“We are Historical Novelists, Fiction is our Game”: The Poem that opened the conference #HNSDenver2015

I got so many requests for this, I agreed to put it up. Again, apologies to all true poets. The spirit of Walter McGonagal lives on!

Opening Keynote speech, Historical Novelists North American Conference Denver 2015:

“We are historical novelists, fiction is our game,

We do not write for fortunes, we do not write for fame.

We write because we have to, the fires that burn inside

To stride across the centuries, and sail the oceans wide.

We write to right historic wrongs, of Richard the Third and Vlad,

Of women shunned in monk’s dull minds, the glad, the sad, the bad.

We stand upon the shoulders, of greats who blazed so hot;

Renault, Dumas, Sutcliff, O’Brian, Dickens, Scott.

We rub against great shoulders, a wondrous array of speakers

Gabaldon, Goertner, George, Cushman, Hollick, Peters.

So when you reach for implements, for goose quill, pen or keys,

Do not write for fortune, nor seek too much to please.

Write because you have to, the fires that burn inside,

To stride across the centuries and sail the ocean’s wide.”

It was such a fun conference. Bravo all involved!

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5 Responses to “We are Historical Novelists, Fiction is our Game”: The Poem that opened the conference #HNSDenver2015

  1. So thrilled to have my name there! 🙂

  2. Pingback: HNS 2015 Conference Wrap Up | Spellbound Scribes

  3. Thanks for posting. Kudos Helen. What is missing is your stunning explosive passion delivering this!

  4. Thanks for posting, Chris. Such a great opening you gave us.

  5. historyweaver says:

    The poem was delivered with the greatest Shakespearean flair. (Pay no mind to the tittering in the audience) What a way to start the conference. I first heard of Walter McGonagal while a student in France many years ago. An English friend read Dundee or was the one about the river? Too funny. I’m sure you’ll catch up.

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