A Lantzille Poet and founder of Leaf Press will be reading from her book of poetry about the rugged West Coast And See What Happens: The Journey Poems this Thursday in Parksville.
Ursula Vaira tells three stories in the new book, the first in a set of poems about her thirty-day, thousand-mile paddle from Hazelton to Victoria in the Coast Salish canoe Nunsulsailus (Many Hands).
The journey had both RCMP and First Nations aboard in an effort to build community between the two groups. Vaira was the only caucasian woman in the canoe.
The second journey in the book is about a woman’s stay in an isolated cabin in the northern Rockies. She is not sure whether she has left her lover or just left him behind; whether love is more dangerous than anything she might encounter in the wilderness.
The third is based on a 22-day kayaking and wilderness camping trip through both Cape Scott and Cape Cook on Vancouver Island.
Vaira’s poetry has been published in many literary magazines and anthologies. The title poem of And See What Happens was a finalist in the CBC Literary Competition and was published in slightly different form as a chapbook called A Thousand Miles.
Ursula worked at Oolichan Books for ten years before founding her own publishing house, Leaf Press, in 2001.
Vaira will read from her book at the Mulberry Bush Bookstore in Parksville on Thursday, May 26 at 7 p.m.