Unbound is an audiobook series featuring poetry, fiction, and nonfiction by Nova Scotian authors Maxine Tynes, Evelyn M. Richardson, Budge Wilson, and Rita Joe.

The series breathes new life into the works of these foundational authors, giving Nova Scotians (and the world) an opportunity to experience and explore them in a new format.

Produced in partnership with Neptune Theatre, Unbound audiobooks are performed by local actors and are currently available for purchase — individually or as a bundle — through the Neptune at Home streaming service.

What’s the inspiration behind Unbound?
WFNS Executive Director Marilyn Smulders speaks with
Louise Renault and Portia Clark on CBC’s Information Morning >>

Titles & Release Schedule

Song of Rita Joe: Autobiography of a Mi’kmaq Poet
(performed by Catherine Martin)

Honoured elder, winner of the Order of Canada, and widely recognized as the eternal Mi’kmaq Poet Laureate, Rita Joe writes about her life’s journey. Song of Rita Joe (1996) is a book of exceptional courage, insight, hope, and healing and includes 75 of her poems.

Born in poverty on a Cape Breton reserve, Rita Joe was a gentle woman who fought for family, justice, and her independent voice. Facing intolerance, ignorance, and abuse, she searched her culture for strength and wrote poems of clarity and encouragement that continue to inspire.

Release date TBA

Song of Rita Joe
is also available in paperback >>

The Leaving by Budge Wilson
(performed by Margaret Muriel Legere)

In the eleven short stories comprising The Leaving (1990), Budge Wilson, the popular author of Lorinda’s Diary and Thirteen Never Changes, explores growing up in a colourful but imperfect world from women’s points 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 — all are fodder for stories that will be read over and over again, and to treasure for a lifetime.

Released April 2, 2021

The Leaving
is also available in paperback >>

We Keep a Light by Evelyn M. Richardson
(performed by Martha Irving)

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 (1945) 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.

Released March 26, 2021

We Keep a Light
is also available in paperback >>

The Door of My Heart and Other Poems by Maxine Tynes
(performed by Tara Taylor)

Curated by poet and scholar Evelyn C. White, this audio anthology gathers the best poems from the collected works of Maxine Tynes: her debut, Borrowed Beauty (1987), winner of the Milton Acorn People’s Poetry Award; her follow-ups, Woman Talking Woman (1990) and The Door Of My Heart (1993); and her collection of children’s poetry, Save the World For Me (1991).

Maxine Tynes was a highly celebrated poet, a recipient of the Governor General’s Canada Medal for her teaching, and a champion in the search for Black Nova Scotian identity and community.

Released March 19, 2021

Several Maxine Tynes titles are also available in paperback >>

Investors & Partners

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia acknowledges the Nova Scotia Creative Industries Fund for the Arts for its investment in Unbound and Neptune Theatre for its partnership in realizing this project.

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia is also grateful to Cape Breton Books, Fitzhenry and Whiteside Limited, Nimbus Publishing, and Pottersfield Press for their permission to produce and distribute this project.

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