Long ago, in another life, I belonged to the Union of Canadian Writers and was a member in good standing of PEN Canada. I’m can’t recall why I originally joined these guilds since I generally shun collectives of any sort. I believe I may have responded to an invitation or the urging of friends, not wanting to seem churlish. I never threw in my lot with what would have been my natural home, the League of Canadian Poets, an outfit that arranged for readings across the country and facilitated the distribution of grants and perks to its members.
With respect to the Union, I attended a couple of meetings, which I found somewhat off-putting for all the trade talk, affected posturing and conversational bromides that dominated the proceedings. Literature was the one thing that never seemed to come up. Regarding PEN, I discovered its agenda was pro-Palestinian and perforce anti-Israeli, which I could not accept. In time, I drifted away from these dreary bastions of political correctness.