The public is invited to join Sarah de Leeuw and SkeenaWild Conservation Trust for a reading and celebration of her new book, Skeena, at the Heritage Park Museum in Terrace.
‘Xsan marks the spot, in Terrace
September 01st, 2015
Terrace launch for Sarah de Leeuw’s, Skeena, with SkeenaWild
October 16 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
First written about extensively in Hubert Evans’ classic novel Mist on the River (1954), the Skeena River is known to the Tsimshian as ‘Xsan, meaning the “waters that flow from the clouds.” Praised as a North Country epic, and as a poem/assemblage of intelligence and care that “cracks open geology,” and as a “poly-vocal watershed of poetry,” Sarah de Leeuw’s Skeena (Caitlin $18) is a single narrative elegy and celebration for and about B.C.’s second-longest river. Hyped by Wade Davis in advance, Skeena is also noteworthy because Sarah de Leeuw and partner Briar Craig hand-screen printed each dust jacket.
Sarah de Leeuw has won the 2013 Dorothy Livesay Award for poetry; she has been a two-time recipient of a CBC Literary Award for creative non-fiction; and she won a Western Magazine Gold Award for the best article published in 2014 in British Columbia.
Sarah de Leeuw grew up in Duncan, Haida Gwaii and Terrace, B.C. After de Leeuw earned her BFA from the University of Victoria she spent time teaching English in South Korea. De Leeuw has also worked as a tug boat driver, logging camp cook, a journalist and correspondent for Connections Magazine and as a Research Coordinator for the University of Northern British Columbia task force on the effects of substance abuse on children.
De Leeuw earned her Masters degree from UNBC and she earned her Ph.D in Cultural Geography at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. De Leeuw now works in a faculty of medicine where she teaches and undertakes research on medical humanities and health inequalities. Her creative and academic work has been widely anthologized and appears in journals from CV2 and PRISM International to the Canadian Geographer and Emotion, Space and Society.
Her first literary book, Unmarked: Landscapes Along Highway 16 (NeWest Press, 2004), is a collection of non-fictional reflections on transient life in fishing and logging communities.
Her next project was providing the biographical profiles for the coffee table book, Front Lines: Portraits of Caregivers in Northern British Columbia (Creekstone / Sandhill 2011). Medical and social caregivers must travel great distances, continuously improvising, when they live north of the 54th parallel—from Haida Gwaii to Dawson Creek, near the Alberta border, and from Vanderhoof (the geographical centre of B.C.) to Dease Lake, near the Yukon border. Most of the 44 remarkable people profiled in Front Lines are physicians and nurses; all express positive attitudes about the privilege of helping others in a challenging environment. Both Sarah de Leeuw and photographer Tim Swanky were raised in the North. With dynamic images of people in action, Front Lines celebrates innovation, the cultivation of cooperation and the restoration of pride.
A boldly erotic long poem, Geographies of a Lover (NeWest 2011) draws inspiration from such works as Pauline Réage’s The Story of O and Marian Engel’s Bear. According to publicity materials, “Sarah de Leeuw uses the varied landscape of Canada—from the forests of North Vancouver through the Rocky Mountains, the prairies, and all the way to the Maritimes—to map the highs and lows of an explicit and raw sexual journey, from earliest infatuation to insatiable obsession and beyond.” This book received the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 2013.
As of 2015, Sarah de Leeuw was dividing her time between Prince George and Kelowna.