Truth Be Told: Coming Out as a Writer

Richardson, Bill
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Saskatchewan Library Association

Let me begin these remarks with a short preamble to explain something of the origins of this talk, and something about its composition, which was, for me at least, unusual. I drafted it on a flight I took earlier this week between St. John's Newfoundland and Vancouver. I liked the idea of having a stretch of more than 8 uninterrupted hours that would take me from one end of the Canada to the other, to write a speech that would be given more or less plumb in the middleofthecountry. I've taken the title from a conversation I had with Bonnie Burnard. I interviewed her for CBC Radio in Toronto in November oflast year. She lives near London, Ontario at the present moment, but is still, she told me, pleased to identify herself as a Saskatchewan writer, so the source seems apt for this occasion. I was struck by her use of the phrase "truth be told." I'd heard it before of course, and often; but for some reason, on this occasion was I particularly taken by the archaic grammar and Biblical roll of the words. Troth be told. It came to roost in the shallow folds of my brain, where I registered it with the department of future use. That future proves to be now. I've called this talk "Truth be told: Coming Out as A Writer."