Oak Bay author and poet Frank Wilson has released a new collection, to the delight of local readers and the MS Society of Canada.
Apple Man follows Wilson’s Chasing Crows, first published in 2013 and reprinted in 2015. Together, both printings of Chasing Crows raised more than $6,000 for the MS Society of Canada, a figure Wilson hopes to surpass with Apple Man.
“Apple Man, like Chasing Crows, is an eclectic mix of accessible poems set in and around Victoria, South Yorkshire, UK, and elsewhere or anywhere,” Wilson says.
“The poems in Apple Man are in the main, developed in the narrative style in which I am most comfortable,” he writes in his introduction. “They are meant to be accessible and amenable for reading out loud. They are diverse and some are more serious than others. Some have a ‘home’ on the west coast of British Columbia and some are rooted in the foothills of the Peak District of South Yorkshire and Derbyshire.”
Readers will recognize some of the faces and places, such as Tea Room, Willows Beach Victoria, Ted, about longtime Oak Bay artist Ted Harrison, and Public Piano: “She is not Lang Lang, Clara Schumann, Billy Joel or Carole King, but she can play/Painted pianos appeared in our suburban, crow-chasing, gull-splattered village and one, by the ocean-side, demands a visit whenever she paddles that way…”
An award-winning writer, Wilson grew up in the Loxley valley to the west of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. The son of a dairy farmer, he worked as an agricultural economist in Kenya and Zambia and later in Samoa in the South Pacific.
Retiring from academic work, Wilson turned first to magazine writing, then poetry and short stories. His first collection of poems, Blackberries, was privately published in 2008 to support those with MS in the UK.
2013’s Nowt to do with Me – Rural Stories from the North England was followed in 2015 with a second short-story volume, Nowt To Do With My Wife. He is currently working on a third collection of stories drawing on his international work and travels and has other writing projects in process.
Printed by Scott Wingfield of Art Ink Print, with the financial assistance of the Chadwick Foundation, all proceeds go to the MS Society, supporting research and programs for those living with multiple sclerosis.
Illustrations accompany many of the poems, a collaboration with present and former members of the MS centre’s art therapy group in Victoria, plus three guest illustrators who donated pieces from their portfolios.
“Of course we wish to raise much-needed funds to assist those who live with MS but also to make a positive signal about what can be achieved by those who work through the difficulties which MS brings to produce illustrations of beauty and charm,” Wilson says.
Response to the new collection has been strong.
“(I’ve had) very encouraging response to Apple Man so far,” he says, noting the launch will continue over the next few months, including in the UK and elsewhere overseas.
Apple Man is available at a number of Oak Bay outlets, including Taste coffee shop on Cadboro Bay Road, Crumsby’s in Estevan village, Casey’s on Central Avenue and the Uplands Golf Club pro-shop.
Alternatively, email Frank Wilson at mailto:Arnalw17@gmail.com or call 250-370-0774.
Wilson is also happy to do readings and presentations and will home deliver copies as required.