First Fiction Fridays: Come on with the Punt

March 11, 2016

Though Paul Dean is a consummate storyteller – and favourite – at Newfoundland's annual March Hare Festival, his new collection  Come on with the Punt (Pedlar Press, 2016) is his first book. See where he gets his storyteller's chops from, and who lauded his title story, in our feature below.

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Come on with the Punt (Pedlar Press, 2016)


Paul Dean is a story writer, a storyteller and an advocate for traditional music and dance of Newfoundland and Labrador. He has been a regular performer at the annual March Hare literary festival. He has strong roots in rural Newfoundland and continues to spend good times in Placentia Bay where he was born as well as in Trinity Bight and Notre Dame Bay.

Why you should read this now: Paul Dean, author of Come on with the Punt, has been in story-telling training his entire life. “When I couldn’t see her,” says Paul Dean of his mother, who has placed him as an infant in a berry patch near the outport of North Harbour, Placentia Bay, “I could always hear her as she chatted to Aunt Ann or Aunt Elsie as they picked their way through another summer of berries. When she wasn’t talking, she sang: songs, hymns, ditties. It didn’t matter to me. I knew she was there and she knew I was safe and content. This was the whole world.”

It's no wonder, then, that he's a well-loved regular at the annual March Hare Festival – Atlantic Canada's largest festival of poetry – held in Newfoundland. A geologist by training and a storyteller by avocation, Paul's poignant, hilarious stories about the everyday lives of people and the way things once were in Newfoundland brim with nostalgic innocence and innate wisdom, both. Readers of Come on with the Punt will quickly see why Paul Dean’s stories are so fondly anticipated by March Hare audiences.

What other people are saying:

"I heard Paul Dean from Placentia Bay, read his own Christmas story entitled ‘Come On With The Punt’; as vivid a tale as Dylan Thomas's ‘A Child's Christmas in Wales.’"

—Irish poet Paul Durcan, in Paul Durcan's Diary


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