing season was over, people would gather in each others homes and keep heart in one another with tunes, songs and stories.

see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anita_Best

Rex Brown

Rex Brown is the March Hare’s project manager. He has been helping organize this special celebration of words and music since 1987. He is author of Out from the Harbour– Outport Life Before Resettlement (Flanker Press 2014) Rex grew up in Tack’s Beach, Placentia Bay; he moved to Corner Brook in 1972 where he still lives.


Linda Byrne
Born in a small, now resettled, outport in Placentia Bay, Linda Byrne (nee Slade) moved to Arnold’s Cove at an early age. An interest in traditional folksongs prompted her to collect and learn a vast repertoire from the traditional singers both within her family as well as from those with whom she associated such as Mary Caul and Mac Masters. After moving to St. John’s this interest continued with her involvement with the early development of The Folk Club and the Folk Arts Council (now the Folk Arts Society). A participant, both as a volunteer and performer, in the very first Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival in Bannerman Park which recently celebrated its 37th. year, Linda’s involvement in the festival has continued and most recently she has been a convenor and organizer of the Song Circle which celebrates unaccompanied songs and recitations on the last Thursday of each month at the Crow’s Nest. Linda’s repertoire of songs includes traditional English, Irish and Scottish ballads as well as those which have become Newfoundland favourites. She also has a fond appreciation for and an ability to present faithful renditions of old time country and western favourites as well.

Joe Byrne

Originally from Great Paradise, Placentia Bay, Joe’s family moved to St. John’s when he was quite young. In the early 60’s he moved to North Carolina in the US where his musical tastes were influenced by the country and bluegrass music of the region. Returning to Newfoundland to pursue graduate studies at Memorial he became involved with the growing Newfoundland cultural renaissance of the time. He and his brother Pat, along with Baxter Wareham, began playing traditional and original Newfoundland songs and music at festivals and the like and this resulted in the production of the album “Towards the Sunset.” The 30th year anniversary of the release of the album was marked in October, 2013 by a CBC produced concert at the LSPU Hall at which Joe, Pat and Baxter reprised many of the songs from the album along with help of a number of well-known local singers and musicians.

Douglas Cameron

Two time Juno nominee Douglas Cameron has been composing and performing in Canada for over four decades. His song Mona With The Children (True North Records) was a top twenty hit in 1985. Douglas has composed extensively for television and film and is well known for performing for children on Ants In Your Pants (Treehouse TV).

Douglas has recorded several albums of original songs including his most recent entitled Riverdale.

In collaboration with David Macfarlane, Cameron co-created The Door You Came In – a two-man performance of music and text based on the stories of Macfarlane’s The Danger Tree. The Door You Came In was performed throughout Newfoundland and Atlantic Canada in the summer of 2016 and continues to tour in Ontario and beyond.

Most recently Douglas has joined Stories and Songs of Stompin’ Tom, celebrating the music of Stompin’ Tom Connors, renown Canadian troubadour.

Elaine Clarke

Elaine Clarke, of Little Rapids, has been sharing her love of music with audiences on the west coast of Newfoundland since the early days of the Hangashore Folk Festival and beyond. She has sung with various groups performing songs from many genres, including country, rock, folk, and jazz. Most recently, she has been working together with Wayne Muggridge to create new arrangements to some of their favourites, two of which are included on his CD “West Wind Blow”. During the 1980s, Elaine and Wayne performed with the Corner Brook group Salt n’ Pepper.

Gary Collins

Gary Collins was born in Hare Bay, Bonavista North. He spent forty years in the logging and sawmilling business with his father, Theophilus, and son Clint. Gary was once Newfoundland’s youngest fisheries guardian. He managed log drives down spring rivers for years, spent seven seasons driving tractor-trailers over ice roads and the Beaufort Sea of Canada’s Western Arctic, and has been involved in the crab, lobster, and cod commercial fisheries. In 2016, he joined the Canadian Rangers.

Gary’s writing career began when he was asked to write eulogies for deceased friends and family. Now a critically acclaimed author, he has written twelve books, including the children’s illustrated book What Colour is the Ocean?, which he co-wrote with his granddaughter, Maggie Rose Parsons. That book won an Atlantic Book Award: The Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration. His book Mattie Mitchell: Newfoundland’s Greatest Frontiersman has been adapted for film. Desperation: The Queen of Swansea won “The Very Best!” Book Award in the Historical Fiction category of Miramichi Reader. Collins latest book The Last Beothuk was selected to compete in the CBC NL Reads competition, our provincial version of Canada Reads.

Gary Collins is Newfoundland and Labrador’s favourite storyteller, and today he is known all over the province as “the Story Man.” His favourite pastimes are reading, writing, and playing guitar at his log cabin. He lives in Hare Bay, Newfoundland, with his wife, the former Rose Gill. They have three children and three grandchildren.

Marion Counsel

Marion Counsel grew up on Red Island, Placentia Bay.

She was a teenager when her family resettled in the town of Placentia, during the “Resettlement program” of the 1960’s

Marion has written many recitations, stories and songs about these experiences, mainly as a keepsake for her son Michael, but also in an attempt to help preserve a part of Newfoundland and Labrador culture that’s slowly vanishing, namely outport life.

Approximately four years ago, she compiled her stories and songs and created a performance piece called “Red Island – Resettlement Girl.”

With the help of her friends Helen Murphy and Barbara O’Keefe, Marion has performed it in various venues and just recently at “The Rooms” in St. John’s.

Tom Dawe

Tom Dawe has been a high school teacher, English professor, visual artist, editor, writer and poet. He has published about twenty volumes, including poetry, folklore and childrens’ literature.
His latest works include

  • Where Genesis Begins (Breakwater, 2009), winner of The Canadian Authors’ Association Poetry Award.
  • Moocher in the Lun, winner of the Bruneau Award for Childrens’ Literature.
  • The Wonderful Dogfish Racket, finalist for the 2015 Bruneau Award.
  • An Old Man’s Winter Night: Ghostly Tales

His most recent works are “An Old Man’s Winter Night: Ghostly Tales” and “Spirited Away: Old Fairy Stories of Newfoundland”

His work has appeared in many magazines, journals and anthologies. In the seventies, during the ‘Newfoundland Renaissance’, he was one of the founders of Breakwater Books, a founding editor of TickleAce and prose editor of The Livyere, a folklore journal.

In 2002 Martina Seifert’s comprehensive study, Rewriting Newfoundland Mythology: The Works of Tom Dawe , was published in Germany and Cambridge, Mass., U.S.A.

Recipient of many awards and honours, in 2007 he was awarded a WANL Lifetime Membership and was elected to the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Hall of Honour.

In 2010 he was named St. John’s Poet Laureate. (At the end of this four-year term, he published his heritage project, a volume of poetry called “Shadows in the Aftergrass.)

In 2012 he was named a member to the Order of Canada and also to the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador.

See Tom Dawe

Paul Dean
Paul is a geologist, writer, storyteller and singer from Newfoundland. For fifteen years, he has been a regular performer and reader at the March Hare Literary Festival. Many of his stories are based in the small community of North Harbour, Placentia Bay, where he was born and spent his early years. His first book Come on with the Punt; March Hare Stories, was published by Pedlar Press in 2016. Paul lives in St. John’s and Trinity East, Newfoundland, with his family and many friends.

Stan Dragland

Stan Dragland is Professor Emeritus, Department of English, Western University. He was founder of Brick magazine and Brick Books, and is still active with the latter. Dragland is a prolific, critically acclaimed and widely respected author whose companion title to The Great Eastern, Strangers & Others: Newfoundland Essays (Pedlar, 2015), was a finalist for the prestigious BMO Winterset Award. Born and raised in Alberta, Dragland studied at the University of Alberta, where he received a BA and MA, and earned a PhD from Queen’s University. He retired from his teaching post at the University of Western Ontario in 1999, and now lives in St. John’s NL.

Loyola Hearn

Loyola Hearn was born in Renews where he was heavily involved in community activities and where he began his writing career. Following a teaching career, he entered Provincial Politics and served as Newfoundland and Labrador’s Minister of Education. He later entered Federal Politics and became Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Following that, he served as Canada’s Ambassador to Ireland. He still lives in Renews, is still heavily involved within the community, and still writes the odd song and poem.


Nadine Hollett and Don Walsh

Veteran Don Walsh (guitar, backing vocals) teams up with Nadine Hollett (vocals) to bring you a variety of folk and traditional songs from a diverse repertoire.

These musicians come from the ranks of such notable bands as TICKLE HARBOUR, THE PLANKERDOWN BAND and RED ISLAND. And in addition have played with such luminaries as Paddy Keenan, Matt Cranitch and Seamus Creagh just to name a few. This duo weaves a unique blend of style and delivery that promises to enliven, enchant and entertain.

see Don Walsh Collection for more information
or Nadine performing with Tickle Harbour

Joel Thomas Hynes

Joel Thomas Hynes is a long time performer at the March Hare, and of all the many festivals and readings out there in the land of literature, the Hare is by far his favourite. Hynes is a multidisciplinary artist from Calvert, Newfoundland. Nephew of the late, great folk singer Ron Hynes and a musician in his own right, he’s also a flaming actor and the author of numerous acclaimed books and movies and stage plays. His most recent novel We’ll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night was longlisted for the Giller Prize and won the Governor General’s Award for Fiction.

He is the creator, an executive producer and lead actor in the new CBC comedy series Little Dog and is in the midst of releasing his first full length studio album Dead Man’s Melody.


Andy Jones
Andy Jones, an actor, writer, story-teller and director was born and lives in St. John’s Newfoundland. There, he co-founded and worked at the Resource Centre For The Arts at The L.S.P.U. Hall and was a member of the well-known Newfoundland Comedy troupe CODCO in its theatrical and television incarnations. He has also appeared in numerous movies including the much loved Rare Birds and the Newfoundland cult classic The Adventure Of Faustus Bidgood.

Andy is also a children’s book author with five award-winning Folk tale adaptations to his credit, in addition to the
brand new just released Jack And The Green Man.
See http://www.andyjonesproductions.com/


Casey Laforet

Casey Laforet is a founding member and songwriter in the Canadian roots band Elliott BROOD. Formed in 2002, their brand of fuzzed-up roots music makes for a captivating and frenetic live performance. That energy has always translated to the band’s six acclaimed records. Their style has been called everything from ‘blackgrass’ to ‘death country,’ but those descriptions don’t capture the transcendent heights of their unique approach to roots music.

The band’s current home base is Toronto-Hamilton where they are working on their 7th full length album. They have shared the stage with Canadian royalty including Blue Rodeo, Sam Roberts, BNL, The Sadies and The Weakerthans.

Elliott BROOD was a finalist for the Polaris Prize in 2010, and won the Juno for Roots/Traditional album in 2013 for their World War 1 inspired album “Days Into Years”.

See https://www.elliottbrood.com/

Randall Maggs

A writer and wood craftsman, Randall Maggs was born in Vancouver, but has lived on the west coast of Newfoundland for the last 40 years. After leaving the Royal Canadian Air Force, he earned graduate degrees in English at Dalhousie and the University of New Brunswick and in 1977 became a member of the faculty at Grenfell College, teaching courses mainly in Canadian Literature and Creative Writing. His second collection of poetry, Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems was a Globe and Mail “Top 100 Book” in 2008 and won the Winterset Award, the E. J. Pratt Poetry Prize and the Kobzar Literary Award. Night Work was launched at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and the Canadian Embassy in Dublin. A Tenth Anniversary Edition will be brought out by Brick Books in advance of the making of a feature length film based on the book by Blue Ice Pictures (Canada).

Eamon McGrath

Danny Mills Photo

With over 300 songs written and recorded, album of the year credits, and multiple continent-spanning tours, Eamon McGrath has developed a body of work that could rival that of any artist 15 years his senior. This is the house that punk rock built: a fierce DIY attitude and constantly-changing style has guided McGrath across the globe on countless tours, stories from which have been cultivated in innumerable journal entries and song lyrics. He is based in Toronto, Ontario.

Over 100,000 kilometres of highway, railroad and sky lays behind him as McGrath continues to blaze an impassioned trail of music that finds a sound and voice somewhere between punk rock, country, folk and rock and roll. Taking him to locations as geographically diverse as Reykjavik, Palma de Majorca, Warsaw, and everywhere in between, McGrath and his guitar represent a new dawn of singer-songwriting that’s injected with the raw, fierce energy of punk rock: not in the sense of an acoustic performer hollering at the top of his lungs to simulate the energy of a full band, but instead something more rooted in a passionate commitment to your craft and a blind and zealous determination to your vision, wrapped in a sonic texture as rough as the road itself.

see https://ecwpress.com/products/berlin-warszawa-express

Stephanie McKenzie

Stephanie McKenzie has been artistic director of the March Hare since 2014. She is the author of three books of poetry, all published by Salmon Poetry, Cliffs of Moher, Ireland:

  • Cutting My Mother’s Hair, 2006;
  • Grace Must Wander, 2009; and
  • Saviours in This Little Space for Now: Poems for Emily Carr and Vincent van Gogh, 2013.
  • McKenzie is working on her fourth manuscript, presently entitled The Indies Cut, which is based on her travelling in the Caribbean for over ten years and living for periods of time in Jamaica and Guyana.

    see stephaniemaymckenzie.com

    Wayne Muggridge

    Wayne Muggridge grew up in Musgravetown, located in the Bonavista Bay area of Newfoundland, and later moved to Corner Brook to work at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University. He has played folk music with local groups such as Salt n’ Pepper (which included Elaine Clarke), Townsite Ceili Band, Muckle Wheel, and Polypudjum. Wayne has performed at various folk festivals, and on local cable television, plus at the March Hare in its early and more recent years. He has released the following albums of mostly instrumental folk music:

  • Come in and Jar the Door (2011)
  • On a Winter’s Night (2014), which also includes singing by Sylvia Fudge and Bob Muggridge.
  • West Wind Blow (2017), which also includes singing by Elaine Clarke and Bob Muggidge.
  • Wayne’s albums have gotten radio play in the province, plus on BBC Radio Wales and on BBC Radio Ulster.

    Pamela Morgan

    For 19 years, Pamela Morgan was lead singer, guitarist, and arranger for Canada’s pioneering “Celtic” band, Newfoundland’s Figgy Duff, who brought the traditional music of Newfoundland to the world stage.

    Since then, Pamela has been spearheading her own independent record label, Amber Music, producing music for NL’s finest roots artists, including four of her own solo CDs, and licensing tracks to various labels worldwide.

    As solo artist she has graced stages in England, Canada, the US and Europe, and overseen productions of two original scores for live theater; her own folk opera, “The Nobleman’s Wedding”, and Figgy Duff’s score for Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”.

    In 2007 she received an honorary doctorate from Memorial University, and in 2008 embarked upon a different journey, studying Graphic Design at the College of the North Atlantic. This new skill set led to the release of her handmade book “Newfoundland Ballads for Piano and Voice” in 2011.

    In 2013 Pamela completed recording Figgy Duff’s Tempest score, “Sounds and Sweet Airs” and released her fourth solo CD, entitled “Play On”. Further development work of her original folk opera ” The Nobleman’s Wedding” is ongoing, inspired by a 2014 production of the opera at the Stephenville Theatre Festival.

    She continues to write, arrange, perform and tour in her own highly original and hauntingly beautiful style.
    see www.pamelamorgan.ca

    Dave Paddon
    Dave Paddon is a retired airline pilot originally from Northwest River, Labrador. He grew up listening to the songs and stories of the trappers and attending many a late night “session” around many a kitchen table. In 1986 he married a Gander girl and subsequently became immersed in Island culture. As a result he accumulated a store of material which suddenly bubbled to the surface when he and Kim returned to Newfoundland and Labrador in 2005 after 20 years upalong. He wrote his first recitation in 2007 and has now written 24. Five of these have been published in handmade chapbooks and his work is available on a CD or through electronic download. His recitation “Ralph:Flying Hound” was recently released as an illustrated children’s book.

    Dave lives in St.John’s and is a regular at festivals and fundraisers throughout the province.
    See davepaddon.com

    Daniel Payne
    Daniel Payne grew up on Newfoundland’s west coast and still resides there, playing music and working as artistic director with the Trails Tales and Tunes Festival in Norris Point. He’s happy to be back for another hop with the Hare.


    Stephanie and Daniel Payne

    Stephanie Payne and her brother Daniel grew up in Cow Head on the Northern Peninsula. Born into a musical family, they interpret dance tunes and songs from the oral tradition of their local region and beyond. They recently released their first album as a duo, called winterside. They have been regular guests of the Hare and are happy to be so again.


    Andrew Peacock
    Andrew Peacock was born in Toronto and raised in the town of Kapuskasing in northern Ontario. After finishing degrees in biology at Trent University and veterinary medicine at the University of Guelph he moved to Freshwater. As a veterinarian he worked in a mixed animal practice in rural Newfoundland from 1982 until 2010.

    His book “Creatures of the Rock” was published by Doubleday Canada in 2014. It was long listed for the 2015 Leacock medal for humour and won the Newfoundland and Labrador Books award for the best non-fiction book of 2013 and 2014. His most recent book “Madame d’Iberville” chronicles the almost unbelievable adventures of the infamous Newfoundland villain Pierre Lemoyne d’Iberville in the early eighteenth century.


    Sherry Ryan

    Drifting between country, blues and folk and beautifully marrying these genres with her distinct Newfoundland roots, Sherry’s been releasing heart-stealing originals across each album. This gifted songwriter leaves the stage with a piece of your heart every time. Described as “so good, so distinct, it’s absolutely unforgettable” (Exclaim!), hers is a voice you pay attention to. Her fourth full-length album ‘Wreckhouse’ will be released early in the spring of 2018.
    photo by Tom Cochrane.

    see sherryryan.com


    Kate Sanders and Bridget Swift

    Friends Kate Sanders and Bridget Swift are looking forward to sharing the stage again at the 30th Hare. This is the 15 Hare for 15 year old Kate, having been a regular participant in the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and occasional helper at the Hare Breakfast. An avid dancer, singer and actress Kate is regularly involved with musicals and also enjoys teaching dance. Bridget, a 16 year old singer songwriter and 1/2 of the beautiful duo, Bridget and Dahlia has enjoyed a busy year on stage and in the studio. Performances for Bridget and Dahlia since last Hare included opening for the Fortunate Ones and Alison Crowe and an album is in the works.

    Gerry Strong
    Gerry Strong is from Little Bay Islands, Notre Dame Bay and grew up between there and Little Bay, a short distance away. In the early 1970s Gerry became part of the renewal of interest in the folk and traditional music of Newfoundland and Labrador and subsequently became a founding member of the award-winning group, Tickle Harbour. Gerry travelled extensively throughout Canada and the US while playing with Tickle Harbour, and through Ireland and Australia with A Crowd of Bold Sharemen. Retirement from his job as an X-ray technologist at the Carbonear General Hospital has left him more time to pursue his love of music, sitting in on as many sessions as he can and performing with What Odds and Cotillion. In November of 2017 Gerry was awarded the Slaight Music Unsung Hero award by the Canadian Folk Music Association for his contributions to the Canadian folk music scene.

    Miljan Vujovic

    Miljan Vujovic is a gusle player from Vrbas, Serbia. He is the best gusle player in Vojvodina, a region in the northern part of Serbia, and third on the Festival of Gusle players of Serbia. He started to play the gusle in 2000 and plays the traditional songs of Serbia and Montenegro.

    Des Walsh
    Des 300dpi
    Des Walsh’s fourth and most recent collection of poetry is The Singer’s Broken Throat (Talonbooks). He has written a dozen produced stage plays including The Moon Shone Bright (Breakwater Books). Walsh’s screenwriting credits include the international hit miniseries’ The Boys of St. Vincent and Random Passage. Love and Savagery, his first feature film, was released November 13, 2009.

    His work has won many prestigious international awards including a Gemini Award and the Gold Medal at the Banff Television Festival in Canada, the Umbria Fiction Award in Italy, the Grand FIPA d’Or Cannes in France, and The New York Festivals Award and the 1995 Peabody Award in the United States. He was the recipient of the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Arts Achievement Award for 2009.

    See http://www.heritage.nf.ca/articles/arts/des-walsh.php/

    Douglas Walbourne-Gough

    Douglas Walbourne-Gough is a poet and arts administrator from Corner Brook. His poems have appeared in journals across Canada, and, most recently, he’s had some success with publishing reviews. Winner (2011, 2014, 2015) and adjudicator (2013) of the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Awards, he also spent seven years producing and emceeing The April Rabbit – an annual evening of performing arts from Newfoundland’s West coast – with Stephanie McKenzie. In 2010, also with Stephanie McKenzie, he co-edited Humber Mouths 2: Voices from Western Newfoundland. Completing an MFA in creative writing at UBC’s Okanagan campus allowed him to finally complete the eight-year projectThe Crow Gulch Poems, which was just picked up by Goose Lane’s Icehouse poetry imprint for publication. Living in Kelowna, BC he misses the ocean, dearly.


    The Warehams

    Baxter Wareham
    A regular at the March Hare, Baxter Wareham is a performer of songs, stories and instrumental music which he learned growing up in Harbour Buffett, Placentia Bay. Over the course of his musical career, he has been part of several groups including the Wareham Brothers, the Breakwater Boys, and Bristol’s Hope, and has travelled extensively to perform in festivals and events in North America, Europe and Japan.

    Leeland Wareham
    Leeland is a multi-instrumentalist with a deep appreciation for traditional, classic country and bluegrass music. In recent years he has played with the bluegrass/folk group, Albedo and also alongside Craig Young as a duo. Leeland is delighted to share the stage with Craig, Baxter and his sister, Lori again this year.

    Lori Wareham-Mulrooney
    From the time she was a pre-teen to her 20s, Lori has performed at various festivals and events with her brother, Leeland. After taking a break from performing to pursue a career and start a family, she is thrilled to be back on the stage with her brother and uncle.

    Eric West

    Eric West is a guitarist, composer and publisher who has performed and recorded with classical ensembles, folk groups and a children’s music duo. He has composed and arranged music for radio, television and stage. His publications include a guitar method book/CD, seven volumes of folk song arrangements, and a children’s book/CD. West’s music is featured on over a dozen recordings.

    Eric performs primarily on solo guitar, playing a variety of original compositions, traditional arrangements, and classical pieces. He also gives workshops at schools and music camps. He has performed and recorded with some of the top musicians in Newfoundland and Labrador.

    See http://vinlandmusic.ca/page-6/