life rattle founders: Arnie achtman and guy allen

Arnie Achtman and Guy Allen worked together for twenty-five years to carry out their vision of autobiographical storytelling and writing as a form of community activism. Achtman broadcast the first Life Rattle radio show on February 6, 1988. The two collaborated with many others to build the Life Rattle radio program, Life Rattle Press, a nonprofit publisher of new writers, and the well-known Totally Unknown Writers Festival.

Arnie Achtman


Maple Tree Planted
in Memory of Arnie


Born in 1948, in Montreal, Achtman worked as a store clerk, a short-order cook, a dance studio caretaker, an independent performance artist, an actor and for the past twenty years taught Expressive Writing at George Brown College, and more recently at the University of Toronto.
Arnie Achtman died March 7, 2005 at 11:00 a.m., succumbing to lung cancer.

Two months before his death, Arnie celebrated the publication of This is What Happened, a collection written by a group of his former George Brown students who continue to meet as the Friday Night Writers Group.
Eight days before his death, Arnie, helped by brother Bernie, wheelchaired his way, oxygen tanks in tow, to CKLN to host Life Rattle (show # 869) for the last time. When he managed the breath to deliver, without coughs or gasps, the show's introduction, he pumped his fist in the air.

Thank you Arnie.

Guy Allen    
  Born in 1947, in Little Rock, Arkansas, Allen has worked as an assembly line worker, a butler, a taxi driver, and a sportswriter. He now serves as Director of the Professional Writing and Communication Program at the University of Toronto at Mississauga.