Born to wild, while we still can

“The bees might know more than I do,” concludes our Tahsis correspondent, who, like Emily Carr, often prefers crittersitting and gardening to visitors of the human persuasion. FULL STORY

Who’s Who

A is for Atleo
First, there were food trucks. Now along rolls Iron Dog Books, a mobile bookstore, using a 2006 Freightliner step van, owned and operated by indigenous partners Cliff and Hilary Atleo (Nuu Chah Nulth/Tsimsian and Anishinaabe/Scottish racial backgrounds). Burnaby-based and dedicated to serving Tsleil-Waututh, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Musqueam territories (metro Vancouver), Iron Dog Books now attends literary functions such as the book launch for Pat Ardley’s memoir, Grizzlies, Gales and Giant Salmon: Life at a Rivers Inlet Fishing Lodge (Harbour $24.95) on Sunday, March 25, 2018, starting at 1:00 pm, at the Corner Story Bistro in Pemberton Heights (1096 West 22nd Street). At age 19, Pat Ardley left Winnipeg for Vancouver and met George Ardley. After a stint as junior lighthouse keepers, they built their own fishing lodge in Rivers Inlet. 978-1-55017-831-9

Arthur Black

B is for Black
Arthur Black was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer in early January of 2018 and died at Lady Minto Hospital on Saltspring Island on February 21, 2018 at age 74. Typically, he made jokes about his illness in a series of blog posts, suggesting getting a terminal diagnosis was akin to being swatted by a giant nerf bat, describing pancreatic cancer as “the Mike Tyson of cancers” and suggesting his final missives should be titled Dead Man Blogging. Born in Toronto in 1943, Block first worked for CBC in 1971 at Thunder Bay. Arthur Black hosted CBC Radio’s Basic Black program for 19 years. Coincidentally, he wrote 19 books. He won three Leacock Medals for Humour– for Pitch Black (2006), for Black Tie and Tales (2000) and for Black in the Saddle Again (1997). Only two other recipients have won Canada’s top humour prize three times during more than 60 years of competition. Black was also nominated for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour in 2014 for Fifty Shades of Black (2013) in which he typically addressed such topics as complex coffee concoctions and the dangers of reading too many kinky romance novels. In his final book, Paint the Town Black, Black tackled such important subjects as poor penmanship and the burning question of whether one-time Thunder Bay mayor Walter “Jolly Wally” Assef really did pat the queen’s bum. Arthur Black moved to Saltspring Island in 1995 and he retired from hosting Basic Black in 2002. He also hosted and narrated two television programs, Weird Homes and Weird Wheels.

C is for Crocker
There have been Japanese and Swedish books on the art of decluttering. Now tech and social media wiz Angela Crocker offers non-geeks her digital decluttering advice in Declutter your Data: Take Charge of your Data and Organize your Digital Life (Self-Counsel $22.95). Promoted as a business-savvy digital goddess and an information organizing superhero, she has a company that helps people figure out what to share on their websites, blogs and social media. Declutter is her follow-up to The Content Planner: A Complete Guide to Organize and Share Your Ideas Online and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creating a Social Network. 978-1-77040-297-3

D is for Derrickson
In The Reconciliation Manifesto (Lorimer 2017 $22.95), the late Arthur Manuel with Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson, former chief of the Westbank First Nation near Kelowna, challenge nearly everything that non-Indigenous Canadians believe about their relationship with Indigenous Peoples and the steps that are needed to place this relationship on a healthy and honourable footing. The preface is by Naomi Klein. Arthur Manuel died in January of 2017. “Arthur is gone,” wrote Naomi Klein, “but he has left this book behind as a roadmap to reconciliation.” Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson served as Chief of the Westbank First Nation from 1976 to 1986 and from 1998 to 2000. He was made Grand Chief by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs in 2012, and has been touted as one of the most successful Indigenous business owners in Canada. He and Arthur Manuel previously co‐authored Unsettling Canada: A National Wake Up Call in 2015. 9781459409613

Jackie Kai Ellis

E is for Ellis
Last year Heather Ross, who runs a décor boutique on Fir Street in Vancouver, published The Natural Eclectic: a Design Aesthetic Inspired by Nature. Now, her next-door-neighbour entrepreneur, Jackie Kai Ellis, owner of Beaucoup Bakery, has published The Measure of My Powers: A Memoir of Food, Misery, and Paris (Random House $24.95). In the style of Eat, Pray, Love, Ellis’s memoir details how her life spiralled when she suffered with crippling depression. Despite having a handsome husband, a successful career and a beautiful home, she left it all behind to travel to France, Italy and the Congo Republic. After attending pastry school in Paris and eating perfect apricots in the Tuscan hills of Italy, she returned to start her own critically acclaimed bakery, Beaucoup. Her marriage didn’t survive her evolution.  9780147530394

Joan B. Flood

F is for Flood
Delia Buckley was abandoned by Daniel Wolfe, the father of her daughter, before their child was born. Wolfe suddenly shows up twenty-two years later, wanting Delia to nurse him in his terminal illness. Delia accepts since she is desperate for money, hoping to keep a professional distance. But life has a way of interfering in the best laid plans. Set in an Irish village where it’s hard to keep everyone’s natural curiosity at bay and gossip is served up for breakfast, Delia confronts the arrival of Wolfe’s daughter from Vancouver in Joan B. Flood’s novel, Left Unsaid (Signature Editions $19.95). More mysterious guests arrive making the secrets of the past hard to hide. Flood grew up in Limerick, Ireland and has graduated from SFU Writers Studio. Her poetry, fiction and non-fiction have been published in anthologies including Room of One’s Own, By Word of Mouth, Emerge, and Lesbian Bedtime Stories. Her Young Adult novel New Girl (Musa Publishing) won the Orpheus Fiction Contest. 978-1773240-09-1

Lorna Goodison

G is for Goodison
The director of the Windham-Campbell Prizes has made the call of a lifetime to eight entirely surprised writers, informing them that they will each be recognized with a $165,000 USD prize to support their writing–and Lorna Goodison is one of those writers. The awards, worth more than $1 million annually, are conferred each September at an international literary festival at Yale, where the Prizes are based. These literary awards were established in 2013 with a gift from the late Donald Windham in memory of his partner of 40 years, Sandy M. Campbell. Recently Lorna Goodison of Halfmoon Bay was installed in her new position as Poet Laureate of Jamaica for a three-year term during a ceremony at King’s House in St. Andrew, Jamaica on May 17, 2017. According to the National Library of Jamaica, Goodison was selected by a secret ballot vote conducted by the Poet Laureate Committee. Lorna Goodison is the author of two collections of short stories, eight books of poetry, and the award-winning memoir From Harvey River: A Memoir of My Mother and Her People. Her 2011 story collection is By Love Possessed. She has previously received much international recognition, including the Musgrave Gold Medal. Born in Jamaica, Goodison has taught at the University of Toronto and the University of Michigan. She divides her time between Ann Arbor, Toronto, and Halfmoon Bay, B.C. where she resides with her husband Ted Chamberlin.

H is for Hughes
Matt  Hughes writes crime fiction.  Whereas his alter ego, Matthew Hughes, writes sf. Matt Hughes’ crime novel One More Kill, (PS Publishing 2018) is extrapolated from a short story of the same title that won an Arthur Ellis Award for best story. A former US Special Forces officer, involuntarily retired from the military after contracting a low-grade form of leukemia, re regains a purpose for living when he drifts into a hobby:  killing people who have done great harm but got away with it.  As the story progresses, he finds a woman to share his life, makes a new friend, and meets up with an old enemy, all of whom come together in a literally explosive climax. It’s his third crime novel after Downshift (Doubleday Canada, 1997; Five Rivers, 2012) and Old Growth (Five Rivers, 2013).

I is for Iron Dog
First, there were food trucks. Now along rolls Iron Dog Books, a mobile bookstore, using a 2006 Freightliner step van, owned and operated by indigenous partners Cliff and Hilary Atleo (Nuu Chah Nulth/Tsimsian and Anishinaabe/Scottish racial backgrounds). Burnaby-based and dedicated to serving Tsleil-Waututh, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Musqueam territories (metro Vancouver), Iron Dog Books now attends literary functions such as the book launch for Pat Ardley’s memoir, Grizzlies, Gales and Giant Salmon: Life at a Rivers Inlet Fishing Lodge (Harbour $24.95) on Sunday, March 25, 2018, starting at 1:00 pm, at the Corner Story Bistro in Pemberton Heights (1096 West 22nd Street). At age 19, Pat Ardley left Winnipeg for Vancouver and met George Ardley. After a stint as junior lighthouse keepers, they built their own fishing lodge in Rivers Inlet. 978-1-55017-831-9

J is for Justice
Coming from a historically oral tradition, many Indigenous North Americans have only recently turned to the written word. But it has been significant in helping Indigenous people understand who they are. Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee Nation) studies and writes about Indigenous literature for a living. He holds the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Literature and Expressive Culture at UBC. His new book, Why Indigenous Literatures Matter (Wilfrid Laurier $19.99) surveys the field of Indigenous literary studies as well as analyzes Indigenous literature through a political and social history lens. The book challenges readers to re-think their assumptions about Indigenous literature, history and politics. As well, at a time when reconciliation is in the news, Justice shows how Indigenous writers nurture and restore imaginative kinship with the world. He has published widely on the subject of Indigenous literature and is Professor of First Nations and Indigenous Studies and English at UBC. 978-1-77112-176-7

Tima Kurdi

K is for Kurdi
Describing herself as a “nobody hairdresser” in Coquitlam, Tima Kurdi, the aunt of two-year-old Alan Kurdi—whose death on the tideline in Turkey in 2015 awakened the world to the plight of Syrian refugees—has produced The Boy on the Beach: My Family’s Escape from Syria and Our Hope for a New Home (Simon & Schuster $32). She and her brother Abdullah, Alan’s father, now promote awareness of refugees with the Kurdi Foundation. “When you saw the photograph of that little boy, my dear nephew Alan, dead on a faraway shore, you became a part of our family,” she writes. “You shared our horror, our heartache, our shock, and our outrage. You wanted to save him, but you knew it was too late. In your grief, you reached out, and by doing, you grabbed hold of my hand and pulled me to you. You joined my family’s chorus of grief. You helped save me from drowning.” The family memoir is due in mid-April. 978-1-5011-7523-7

Lua the cat with Dania Sheldon

L is for Lua
Lua, the partially paralyzed cat, is lucky to be cared for by Dania Sheldon. After she suffered a spinal cord injury as a kitten, Lua was rehabilitated at a kitten orphanage before being adopted by Sheldon. After many doctor visits, Lua and Sheldon settled into daily life together on Gabriola Island. Lua has the run of a large garden and spends time outside most days, even when it snows. After many requests to write a book about Lua, Sheldon finally complied with a children’s book that even adults can enjoy. The Book of Lua: Stories and wisdom from a little cat with mobility challenges (Kittenhaus Press, $22.95) is an animal lover’s delight. Not only does it show that cats with rear paralysis and other conditions can have long happy lives, it is full of stories about saving other wildlife – everything from bats and flies to snakes and birds. Sheldon has been an editor since 1997 and a writer since 2007. She is also a volunteer with Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association. 978-0-9959039-0-6

Andrew MacLeod

M is for MacLeod
For his previous book on poverty in B.C., Legislative reporter Andrew MacLeod received the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness. In All Together Healthy, A Canadian Wellness Revolution (D&M $22.95), he examines inequities within Canada and draws on international comparisons to assess why Canada’s high spending on health care has failed to achieve better results. Well-researched and enlivened with interviews and personal stories, MacLeod explains the complexities of public health policy in an immediate and approachable way, making a passionate case for how best to maximize the health of the many. 978-1-77162-188-5

Emily Nilsen

N is for Nilsen
For her debut collection of poems, Otolith (Goose Lane $19.95), Emily Nilsen of Nelson has been longlisted for both the League of Canadian Poets Gerald Lampert and Pat Lowther Memorial Awards. According to publicity materials, “Otolith — the ear stone — is a series of bones that govern our sense of gravity, balance, and direction to help us orient ourselves.” Her book examines the ache of nostalgia in the world’s passage of time with poems “full of life and decay; they carry the odours of salmon rivers and forests of fir; salal growing in the fog-bound mountain slopes.” Born and raised in Vancouver, Nilsen was a finalist for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2015 for a chapbook entitled Place, No Manual, after having been longlisted for the prize on three separate occasions. Her work has also been longlisted for the UK National Poetry Prize. 978-0-864929-62-4

O is Oghma
After a severe accident caused agnosia—the inability to recognize and identify objects or persons—Emisch Oghma of Victoria began studying and modernizing the ancient Chinese face reading system called siang mien. By being more observant and interested in people’s faces, Emisch was able to reduce the effects of agnosia, giving rise to his book, In Your Face (Agio $19.95), designed to show how anyone can quickly “read” their own face, their friends, family or co-workers. 978-1-927755-54-9

P is for People’s Co-op
People’s Co-op Bookstore on Commercial Drive in Vancouver has a new lease on life. Started in 1945, the bookstore has been located at 1391 Commercial Drive since 1983 and offers books on a myriad of subjects. At a special general meeting in January, co-op members approved a plan to develop a new foundation for the future. The stock of new, recently released titles has been expanded, while donations of used books will continue to be gratefully accepted and sold at the store. The ever-popular toonie shelves in front of the store continue to offer great deals to browsers. “As far as we know,” says Co-op board member Rolf Maurer, “the Co-op is the oldest bookstore in the country, not just Vancouver. We are unaware of any other store, apart from some university bookstores, that have continually stayed in business for this long.”

Q is for Queen’s
It was Gordon Campbell’s regime that instructed ICBC to become more litigious when British Columbians try to get compensation as accident victims. Possibly it says something about his popularity, after a decade-long premiership that included the Winter Olympics, that the first critical book to examine his legacy isn’t B.C.-published. UNBC professors J.R. Lacharite and Tracy Summerville have gathered 368 pages of critical essays for The Campbell Revolution? Power, Politics and Policy in British Columbia (MQUP $31.46) from McGill-Queen’s in Quebec. 9780773551039

On Arbutus Island in 2014, Wayne Campbell locates a Black Oystercatch nest with two eggs. Ronald D. Jakimchuk photo.

R is for Rhinoceros Auklet
We now know that seabirds account for less than 6% of the 316 species of birds in B.C. but there are more than 5.6 million seabirds from sixteen species that nest in 542 colonies in B.C. Five species account for 97% of breeding seabirds in B.C. They are the Fork-tailed storm-petrel, Leach’s storm-petrel, Ancient Murrelet, Cassin’s Auklet and Rhinoceros Auklet. About 22% of all breeding B.C. seabirds are found on Triangle Island. Six seabird species nest in old growth forests; the most threatened of which is the Marbled Murrelet. The info is all lovingly and extensively provided in Seabird Colonies of British Columbia: A Century of Changes (Biodiversity Centre for Wildlife Studies 2018) by a trio of authors with 127 years of combined seabird experience: Michael S. Rodway, R. Wayne Campbell and Moira J.F. Lemon. $40 Cdn.

George Stanley. Photo by Mandelbrot

S is for Stanley
In homage to friendship, both literally and poetically, George Stanley has published his own new works in a “flip book” with George Bowering’s latest poetry. Some End/West Broadway (New Star $18) is half Stanley’s narrative and lyrical work (under the title West Broadway), half Bowering’s short length verses (under the title Some End). They occasionally make reference to each other’s work. Stanley’s poems form a sequence of events, describing experiences on the major West Side corridor, West Broadway, including crossing a street, riding the bus, his interior mental spaces and dreams. He describes express transit: “99-B’s travel fast, carry/ stolid swaying standing students/ like troop transport.” And panhandlers: “Face unlovely/ mix of hair & skin/ emanating fury/ mouth a cave/ ‘(swallowed word) something to eat,’/ takes the proffered coin,/ ‘Thanks.’” Stanley grew up in San Francisco where he later hung out with Jack Spicer’s circle of writers. Immigrating to Canada in 1971, he taught college English for 26 years in Terrace before retiring to live in Vancouver.  He received the Shelley Memorial Award in 2006. Vancouver: A Poem was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 2009. 978-1-55420-145-7

JG Toews

T is for Toews
A long-time resident of Nelson, JG (Judy) Toews was born on Salt Spring Island and raised in North Vancouver. A graduate of UBC, she is a former teacher, nutritionist, columnist, and non-fiction author. Set in Nelson, her debut novel Give Out Creek (Mosaic Press, $24.95) was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award for best unpublished first crime novel by the Crime Writers of Canada. Having returned to a small mountain town where she grew up, newspaper reporter Stella Mosconi doesn’t ever mention her crippling fear of deep water. With spring runoff, the alpine creeks are swelling as she watches the level of the lake rising outside her door. When a new friend is found dead in her rowboat, she is drawn into the investigation despite a complicated history with the police officer in charge. Stella struggles to hold her family together following the death of a second woman who was suspect in the initial investigation. Ultimately she will have to find the courage to overcome her intense fear of water in order to help solve the murders. 978-1-77161-305-7

U is for Uphill
Previously a mayor of Fernie, Thomas Uphill was B.C.’s longest serving MLA from 1920-1960. His political career began during British Columbia’s Prohibition. Uphill opposed Prohibition on the grounds it restricted the average worker’s right to enjoy a well-deserved beer at the end of his working day. Uphill famously stood up in the Legislature and brandished a bottle of beer, declaring, “Beer is as necessary to the worker as milk to the baby… Hands off the workers’ beer!” Wayne Norton, author of Fernie at War: 1914-1919 (Caitlin $24.95), has been campaigning to get a plaque for Uphill installed at the Legislature in Victoria. At Norton’s book launch, at Swan’s Brewpub in Victoria, patrons will be able to enjoy a new beer named Thomas Uphill Amber Ale. The event commences at 7 pm at 506 Pandora Street on Tursday, October 26. 978-1-987915-49-5

Lori A. Brotto

V is for Venus
Roman goddess of love, Venus, was originally worshipped for fertility; later for sexual love. As Canada Research Chair in Women’s Sexual Health, Vancouver Venus expert Lori A. Brotto examines desire, arousal and satisfaction for women in and outside of the bedroom in Better Sex Through Mindfulness: How Women Can Cultivate Desire (Greystone $22.95). About half of all women experience some kind of sexual difficulty at one point in their lives; lack of interest in sex being the most common. 978-1-77164-235-4

Elizabeth Woodworth

W is for Woodworth
A long-time writer on climate change science and activism, Elizabeth Woodworth has co-authored with Dr. Peter D. Carter, Unprecedented Crime: Climate Science Denial and Game Changers for Survival (Clarity $27.95). Not only does the book review and update the alarming environmental damage done by global warming, it lays out a case for criminalizing climate science denial. A foreword, written by NASA’s former chief climate scientist, states that Woodworth and her co-author have made an overwhelming case for the criminality of climate science denial. The doomsday clock, previously used to predict nuclear warfare threats to mankind, but which has now been redesigned to include the human-caused catastrophe posed by climate change, was set at its lowest point since 1953. The cause: “…the rise of ‘strident nationalism’ worldwide… and the disbelief in the scientific consensus over climate change by the Trump administration.” Unprecedented Crime shows how criminal prosecutions could be used to repress and deter climate-changing conduct. 978-0-9986947-3-3

X is for Xwi7xwa
With more than 15,000 items, Xwi7xwa (pronounced whei-wha) is a UBC library that was started in the 1970s for exclusively indigenous materials as part of the Indian Education Resource Centre. The name is also the Squamish work for echo. The collection later came under the care of the Native Indian Teacher Education Program (NITEP). A new head librarian will will be hired in February.

Onjana Yawnghwe

Y is for Yawnghwe
Xerography is a literary journal co-founded and co-edited by Onjana Yawnghwe, also co-founder of a ‘micro press’ for hand-made publications called fish magic press. Yawnghwe was born in Chiang Mai, Thailand, but is a part of the Shan people from Burma. She grew up in Vancouver, earned an MA in English literature, and received the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for Emerging Literary Artist in 2012. Her first poetry collection, Fragments, Desire (Oolichan $17.95) has quickly led to The Small Way (Caitlin $18). Her handmade chapbook, The Imaginary Lives of Buster Keaton (JackPine Press), is a precursor to a book-length biography-in-poems about Buster Keaton, entitled The Book of Buster. Her poems have been featured in numerous anthologies and journals, including The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2011, 4 Poets, CV2, Room, Ricepaper, The New Quarterly, Force Field: 77 Women Poets of British Columbia (Mother Tongue) and Poems from Planet Earth (Leaf Press) edited by Yvonne Blomer and Cynthia Woodman Kerkham. Featuring work by Yawnghwe, Daniela Elza, Peter Morin and Al Rempel, 4 poets (Mother Tongue 2009 $18.95) was the first volume in a proposed series from Mother Tongue to highlight emerging poets. It included poetry drafts, interviews, author photographs, poetics and short biographies as well as translations of select poems into French, Thai, Bulgarian and Tahltan. Desire 978-0-88982-317-4 / Small 978-1-987915-77-8

Mark Zuehlke

Z is for Zuehlke
As the twelfth installment in Mark Zuehlke’s military history series, The Cinderella Campaign: First Canadian Army and the Battles for the Channel Ports (Douglas & McIntyre $37.95) tells the story of how First Canadian Army opened the way to Allied victory in World War II. They thought of themselves as the “Cinderella Army” and international correspondents agreed. This was because First Canadian Army had been relegated to the left flank of the Allied advance toward Germany from the Normany beaches and given the tough and thankless task of opening the Channel ports from Le Havre to Ostend in Belgium. Then suddenly in September 1944, securing these ports became an Allied priority that would allow Field Marshal Montgomery to drive to the Rhine with Operation Market Garden and win the war before Christmas. Over the month of September, the Canadians set about fighting for control of each port–a terrific undertaking fought against brutal German resistance–and scrambling for supplies while under constant military pressure to get those ports open now. For Canada this was the Cinderella Campaign, the battle for the Channel ports. For those who fought it, the sacrifice of comrades dead and wounded would never be forgotten. 978-1-77162-089-5



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