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Book launch explores myth, storytelling

Robert Bringhurst returns to Whistler

“When the border guards ask,” author Robert Bringhurst says, “I say I’m a writer. If they ask still more I’ll say I write both poetry and prose. That’s usually enough; they’ll shake their heads and wave me on.”

That language can be both illusory and illuminating is what B.C. poet and linguist Robert Bringhurst will discuss when he launches his latest book in Whistler Sunday, Dec. 3.

Organized by William Roberts as part of the Whistler Forum, a series of leadership building lectures, Bringhurst will read from The Tree of Meaning , a collection of lectures he has given over the past 10 years. Exploring subjects both grand and picayune, from the importance of languages and mythology to the vagaries of poetry, Bringhurst examines what it means to be human and humane in an increasingly inconsiderate world.

A Quadra Island resident and university lecturer, Bringhurst is an acknowledged expert in Pacific Northwest First Nations storytelling. A linguist and typographer, he is also an accomplished poet whose collection, Ghandl’s Nine Visits to the Mythworld was nominated for the inaugural Griffin Poetry Prize in 2001.

Whistler Forum’s William Roberts said Bringhurst’s previous visit three years ago drew a crowd of almost 70 to hear the storyteller. He hopes Sunday’s reading will draw a similar response.

“What really engages people is how to make sense at a level of personal story and that kind of deep connection is what Robert Bringhurst brings,” Roberts said.

Robert Bringhurst will read from his latest book, The Tree of Meaning, Sunday, Dec. 3, 4 p.m. at the Path Gallery, Main Street, Whistler.