In 1998, Al Pittman and Stephanie McKenzie started up a creative writing group for young writers living in Corner Brook. We all worked together from September 1998 until April 1999, and then the young poets gave a reading at Casual Jack’s Roadhouse, calling the affair The April Rabbit.
The name and idea were responses to The March Hare, whom the Rabbit owes gratitude for blazing the trail we bound down each year. As the poets of 1998/1999 saw it, there was a tradition to be continued by Corner Brook’s emerging writers and so The April Rabbit came into being. Al and Stephanie ran another creative writing group in 2000 and subsequently the 2nd successful April Rabbit, again at Casual Jack’s.
Since then, there have been 11 additional April Rabbits and although Al’s no longer with us, the Rabbit’s had the help of Rebekah Robbins and Douglas Walbourne-Gough and just held its 13th annual reading. Sadly, Casual Jack’s Roadhouse is also gone but we’ve had great success with holding the Rabbit at the Blackthorn Stick Café and King Henry’s Pub, the latter of which still houses the event. Our attendance grows every year, with well over a hundred patrons attending our last three years.
Part of the reason for our success is that The April Rabbit is rather unique, here’s why:
- We only showcase emerging talent on a first-come, first-served submission basis.
- We do not adjudicate submissions. We’re not looking for the top tier; we want to give a platform to emerging artists, to give them exposure to performance and to give our audience exposure to otherwise unheard talent.
- We are only interested in showcasing original work.
- We never charge cover – our aim is purely to share Corner Brook’s emerging talent with you!
So, that’s how we got to where we are today and intend to continue for years to come!
The April Rabbit would like to thank you for your past and continuing patronage and support – without you, there would be no April Rabbit!
June 6th, 2012, Corner Brook