Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 15
- Grade: 10
This collection of over thirty essays by both well-known and emerging writers explores what it means to "be at home" on Canada's West Coast. Here the rainforest and the wild, stormy cost dominate one's sense of identity, a humbling perspective shared in memoirs by individuals who come to see themselves as part of a larger ecological community.
Alexandra Morton followed the orcas to the Broughton Archipelago and now fights to protect wild salmon from the impact of fish farms. Grandmother-activist Betty Krawczyk describes living in a remote A-frame under mountains that have been clearcut, and how this led her to join the blockades. Valerie Langer tells us of a tsunami warning, one that is both literal and metaphorical. Brian Brett reflects on possible futures for Clayoquot Sound, thinking back to the wild times he spent there in the sixties.
The collection includes a number of brightly satiric commentators like Briony Penn, who compares sex in the city to love in the temperaterainforest, Andrew Struthers, who recalls squatting in a home-made pyramid in the bush, and Susan Musgrave, who writes with affection and humour about the "excluded" Haida Gwaii. Young First Nations writers Eli Enns and Nadine Crookes provide their perspective of deep rootedness in place. And there are many more contributors, all of whom are engaged in finding purpose along with a sense of belonging that is uniquely West Coast.
About the authors
Christine Lowther has been a lifelong activist and a resident of Clayoquot Sound since 1992. She is the co-editor of two collections of essays, Living Artfully: Reflections from the Far West Coast (The Key Publishing House, 2012) and Writing the West Coast: In Love with Place (Ronsdale Press, 2008), and the author of three books of poetry, My Nature (Leaf Press, 2010), Half-Blood Poems (Zossima Press, 2011) and New Power (Broken Jaw Press, 1999). Most recently, several of her poems appear in Force Field: 77 Women Poets of British Columbia (Mother Tongue, 2013).
Anita Sinner is an assistant professor of art education at Concordia University in Montreal. Her research interests include pre-service and in-service teacher education, community-based art education, life and light writing, and digital media. She brings interdisciplinary perspectives to research involving qualitative approaches and many forms of arts research in relation to curriculum studies and social and cultural issues in education.
Writing the West Coast: In Love with PlaceThis collection of essays written by well-known and emerging West Coast writers explores the interconnectedness of man and his environment and the sense of what it means to be “at home” in one’s surroundings. In these essays, people are dependent upon the environment and upon each other. Essay topics include the environmental impact of fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago on the wild salmon population, the protests against clearcutting the coastal mountain forests, the “excluded” Haida Gwaii, and the deep rootedness of First Nations West Coast communities. This useful resource provides historical information about BC as well as inspiration. Author biographies are included.
Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2008-2009.