Œuvre d'art public

Bench Literary Slections

Bench Literary Slections
Bench Literary Slections
Bench Literary Slections
Prince Arthur's Landing, , Thunder Bay , ON, Canada
Artwork creator(s): 
Brook MiIlroy Architects
Text author(s): 
Dumont, Marilyn; Johnson, E. Pauline; Jones, Marianne; Pendziwol, Jean E.; Stump, Sarain; Moodie Vickers, Catherine; Crossman, Jane; Faye, Donna; Foulds, J.F. (Jim); Garrick, Rick; McKay, Bob
Installation year: 
Remarks on location: 

Divers endroits dans le port 


Bancs en granite disposés à travers le parc. Sur ceux-ci, on retrouve des inscriptions poétiques de divers auteurs.

Text of the artwork: 

The Dimness of Mothers and Daughters 

From the collection 'Green Girl Dreams Mountains' (Oolichan Books)


This is a story shaped by you

as big as your words or

as long as your sentences

this is your story

even though you haven’t told it

all or don’t know how to tell

parts of it yet. By starting the story

the story tells you, tells you how

to go on and how to look back.


~Marilyn Dumont


Excerpt from The Sleeping Giant 

From  'Flint & Feather: The Complete Poems' (Musson Book Co. Ltd.)


When did you sink to your dreamless sleep

Out there in your thunder bed?

Where the tempests sweep,

And the waters leap,

And the storms rage overhead.


~Emily Pauline Johnson / Tekahionwake


highway 17 

We sail through narrow channels of precambrian rock

that transverse the chasm

of earth

and heaven.


~Marianne Jones


Excerpt from Dawn Watch (Groundwood Books) 


It was my job to watch

for ships

& lights

& land

& logs

floating lost on the great inland sea


~Jean E. Pendziwol



Excerpt from The Red Sash (Groundwood Books) 


Outside the palisade, the voyageurs are dancing, too. They are telling stories about cold winters and wild animals, long portages and turbulent rapids. They are wrestling and playing games. They are happy to be here after such a long winter. They are happy to be here after paddling many hard days. They are happy to celebrate rendezvous! My bright red sash blows in the breeze. I think I will dance, too.


~Jean E. Pendziwol


Round Dance


Don’t break this circle

Before the song is over

Because all of our people

Even the ones long gone

Are holding hands


~Sarain Stump



Excerpt from 'Life in a Thundering Bay: Voices from Thunder Bay's Past' (River Rocks Publishing)

Edited by Tania L. Saj and Elle Andra-Warner


If I were an artist, I would choose Thunder Bay in a storm as the greatest representation of the end of the world.


~Catherine Moodie Vickers (1873)


First Sighting


I’ve travelled on foot

from the west

days, weeks, months

over mountains

across plains

through forests

until this sea,

surely a sea

so vast, so extraordinary,

stalls my forward trek.


I shall rest here for a day, a season,

perhaps forever.


~Jane Crossman




Our grandparents brought their countries with them

In surprisingly small suitcases

To make new homes,

But settled


Their accents gave them away.

Ghosts of those old newcomers

Pass us on the streets and sidewalks

Happy to see their grandchildren

At last 



~Donna Faye


On Prince Arthur's Landing, 2011 


What do I see?

Seagulls wheeling, sailboats soaring, a lighthouse watching

the harbour

 while grieving elevators now strive to stand sentinel tall.


What do I hear?

trains shunting, skateboards somersaulting, a sea bashing

a breakwater

 and an aboriginal giant stirring.


~J.F. (Jim) Foulds


Lake Superior Métis 


Commercial fishing by day

Lighthouse keepers by night

Freezing fish in the early winter cold

On racks at the foot of Red River Road

Towing people to safety

From mighty Superior’s raging storms

Fishing well into December

On early winter’s freezing waters

Sailing home from the lighthouse

During breaks in Superior’s heavy winter seas


~Rick Garrick & Bob McKay




 The grudging january light

uncovers balsams and snow

in black and white:

a winter monochrome,

elegant and cold

in a gallery of ice


~Marianne Jones





The city is newborn each morning,

Early light setting the harbour on fire.

God’s breath hovers

Above the lighthouse, the gulls, the giant,

The streets with their sleeping cars,

The empty parking lots downtown.


Gulls walk on the ice

And the Canada Geese return north.

This is the holy hour

Before the noise of coffee grinders and news reports

Before the testosterone of traffic and commerce.

This is the moment to breathe in,

To be filled to overflowing.


~Marianne Jones


Text theme: 
La culture du site, l’histoire, les autochtones
Artwork theme: 

Réflexion sur le lieu, moment de détente. 

Text reference: 

Green Girl Dreams Mountains

Dumont, Marilyn (2001).  Green Girl Dreams Mountains. Canada : Oolichan Books, p. 116

Flint And Feather: The Complete Poems of E. Pauline Johnson (tekahionwake)

Johnson, E.Pauline (1930).  Flint And Feather: The Complete Poems of E. Pauline Johnson (tekahionwake). Toronto : The Musson Book Company Limited, p. 216

Highway 17

Jones, Marianne (1997).  Highway 17 . : Eden II Press, p. 34

Dawn Watch

Pendziwol, Jean E. (2004).  Dawn Watch. Toronto : Groundwood Books, p. 32

The Red Sash

Pendziwol, Jean E. (2005).  The Red Sash. Toronto : Groundwood Books, p. 40

Life in a Thundering Bay: Voices from Thunder Bay's Past

Collectif (2007).  Life in a Thundering Bay: Voices from Thunder Bay's Past. Toronto : River Rocks Publishing, p. 187

La construction des bancs dans le parc ont été produite en deux phases. L’une en 2011 et l’autre en 2012. 


As part of the Prince Arthur’s Landing public art plan, a variety of literary selections have been integrated throughout Marina Park, creating opportunities for moments of reflection along the shores of Lake Superior. In addition to cultural and interpretive signs, the redeveloped park contains a series of modern and historical literary works by local and regional authors.


Source: ThunderBay (2011). Literay Selections: