This post is a revised version of a letter I wrote to PEI poet Jane Ledwell after I read her new book, Return of the Wild Goose, with its central subject of Katherine Hughes (1876-1925), born and raised on PEI. Return of the Wild Goose is not only an exploration of Hughes’ life; it is … Continue reading Dear Jane: a Letter on Return of the Wild Goose
Finally, the language of the novel is everywhere vivid, evocative, captivating. He is a fiction-writing poet for whom the poetry serves the story and characters, without stealing the stage and showing off. The writing subtly dazzles.
[S]he solemnly celebrates the struggle, often painful, often joyous, to nurture one’s children, protect one’s people, and be part of the renaissance of one’s culture. In “Knit” she writes of unravelling “knots between when we come into this world sacred / and sacred take our leave.”
Brian's knowledge of the natural world, garnered over a lifetime, is exemplary. That knowledge is based mostly in Nova Scotia, but also gathered from his early years in and return visits to his native New Brunswick, and from field trips in Alberta, Nebraska, and Ireland.
Then, on his last day here, another snowstorm struck. This one so severe that our lane was three- and four-feet deep in snow. As the saying goes, “the Island was shut down,” plows too busy with essential roads and parking lots to clear private lanes.
This is a big novel. Big in heart. Big in spirit – spirit that’s always solidly rooted in the tangible realms of nature and human community.
There is no nostalgia for the past, rather, the trials, sufferings, redemptions, and blessings of his era.
Many people, hearing about my surgery, want to know why I needed it. Sometimes I hark way back to early childhood and my love of jumping out of trees, and the countless hours in a Yogi Berra catcher’s crouch playing toss or a shortstop’s stoop on the diamond.
The launch of my new poetry book, Jeopardy, last night in Charlottetown was one of the loveliest occasions of my life. Not because I was centre stage for an hour, but because of all the amazing and cherished people who were there and with whom I could share the moment – from the people I’ve known since my first season on PEI thirty-five years ago, to those I’ve come to know this past year. The occasion was so wonderful because I could thank them for enriching my life and my writing with their own efforts and achievements, their inspiring contributions to the community, their life stories, their great hearts, minds, and spirits. I also thank those people who couldn’t be there and sent me kind messages.
Reflections on a long friendship, life in British Columbia in the 1970s, and Chuck Brickley's new book of haiku, earthshine.