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.
Catherine Anne Martin, BA; MEd; CM
Catherine Martin, is a member of the Millbrook Mi’kmaw Community, Truro, NS. She is an independent international award winning film producer and director, a writer, facilitator, communications consultant, community activist, teacher, drummer, and the first Mi’kmaw woman filmmaker from the Atlantic region. She is a past Chair of APTN and served on the board for the first five years of its inception. She has contributed to policy and institutional change to make cultural and arts more accessible to First Nations artists.Her contributions to film, television and digital media in Atlantic Canada were recognized with a WAVE Award from Women in Film and Television Atlantic. She was honoured with a National Peace Award from VOW ( Voices of Women) in November 2016 for her years of work as a peace activist. Catherine has contributed to the development of many programs to advance the education of Mi’kmaq and Aboriginal women and youth in the Atlantic Region and across the country, including the Certificate in Community Health at Dalhousie for women in Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Innu, and Inuit communities, the Indigenous Black and Mi’kmaq Law Program also at Dalhousie, and the Indigenous Women in Community Leadership program at the Coady International Institute at St. Francis Xavier University, and Professor for CBU’s BA Community Program. From 2015 to 2019 Catherine was appointed as the 14 th Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University. Catherine is a board of governor for the University of Kings College School of Journalism. She was awarded the Senate 150 medal and the Order of Canada in 2017. She is now the first Director of Indigenous Community Relations at Dalhousie University.
Lagomorph written and narrated by Alexander MacLeod
At a critical moment, a now-divorced Nova Scotia man's relationship with his family's long-lived pet rabbit opens up to become a moving exploration of time and change, the tension between intimacy and autonomy, and the mysteries of love and need.
Alexander MacLeod is a writer and a professor of English and Atlantic Canada Studies at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His first collection of short stories, Light Lifting (Biblioasis), won an Atlantic Book Award and was a finalist for the Giller Prize, The Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, The Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Best First Book, Canada and the Caribbean) and the Thomas Head Raddall Fiction Award. The collection was also long-listed for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and was named a "Book of the year" by the American Library Association, The Globe and Mail, Amazon.ca, and Quill and Quire. His short story, Lagomorph, was recently published in a limited run, letter-press edition by Gaspereau Press in 2020. The story also won a 2019 O Henry Prize, the world’s highest distinction for short fiction.
Door of My Heart: Available Now
We Keep a Light: Available Now
The Leaving: Available Now
Lagomorph: Available Now
Song of Rita Joe: TBA