Clea Roberts lives in Whitehorse, Yukon, on the Takhini River. She will read and talk about her poetry on Monday, March 18 at 7:30 pm in the UPEI Faculty Lounge, Main Building as part of the Winter’s Tales Author Reading Series.
Here Is Where We Disembark, her debut collection, consists of two sections. The first follows cycles of the season and domestic life. “You know you’ve found a real poet when she observes that mud, in a Yukon springtime, was ‘never so exotic, / tracked across the kitchen floor,’” writes poet and critic Gary Geddes. The second section portrays the people and backdrop of the Klondike Gold Rush. We hear a pioneer wife speak to the river, a prostitute to a sergeant, and a woman to a king salmon. Roberts gives voice to river, fish, and fire, as well as to human settlers and sojourners.
“From many perspectives—historical, social, biological—Roberts’ keen poetic intelligence imagines an ecology of inclusion that the landscape of the North, or of any particular ‘here,’ calls us to,” states poet Sharon Thesen. “Survival is a major theme, but there is a transcending joy and beauty in these poems.” (The Malahat Review).
Roberts is a three-time recipient of the Yukon Government Advanced Artist Award and co-organizes the Whitehorse Poetry Festival. Her poems have appeared in The Antigonish Review, The Dalhousie Review, The International Feminist Journal of Politics, Lake: A Journal of Arts and the Environment, and other magazines. Her work has been nominated for a National Magazine Award, and she was a finalist for the 2011 Gerald Lampert Award for Best First Book by a Canadian Poet.
Her reading is sponsored by the UPEI English department with support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Yukon government. A reception will follow her reading. Admission is free.