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Poetry Nature


by (author) Kate Braid

Caitlin Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2018
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2018
    List Price

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Usually, we take for granted or plain ignore the Earth we walk on, the Sky above, the Water we drink and bathe in or that falls as rain, the Fire we assume for heat, and the Wood that makes up our landscape and building materials. But over fifteen years as a construction carpenter, Kate Braid began to pay more attention to the materials she worked with and depended upon. Out of these she has crafted an intimate picture of what it is like to be wholly engaged with the elemental materials of earth, sky, water, fire and wood that we depend upon every day.


Elemental is a poignant, intelligent collection that asks us to look more closely at ourselves and the details that construct our rich and delicate world.

About the author

Kate Braid worked as a receptionist, secretary, teacher’s aide, lumber piler, construction labourer, apprentice and journey-carpenter before finally “settling down”? as a teacher. She has taught construction and creative writing, the latter in workshops and also at SFU, UBC and for ten years at Vancouver Island University (previously Malaspina University-College). She is the author of A Well-Mannered Storm: The Glenn Gould Poems, Covering Rough Ground, To This Cedar Fountain and Inward to the Bones: Georgia O’Keeffe’s Journey with Emily Carr. In 2005 she co-edited, with Sandy Shreve, In Fine Form: The Canadian Book of Form Poetry. Braid’s second book of poems about her carpentry experiences, Turning Left to the Ladies, was published by Palimpsest Press. She lives in Burnaby, BC, with her partner.

Kate Braid's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Braid knows exactly what she is doing as a poet…”

—Christopher Levenson, The Ormsby Review

“Kate Braid’s new collection, Elemental, is artistically and conceptually very tight—an impressive feat considering the poems were written over several decades and therefore likely not, originally, composed with this present collection in mind. And yet they work so well together: while the parts are accomplished, the whole is even stronger. […] Braid is so good at what she does: the line “one luminous black eye holds you” slows the reader right down and fixes their attention on that singular eye, just like the speaker’s experience…”

—Amy Mitchell, The Temz Review

“What is most compelling about this collection are Braid’s reflections on small revelations that arrive, unexpected, in brief moments when we step away from our preoccupation with technology and the compulsion to fill up all of our time. … Taken together, the five sections of Elemental reveal Braid’s deeply reverent appreciation of the world around her.”

—Jody Baltessen, Prairie Fire

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