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Songs of the Ancestral Home is a book with a sense of place. While the image of the ancestral home starts with a real house, it enlarges to take in the city of Saint John, New Brunswick and the Bay of Fundy.

The book begins with a suite of poems reflecting Hendrien Kippers' close awareness of the almost 200-year history of her much loved home on Hampton Road. She then writes about the city of Saint John, where she now lives, with the eye of painter, and about the Bay of Fundy as one who feels its constant presence. She writes about the social and cultural life of the city as a thoughtful observer and enthusiastic participant.

She writes about the surrounding landscape, family, and friends with a sense of nourishing connection. Though mostly written in recent years, these are poems of a lifetime, composed with a strong sense of place, tinged with the travail of life, but, at the same time, filled with the exercise of joy.

Hendrien Kippers has a degree in English Literature from the University of New Brunswick Saint John and is an active member of the local literary and arts community.

Hendrien Van Dijken was born in Groningen, the Netherlands in 1928. From 1940 to 1945 she lived under the Nazi occupation, during which her parents were active in the Dutch resistance movement.

In 1946 she married Roelof Kippers. In 1951 they immigrated to Canada, living for several years in Ontario. In 1960 they came to New Brunswick and moved into the old farmhouse on Hampton Road in Quispamsis central to the poems in part one of Songs of the Ancestral Home. Here Hendrien Kippers lived a very busy life as the mother of ten children. At the same time she did volunteer work in the community, kept informed on local and world events, and cared deeply about issues of peace and justice.

It was many years before she was able to expand her life with academic studies, but in time she did and was awarded a B.A. in Literature from the University of New Brunswick Saint John. Her deep appreciation for the visual arts often took her to the Saint John Arts Centre where she became a volunteer. She has long been a faithful supporter of local art and crafts, as well as being an enthusiastic participant in local writing and poetry groups.

Songs of the Ancestral Home represents one of the longest continuing literary forms, the poetics of place. Writers of such literature are often inspired by their deep attachment and love for the place where they live. The author has this kind of deep attachment to her Quispamsis homestead, to the City of Saint John, were she now lives, and to the whole Bay of Fundy region.

About the Author

Songs of the Ancestral Home

Hendrien Kippers

Poems - with a foreword by Doris Calder

Songs of the Ancestral Home by Hendrien Kippers
Author photo of Hendrien Kippers

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Paperback  •  137 pages  •  ISBN 978-0-9936725-1-4  •  Published 2014/09/02