By Mary MacDonald

Anyone who lives in the mountains knows we are known for otherworldly beauty and inhospitable weather. Hekla is one of Iceland’s most prominent and active volcanoes. The word also means ‘a small hooded cloak.’ The mist that hides the summit. Poetry can be this search for solid land through the obscure and difficult. The clarity of a poem can be brave, reading the weather and slipping through to beauty in a dark time. At this year’s Whistler Writers Festival, we are celebrating prose poetry and the work of four marvelous, bold, talented and well-established poets.

Patrick Friesen’s Outlasting the Weather is a collection of poems that lives in layers, taking us places we had not expected to go.

What the sea brings forth, we shall eat, sang a choir of gulls. It sounded almost Biblical, Elizabethan.

In poet and translator David Keplinger’s selected poems, The Long Answer, the poems visually peel back, shuttle between narrative and lyrical, the ordinary and the wild.

So old, no one remembers/ what was asked for/ in the first place/ and which leaves us…/ with only each other.

In Carsten René Nielsen’s latest work, Forty-One Objects, each poem is an object. The poems are optimistic, original, hopeful and infused with joy.

I tried to write on the blackboard, but the chalk left no trace. As if the board were made of metal, or the chalk were a rusty nail.

Ulrikka S. GernesFrayed Opus for Strings & Wind Instruments, are poetic songs, with twists and turns, wit and wisdom, and perfect jazz timing. These are dream-like poems that run deep.

have I loved, have I loved, have I loved enough?

Mary MacDonald is a poet, writer and member of the Whistler Writers Society. She will be moderating the poetry session at this year’s Whistler Writers Festival and launching her new collection of stories, The Crooked Thing.

Reading Event 5: Prose Poetry in the Time of Hekla – Saturday October 17th 12:00pm

Reading Event 1 Part 2: The Crooked Thing: Book Launch – Thursday October 15th 6:00pm