The books were presented at a function in Toronto on Tuesday, March 7. All photos courtesy of Nicole Georges

The Toronto Public Library has received the works of five Dominican authors which will be displayed in the prestigious Merril Collection: Canada’s premiere collection of speculative fiction.

The ceremony took place in Toronto on March 7, 2017 and was facilitated by Dominica’s Trade and Investment Commissioner to Canada, Frances Delsol.

The books were received by the curator of the Merril Collection, Lorna Toolis.

“On the behalf of our writers in Dominica, we greatly appreciate the effort that you made in helping us promote our writers and our books,” Delsol told Toolis during the handing over ceremony. “We believe as a small island in the Caribbean, this will give us significant exposure and we look forward to continued relationship to the library and we appreciate the time you spend with us telling us how our books are going to be displayed and what it is going to do for us as a Dominican people.”

Toolis promised that all the books will be made available to the public by the library.

“We will take your books, we will place them in the database and make them available to the public,” she said.

Representatives of the authors pose with Dominica’s Trade Commissioner to Canada Frances Delsol (far right)

In reaction to the presentation, founding member of the Waitukubuli Writers, Kristine Simelda, it is a proud moment for the Dominican authors.

“As a founding member of Waitukubuli Writers, I ‘d just like to say how proud we are to be included in the Merill Collection,” she said. “It just goes to show what can be accomplished by persons who are committed to a common, altruistic goal. Our logo says, ‘Promoting Authentic Dominican Literature for Readers Around the World,’ and that’s exactly what we have done.”

The books of Roy Sanford, Lionel Levy, Kristine Simelda, Joanne Skerrett, and Jeno Jacob were donated to the collection and include works of folklore, myth and speculative fiction.

The authors and books are: Jeno Jacob – Dominica Folk Beliefs and How the Agouti Lost its Tail; Lionel Levy – The Silverspoon Effect; Joanne Skerrett – Abraham’s Treasure; Kristine Simelda – Face in the River and River of Fire; Roy Sanford – Three Nights Later, the Soukouyan on the Roof and Other Stories.

The books by the Dominican writers

The Merril Collection which consists of over 72, 000 items, is unique in that it is Canada’s only collection of this type that is open to the general public, and the academic community. It is also regarded as one of the world’s finest popular culture collections.

The donated books were compiled through the efforts of several organizations: The Waitkubuli Writers based in Dominica, River Ridge Press Dominica, Papillote Press, the Canadian Multicultural Inventors Museum and the Piton Noire Dominica Sci-fi/fantasy Writers Collective.

Curator at the library Lorna Toolis (left) receives a books from Frances Delsol