Poetry

If you visit Old Crow

If you visit Old Crow Sadie will take you to the mall Mason will show you the traffic lights Abbie will take you on the elevator…

Regulars and Rooms for Rent

Compared to the Klondike-era poems we’re familiar with, it seems that Tara Borin’s poetry breaks ground by presenting a post-gold rush, post-Robert Service perspective of Dawson.

Spring Cleaning

I shovel dog poop. I shovel moose poop. I shovel caribou poop. I shovel rabbit poop. I shovel wolf poop. I shovel squirrel poop. I shovel ptarmigan poop. I shovel marten poop. I shovel lynx poop. I shovel sheep poop. I shovel crow poop. I shovel weasel poop. I shovel wolverine poop. I shovel mink …

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Didoo survived without these things

Didoo survived without an electric knife. Didoo survived without an electric kettle. Didoo survived without a microwave. Didoo survived without a toaster. Didoo survived without a dryer. Didoo survived without a washer. Didoo survived without a vacuum cleaner. Didoo survived without an electric toothbrush. Didoo survived without an electric egg beater. Didoo survived without an …

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A Parade of Dreams

Christopher Wheeler has had a long-standing dream to become an author. When COVID-19 arrived, it brought with it the opportunity for him to pursue this dream. The result is his first collection of poetry, A Parade of Dreams. “I’ve put the collection together over COVID,” Wheeler said. “I thought, why not? It’s been something I’ve …

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I Always Get High

I get high when I snowshoe. I get high when I canoe. I get high when I mush dogs. I get high when I bike. I get high when I run. I get high when I skate. I get high when I ski. I get high when I fiddle. I get high when I cut …

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They outlived their husbands

Mary Kay outlived Big Joe. Sarah Baalam outlived Baalam. Eliza Steamboat outlived Robert. Annie Fredson outlived Daniel. Sarah Abel outlived Abel. Mary Thomas outlived John. Mary Charlie outlived Peter. Myra Moses outlived Peter. Persis Kendi outlived Julius. Clara Frost outlived Jack. Martha Charlie outlived John. Effie Linklater outlived Archie. Ellen Bruce outlived Robert. Joanne Njootli …

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My Bucket List

I have to pack a bucket of water for Eliza Steamboat I have to pack a bucket of water for Robert Steamboat I have to pack a bucket of water for Sarh Baalam I have to pack a bucket of water for Old Baalam I have to pack a bucket of water for Myra Kay …

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Another Silly Poem

If I were a turtle, I wouldn’t need a bulletproof vest. If I were a kangaroo, I wouldn’t need a pocket. If I were a giraffe, I wouldn’t need a ladder. If I were a bear, I wouldn’t need a fur coat. If I were an elephant, I wouldn’t need a forklift. If I were …

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John Fogerty

I went down to the Victoria Marathon And I got to see John Fogerty in concert John doesn’t need a cane to walk Because he can still rock I heard CCR songs way back when Songs like “Up Around The Bend” John moves in fast motion When he sings “Commotion” John Fogerty was rockin on …

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Howls of the past are echoing again thanks to Joanna Lilley

The England-born, Yukon-based writer has just released her third poetry collection, Endlings, in which each poem is inspired by a different extinct animal species. The passenger pigeon is there, as is the Labrador duck, the Chinese river dolphin and the great auk. For Lilley the project is an extension of themes that have percolated for years. “Animals …

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Whitehorse poet’s defiant reading marathon

It was the first time Peter Jickling had read a book aloud cover to cover. He reflected that he got a different sense of the book as a whole than you would putting it down and picking it up, as we usually do.

Didee and Didoo – Gwichin Warrior

There’s a peaceful little townOn the banks of the river.Where the wolf an’ the caribou roamThat’s where he calls his home.In summer there’s no nightsDays are shorter in the winter time.Under the northern lightsHe dances his blues away. CHORUS:He’s a Gwichin warriorOld Crow Yukon is his home.Graceful like an eagleThe apple of his Mommie’s eye.He’s …

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Should auld acquaintance be forgot?

Truth be told, I had always thought that “Auld Lang Syne” was some saintly old soul and it was just this year that I realized and appreciated, for the first time, the depth of meaning beneath these lyrics.

On the Other Side of the Coin

Murray Martin gives WUY permission to share this poem free of charge every holiday. We wish you a safe and Merry Christmas, and please drive responsibly at all times of the year.

Didee an’ Didoo were real

Didee’s name was Moses TizyaAn’ Didoo’s name was Martha Tizya.And they both used canes.Didoo Martha wore a hankerchiefAn’ Didee Moses wore Didee’s hat.Didee an’ Didoo both spoke GwichinAnd they live in a tent.Didoo Martha carried her teapotAn’ Didee Moses carried his axe.Didoo Martha wore a long skirtAn’ Didee Moses wore long boots.They don’t know their …

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How I’m Going to Reach 100

  I’m going to snowshow. I’m going to ski. I’m going to canoe. I’m going to bike. I’m going to run. I’m going to walk. I’m going to mush dogs. I’m going to push my wheelbarrow. I’m going to snowboard. I’m going to skate. I’m going to kicksled. I’m going to go camping. I’m going …

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I Trapped With Adam Tizya

The year was January 1975 When I trapped with Andrew Tizya. I was just a young man And Andrew was my teacher. We mushed our dog teams And we walked with snowshoes. L’il Andy showed me how to trap And how to skin animals. We set snares for rabbits And he cooked rabbit stew. Andrew …

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Joanna Lilley feels most herself when she’s writing

Joanna Lilley has always loved reading. She’s one of those people that you’ll find in the theatre reading a book before the movie begins. It fits that she would also enjoy writing. “As a child, I also always loved writing in notebooks and diaries and the physical act of writing with pen and paper.” Later on, that …

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Didee & Didoo: Bush Kid

His name is Dean An’ he’s not even a teen. He’s not even a man But he knows the land. He’ll teach us older guys ‘Cause Dean is wise. Dean is really tough An’ he knows his stuff. His are a gun an’ knife Because he knows bush life. He’s good with a saw an’ …

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Ravens and Poe

Very few writers throughout history have bonded with their subjects quite like Edgar Allan Poe and the Yukon’s territorial bird – the Raven

My Aurora Borealis

I had an amazing experience under the Northern Lights as I recall
it was like midnight angels… blanketing full over me

Didee & Didoo: Christmas in Heaven

Merry Christmas to Ellen and Robert Bruce. Merry Christmas to Hannah and Joe Netro. Merry Christmas to Jessie and Charlie Thomas. Merry Christmas to Fanny and Charlie P. Charlie. Merry Christmas to Mary and Lazarus Charlie. Merry Christmas to Alice and Donald Frost. Merry Christmas to Myra and Peter Moses. Merry Christmas to Myra and …

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Didee & Didoo: Allan Benjamin

I know this man from Old Crow Who’s a kind and gentle soul. He was raised by his Didoo She taught him all that she knew. This man is Allan Benjamin And he keeps his fiddle jammin’. When he’s not busy doing that, He’s doing up his snowshoe strap. He’s won many snowshoe races With …

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Not new, but still brave

What’s it like to share the heart and soul of something you’ve written? Peter Jickling, the new host of Brave New Words, said, “It’s right in the title of the event. It’s brave.” Jickling’s goal is to take what can be intimidating—the “pouring out of your soul” and “to create a venue where people where …

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I concur: contrition may be consolatory

It’s confession time in Geezerville. I recently spent my allotted 450 words in this space musing about some of the beguiling delights to be found in the “be” section of the dictionary. Among other things, I wrote that the verb “to be” may be “substantive, copulative or auxiliary; sometimes active, sometimes passive, sometimes subjunctive.” Immediately …

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Poetry Corner: Kylie Campbell

Submitted by Kylie Campbell I’m not much of a poet, but here’s something I wrote while on the trail, with a picture at the Chilkoot Pass summit, looking down towards Dyea. Standing atop the Golden steps, The scales far below my feet, The Chilkoot Pass. I’ve arrived. I’ve survived. The breeze sweeps coolly through the …

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Didee & Didoo: They Won’t Survive in the Bush

‘Cause I’ll save the psychiatrist. ‘Cause I’ll save the psychologist. ‘Cause I’ll save the professor. ‘Cause I’ll save the counselor. ‘Cause I’ll save the scientist. ‘Cause I’ll save the anthropologist. ‘Cause I’ll save the scholar. ‘Cause I’ll save the psychic. ‘Cause I’ll save the economist. ‘Cause I’ll save the mathematician. ‘Cause I’ll save the astronaut. …

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Didee & Didoo: Times are Changing

We don’t pack water anymore. We don’t vote with our hands anymore. They don’t sign their names with an “X” anymore. We don’t buy from the Trading Post anymore. We don’t use dog packs anymore. We don’t need an interpreter anymore. We don’t start school in July anymore. Planes don’t land on sandbars anymore. We …

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When I Go Camping

I always bring my piano. I always bring my TV. I always bring my computer. I always bring my microwave. I always bring my fridge. I always bring my couch. I always bring my vacuum cleaner. I always bring my toaster. I always bring my waterbed. I always bring my snow blower. I always bring …

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Didee & Didoo: Community Adoptions

Aklavik adopted Albert Frost Inuvik adopted Winston Moses Ross River adopted Henry Nukon Fort Yukon adopted Diane Jonas Chalkyitsik adopted Simon Francis Dawson adopted Sharon Keaton Old Crow adopted James Itsi Carmacks adopted John Tizya Watson Lake adopted Brandy Tizya Haines Junction adopted Jeffrey Peter Arctic Village adopted Tabitha Peter Dease Lake adopted Louise Greyke …

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Strategic Race

I don’t know the word “slow” I only know the word “go” The runners were top notch An’ we raced against the watch. I just pretend that I’m a rabbit Cause running is my habit. It was a blistering pace But I like to give chase. I run like an Arctic hare And I train …

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Didee & Didoo: At my camp

I’m the doctor I’m the minister I’m the police I’m the carpenter I’m the cook I’m the gunsmith I’m the blacksmith I’m the butcher I’m the musician I’m the tailor I’m the dentist I’m the biologist I’m the landlord I’m the janitor I’m the chief I’m the surveyor I’m the psychologist I’m the photographer I’m …

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Lest we forget

Remembrance Day is now as much an opportunity to recognize all those men and women who have served and returned home. We owe them thanks. That’s why we wear our poppies and hold our ceremonies, to support and remember.

Didee & Didoo: Didoo’s Trunk

Didoo’s Trunk That’s where she kept her knife. That’s where she kept her awl. That’s where she kept her file. That’s where she kept her hatchet. That’s where she kept her snares. That’s where she kept her thimble. That’s where she kept her needles. That’s where she kept her pipe. That’s where she kept her …

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At Home at Sea

“Ship’s logs, myths, stories of quiet exaltation and wrenching lamentations can all become poetry when the experience resonates deeply with the rhythm of the human heart…”— Anita Hadley in the introduction to Spindrift: A Canadian Book of the Sea. The sea, in Anita Hadley’s view, may not be a tangible part of your everyday, but …

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The Last, Loveliest Smile

I never took much notice of something as simple as the seasons until moving North. Pre-Yukon, I was rather unmoved by the monotonous blend of greens extending from the mossy forest floor to the heights of the coniferous giants on Vancouver Island. And as much as I love the “wet-coast”, seasons seem to meld into …

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Let’s All Learn Gwich’in

Our long time “Didee and Didoo” cartoonist and poet Allan Benjamin from Old Crow is excited to introduce his new Shoo’ii and Sheek’aii cartoons and poems. These new characters will appear in Gwich’in and English. Whenever you see Shoo’ii and Sheek’aii you can always be treated to a Gwich’in poem or Allan will simply have …

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Fresh poetic summer reads

Auguries, by Clea Roberts Whitehorse author Clea Roberts newest book, Auguries, is published by Brick Books. The title “Auguries” refers to an ancient practice of The Romans: reading the future from the sky considering the birds in the air and their style of flying. It is her second collection of poems and deals with the …

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What it means to be Canadian by James Welscott

Canadian – Living in one of Canada’s capitols, near the Arctic Circle Canadian – Including Canada’s unique makeup of nationalities and indigenous peoples cultures Canadian- Braving the cold Canadian- Embracing vast swaths of wilderness, forest, tundra and the rocky mountains

Ode to a Canadian by John Birmingham

Ode to a Canadian It’s a feeling, an understanding of sorts It’s an emotion arriving without court That runs through the bones A quiet confidence spread across many zones Every sport is enjoyed by those wanting A tolerance, some patience, the results not for flaunting Amazing homeland, fascinating to see Proud of our history, with …

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Multiple Nations by Nicole Schroeder

Multiple Nations. Leisurely dancing blades of grain, The stark brightness amidst a dark sky, Forceful mountains of snow graced across terrain. This is where I am from. Neglected and seemingly silenced moments of shame, Stolen, pilfered ancient histories and land, The stagnant wait of truth, reconciliation to be named. This is where I am from. …

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Eh? to Zed. by Brendan Morphet

What It Means to be Canadian Poem Contest Eh? to Zed. by Brendan Morphet: Tims in hand, cross country drive has begun.

Diverse Foliage by Jose Gonzalo

A poem from a reader. A leaf releases off its parent tree. The breeze carries me far away from home. I gently descend…

Soaring by Mary Ellen O’Brien

Soaring A red and white kite Soars in the sky, red maple leaf Dazzling in the sun It begins its journey in the east Threading its way from red beaches, dense forests, rock-faced shields Great lakes, prairie skies, to rocky mountains The journey from ocean to ocean The current shifts north to majestic mountains untouched …

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DIDEE & DIDOO: Avoid Problems

DON’T DRINK. DON’T DO DRUGS. DON’T SMOKE. DON’T CHEW SNUFF. DON’T EAT JUNK FOOD. DON’T GAMBLE. EXERCISE. WORK. DON’T BORROW. DON’T LEND. DON’T BRAG. DON’T SWEAR. FIND A HOBBY. BE HUMBLE. DON’T GOSSIP. FIND GOD. HAVE GOALS. WORK FOR YOUR STUFF. DON’T ARGUE. DON’T LISTEN TO RUMOURS. DON’T BREAK THE LAW. OWN A PET. LEARN …

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Poetry for Change

Sheri-D Wilson, who calls herself The Mama of Dada, is an award-winning spoken word poet, educator, speaker and activist, who has performed in literary, film and folk music festivals in Canada, USA, England, France, Mexico, Belgium, and South Africa. She is the author of nine collections of poetry. Her most recent – ninth poetry collection, …

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All Her Roads Lead to Poetry

Yukon based writer Joanna Lilley has just published her second collection of poetry If there Were Roads by Turnstone Press; she says that there are no roads to the past. “You can never go back.” Inspired by a childhood memory, she wrote “The Devonian Period,” her first poem in her newest book. Lilley says that …

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Ode to Mosquitos

I love blood-sucking mosquitos In my eyes, ears and nose; On my chips, nachos and tacos, In my hair and between my toes. They bite, nibble and buzz ‘Round local or visiting stranger, On places shaved or full of fuzz And never show fear of danger. You can shower with Muskol, Or coat your body …

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DIDEE & DIDOO: WIVES USED THEIR HUSBAND’S FIRST NAMES

MARTHA MOSES WAS MARRIED TO MOSES TIZYA. MARY RUFUS WAS MARRIED TO RUFUS NETRO. MARY PAUL WAS MARRIED TO PAUL BEN KASSI. MARY LAZARUS WAS MARRIED TO LAZARUS CHARLIE. ANNIE KENNETH WAS MARRIED TO KENNETH NUKON. MARTHA JOHN WAS MARRIED TO JOHN CHARLIE. ANNIE DANIEL WAS MARRIED TO DANIEL FREDSON. FANNY CHARLIE WAS MARRIED TO …

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Yukon / Utopia

In “Spell of the Yukon,” Bobby Service suggests, The realm’s Utopia—snock snarls of forests; Avalanches that out-grumble politicos; Gold that outweighs paper dollars backed by zeroes; Where the cussedest blizzard outlasts even August; And extra white comes snow, pure as a virgin’s Lust; Where dew fanatically lavishes each grass blade; Damned good is muck where …

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Like the Man Said, Those Precious Days are Dwindling Down

The great American lyricist Maxwell Anderson summed up the imperatives of this time of year better than anyone else:  “Oh, it’s a long, long while from May to December / But the days grow short when you reach September.” No, wait. We’ve already slid into November, for Pete’s sake. Definitely time to gather nuts, pack …

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Didee & Didoo: First Time

FIRST TIME I HAD A COACH. FIRST TIME I RAN ON A TRACK. FIRST TIME I HAD A FIRST AID SATION. FIRST TIME I HAD OFFICIALS. FIRST TIME I HAD AN ELECTRONIC TIMER. FIRST TIME I USED STARTING BLOCKS. FIRST TIME I RAN WITH A BATON. FIRST TIME I RAN IN HOT WEATHER. FIRST TIME …

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Rooted in the Yukon

Toronto-based poet Claire Caldwell’s role as writer-in-residence at the Berton House in Dawson City ends this month. Caldwell is no stranger to the Yukon. She lived in Whitehorse from ages three to nine. These years had a deep impact on Caldwell. That’s where she found her fascination for nature and the outdoors, she says. “Certain …

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How Foster Care Shapes Lives

Amelia Merhar knows what it’s like to be a foster child, to go from home to home, and to be without a home at all. She wonders how that movement affects young people today, so she’s asking them to tell us, through art. Merhar, also known as Yukon’s singing, ukulele-playing Big Mama Lele, has just …

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Didee & Didoo: OLD CROW ZOO

YOU’LL SEE LOTS OF CARIBOU. YOU’LL SEE LOTS OF MOOSE. YOU’LL SEE LOTS OF MARTEN. YOU’LL SEE LOTS OF SQUIRRELS. YOU’LL SEE LOTS OF WOLVES. YOU’LL SEE LOTS OF FOXES. YOU’LL SEE LOTS OF RABBITS. YOU’LL SEE LOTS OF MIKS. YOU’LL SEE LOTS OF DUCKS. YOU’LL SEE LOTS OF FISH. YOU’LL SEE LOTS OF WEASELS. …

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Didee & Didoo: INDIAN TIME

WE DON’T KEEP TRACK OF TIME AN’ WE DON’T THINK IT’S A CRIME. OUR ALARM GOES ON AT EIGHT BUT WE LIKE TO BE LATE. WE SUPPOSE TO BE THERE BY NINE BUT OUR TIME IS ALWAYS BEHIND. EVEN WHEN IT’S COFFEE BREAK WE’RE STILL BARELY AWAKE. WHEN THE CLOCK IS AT ELEVEN WE THINK …

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Didee & Didoo: Dome Run

I’M OVER THE HILL TO RUN UP THE HILL. I NEVER RAN IT BEFORE BUT I KNOW IT’S SORT. I’LL GIVE IT A TRY BUT DON’T ASK WHY. I’M NOT A PRO ‘CAUSE I’M SLOW. I’M A MASTER AN’ I’M NOT FASTER. THE DOME RUN IT’S JUST FOR FUN. I’LL TRY NOT TO DROP ‘TIL …

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Didee & Didoo: I SNOWSHOED AT… I FIDDLED AT…

I Snowshoed at… ANCHORAGE – IDITASHOE FT YUKON – ICE KING CLASSIC DAWSON – AWG SNOWSHOE TRIALS OLD CROW – EASTER CARNIVAL FT MCPHERSON – PEEL RIVER JAMBOREE ARCTIC RED RIVER – MCKENZIE RIVER CARNIVAL INUVIK – MUSKRAT JAMBOREE AKLAVIK – MAD TRAPPER CARNIVAL YELLOWKNIFE – AWF SNOWSHOEING WHITEHORSE – MAD TRAPPER CONTEST I Fiddled …

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Didee & Didoo: I SHOOK THEIR HANDS

REGGIE LEACH – NHL HOCKEY PLAYER. GEORGE CHUVALO – PROFESSIONAL BOXER. CHIEF PETER MOSES – BRITISH EMPIRE MEDAL. PIERRE TRUDEAU – PRIME MINISTER. GEORGE ATTLA – WORLD CHAMP DOG MUSHER. FATHER MOUCHET – T.E.S.T. SKI FOUNDER. SHIRLEY, SHARON FIRTH – OLYMPIC SKIERS. ADRIENNE CLARKSON – GOVERNOR GENERAL. BRIAN RANDAZZO – ARCTIC SPORTS CHAMP. ROBERT RAMSEY …

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Sharing Words

In 2015 Victoria-based poet Yvonne Blomer paid a visit to Whitehorse and did a reading of her poetry book, As If a Raven. In her poems she described various types of birds and also amused the audience by imitating the call of a peacock. Blomer is returning this month and will read at the Atlin …

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Didee & Didoo: AT OLD CROW

Didee & Didoo by Allen Benjamin: At Old Crow WE DON’T HAVE TRAFFIC LIGHTS. WE DON’T HAVE ELEVATORS. WE DON’T HAVE BRIDGES. WE DON’T HAVE

Fresh Words and Deep Roots

Writing poetry since she was a child, Nova Scotia based author Shauntay Grant says she has always loved creative writing. “The oldest poem I’ve kept is from fourth grade,” she says. The vocalist, poet and author began a residency at the Berton House Writers’ Retreat in Dawson City in April. She is working on Proof, …

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Didee & Didoo: WHAT ANIMALS THINK OF US

THEY WALK ON TWO FEET. THEY DON’T HAVE TAILS. THEY DON’T BARK. THEY DON’T PANT. THEY DON’T HAVE FUR. THEY DON’T HAVE HORNS. THEY DON’T HAVE HOOFS. THEY DON’T HAVE QUILLS. THEY DON’T HAVE WINGS. THEY DON’T HAVE BILLS. THEY DON’T HAVE FINS. THEY DON’T HIBERNATE. THEY DON’T HAVE PAWS. THEY DON’T RUT. THEY DON’T …

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Didee & Didoo: NOT GUILTY

THEY WORK OVERTIME TO COMMIT CRIME. THEIR MANNERS THEY DON’T USE AN’ THEY LIKE TO ABUSE. THEY LIKE TO ROB AN’ THAT’S THEIR JOB. THEY EVEN WORK AT NIGHTS AN’ THEY VIOLATE OUR RIGHTS. THEY WANT A FREE MEAL ‘CAUSE THEY LIKE TO STEAL. THEY ONLY CAUSE US GRIEF AN’ THEY ACT LIKE A THIEF. …

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The Other Side of a Light Story

A few weeks ago, in a light-hearted piece about bucket lists, I mentioned a trip to England with my father 20 years ago this month. I’m a little hesitant about writing a sequel some readers may find a bit too personal, or even disturbing, but you know what they say about rushing in where angels …

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The Joy of Haiku

On May 20 to 22 haiku lovers from across Canada will descend upon the Gold Rush Inn for three days of all-things haiku. The Haiku Canada society formed way back in 1977 and they are still going strong. The group celebrates the art with a conference, called Haiku Canada Weekend, with the event held in …

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An International Celebration of Talent

The Folk Society of Whitehorse has been hosting the famous Yukon-Alaska Coffee House for  more than 25 years. This event features two coffee house evenings, back-to-back, in Skagway and Whitehorse. The Yukon evening of talent, which takes place on Saturday, will also serve as the finale to a series of Whitehorse coffee houses that happen …

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Didee & Didoo: RED LANTERN

YOUR TEAM IS NEVER IN THE LEAD ‘CAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE THE SPEED. THEY’RE ALWAYS LAST ‘CAUSE THEY’RE NOT FAST. YOU’RE THE LAST TO THE FINISH LINE ‘CAUSE YOU’RE ALWAYS WAY BEHIND. YOU’RE NOT IN A HURRY AND YOU DON’T WORRY. YOU KNOW HOW TO MUSH BUT YOU DON’T LIKE TO RUSH. EVEN IF YOU …

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Didee & Didoo: STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW

DON’T SHOOT CARIBOU AND MOOSE WHEN THEY’RE RUTTING. THREE RIFLE SHOTS MEANS “DISTRESS.” CHECK ICE THICKNESS BEFORE CROSSING. WEAR SUNGLASSES IN THE SPRING TIME. STAY HOME WHEN THERE’S A STORM. STAY HOME WHEN THERE’S BIG WAVES. ALWAYS CARRY MATCHES. KEEP AWAY FROM A BEAR KILL. YOUR TENT DOOR SHOULD FACE SOUTH. NEVER EAT SNOW. USE …

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Didee & Didoo: THERE’S ALL KINDS OF FORTS

THERE’S ALL KINDS OF FORTS. THERE’S FORT YUKON, ALASKA. THERE’S FORT MCPHERSON, NWT. THERE’S FORT SELKIRK, YUKON. THERE’S FORT GOOD HOPE, NWT. THERE’S FORT PROVIDENCE, NWT. THERE’S FORT FITZGERALD, ALBERTA. THERE’S FORT RESOLUTION, NWT. THERE’S FORT SIMPSON, NWT. THERE’S FORT RELIANCE, YUKON. THERE’S FORT SMITH, NWT. THERE’S FORT CHIPEWYAN, ALBERTA. THERE’S FORT LIARD, NWT. THERE’S …

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Didee & Didoo: WILLOW MAN

WILLOW MAN IS HIS NAME AN’ HIS ARROW HE LIKES TO AIM. HE’S AS STRONG AS A BEAR AN’ HE HUNTS WITH A SPEAR. WILLOW MAN IS FAST AN’ BRAVE AN’ HE LIVED IN A BEAR CAVE. WILLOW MAN WAS KIND AN’ WISE AN’ STRONGER THAN ALL THE GUYS. THERE WAS JEALOUSY IN HIS CLAN …

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Susanne Hingley

Poetry in Action

Poetry, spoken, plays and short stories at Brave New Words. An evening of music poetry and cocktails. The brave can get up, it’s an open mic.

Didee & Didoo: Strong Poem

THEY’RE HAVING A STRONG MEETING. LIBERAL IS STRONG GOVERNMENT. AMERICAN SIDE MAKE STRONG LAW. SANTA CLAUS GIVE ME STRONG PRESENT. OLD CHIEF GOT STRONG NAME. CARPENTER MAKE STRONG MEASURE. DIDEE GOT STRONG CREDIT. DOCTOR GAVE ME STRONG NEEDLE. INDIAN AGENT GAVE ME STRONG CHEQUE. INTERPRETER BRING STRONG NEWS. THEY’RE MAKING STRONG CHRISTMAS DANCE. GEE! UNCLE …

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Didee & Didoo: POWER OUTAGE

YOU CAN STILL USE YOUR WHEELBARROW. YOU CAN STILL USE YOUR AXE. YOU CAN STILL USE YOUR HANDSAW. YOU CAN STILL SEE WITH YOUR CANDLE. YOU CAN STILL RIDE YOUR BICYCLE. YOU CAN STILL MUSH YOUR DOG TEAM. YOU CAN STILL PADDLE YOUR CANOE. YOU CAN STILL USE YOUR SNOWSHOES. YOU CAN STILL USE YOUR …

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Three Books for Adventurous Souls

It’s the fall season, which means two things: the slow-creep of cold weather and a near-existential dread of the aforementioned. It also means, for thousands of Yukoners, a frantic dash to enjoy those last, fleeting moments of liveable outdoor weather in the form of fishing, hunting, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking or whatever your outdoor poison …

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Didee & Didoo: Good Samaritan

GOOD SAMARITANS ALWAYS CARE AND THEY ALWAYS LIKE TO SHARE. THEY WORK FOR GOD ABOVE GIVING IS HOW THEY SHOW THEIR LOVE.  THEY’LL GIVE YOU THEIR SHIRT AN’ THEY’LL PROVIDE COMFORT. THEY ALWAYS DO A GOOD DEED AN’ HELP THOSE IN NEED. THEY’LL OPEN THEIR DOOR AN’ THEY’LL FEED THE POOR. THEY’LL DO A GOOD …

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Review Haiku

“We want to freshen up the image of the library … as the cool place that it is,” Sarah Gallagher tells me with a sideways glance. We both giggle. It’s funny, because she’s a librarian and I have a degree in literary criticism and books are a big part of our lives. The library is …

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Didee & Didoo: Left-Handed

DO THEY HAVE LEFT-HANDED CUPS? DO THEY HAVE LEFT-HANDED HATS? DO THEY HAVE LEFT-HANDED PENCILS? DO THEY HAVE LEFT-HANDED PADDLES? DO THEY HAVE LEFT-HANDED AXES? DO THEY HAVE LEFT-HANDED KNIVES? DO THEY HAVE LEFT-HANDED COMBS? DO THEY HAVE LEFT-HANDED CLOCKS? DO THEY HAVE LEFT-HANDED PURSES? DO THEY HAVE LEFT-HANDED TEAPOTS? DO THEY HAVE LEFT-HANDED CHAIRS? …

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Didee & Didoo: QUIET PEOPLE

SOME PEOPLE ARE QUIET AN’ THEY WON’T CAUSE A RIOT. THEY JUST LIKE TO BE ALONE AN’ THEY DON’T LIKE A PHONE. QUIET PEOPLE ARE WISE AND THAT’S NO SURPRISE. I THINK THEY’RE TOO HUMBLE BUT THEY’LL NEVER MUMBLE. QUIET PEOPLE HARDLY SPEAK BUT DON’T THINK THEY’RE WEAK. THEY ANSWER WITH A SMILE ‘CAUSE THAT’S …

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Grief Writing in Dawson

Jacob Scheier wrote his first collection of poems about the loss of his mother; he was 20. She had gotten sick when he was in high school. It was part of his shift from writing as a hobby to writing because it felt very necessary. And, ultimately, writing about his loss was an important part …

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The Sound of Home

I dream of my hometown. Walking through these streets again, listening to music floating from open windows like light. Harmonica, accordion. Walking these streets where I know every corner Like my own body, where I left my thoughts hanging on walls, buildings Like a pair of shoes tossed into a tree I dream taking harmonica …

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Brave Old Words

Compared to what I did last time (playing my banjo and singing in front of a rowdy bar crowd) the prospect of reading poetry to a calm, literary audience does not feel very scary. And yet, though I’ve been writing poetry for most of my life and attending occasional reading events for years, I have …

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Intimidating but Great

“Writing poetry makes me happy,” Joanna Lilley says. “I am somewhere else when I write poetry. I am an intuitive writer.” The Whitehorse based poet will be part of The Edmonton Poetry Festival from April 19 to 26. “Poetry Moves” is the theme, and Lilley is very excited to be part of it. It all …

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Mind Stretching Poetry

What does knitting have in common with writing poetry? Both must be done carefully. One mistake can ruin the whole image. Jamie Sharpe knitted a one meter wide and two storey long scarf and wrote a poem about it. Sharpe’s second book of poetry is entitled Cut-up Apologetic (ECW Press). His work has appeared in …

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A Poem a Day

If you peruse the 365 poems that make up the Tumblr feed from Lori Garrison’s latest poetry project, Today, In the News, you won’t find much in the way of introspection or outpourings of feeling from individual experiences. But you may find lines that resonate, even if you aren’t really into poetry. That was Garrison’s …

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One Person, Many Selves

In 2007, visual artist and poet Sonja Ahlers, experienced two major breakups, one with her boyfriend, and one with the city of Vancouver. She left both in search of a place to wipe the slate clean and grieve — and landed in Whitehorse. “It was the best decision I’ve ever made,” says Ahlers. Though she …

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A week full of poetry

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 …

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In Praise of 7th Avenue

In Praise of 7th Avenue It’s not on the way to anywhere. It’s a world removed from the fast food congestion of 2nd and the self-conscious business of 4th. And it has nothing in common with the arrogance of 6th. You just want to wipe the smirk of the face of 6th Avenue when it …

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Poems Like Flower Seeds

A good poem can be a flower seed planted in the mind of the reader. Everything is in the poem; it just needs fertile ground to grow, inspire, make you smile, make you think. Joanna Lilley’s seed of poetry has grown into The Fleece Era, published by Brick Books, based in Ontario. She will be …

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Didee & Didoo: Sex Education

SEX EDUCATION  IT WASN’T TOUGHT IN OUR SCHOOL MAYBE THEY THOUGHT IT WAS CRUEL. WE NEVER LEARNED FROM A TEXT ‘CAUSE THEY NEVER TAUGHT US SEX. HOW INNOCENT BABIES WERE MADE THEY NEVER TOUGHT US IN ANY GRADE. WE HAD NO SEX BOOKS TO READ WE JUST LEARNED HOW TO READ. WE WERE ALL SELF-TAUGHT …

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A Quiet Yukon Christmas

Twas the week before Christmas and all through the farm. Not a chicken was stirring, they’re all in the barn. All summer they roam, but when once the snow flies, our hens will not go out to where the snow lies. They scratch up the bedding and look for some treat; it might be a …

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Sunshine Paradox

BY DAN DAVIDSON Luminous ice-fogged sunshine haze sits upon the earth; mocks our avenues and days with signs of nature’s mirth. Sunshine should bring warmer weather so we have been told; this light’s touch is a frosty feather tickling us with the cold. We bundle up in parkas thick as down the streets we lurch, …

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The Klondike Echoes Down through the Literary Years

The Klondike has been the inspiration for a great deal of fiction since the Gold Rush, beginning with Jack London, who came with the Stampeders and left with a mother-lode of inspiration that would make him the wealthiest name-brand author of his generation. A decade later, the same inspiration seized a quasi-hobo and reluctant bank …

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Come to the Klondike

On hillsides around us the trees are all blooming; While yards are responding to home owner’s grooming; And out on the highway the RV’s are looming. It’s all coming clear in the light! The days are so long you can hardly the remember The darkness that plagued us so much in December. The evening’s twilight …

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Poets give ‘voice’ to women of the past

Nineteenth-century photographs of female lunatic asylum patients and Euripides’ play The Bacchae are the inspiration for two poets giving readings in Whitehorse at the end of October. Nadine McInnis was so taken by photographs of Surrey County Lunatic Asylum inmates that she reconstructed the subjects’ otherwise unknown stories in her poems and found herself exploring …

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Bi-‘Sicles Built for Two

BY DAN DAVIDSON Two months trapped in the cold, ironically chained to this post, snow-ploughed up to the axles, rimed with forty-below hoar frost, two cycles lean front to back as if they could support each other against the weather. Ridden through summer’s dust and mud they ended here, stopped here, transfixed by this impromtu …

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Imagine Success …

Imagine that this is a story about you and a poem – 25 delicious lines about gathering pancake berries at Moosehide that you submitted to the 2009 Yukon Young Authors Contest. On the strength of your writing, Robert Service School sent you to the two-day Young Authors Conference at F.H. Collins starting April 30. Too …

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World of Words: Poetry Festival reached for the stars

When local poet Michael Reynolds reads at the 2009 Whitehorse Poetry Festival, he’ll join a closely connected group of guests that includes Michael Ondaatje, Don McKay, CD Wright, Adam Sol and Erin Mouré. “It’s exciting that we will all meet in Whitehorse!” said Mouré from Montréal. Organizer Clea Roberts said the June 19-21 festival attracts …

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World of Words: A Poet shares her diverse sense of ‘Place’

Montreal poet and essayist Erin Mouré is an Albertan with roots in Galicia, Spain. “I think in three languages all at once and every day,” she said: Galician, her father’s language, French and English. Mouré, also a professional translator, mastered Galician, a root language of Portuguese, “to preserve the richly poetic culture” of Spain’s mountainous …

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Driving North in July

In this haze the Yukon skyline, normally full of distince edges, has become a Tony Onley canvas, vistas folding into each other, fading with the distance into smoke-smudged indistinct waves.

Suffer a new day

What an eccentric thing is the sky When at close of day it dances colours for my eyes. What beauty folds itself in swaddling clouds And wraps horizon in misted shrouds. Where stars turn course, and gaily gleam, Night creeps forth its shadowed seam. Where on high the moon does glow, Silent watchman, earth below. …

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The Icing on the Season

BY DAN DAVIDSON There are signs of seasons changing that we all can recognize: falling leaves and boarded windows, filled with plywood cut to size.??Hotels close and shops cut hours and the RV parks shut down, and the last canoing Germans take their tours around the town.??But the icing on the season’s when the snow …

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World of Words: Poetry in a Slant Room

Yukon poet Michael Eden Reynolds’ first book, Slant Room, released today by The Porcupine’s Quill, shows us a stark natural world, and us in it. The first half, titled “Migrations”, “is very spare imagery with little human contact,” Reynolds says. “In the second half of the book, the tension between humanity and the natural world …

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Where Will the Ravens All Gather?

Where will the ravens all gather now that the tree tops are gone? Where will they hatch their nefarious schemes and plot from midnight to dawn???Where will they watch for the dog food bowls that are left to feed pooches outside? How will they plan their strategic assaults, distracting the dogs as they’re tied???Where will …

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Crescent Moon in December

Mid-morning … and there’s a fairy tale moon in the sky; a sliver of silver fit for cows to jump over, curved enough to hold a young boy with a fishing pole, a backdrop for ET perched in the carrier basket of a bicycle, pale and shining against the rosette glow of a mid-December morning.

Coyote

There’s a coyote on the airstrip at Braeburn today, trotting north on the cleared runway with his nose in the air and his tail like a windsock. A bit of a fraud, that, for there is no wind save that of his making and he will have to rev his engine mightily to get airborne …

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Yonder, a Flash of Red

The fox emerges tentatively from under the Waterfront Building, making a quick, furtive survey of his surroundings, and padding to the top of the dyke. He perches there a moment, nervously alert to any possibility, and then skitters down the frosted slope and commits himself to the expanse of open ice on the river. From …

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The many scars of Terry Sawchuk

Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems, opens with the autopsy report of hockey great Terry Sawchuk. It ends with a photo of his face, a jigsaw of quick stitches. In between, author Randall Maggs creates a biography of poems that takes readers on the roller coaster ride that was the life of the greatest goalie of …

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When Our Signs Come Down

The land has its own agenda. Plants find purchase in the disturbed earth and overcome humanity’s intrusions. We are a hiccup in the breath of the planet, a slight flutter in the heartbeat of creation. Our vision frames the world we want to see, instead letting us see what there is. When our signs come …

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Decaying Memories

Iremember the steamboats, the old man said. I remember them coming in spring. I remember the paddlewheels churning the water and bringing us many good things. I remember us kids rushing down to the docks. each wanting so hard to be first to see what was unloaded, rolled off the decks, hearts pounding as if …

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When the Outhouses Get Running

Poetry à la Commode If you’re looking for good weekend sport then Dawson’s still holding the fort. Be real spiffy and bring your own biffy and then you will not get caught short. here was a time when Dawson’s Great International Outhouse Race was at least partly a serious affair. Hmmm. You may be wondering …

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Bugged!

Bug time: The sun is flirting with the edge of the mountain and the heat is leeching out of the day. Insects, paralyzed by the August brilliance, begin to rise from their shelters, bobbing in the evening air like dust motes caught in the shaft of light from a crack in the window blinds. Encouraged …

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It Just Kind of Snowballed

Having an instant audience of many millions didn’t really change things much for Shane Koyczan. “I think a lot of people expected that everything was going to be different, but it’s really not,” he says modestly. “I still go out and do what I do. I tour a lot, and that’s kind of it. But …

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An avalanche of words

An interview with C.R. Avery can be like getting lost in a maze with an avalanche of words descending on you. Sentences meander off in unpredictable directions and often don’t actually end. It feels, at times, that you’re listening to an ancient soul who witnessed the birth of the blues, and ‘n’ roll, and practically …

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Sam McGee “at home”

Looking Back: The real Sam McGee

Sam McGee was a real person, but nothing like Service’s character. He stole the name off of a deposit slip.The two men never knew each other.

Hearing the Click

Brian Brett was 17 when the “click” happened. His life was in chaos at the time, especially in the classroom. During that period, he recalls, he was booted out of eight of his nine courses for a month or so. “I was really going down the tube pretty fast and hard, and was getting into …

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World of Words: Clea Roberts shows Yukoners the nature of ourselves

Clea Roberts’ first collection of poetry, Here Is Where We Disembark, features every Yukoner she’s ever met. Roberts, a nature poet, shows us the nature of ourselves. On dressing: “The boots were rated to -50 C/– you wore an extra pair of socks.” At Rendezvous: “I don’t need/a hairy-leg contest/to tell me it’s been a …

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