In her latest book of poems, Victoria poet Patricia Young takes on a theme that has long appealed to writers: love.
“Love, passion and desire are topics that interest all writers,” Young said via e-mail. “Just think of the stories, plays, poems, songs and works of art that are about love in one way or another.”
Amateurs at Love, published last September, is Young’s 14th book of poetry. The title comes from a line in one of the poems that she said encapsulates the collection: “the idea that love is something we are always trying to get right. We’re all novices no matter how long we’ve been at it.”
Young will be reading from Amateurs at Love at Nanaimo North Library on Jan. 31. It’s the first time she’s presenting her work in Nanaimo since taking part in a reading series in town while en route to a tour of the north Island a few years ago.
Young will be joined by Nanaimo writer Carol Matthews, who will be reading from the recently released revised edition of her popular book on labyrinth meditation, Questions for Ariadne.
Amateurs at Love is primarily composed of prose poems. Young said when writing poetry she always finds herself moving toward some kind of narrative, so rather than resist that urge, she decided to go with it. The book is divided into five sections, three of which contain prose poems.
“One of the prose sections is called Animal Tales, short pieces that are fable-like without the moral,” Young explained. “Another section, This Could Be Anyone’s Story, consists of prose poems that all have some kind of love story at their core; and the third section is called Family Affairs, prose poems that focus on members of a family (not necessarily my own).”
Young said she hopes her writing prompts others to write their own miniature stories.
“I have found the prose poem form to be demanding but also liberating,” she said. “The world as it is doesn’t matter. In the small space of a prose poem you can go anywhere.”
WHAT’S ON … Patricia Young and Carol Matthews read at Nanaimo North Library on Jan. 31 at 2 p.m.