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Jenn Thornhill Verma

Jenn Thornhill Verma

Photo: Chris LeDrew

Writer, artist and non-profit executive descended from Newfoundland and Labrador fisherfolk. Fellow, Royal Canadian Geographical Society. First book released in fall 2019 (Cod Collapse: The Rise and Fall of Newfoundland's Saltwater Cowboys, Nimbus Publishing). 



Cod Collapse: The Rise and Fall of Newfoundland's Saltwater Cowboys. Nimbus Publishing , 2019
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


Presentation Description

When the cod fishery collapsed, fisherman Eugene Maloney’s livelihood is yanked out from underneath him. All his pride, all his life, everything he’s ever known is suddenly gone. He doesn’t recall spending days and weeks on land, certainly not in summertime. But here he is with fishing gear that’s no longer of any use. In the spring of 1992, Gene had fished his last cod, marking an abrupt end to a five-generations-old way-of-life for the Maloney family. But every bit the enterprising Newfoundlander, Gene marks the end of the fishery with a new beginning. He pivots to boatbuilding, a self-taught practice he continues today, in 2020, Gene now in his eighties. Set in Bay Bulls, Newfoundland and Labrador, Last Fish, First Boat revisits the 1992 cod moratorium through a fisherman’s eyes. It’s an old story that holds new meaning today, as a global pandemic put Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast out of work, stuck at home and needing to pivot. Like Gene’s story, where there’s will, Canadians will find their way.

A wonderful short animated story for environmental studies, social studies, geography, biology, English, language arts, creative writing, and art. Includes teacher’s guide with student projects.

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Presentation Length:
creative nonfiction (history, memoir, narrative); can include an art element
Audience Size:
Workshop Description:

See the support material for a range of options for workshop approach including sample agenda and activities