Authors and Long-Time Friends Reunite for Book Launch

November 14, 2012 - 6:30am

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, November 14, 2012

NANAIMO, BC – Authors, long-time friends and former Vancouver Island University colleagues Marilyn Bowering and Kate Braid launch their newest books at the Nanaimo Museum Nov. 17 at 1 pm.

Bowering teaches in the Creative Writing and Journalism department at Vancouver Island University while Braid retired from the department in 2008.

Braid will launch her book Journeywoman: Swinging a Hammer in a Man’s World, a memoir of her time as a journeywoman carpenter.

In 1977, Braid applied to be a labourer on a construction site on Pender Island. For the next 15 years she helped to build houses, bridges and high-rises, and became one of the first qualified women carpenters in British Columbia.

A memoir has been on her mind since 1986, but she was inspired to complete it when, in 2007, she learned that the number of women in trades in BC – only three percent - has not changed since 1977.

Braid has been writing full-time since her retirement from VIU. “In poetry and prose I've touched on subjects from Glenn Gould, Emily Carr and Georgia O'Keeffe to miners and fishermen,” said Braid.

In addition to Journeywoman, Braid has published five prize-winning books of poetry, four books of non-fiction, numerous essays, and with Sandy Shreve co-edited the ground-breaking book, In Fine Form: The Canadian Book of Form Poetry.

Soul Mouth is Bowering’s first book of poems in five years. It tells many stories within its sections entitled “Body”, “Soul” and “The Storytellers on Their Carpets.”

Bowering has published multiple novels and books of poetry, and has twice been nominated for the Governor General’s prize. She has also written for the stage and screen.

Asked about the relationship between her fiction work and poetry, Bowering said both tell stories, but in poetry the story tends to be implied.

“In a number of the Soul Mouth poems, though, I am often telling stories directly,” she said.
Bowering's goal in writing has always been to connect experience and story. For her, writing is an exploration that draws from many sources. "The poems in this collection appeared after a long period of silence. Many of them came from childhood and others from family stories, bible stories and from mythology seen from a new angle.

"Stories were always a big part of my family life," she added. "Aunts and uncles would arrive with all the cousins and the family would gather round the kitchen table and tell stories. That was our entertainment."

The book launch is hosted by Nanaimo Museum, Caitlin Press and Exile Editions.

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