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Wade in the Water

Poetry as an Invitation to Speak Together Differently
Refugium: Poems for the Pacific is one of the books featured in the upcoming Whistler Writers Festival event Wade in the Water. Photo submitted

When we enter into poetry we are like two strangers in the park, making an invitation, and listening to each other with curiosity.

Something starts to happen. I emerge beyond my certainties and my feet gripping the familiar ground. My circle of beliefs widens and my ears bend with inquisitiveness.

Through nature, stillness, and a love of the land, Lorna Crozier, in her collection The House The Spirit Builds, invites the reader to listen with grace.

When it's half-

way to being ice, water

is neither.

In spare and enchanting prose poems, Eve Josephs in Quarrels writes strange and illogical fables with their flickers of truth.

The boy in the photo has infiltrated my dreams. He interrogates me all night without words. We are two mutes with different music in our brains.

Cecily Nicholson in Wayside Sang writes of movement, trajectories, places travelled, and between the animate and inanimate, pain and trauma, she encourages the reader to transform the meaning of home.

Feet blistering failures keep leaving the ground

now we know

each other's easy laughter

In Night Became Years, Winnipeg poet Jason Stefanik uses multiple voices to explore his mixed-race identity.

There is a teacup trembling away on the landing.

You crack open the door and the parents are fighting

And who can speak for the silent warming ocean, the whales, oil spills, dying seabirds and plastic bags? Poet Yvonne Blomer gathered more than 80 poets to write about the Pacific Ocean. The beautiful and heartbreaking Refugium: Poems for the Pacific is a search and rescue tour de force.

and for the tiniest sea creature that we have neither seen

nor perceived, but who lives, must live

These poets will be contributing to a panel discussion moderated by Mary MacDonald for the Reading Event 10: Wade in the Water, on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 11:30 a.m. at the Whistler Writers Festival. Tickets are available at

Mary MacDonald is a poet, writer, and member of the Whistler writing group, The Vicious Circle.