“We Are Newton” in the Spotlight!

The follow article by Katherine Marley appeared in the March 2017 edition of “Spotlight on the arts,” a publication of the Arts Council of Surrey.

We Are Newton: A Neighbourhood Anthology

This past November, a local group Friends of the Grove launched “We Are Newton”, an anthology of stories and poetry by the residents of Newton.

Newton has been in the news in recent years, almost exclusively for negative reasons. This has created a stigma about the area but there is good in Newton too. Coordinator David Dailey was quick to point out that the media “are doing what they were designed to do, but the onus is on us to feed the media machine” or have our stories co-opted from us.

“What fractures us is when we have no way to tell our own stories” Dalley says. In response, they decided to create this “literary public space” for the residents of Newton. Sharing stories humanizes us, and reveals and creates community.

Initially expecting to produce a chapbook, within two months they had received over 60 submissions. The process was “silly, fun, open-hearted and open-minded” says editor Ellen Niemer. Entries from children to published authors all come together to show a portrait of a diverse community that values each other.

Most of the initial print run was distributed at the launch party, but a second run is coming. If you are looking for a copy of your own, Friends of the Grove will be giving away two copies at their annual fundraiser on April 30th at the Old Surrey Restaurant.

There will be “mini-launches” in the near future, and copies of the book will be available in public reading spaces around town as well as in the Little Free Library in the Grove later this year. There are also plans to make the book available online in the future.

For more information about the anthology, Friends of the Grove or their upcoming fundraiser, please email info@friendsofthegrove.ca

…excerpts from We Are Newton

Newton Seniors Centre
by Norm Bain

To those who do this Centre serve,
Each in their own special way.
Whether in guise of a volunteer
Or those who require their pay.

They are the ones who give us care,
Dedicated as they may well be.
The tasks they perform without a flare
Are oft times hard to see.

Behind the scenes, their cod unsung.
They keep this Centre humming,
Our office staff who set the theme
Keep the fun and programs coming.

The kitchen staff, who man the stove,
Deserve a special mention.
No one left out to miss my praise
Is surely my intention.

But most of all to the volunteers.
Though their task be ever humble,
Please keep watch in your special place
Or this haven will surely crumble.

Newton’s Espresso Café
by Diana Joy

At Espresso Cafe
use a poem to pay
for a coffee or pop.
It’s a nice place to stop.
Say hello to some friends
And discuss latest trends
The walls full of great art
And that’s only a part
of the heart this place brings.
It’s a neighbourhood thing.

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