"Selected for Poetry in Transit 2009", 'A Well-Mannered Storm' is an exploration of loose correspondence between one of Canada's greatest musicians, Glenn Gould, and "K," an admiring fan. Braid weaves an intimate dynamic as K struggles with the loss of her hearing in one ear, finding her greatest comfort in Gould's music - particularly when he plays Bach. Gould's poems don't directly reply, but they do echo a response as he struggles withhis own difficult life; his family, his health, his strong beliefs in how music should be presented and his personal habits considered "eccentric" by an ever-watchful press. K starts to accept her changing world, just as Gould begins a downward spiral into disintegration. In his final reflection, Gould acknowledges that in spite of his personal trials, his music now circles the world in the spacecraft Voyager as Earth's example to other possible life forms of what is most beautiful in this civilization.
'A Well-Mannered Storm' is a striking and masterful volume of poems that does justice to Gould's brilliance, offering insights into his personal life and art, even as it showcases Braid's own virtuosity.
Kate Braid has had a diverse career including secretary, carpenter, teacher and writer. Her first book of poems 'Covering Rough Ground' won the Pat Lowther Award for best book of poetry by a Canadian woman. Her second, 'To This Cedar Fountain', was nominated for the BC Book Prize, and her third, 'Inward to the Bones: Georgia O'Keeffe's Journey with Emily Carr', won the Vancity Book Prize. In 2005 she co-edited with Sandy Shreve 'In Fine Form: The Canadian Book of Form Poetry'. Braidhas also written several non-fiction books and essays. She lives in Burnaby, British Columbia.
Braid is a devoted (to say the least) fan of Glenn Gould - and of J.S. Bach.