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Nature Essays


Reimagining the Indigenous Rainforests of BC's North Coast

by (author) Derrick Stacey Denholm

Caitlin Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2015
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2015
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2015
    List Price

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Candid, poetic and forensic, Derrick Stacey Denholm's Ground-Truthing walks the reader slowly and nimbly through the tangle of social, ecological and economic slash piles that dominate BC's North Coast. Having lived and worked for twenty-five years as both a forestry field worker and a multidisciplinary artist, Denholm brings a rare perspective to how we can work productively and participate ethically in a life that maintains respect for the wild. Ground-Truthing explores a diverse terrain of communities that are as deeply wild as they are highly civilized. Carefully negotiating the conflicting value systems of industrial forestry, the culture of resource towns, the diversity of First Nations history and tradition, the stagnancy of government policy and the "Real Work" of the rainforest, Denholm gathers the perspectives of more than 150 academics, poets, scientists, journalists, loggers, activists, local citizens and mushroom hunters. He brings together the breadth of the local opinion, personal emotion and technical work that serves to influence the ongoing industrialization of the wild and human world - which are one and the same. Local in focus, international in scope and interdisciplinary by necessity, Ground-Truthing provides a dynamic alternate voice to the mainstream cycle of North Coast writing - which generally serves to memorialize the Euro-Canadian, colonial-settler narrative. Denholm argues that First Nations' experience and wisdom, taken with the long-standing lessons provided by the wild itself, can provide us all with the models, principles and philosophies needed to live our lives - and not just in the rainforests of the North Coast of British Columbia, but anywhere.

About the author

Born on the BC coast, Derrick Stacey Denholm has spent most of the last twenty years living and working in northern and coastal forests. Having come out of the trees just long enough to complete a bachelor and a masters in English, his literary work concerns respect for the wild, social and environmental justice, and the problems of ongoing industrialization within Indigenous lands. Denhlm won the 2011 Barry McKinnon Chapbook Award for Dead Salmon Dialectics, which was published in full form by Caitlin Press in 2014. Denholm also has poetry, prose, and visual art published in Canadian Literature, the Capilano Review, CV2, Dreamland, Drunken Boat, filling Station, The Goose, and ::stonestone::.

Derrick Stacey Denholm's profile page


  • Runner-up, Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize - BC & Yukon Book Prizes

Editorial Reviews

"Ground-Truthing is not just a general nod towards the importance of conservationism; Denholm's great success lies in his ability to create genuine reader empathy for the North Coast rainforest, perhaps even in readers who haven’t spent a lot of time considering their connection to nature." —Carleigh Baker, The Goose

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