John Steffler – The Grey Islands


Narrated (in order of appearance) by John Steffler, Frank Holden, Janis Spence, Deidre Gillard-Rowlings and Darryl Hopkins.

Island soundscapes recorded off the coast of Newfoundland.

Directed, recorded and mixed by Janet Russell

Design John Andrews

Photograph Merrill Francis

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Product Description

A novel in the form of poems, a physical exploration of Newfoundland’s past, a search for ghosts in an abandoned settlement on an abandoned island, this is the story of a come-from-away determined to immerse himself in the physical reality of Newfoundland in an abrupt and inescapable way.

A modern classic of Canadian poetry, “The Grey Islands” is one man’s meditation on the interplay between nature and human society in the rugged setting of coastal Newfoundland.  The boats and houses of those who tried to live on the Grey Islands have disappeared, but their stories survive in the neighboring settlements – stories of treks on the sea ice, of near-starvation, of hunting ducks at night with muskets loaded with everything from nails to the parts of a gold pocket watch.