Vern Smith will be at Windsor Public Library (850 Ouellette Avenue) on Wednesday, March 20 to read from his latest novel, The Green Ghetto.
The book’s title refers to an area of Detroit that became rural after losing municipal services. A main character in the novel runs a marijuana farm in the affected area. If you’ve spent time in Chatham-Kent, Windsor or Detroit, you will recognize many of the areas referenced in his new work.
His fiction has appeared in Concrete Forest: The New Fiction of Urban Canada (McClelland & Stewart), as well as the Insomniac Press anthologies, Iced, Hard Boiled Love, and Revenge. His novelette, The Gimmick, was a finalist for Canada’s highest crime-writing honor, the Arthur Ellis Award. A veteran of four newspapers and three magazines, Smith’s non-fiction has appeared in The Detroit Free Press, The Ottawa Citizen, The Vancouver Sun, Eye, Broken Pencil, and Quill & Quire, among other publications.
Smith grew up in Windsor, worked for the Chatham Daily News in 1990, and now lives near Chicago. He also put in time at CJAM 99.1 FM, the radio station on the University of Windsor campus. While there, he founded the twenty-four-hour radio marathon, Joe Strummer Day to Confront Poverty in Windsor-Detroit.
The story behind Vern Smith’s The Green Ghetto, has its characters travel from Detroit over the Windsor border, up Highway 401 and through areas like Chatham, Dresden, Wallaceburg and Walpole Island. Agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, eager to find links between drugs and terrorism, catch on to him and through a series of events, his cannabis plants get taken into Canada to a buyer in Dresden.
The reading begins at 6 pm.