Cree author Richard Van Camp was a guest at the home of E. Pauline Johnson for a book reading and signing hosted by the Writers of Six Nations and the Chiefswood National Historic Site on Dec. 8. This was his fourth stop on a book tour that covered Ottawa, Toronto and Six Nations of the Grand River.
Van Camp was promoting his fourth book, entitled Angel Wing Splash Pattern, which was recently published by the 2001 Wordcraft Circle Publisher of the Year-Kegedonce Press. The designer of Van Camp's book, Six Nations' own Jerry Longboat was also in attendance.
Angel Wing Splash Pattern is a collection of nine of van Camp's finest short stories that celebrate his Dogrib ancestry and explore the honest and sometimes painful truth of "contemporary Native life."
Van Camp's writing career began 10 years ago and evolved into him being a great listener of stories told around the supper table in Fort Smith, N.W.T.
"I have a genuine love of storytelling. I love to listen, share and learn stories wherever I go," he said.
Van Camp, a graduate of the En'owkin International School of Writing, read two short stories from his newest book and an excerpt from his children's book, What's The Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses? He is also the author of another children's book, A Man Called Raven and a novel, The Lesser Blessed.
Van Camp signed books for guests and told stories late into the evening.
"I believe a good story is one of the best gifts you can share with someone," he said.
Van Camp is working on his Master's degree in creative writing at the University of British Columbia.
"I want my writing to really touch, amuse, shock and inspire First Nations in every community possible. I really want to make First Nations people smile and be proud of our strength. I also want to sneak a little heartache in there too," he said.
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