A Small Payback: An Ode to Victoria Lake

A Small Payback: An Ode to Victoria Lake





Title A Small Payback: An Ode to Victoria Lake

Author – Richard M. Grove

Genre – Photography – FULL Colour / Poetry / Canadian

ISBN – 978-1-927725-31-3

Pages – 120

Binding – Hardcover / Case Bound / Full colour every page.

Retail Price$32.95

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Press Release: Click on the press release link below if you would like to see the full PDF Press Release.

Press Release and Onix Information – A Small Payback – Richard Grove



A Small Payback - Richard Grove - 72dpi - low res







27 Words

A Small Payback: An Ode to Victoria Lake is a gem of an ekphrastic book. This book is very well balance between stunning photography and well-crafted poetry.


89 Words

It is obvious that Grove has a talent for both photography and poetry. Every page is either a stunning image or stunning poem that paints a picture that will stick in your mind. They both show the splendid beauty of Canada’s north land representing the spirit of a place. A Small Payback: An Ode to Victoria Lake is a hard-cover book in full colour. At 8 X 10, 120 pages it is worthy of any coffee table. As a window to the northern wilderness it is a Canadian treasure.


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Imagine Here

As for me, my beginner’s camera was a Brownie Starmite, acquired at about age fourteen, paid for in full out of my own pocket. The very first photograph I made involved a self-portrait.  Standing on my bed, dressed in blue-and-white striped pajamas, holding the camera a few inches from my face, I snapped a close up. The resulting up-nose portrait elongated my proboscis and accentuating a pimple on my chin, proved me in a slightly fish-lensy way to be more of a nerdy Poindexter than sexy young Lothario.


My Mother owned a box camera. She could be counted on to capture decapitations, red heaven, and sweeping landscapes with long shadowed creatures looming on the periphery.  “Just shoot what you see,” I would say.  We would pose, she would insist the sunlight over our shoulder, and click — there we were chin to forehead framed in elm shade, the dog wagging through.


So it seems I came naturally to photographic incompetence. I spent thirty years wasting precious thirty-five millimeter film with a foolproof camera.  Now I have a digital.  I took it with me to Israel and Jordan.  I downloaded the resulting one hundred images onto my computer.  From these I could not find a single image worthy of my attention. Meanwhile, I posted one photograph on Facebook.  My son wrote me, inquiring, “What is it?”
However, despite my lack of visual acumen I have managed to acquire several friends with a talent for photography. I can recognize a great photograph when I see one.  My sister-in-law produced a masterful series of snapshots of architectural beauty of Manhattan.  My friend Marty Gervais is world class.  He introduced me to Brother Paul Quenon and Bob Hill, both of Kentucky.  Bob is a photographer who maintains that all the work is in the darkroom.  And then there is Richard M. Grove.  He and I recently collaborated on an ekprhastic project on Cuba involving his photographs and my poems.  The resulting book, In This We Hear the Light was published in 2013 by Hidden Brook Press.  His work is stunning.  He has an eye.  His visual vocabulary is not limited to landscapes.  He captures faces like the best of portrait photographers.


In this book, the one you hold in your hand, you have the spirit of a place. The sky like the geography, is exact and exactly here.  Algonquin Park, Lake Victoria, the forest and the water partake of the lovely particulars of the soul of a place, the spirit of a locale.  Location.  A place of places.  Is it the eye that captures the object, or the object that captures the eye?  Something of the personality of the viewer inhabits the landscape becoming a revelation, a revealed object of studied attention.  Good for you, Richard M. Grove.  Tai, my friend, I see what you see.  A glimpse of grace.  Rare and precious.  Essential quiescent.  Something we would not have without you.


John B. Lee,

Poet Laureate of the city of Brantford

and of Norfolk County




Windows to Madawaska


I live in Cuba, far from Camp Madawaska, in a different landscape and culture. As a visitor to Canada I have had only a small glimpse of the wonderment that Tai is presenting in this precious book. For me, this book opens two windows to this magical place. One is visual, artistically designed. The photographic images of Camp Madawaska and Victoria Lake bears the imprint of the artist-photographer, the transcendent sense of the man who was there when light was captured in its magnificence. Tai was not alone in that moment he shot each picture. Besides his vast experience as a photographer his visual acuity was also steered by his profound spirituality, which allows him to spot sites in which light, shadows, shapes and colours organize patterns of natural harmony.


The other window to this northern wilderness is opened by a different form of art, closer to the bone, that of the word. Here I find the poet in his full maturity, when soul and mind dwell under summer trees and bear witness of the landscape. There are haikus that match what Tai’s pictures have frozen in beauty in a fluid parallelism that provides unified meaning to the overall statement made by the book. There are special moments when nature is humanized by the poet’s wish to return to the bliss of simply being, as represented in his poem entitled “I Would Be Happy” where he takes the reader from leaf to grass to bug to rain, and back to earth. As we progress on this walk by the lakeshore, through the woods and over the lake we discover that it is humans who make Camp Madawaska Lodge special as found in his poem entitled, “The People of Madawaska Lodge”, this warmth is genuine.


Perhaps the greatest discovery was to find universals, both in pictures and in poems. Here in the Caribbean, on an island with no winter and few running fresh rivers, we also have those brilliant warm grasses; and from his poem “The Dimming Hour” the silence that lasts “till the cricket filled hours of black”. So far, so close we are. Thank you, Tai for this magnificent reminder.


Dr. Manuel Velázquez León

University of Holguín, Cuba

Author, Historian, Teacher





Richard (Tai) Grove

Richard (Tai) Grove

Richard Grove was born into an artist family in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on October 7, 1953. He is a writer, editor, publisher. With his wife Kim they run a B&B in Presqu'ile Provincial Park.