Grey County Reads

Terry Burns

Terry Burns holds two $25 certificates for The Bicycle Café, her prize for advocating on behalf of Bellevue Square.


Terry Burns takes a walk through Bellevue Square

In March, 2019, Terry Burns met with South Grey News at The Frog Ponds Café in Owen Sound prior to a planning meeting for the 2019 Words Aloud Spoken Word and Storytelling Festival slated for its 17th annual occurance in November. Over cappuccino, she lauded Michael Redhill's Bellevue Square as a multi-layered and masterfully-crafted work of fiction. "There was so much meat in it," she said that she had to complete it twice, finding new interpretation with each reading.

"I really enjoyed it," she said, expanding her praise to also include the other Grey County Reads book submissions. "The contest got a number of people talking," adding that she wanted to read other selections described by other panelists in the contest.

No stranger to prose and poetry, Burns currently has two works available for purchase at The Ginger Press in Owen Sound including the quality of life (2015) and Twelve Days: A Bestiary (2017).

With a keen eye for technique, she expounded on Redhill's literary skill and use of metaphors, admitting that while some might find it challenging, she was thoroughly engrossed in Bellevue Square from start to finish.

Burns continues to push out her own writings with a three-part book of poetry in the works, tentatively called Crossings. "I became interested in Paris at the time between the World Wars. It was a moment of artistic flowering and vitality," she said, explaining the inspiration behind the project. Shaped by the extraordinary artistic community that came together during this period, Terry could only say that the book is still amorphous, but will emerge to reveal itself over time.

Terry Burns keeps herself busy in a number of ways. In addition to volunteering with Words Aloud and toiling away on the new book of poetry, she has painted sets for the Owen Sound Little Theatre's production of The Long Weekend, a comedy by Norm Foster in The Roxy Theatre at the end of May. Her paintings can also be found among the Walter's Falls Group of Artists and she occasionally performs with The Paisley Concert Choir.

Read Terry's interpretation of Bellevue Square on the pages of Grey County Reads and pick up the book for your own enjoyment at any local Grey County library or bookstore.

Terry Burns

Terry is a writer, artist and arts administrator who lives near Chatsworth, Grey County. From 2013-2015 she was Owen Sound Poet Laureate. From 2011-2013, she was the co-ordinator of the Words Aloud Spoken Word & Storytelling Festival, and served as its artistic director in 2016 and 2017.

She has published two books of poetry, a full-length collection called the quality of light (Ginger Press, 2015) and a self-published illustrated chapbook called Twelve Days: A Bestiary, based on The Twelve Days of Christmas. She also edited the poetry anthology Mix Well, which featured the work of thirty-eight Grey and Bruce county poets. She has acted as poetry editor for the online publication Morel Magazine, and is a member of the Walter’s Falls Group of Artists.

Michael Redhill

Michael Redhill is a Giller Prize-winning novelist, poet and playwright. He is the author of the novels Consolation, longlisted for Man Booker Prize; Martin Sloane, a finalist for the Giller Prize; and most recently, Bellevue Square, winner of the 2017 Giller Prize. He has written a novel for young adults, four collections of poetry and two plays, including the internationally celebrated Goodness. He also writes a series of crime novels under the name Inger Ash Wolfe. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Grey County Reads

Grey County Reads is a county-wide reading program involving seven local libraries, including Grey Highlands, Hanover, Meaford, Owen Sound, Southgate, Town of Blue Mountains and West Grey. Five local celebrities will advocate for five Canadian books beginning in January.

How to Participate

Readers are encouraged to follow along with the contest, consider each book and it’s celebrity endorsement. Pick up your own copy of one or more of these books and give us your opinion too. Books are available in limited quantities from your local public library or may be purchased from your favourite local bookstore.

  • Kaleena Johnson, Manager of Customer & Media Relations for the MS Chi-Cheemaun, will advocate for Starlight by Richard Wagamese.
  • Terry Burns, writer, poet, visual artist and arts administrator, will advocate for Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill.
  • Steve Morel, Entertainer and Arts Administrator for Durham Art Gallery, will advocate for Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice.
  • Geoff Bowes, actor, author and former carpenter, will advocate for Steal Away Home by Karolyn Smardz-Frost.
  • Carolyn Latourneau, Executive Director for Beaver Valley Outreach will advocate for The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys.

Read any or all of the Grey County Reads books and/or read each of the book synopses and celebrity installments posted on starting January, 2019.

Contest rules and regulations

Grey County Reads is supported through advertising by these local businesses:

The Bicycle Café
The Bookstore
Chapman's Ice Cream
The Colour Jar
ColourPix Graphic Design Services
Grey County Public Libraries
Grey Roots Museum and Archives
John Tamming Law
Larry Miller, MP Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound
Nature's Path Osteopathy and Alternative Healing
Owen Sound Transportation Company
The Restaurant - Leela's Villa Inn
Speaking Volumes Books and Audio
Bill Walker, MPP Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound
West Grey Chamber of Commerce

Grey County Reads Sponsors - 2018


your neighbourhood
south grey news
Grey Highlands Libraries
ColourPix Tower Ad
The Art Map
Speaking Volumes Tower ad
Bill Walker 2018 ad
Timothy Dyck
Chapmans proudly Canadian
The Bookstore
Bicycle Cafe
Chi-Cheemaun month of Sundays
Nature's Path - 2
Larry Miller - 2018
West Grey Chamber - Nov - 2 - 2018
Tamming Law
Grey Roots
Leela's Villa Inn