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Writers inspired by West Coast

Kim Goldberg - Photo contributed
Kim Goldberg
— image credit: Photo contributed

The West Coast lifestyle has inspired more than 42 writers to share what living in the area means to them in an anthology of essays and art.

The anthology, Living Artfully: Reflections from the Far West Coast is a collection of essays that explore the writer’s perspectives and insights into the relationship between creativity and geography.

Three Nanaimo writers, Kim Goldberg, Mary Ann Moore and Margaret Murphy, are featured in the book and will read their essays during a book launch Oct. 14 at the Nanaimo Harbourfront library, starting at 1:30 p.m.

They will be joined by Gabriolan writer Sharon McInnes, Victoria’s poet laureate Janet Rogers, Hornby Island writer Keith Harrison and Roland Rasmussen, from Victoria.

“It’s really wide ranging artistically in terms of the art being created,” said Goldberg.

Goldberg’s essay, A Week of Weathergrams, is an essay about the seven individual weathergrams she creates and places in a park near her home that is often used by homeless as a place to sleep at night.

Goldberg said she created the essay because of her interest in homelessness. In her last book, RED ZONE, Goldberg documented homelessness and urban decay in downtown Nanaimo.

A weathergram is a message, similar to a haiku but a simpler message, written on a piece of paper, sometimes a strip cut from a paper bag, which a person ties to a tree or shrub. The weathergram must be created out of biodegradable material.

“It’s really creative, enriching and inspiring,” said Goldberg about creating weathergrams. “It’s about the act of letting go and manifesting creative energy.”

She said the person who leaves the weathergram never knows how their message impacted people who encounter them.

Weathergrams deteriorate and go back to the earth, said Goldberg.

“The cycles of weather and death connects my mind to the situation the homeless are in,” she said.

Moore’s essay, Who I Am, Here, delves into several topics including the longing for Canadian places, sexual orientation and genealogies. Her essay begins with Moore talking about moving to Nanaimo from Ontario.

It discusses how she has named the trees outside her Nanaimo home and how they have become guides for her writing.

In the essay she takes excerpts from writers who have influenced her and to the cultural history of the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

Moore said she was glad to be included in the collection.

“It’s going to be lots of fun and it’s very inspiring,” said Moore about the book launch. “It’s just fun hearing the different approaches to being creative here.”

During the launch artwork included in the book will be shown on the library’s large screen. Living Artfully is co-edited by Anita Sinner and Christine Lowther and published by The Key Publishing House.

It also includes work from award-winning First Nations playwright and poet Janet Rogers, writer and arts advocates Robert Amos and Susan Musgrave.

Copies of the book will be available at the launch for $33. For more information please go to http://thekeypublish.com.

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