Neptune Theatre and the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) have collaborated to produce an audiobook series titled, Unbound: Nova Scotian books read by Nova Scotian actors .
As Neptune continues to develop its streaming service, Neptune at Home, it was a natural progression to use the theatre’s facilities for the creation of audiobooks. Neptune’s artistic director, Jeremy Webb, along with Patricia Cerra, RBC Chrysalis artistic director intern, provided creative direction on the audiobooks.
The Writers’ Federation has selected foundational books in Nova Scotia literature to be produced as audiobooks. In selecting the books to be recorded, WFNS wanted to ensure representation in genre (non-fiction, fiction and poetry) as well as cultural diversity of the authors. For Marilyn Smulders, executive director of WFNS, the project is giving new life to these books and Nova Scotians an opportunity to experience and explore these essential works in a new format.
“As an audiobook listener myself, I’m thrilled that some really great Nova Scotian books—that perhaps people have always meant to read but haven’t—will soon be available to listen to,” stated Smulders, adding, “The narrators are breathing new life into them and allowing us to experience them anew. They’re perfect for car rides, walks in the woods, or tasks where the mind is free when hands are busy. You’ll be transported, I promise.”
There will be four books in the series, each read by a well-known Nova Scotian actor.
Click the titles below to learn about each audiobook.
The Door of My Heart and Other Poems , by Maxine Tynes (1949–2011), narrated by Tara Taylor
An audio anthology with poems from Borrowed Beauty, Woman Talking Woman, Save the World for Me , and The Door of My Heart.
Publisher's Summary: Maxine Tynes (1949–2011) was a celebrated poet, teacher, and lifelong resident of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. A descendant of Black Loyalists, she drew on their rich and enduring heritage in her writing. Her poems explored her Blackness, feminism, and physical disability. She wrote four books of poetry, all published by Pottersfield Press. Her first, Borrowed Beauty (1987), announced her as a major new talent and received the Milton Acorn People’s Poetry Award, recognizing her as a People’s Poet of Canada.
Tara Taylor - Narrator
Artistic Director of Charles Taylor Theatre & Media Arts Association and Festival Director - Emerging Lens Cultural Film Festival; Partner / Writer / Director (A Cultural Evolution Television – ACE TV); 2021 Recipient of the African Nova Scotian Music Awards Industry Development Award sponsored by the Black Business Initiative for her body of work in presenting musical theatre and film; a playwright, filmmaker, actress, Vice Chair - Women in Film & Television and Link Performing Arts Society; Board member - Screen NS; Member of AFCOOP and member of the Representation & Inclusion committee for the Bus Stop Theatre. Currently in development is “Hood Habits”, a theatrical production and “Love, Peace and Hairgrease” under the RBC / EFTs playwright’s unit.
We Keep a Light (1945), memoir by Evelyn M. Richardson (1902 –1976) , narrated by Martha Irving
Publisher's Summary: In We Keep a Light , Evelyn M. Richardson describes how she and her husband bought tiny Bon Portage Island and built a happy life there for themselves and their three children. On an isolated lighthouse station off the southern tip of Nova Scotia, the Richardsons shared the responsibilities and pleasures of island living, from carrying water and collecting firewood to making preserves and studying at home. The close-knit family didn’t mind their isolation and found delight in the variety and beauty of island life.
We Keep a Light is much more than a memoir. It is an exquisitely written, engrossing record of family life set against a glowing lighthouse, the enduring shores of Nova Scotia, and the ever-changing sea.
We Keep a Light received the 1945 Governor General's Literary Award (Nonfiction).
Martha Irving - Narrator
Martha Irving (she/her) is an award-winning actor who has been performing, directing, and producing theatre for 40+ years. Trained at LAMDA in England, based in Nova Scotia for 30 years, Martha is a co-founder of LunaSea Theatre, Halifax’s premiere feminist theatre company, as well as an audiobook narrator and film and television actor.
The Leaving (1990), short stories by Budge Wilson (b. 1927), narrated by Margaret Muriel Legere
Publisher's Summary: In these eleven short stories, Budge Wilson, the popular author of Lorinda's Diary and Thirteen Never Changes , explores growing up in a colourful but imperfect world from a female point of view. A pen pal halfway around the world, starting a diary, a favourite teacher's romance with metaphors, the intricacies of family relationships, a high school reunion, the bittersweet taste of first love are all fodder for stories that will be read over and over again, and to treasure for a lifetime.
Margaret Muriel Legere
Role: Narrator Selected Theatre: Director - If We Were Birds by Erin Shields, The Balcony by Jean Genet, Noise by Maria Millsavljevic, Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare, Alien by Annie Valentina, TreeGirl by Meg Hubley Actor - Ensemble – 4.48 Psychosis (Caravan Theatre), Astrid/Choreographer – King of Berlin (Doppler Effect Productions), Various – Macbeth (Willpower Theatre), Joanne/Writer - Leaves of the Virgin Mary (Forerunner) Film/TV: Sex & Violence (OutTv), Pure (CBC), Haven (SyFy), G-Spot (Showcase), Sleeping Beauty (Film5), Dear Dad F*@# You (Film5 – upcoming), Quietly (Canada Council for the Arts Digital Original) Training: MFA – Directing. BA – Acting.
Song of Rita Joe: Autobiography of a Mi’kmaq Poet (1996), by Rita Joe (1932–2007), narrated by Catherine Martin
Publisher's Summary: This honoured elder has left us her own story, a book of exceptional courage and insight. Born in poverty on a Cape Breton reserve, Rita Joe was a gentle woman who fought for family, justice, and her own independent voice. She faced intolerance, ignorance and abuse—searched her culture for strength—and wrote poems of clarity and encouragement that continue to inspire. Song of Rita Joe includes 75 of her poems. A winner of the Order of Canada, Rita Joe writes about her life’s journey, and the promise of hope and healing.
Door of My Heart: March 19, 2021
We Keep a Light: March 26, 2021
The Leaving: April 2, 2021
Song of Rita Joe: TBA