“Sometimes the tallest, strongest-looking tree
is the one that falls …”
This book collects the poems Ed Lemond composed as a deliberate discipline while caring for his wife, Elaine Amyot, during her final year. What Once Was is a chronicle of care and coping that weaves description and reflection into a testament of devotion.
“Friends knew them as Ed and Elaine. Rarely was one mentioned without the other… The singular kinship they shared animates Ed’s poetry.… In the poem, ‘The Days Grow Longer,’ it isn’t clear to whom the ‘I’ refers. It’s as if the two have been compressed into a single space where emotional boundaries dissolve… It’s the painful yet privileged intimacy of this space that renders this collection of poetry so compelling.”
– from the Foreword by Elizabeth Blanchard
Ed Lemond’s plainspoken poems are so carefully composed they become transparent. Reading this book is like watching a master woodcarver shape commonplace material into an object of beauty. By persisting in his dedication to both care and honest language, the author has lifted a difficult passage of personal life into a gift of universal literature.
About Elaine Amyot
Originally from Quebec, Elaine Amyot lived in the Moncton area for almost 50 years. A visual artist, she had more than forty solo exhibitions and participated in more than one hundred group exhibitions. She was a founding member of Galerie Sans Nom and of Galerie 12, both at the Aberdeen Cultural Centre in Moncton. In 1990 she received the medal of the city of Moncton for exceptional services rendered to the community.
In the summer of the year 2000 she coordinated Présence 27, an exhibition-installation of women artists at the Galerie d’Art de l’Université de Moncton. In 2010 she published her first book, The Seven Gates: A Memoir of a Descent, illustrated with many of her own works of art. In August of 2015 she was godmother (marraine) of la Folie des Arts at the Centre des arts et de la culture in Bouctouche, N. B. During this festival she had a solo exhibition titled “A Fierce Energy.” The work on the cover of this book, titled “Male Mothering,” was part of this exhibition. Elaine was a proud mentor of several young women writers and artists. She died February 27, 2019, at age 86.
2020 • Paperback • 136 pages • $20 (CAD), $16 (USD)
ISBN 978-1-988299-28-0 • Published 2020/01/28
What Once Was
About the Author
Edward Lemond has lived in the Moncton, New Brunswick area since 1993. Before that, he lived for 24 years in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He grew up in Long Beach, California and Lafayette, Indiana, and came to Canada in 1969. He was a bookseller for twenty-one years, first in Halifax, then Moncton. Ed was one of the founders of the Frye Festival, co-chair of the Program Committee from the first festival in 2000 through the April, 2011 festival. He started the Attic Owl Reading Series, held monthly in Moncton since August, 1994. He is a novelist and poet, and has recently completed a novel titled Equal Affection.