It was a rainy and windy afternoon in LePage Park on Friday, July 11, when author Jessica Simon started reading her poem, “A Spot to Watch the Fireworks”.
She was followed by Whitehorse-based writers Joanna Lilley, Jerome Stueart, Christine Hakim, and Lorri Garris.
It was the first event organized by the new society: The Yukon Writers` Collective Ink.
“The Whitehorse Poetry Society decided to dissolve as a formal society because we didn’t have enough capacity to keep on top of the administration. However we wanted to ensure that the Yukon continued to have a writing-group,” Joanna Lilley says about the Yukon Writers’ Collective Ink.
Kathy Munro and Lilley led the effort to set up the new collective.
All kinds of poems were heard during the event, from poems about the daily news, to poems about the Whitehorse Trolley.
Manitoba Poet Luann Hiebert arrived directly from the airport; her flight was delayed, and she used the last five minutes of the event to announce the launch of her first book, What Lies Behind, which she read from.
Hiebert officially launched her poetry collection on July 15, at the Whitehorse Public Library.
She is an adjunct professor at Providence University College and is currently pursuing her PhD in English Literature at the University of Manitoba.
“My first book of poems should not be narrow in one theme,” Luann says. “It`s about almost everything, from motherhood, to love, confronted with death.
“What Lies Behind is also about looking beyond things.
“I remember a door I saw in Newfoundland. It was a door between two shops in a village and I was wondering: What lies behind? It is the little things which can inspire me to write a poem.”
The Yukon Writers’ Collective Ink also presented Clea Roberts book launch of Hier ist, wo wir von Bord gehen, the German translation of her poetry collection Here is Where we Disembark on Thursday, July 17 in the Whitehorse Visitor Information Centre.
Roberts read her poems in English, followed by the translation, which was read by a German speaker.
“It’s the first time I’ve heard my poems in a different language,” Roberts said.
“I like the German language, I like complex words, for example schadenfreude (which means the feeling of being happy about another person’s failure). These words are like a little poem itself because there is a lot of meaning in one word.”
Roberts’ poems are about life in the Yukon.
“I finally feel like I have rooted in the Yukon. I’ve lived here for many years, but I am still fascinated and inspired by the beauty of the land,” Roberts says.
What Lies Behind is published by Turnstone Press, and is available at Mac`s Fireweed Books for $17.00.
Hier ist, wo wir von Bord gehen, published by Edition Rugerup, is available at Mac`s Fireweed Books and Well Read Books for $22.95.