Trauma Farm was a 2009 book of the year in the Times Literary Supplement and the Globe & Mail, and winner of Writers’ Trust Canadian Non-Fiction Prize.
“Brett's wise and witty meditation on farm life makes a compelling case for a simpler existence in a rural world.”—Globe & Mail
An irreverent and illuminating journey through a day in the life of writer and poet Brian brett, as he tends a small island farm on Salt Spring Island, affectionately named Trauma Farm, with numerous side trips into the natural history of farming.
Brian Brett moves from the tending of livestock, poultry, orchards, gardens, machinery, and fields to the social intricacies of rural communities and, finally, to an encounter with a magnificent deer in the silver moonlight of a magical farm field. Brett understands both tall tales and rigorous science as he explores the small mixed farm—meditating on the perfection of the egg and the nature of soil while also offering a scathing critique of agribusiness and the horror of modern slaughterhouses. Whether discussing the uses and misuses of gates, examining the energy of seeds, or bantering with his family, farm hands, and neighbours, he remains aware of the miracles of life, birth, and death that confront the rural world every day.
Trauma Farm tells a story that is passionate, practical, and frequently hilarious, providing an unforgettable portrait of one farm and our separation from the natural world, as well as a common-sense analysis of rural life. Also available in hardcover.
About the author
Brian Brett was born in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1950 and studied literature at Simon Fraser University. He has been associated with several firms as an editor and publisher and has been a reviewer for many publications and newspapers.In the early seventies, he began working as a freelance journalist and critic for various publications and newspapers, including The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Vancouver Sun, The New Reader, Books in Canada, the Victoria Times-Colonist and theVancouver Province — where he was the poetry critic for two years, and had his own column. His journalism has appeared in almost every major newspaper in Canada, and his essays in most of the major magazines. Brett inaugurated the BC Poetry-in-the-Schools program, introducing children in schools to world poetry for a period of several years, and has taught or given workshops on writing across Canada. He has been a member of organizations ranging from P.E.N. International, the League of Canadian Poets, the Federation of BC Writers, to the Writers' Union of Canada. While a member of the League of Canadian Poets he performed a national reading tour under their auspices. He has also given readings on CBC Radio and various other media as well as public performances funded by private organizations, universities, Harbourfront, Vancouver International Writers Festival, Saltwater Festival, Sechelt Writers’ Festival, Wordfest: Banff Calgary International Writers Festival, the Winnipeg International Writers Festival, National Book Festival, and the Canada Council. Brett is the author of several books of fiction and poetry, including, Tanganyika (Thistledown Press, 1991), The Fungus Garden (Thistledown Press, 1988) Coyote (Thistledown 2003), and Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life (2009) for which he won the Writers Trust Non-Fiction Prize. He lives on a farm on Salt Spring Island.