Russell Welsh

OF­FER­ING UP HIS 10 CENTS’ WORTH

Truro Daily News - - COLCHESTER COUNTY - COREY LEBLANC SALTWIRE NET­WORK

A dime doesn’t buy much any­more.

But it can get you the lat­est work from the un­of­fi­cial poet lau­re­ate of a small town in Nova Sco­tia.

Russell Welsh hits down­town Antigo­nish of­ten — in all kinds of weather — on foot, ped­al­ing his three-wheeled Sch­winn bi­cy­cle, sell­ing his 10-cent po­ems. The price is ne­go­tiable.

His lit­er­ary jour­ney be­gan al­most 30 years ago. There have been many high­lights. He’s raised more than $20,000 for the Schizophre­nia So­ci­ety of Nova Sco­tia through the sale of book­marks adorned with his words.

Where does he get the ideas, the in­spi­ra­tion?

“Off the top of my head,” he chuck­les.

“I just sit down, start with one word and go from there.”

Sim­ple tools: pa­per and pen.

A re­cent piece about Deb­bie Harry, lead singer of the 1970s band Blondie, is a per­fect ex­am­ple of his eclec­tic ma­te­rial.

“There are an aw­ful lot of sub­jects that I can breach upon,” he said, a sense of won­der­ment in his voice.

The White-tailed Deer, one of his ear­lier po­ems, has a spe­cial place.

“That will al­ways be my best poem,” he said.

His lit­er­ary works also in­clude 200 mini sto­ries. He dubs them “Cana­dian science-fic­tion hor­ror come­dies.”

“The idea is to take the edge off hor­ror – to make it too ridicu­lous to be­lieve, yet some­how fright­en­ing,” he ex­plains.

He’s pro­lific.

Welsh re­cently reached a mile­stone – more than 101,000 “art pieces sold.”

“I am re­ally proud of it.” The money made: “peanuts.” The greater, more im­por­tant, value is shar­ing his work.

“It is about get­ting the art out there.”

He is happy and thank­ful for the sup­port he’s re­ceived from fam­ily, in­clud­ing his mother, brother and two sis­ters, along with the peo­ple of Antigo­nish.

The word­smith uses sim­ple, yet pow­er­ful words to ex­press his grat­i­tude.

“Thank you.”

COREY LEBLANC/SALTWIRE NET­WORK

Russell Welsh writes while hav­ing his morn­ing cof­fee at the Tall and Small Café in down­town Antigo­nish.

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