Two years ago, Whistler writer Bronwyn Preece set off on a backcountry trip by horseback through the Muskwa-Kechika.
The trip wasn’t that straightforward, though. For one, Preece had a severely crooked leg from a massive break the year before. The trip was meant to get her into her beloved backcountry when she wasn’t able to hike—though she ended up doing plenty of hiking after the trails set out on her expedition flooded.
As is her regular process, the “backcountry poet” carved out time each day of the trip to write about her experiences. Now, the resulting poems—or, more accurately, “poetic narratives”—are part of a book, knee deep in high water : riding the Muskwa-Kechika, released by Caitlin Press on May 5.
“The book is a poetic chronicling of that [experience],” she says. “It’s also a chronicling of me trying to navigate being compromised physically in the backcountry, navigating issues with anxiety while out there that was triggered by compounding factors, including lack of sleep and struggles with having a rare neurological condition.”
Pepper in stories of Preece learning about the Muskwa-Kechika—located in Northern B.C. near Fort Nelson—including its Indigenous people, plants and birds, and you have “a love letter,” she says. “It’s a sense of being able to find comfort and wholeness, even through literal fracture.”
Preece will be on hand at Armchair Books on Sunday, May 14, from 2 to 4 p.m. for a book signing.