December 2017

Second Growth by Fabienne Calvert, reviewed by John Harris

Fabienne Calvert Filteau is in her late twenties and from an old Central BC family. Her great grandparents settled in Vanderhoof around the turn of the twentieth century. As the family expanded it spread across the country but centred itself on a cabin that the grandparents built in the late twenties near Fort St. James — at Stone's Bay on Stuart Lake in the shadow of Pope Mountain. Calvert Filteau grew up in Ontario and returned to BC to study Creative Writing at the University of Victoria: her book acknowledges Tim Lilburn and Lorna Crozier, among others, as mentors.  She worked her way through school as a tree planter and continues in that occupation, presently residing in Hazleton.

bill bissett Comes to Town

The poetry reading at the Twisted Cork banquet hall at the end of November tested the outer boundaries of appreciation of the poetic art. Held at the Twisted Cork in Prince George on October 23rd, 2015 the event drew about 65 people.



Truckstop Nights, Review by Paul Strickland

Don Precosky's memoir, published by Repository Press, Prince George in 2016 is about how he put himself through university working exhausting all night shifts at a truck stop on the Trans-Canada Highway near the current Thunder Bay is painful to read. However, this is not a criticism, but a tribute to how well the book is written, and how accurately it describes the physical and psychological impacts of working too many hours.


The book recognizes the sacrifices of truckers, loggers and everyone associated with transportation in the North, and eventually rises to the heroic. It celebrates the truckers' struggles, as if they were Greek soldiers trapped in struggle on the plains of Ilium before the unassailable gates of Troy. Precosky places the Trans-Canada Highway, an extraordinary achievement in the late 1950s and early 1960s, on the same level as the wine-dark sea of the Homeric epics.

Andrew Struthers’ Hippie Calculations by John Harris

Andrew Struthers is a latter-day hippie. That’s what he calls himself in this book. He says he lived for seven years in a “hippie commune” up Clayoquot Sound. There, he had a “hippie hot tub” (an old bathtub in the back yard with a fire pit underneath?) in which he submersed himself “breathing through a yard of rubber hose that once connected the propane tank to the water heater.” He attended the 2005 Vancouver Folk Music Festival and watches his friends, “brightly clad hippies, popping in and out of the porta-potties.”


Where it Hurts by Paul Strickland

The launch of Dr. Sara De Leeuw’s collection of personal essays, Where It Hurts, drew considerable interest from the Prince George literary community on May 17th at Cafe Voltaire.

CNC instructor, Peter Maides emceed the event, first introducing Sara and her co-worker Dr. Margot Greenwood from UNBC. He then introduced guest readers, Betsy Trumpener, CBC Daybreak radio journalist, and Stephen Collis, professor of contemporary literature at Simon Fraser University. The poets read from their own work and then from the works of local writers, Barry McKinnon, Ken Belford and Sharon Thesen. This was out of respect for their achievements in regional literature.

Resistance at Cafè Voltaire

The theme of the Wordplay event at Café Voltaire Thursday, February 17th 2017, was 'Resistance.' About 25 attended the literary reading emceed by published poet Kara-lee MacDonald.