Friday, October 14, 2016

My reviews of two new books in Compulsive Reader

My review of This is Not my Life, by Diane Schoemperlen, has been published by Compulsive Reader:

My review of The Reason for Time by Mary Burns is now up too:

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

My poem "About Eric"

I had a poem published in an anthology, Memory and Loss. Unfortunately for me, the editor left out the last four lines.  Here is the poem as I wrote and submitted it:

by Ruth Latta

We left him in the common room
clapping to the rhythm of a country band.

She'd warned us not to say goodbye.

"It's best if we just slip away.
If he knows I'm leaving he gets upset."

On the hour-long return to her place
I pictured her driving alone
through sleet and snow
three times a week.

"You're a wonderful wife to him," I blurted.

"It's my job," she said calmly.
"The staff know a lot about Alzheimers
but I'm the one who knows the most
about Eric."


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Santa Taking out the Trash

Santa Taking Out the Trash

Photo by Roger Latta.  Observed in our neighbourhood Monday August 15, 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun exhibition

Yesterday Roger and I and a friend saw the Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada. Vigee Le Brun was born in France in 1755 and became the most important woman painter of the late 1700s. Self-taught, she became the portraitist of Queen Marie Antoinette. She left France during the Revolution of 1789 and went to Italy, then to Russia, where she painted portraits of the rich and famous. She eventually returned to France, where she died in 1842.

Although I am certainly not an art historian, I've learned a little over the years about great painters of the past, and in none of the courses I've taken was Vigee Le Brun ever mentioned. It's a pity how women's achievements have been erased from official history until recently.  The ninety paintings are beautiful and each makes you feel that you are glimpsing the unique personality of the sitter.  And, as the description on the National Gallery website says, "This must-see exhibition demonstrates both Vigee Le Brun's immense talent and her extraordinary ability to carve out a significant career in a man's world."

We also enjoyed a dress-up aspect of the exhibition. In a gallery decorated like Marie Antoinette's bedroom, a guide talked about the fashions of the period, and asked for a volunteer to put on the layers of clothing that constituted proper attire in which to appear at the royal court.  The young woman who volunteered was completely transformed - except for her sneakers, which showed below her skirts.

For more information visit the National Gallery of Canada website.  The exhibition is on until September 11th. I would like to go again.