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Spiritual solace

April 04th, 2022

Pondering life and death issues such as a child attempting suicide and large parts of North America burning in hellish wildfires, Nancy Holmes questions whether spiritual solace is possible or even desirable in her sixth collection of poems, Arborophobia (Univ. of Alberta Press, $19.99). The book’s title sequence, coming from the word for hatred of trees, blurs the lines between humans and Ponderosa pines “reminding us how fragile our conceptual frameworks really are” according to publicity for the book. In another sequence, Holmes references the medieval mystic known as Julian of Norwich with her call “to practise the art / of letting things happen.” Yet Holmes also exhorts us to examine the harm people have done to the planet and those we love. Born in Edmonton, Holmes went to high school in Toronto and to the University of Calgary where she received her M.A. in English. She lives in Kelowna and teaches English and Creative Writing at UBC Okanagan. 9781772126020

[Photo by David Murray]

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