Gabriola Island poet P.C. Vandal is holding an in-person and online book launch for her latest collection, ‘The Blue Moth of Morning.’ (Photo credit Ashlyn Vandall)

Gabriola poet views marriage and family with dark humour in long-delayed book

P.C. Vandall’s ‘The Blue Moth of Morning’ to be unveiled at in-person and online book launch

P.C. Vandall thought her latest book of poetry would never see the light of day, but after six years and three publishers, the Gabriola Island poet is finally ready to unveil her work.

“I’m so absolutely thrilled and grateful and I have no words. I was actually losing faith in publishers….” she said. “My husband thought the book was cursed because the first publisher died, the second publisher never made [the book] and then COVID came.”

On Aug. 10, Vandall is holding a book launch for The Blue Moth of Morning. The event will take place in-person for a small socially-distanced crowd outside at the Surf Lodge on Gabriola and it will also be broadcast live using the online video-conferencing platform Zoom. There will also be a vocal performance by Christine Duncan and D.B. Boyko of Idiolalla and the show will start with an open mic.

Vandall describes The Blue Moth of Morning as a montage of poems about family, marriage and aging, all steeped her in her dark sense of humour.

“There’s a lot of marriage poems and I find writing is a good way to kill [my husband] on paper without doing him any harm. He’s been sliced and diced and drowned and stewed and buried and, you know, marriage is great,” she said with a laugh.

The Blue Moth of Morning looks different now than it did in 2014. Vandall said she’s “revamped” the book during its six years in limbo and it now contains mostly newer poems as well as some older favourites that “just never lose their charm.”

“I think I cover everything. There’s even a pubic hair poem in the collection,” she said. “There were actually two, but my publisher said one might be enough.”

Vandall said her humorous approach dates back to high school. She said back then it was difficult to get into poetry because the material she was exposed to was archaic and impenetrable. It wasn’t until university that Vandall realized that poetry didn’t have to be esoteric and for the first time she was understanding and relating to what she was reading and she fell in love with it.

“I found out that you can write about the everyday crap,” she said. “You can write about pubic hair or your marriage. So for me, it’s like writing fiction, but with a poem you get to write in the moment. It’s like the climax of the story. It’s the best bloody part.”

The Blue Moth of Morning is available from online booksellers, the book store at Page’s Resort and Marina on Gabriola or directly from the author at pamala20@shaw.ca.

WHAT’S ON … P.C. Vandall book launch for The Blue Moth of Morning streams via Zoom on Monday, Aug. 10 at 2 p.m. Link can be accessed here. The meeting ID is 968 6855 2351. The passcode is 585823.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

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