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Sweet Water


Contributors include Kate Braid, Gary Barwin, Katherena Vermette, Arleen Paré, John Pass, Ariel Gordon, Brian Brett, Rita Wong, Fred Wah, Trevor Carolan, John Terpstra, Russell Thornton, Zoë Landale, Christine Lowther, Elena Johnson, Elee Kraljii Gardiner, Daniela Elza, Rhonda Ganz, Geoffrey Nilson, Pamela Porter, Barbara Pelman, Kelly Shepherd, Rob Taylor, Zachariah Wells, Bren Simmers, and more.

Sweet Water: Poems for the Watersheds

Edited by Yvonne Blomer

2020, Caitlin Press 

ISBN: 9781773860220

Sweet Water: Poems for the Watersheds gathers the voices of poets from across Canada, the US and the UK who write of water. Bottled, clouded, held in rain, in river, estuary and lake, sweet water is the planet’s life force and the poets here examine it from every angle – the pitcher plant, the beaver and the American Bull Frog, rain, clouds, smog, the many ducks and the salmon and the last lake sturgeon. Poets take us to the rivers they live along – and grieve daily – the Peace River Canyon, Chilcotin, Taylor River, the Humber River, Millstone River, the Fraser River, and more.

In Canada, the watershed runs into the Pacific, Arctic, Hudson Bay and the Atlantic. This water houses the aquatic ecosystems that feed and nurture not only the people, industries and animals on land but also drains into the world’s oceans. It is part of the hydrologic cycle that begins with water evaporation to become groundwater that seeps into rivers, streams, lakes and oceans. It is the water we bathe in, drink, and with which we grow our food. As it becomes more and more poisoned from industrial corporations, mining and the many, too many humans on our planet, it also becomes more and more endangered. We are paying attention. We are aware of the watershed moment that we inhabit in the twenty-first century. We know that change must come.

Refugium: Poems for the Pacific

Edited by Yvonne Blomer

2017, Black Moss Press

ISBN: 978-1-987915-53-2

While in the world of politics there are still climate change deniers, the poets watch the warming seas, the dying birds slicked in oil, the whales, the jellies, the sea otters and the octopus. They stand, as close to the shore as possible, watch the slow turning tide. In this collection of poems from the coast of B.C., California, Washington State, to Alaska and as far away as Auckland, New Zealand and as far back as early 19th century Japan these poems explore our connection to the Pacific, what we know and don’t know, how we’ve already changed the shore and the sea and what we fear losing.

Poets in this anthology include John Barton, Brian Brett, Bruce Cockburn, Lorna Crozier, Brenda Hillman, Gary Geddes, Steven Heighton, Patrick Lane, Arleen Paré, Melanie Siebert, Anne Simpson, Rob Taylor, Patricia Young, Jan Zwicky and many more.

In Refugium, editor Yvonne Blomer explores her deep concern with our sixth extinction and how stoic humans are continuing to wreak damage on the planet and her oceans.

poems from planet earth

Edited by Yvonne Blomer and Cynthia Woodman Kerkham

2013 Leaf Press

​ISBN: 978-1-926655-58-1

Poems from Planet Earth is a round-up of poems from readers at internationally renowned Planet Earth Poetry in Victoria B.C. — named after P.K. Page's poem "Planet Earth" — "launching pad for the energies of writers and poets established and not."

There are 116 contributors—among them: Jan Zwicky, Patrick Lane, Jay Ruzesky, Alice Major, Kate Braid, Derk Wynand, Eve Joseph, David Zieroth, Patricia Young, John Barton, Lorna Crozier, Sheri-D Wilson, Patrick Friesen, Brian Bartlett, Paul Nelson, Glen Sorestad, Wendy Morton, Rhonda Ganz, Brian Brett, Goran Simic, Cathy Ford, Betsy Warland.

poems from planet earth
Alongside We Travel

Edited by Sean Thomas Dougherty

2019 NYQ Books

​ISBN: 1630450588

Alongside We Travel is the first literary anthology to gather over two dozen poets from Canada, the United States, the UK and Israel whose lives are intertwined or affected by the autism spectrum. Included in this anthology are poems from tutors and teachers, aunts and grandmothers, friends and siblings, and from poets with autism themselves. Most of the work here is by highly accomplished poet-parents of autistic children written in a variety of traditional and experimental forms. But be warned. Much of the work articulates the despair, guilt, anger, as well as the joy that arises from engagement with such a complicated and diverse disability. As the editor Sean Thomas Dougherty writes, "I can only hope the range of these poems teaches you, the reader, what they have taught me, the editor, about my own autistic daughter, about art, and how we can be brought together through language towards love." 

All NYQ Books royalties earned on sales will be donated to Sharing the Weight, a small nonprofit out of Iowa doing a simple amazing thing: gathering people together to hand sew and make weighted blankets for autistic children.

Rocksalt: An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry

Edited by Harold Reinisch and Mona Fertig

2012, Mother Tongue Publishing

​ISBN: 978-1-896949-01-7

Rocksalt is the first anthology of contemporary BC poetry in 31 years. It features new and previously unpublished poetry and poetic statements by 108 emerging, mid-career and established BC poets.

Rocksalt—mined from the mountains to the sea—reflects the pulse of poetry here and now: essential, sharp, salty, ancient or groundbreaking, a range of voices that sound and shift, tilt and sing within. —Mona Fertig, Publisher

For Love of Orcas

Edited by Andrew Shattuck McBride and Jill McCabe Johnson

2019 Wandering Aengus Press

​ISBN: 9780578462776

After the Southern Resident orca Tahlequah swam with her newly born dead calf for 17 days, scientists, poets, and writers responded to her grief and the plight of the endangered orcas in this moving anthology. Edited by poets Andrew Shattuck McBride and Jill McCabe Johnson, the anthology features poetry, essays, and environmental writing from more than ninety esteemed authors. Wandering Aengus Press is donating proceeds from the book to The SeaDoc Society for their efforts in helping restore the Southern Resident orca population.

In 2020, the Nautilus Book Awards gave 
For Love of Orcas the Silver Award in Animals and Nature. Nautilus Book Awards recognizes "better books for a better world," and we are honored to have received this award!

Force Field cover.jpg
Force Field: 77 Women Poets of British Columbia

Edited by Susan Musgrave

2013, Mother Tongue Publishing

​ISBN: 978-1-896949-25-3

Force Field gathers together seventy-seven women poets who currently live and write in British Columbia. It is the first anthology of its kind in thirty-four years. It is a strong celebration of women's poetry, from the emerging, mid-career to established.

Not since Dorothy Livesay’s Women’s Eye: 12 BC Women Poets (AIR Press, 1974) and D’SONOQUA: An Anthology of Women Poets of British Columbia (Intermedia Press, 1979), edited by Ingrid Klassen, has there been an anthology of contemporary BC women poets.

In Force Field we gather together seventy-seven women poets who currently live and write in British Columbia so readers can more easily share, study and take pleasure in the range and vitality of women’s poetry today. It is an extensive and flourishing community that owes a debt to many early women poets, such as P.K. Page, Dorothy Livesay, Anne Marriot, Phyllis Webb, Rona Murray, Skyros Bruce, Gwladys V. Downes, Pat Lowther, Helene Rosenthal, Maria Fiamengo, Nellie McClung, Carolyn Zonailo and Elizabeth Gourlay. Women who forged the way for poetry in mid-century BC, between working, mothering, struggling, transforming and creating.

Force Field is not a definitive, it is a wellspring.

The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry in English

Tenth Anniversary Edition, edited by Molly Peacock and Anita Lahey

2017, Tightrope Books

​ISBN: 978-1-98804-034-9

The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry in English takes the pulse of the last decade of Canadian poetry with ninety superb poems that have excelled — twice — at the test of "the best." With poems chosen from the first nine volumes of this landmark series, this special tenth-anniversary edition highlights a vibrant variety of subjects from romance and family to ecology and the economy — not to mention blizzards and bears. Ranging from iconic poets Michael Ondaatje, Anne Carson, George Elliott Clarke, and P.K. Page to notable upstarts (including Yvonne Blomer), the anthology includes an index for readers, notes from the poets, an illuminating analysis of Canadian poetics by series editor Molly Peacock, and provocative excerpts from past introductions by guest editors Stephanie Bolster, A.F. Moritz, Lorna Crozier, Priscila Uppal, Carmine Starnino, Sue Goyette, Sonnet L'Abbé, Jacob McArthur Mooney, and Helen Humphreys.

Out of Print
Force Field
Best of Best
For Love of Orcas
Make it True
Quest for God
Make it True

Edited by Paul Nelson

with George Stanley, Barry McKinnon and Nadine Maestas 

2015, Leaf Press

​ISBN: 978-1-926655-81-9

Make It True is a collection from poets writing from Cascadia, the bioregion lying west of the continental divide and spanning from Mt. Logan in Canada to the north and Cape Mendocino in California to the south. An attempt to deepen the sense of place. A call to inhabit it as if our lives and livelihoods depended on it. An attempt to resuscitate the poetry culture from the trance cast by the pop/consumer/industry-generated culture—an anti-culture which, as Edward Abbey understood, serves to consume everything, including the biosphere: "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." 

Paul Nelson: "The best of these poems have an exactness of naming and imagery, the light of the mind Diane di Prima recognized as intellectus along with the wildness of the mind Charles Olson would suggest was a use of speech at its least careless and least logical. They sing, or they baffle. They inspire and/or they reveal. They are among the best poets practicing here in this place today, as best we could gather as a starting point for discussion and for the effort to remember (or imagine) what it is to BE somewhere and be fully present. To live here as if we again venerated this place and all its marvelous interconnected systems.

George Stanley: "Reading over these poems, I think younger poets in particular may be moving past irony—past writing that conveys no more than a cynical, tongue-in-cheek, or superior attitude—and writing more straightforwardly about the realities and conditions they believe need to be addressed in this world." 

Barry McKinnon: "If the word 'subject' is still in the post-modern lexicon, I believe the poet's subject is time—and that language discloses the actualities therein. Emotion is the poem's fact. Herein, then, the Cascadia poets in the reality of their time, their actualities, writing in the necessary task of what language and emotion reveals." 

Make It True was launched at the 2015 Cascadia Poetry Festival, in Nanaimo, BC.

The Poet’s Quest for God
Canada’s Raincoast at Risk
Mocambo Nights

Edited by Patrick Lane

2001, Ekstasis Editions

​ISBN: 978-1-89686-090-9

Award-winning poet Patrick Lane edited this remarkable anthology of poetry featuring Canada's most revered writers alongside emerging poets and brand new voices – all readers at the Mocambopo reading series in Victoria, BC, home to one of Canada's most vibrant literary communities. Every Friday evening for six years the Mocambo Cafe in downtown Victoria hosted "open mike" poetry, followed by a featured reader. In a crowded small room, an eclectic assortment of poetry enthusiasts from all walks of life dropped their weekday indentities and released the poet within. Distinguished featured poets and writers of all description mingled in an atmosphere of intense concentration on and delight in the dancing word. Mocambo Nights serves Canadian poetry at its freshest and finest, a collection readers will want to sample again and again. —Ekstasis Editions.

Out of Print

2016, Eyewear Publishing

​ISBN: 978-1908998255

Containing poems from world-renowned poets of all faiths and none from America, Britain, and beyond, including Andrew Motion, Rowan Williams, Ian Duhig, Rae Armantrout, Fanny Howe, Charles Bernstein, and over 200 others (including Yvonne Blomer), this is the first anthology to place atheist poets side by side with those from all major religions. Faith, doubt and wonder are explored, providing guidance, solace and spiritual inspiration. Introduced by Professor Ewan Fernie, a leading scholar of literature and religion, spirituality and the demonic, this is a perfect book to be visited again and again. Eyewear Publishing's first poetry anthology, it is a wonderfully curated collection of questions and answers for everyone to enjoy.

Poet to Poet

Edited by Julie Roorda and Elana Wolff

2012, Guernica Editions


Poets find inspiration in all manner of human experience, from the comical to the sombre. The creative processes by which they grow their poems to fruition are as diverse, and often as quirky, as their subjects. But what all poets have in common is their captivation by the work and lives of other poets, living and dead. Poet to Poet is a unique anthology that honours, and probes, this peculiar enchantment. Featuring work by Canadian poets written to, about, or in the manner of other poets, each poem is accompanied by a back story that provides a glimpse into the creative cauldron and the poetic communion of kindred spirits.

Out of Print

2017, Raincoast Conservation Foundation

​ISBN: 978-1-988811-03-1

Out of print • Available as FREE eBook here

This eBook is packed with illustrations and video to help you experience the wild beauty of the northern and central British Columbia coast through the eyes and voices of 50 Canadian artists, including Robert Bateman, Carol Evans and Roy Henry Vickers.

An expedition of artists travelled to spectacular and remote areas to depict the rich biodiversity and ecological elements of the forest, intertidal, and ocean zones, along with the people, flora and fauna that have lived there for thousands of years. The resulting artworks, blended with essays by experts in their field, and poetry, portray the splendour of the region. Each artist has two pages devoted to their work, including their photo, bio, field sketches and photograph of their piece, and in many cases a video of them at work and talking about what this special region means to them.

The artists’ goal is to bring attention to the dramatic beauty and ecological diversity of the coastal wilderness that will be at risk if tankers are permitted to ship tar-sands oil through narrow and dangerous channels. 

This book is part of the initiative to raise awareness of the coast’s wild and diverse marine and terrestrial environment, and support for its conservation. It includes a foreword by David Suzuki and an afterword by Wade Davis.


Edited by Stephanie Bolster, series editor Molly Peacock

2008, Tightrope Books

​ISBN: 978-0978335175

From a long list of 100 poems, this year’s guest editor Stephanie Bolster has chosen 50 of the best Canadian poems published in 2007. With this anthology, Canadian readers can tap into the remarkable poetry scene, checking out the currents and cross currents of poetry in a volume distilled by a round robin of distinguished editors. 

Out of Print
Poet to Poet
Best Canadian Poetry
The Best Canadian Poetry in English
This Place
Not expecting
This Place a Stranger

Edited by Jessica Hiemstra and Lisa Martin-DeMoor

2013, TouchWood Editions

​ISBN: 978-1771510219

One size fits all does not apply to pregnancy and childbirth. Each one is different, unique, and comes with its share of pleasure and pain. But how does one prepare for an unexpected loss of a pregnancy or hoped-for baby? In How to Expect What You’re Not Expecting, writers share their true stories of miscarriage, stillbirth, infertility, and other, related losses. This literary anthology picks up where some pregnancy books end and offers diverse, honest, and moving essays that can prepare and guide women and their families for when the unforeseen happens.

Contributors include Chris Arthur, Kim Aubrey, Janet Baker, Yvonne Blomer, Jennifer Bowering Delisle, Kevin Bray, Erika Connor, Sadiqa de Meijer, Jessica Hiemstra, Fiona Tinwei Lam, Lisa Martin-DeMoor, Lorri Neilsen Glenn, Susan Olding, Laura Rock, Gail Marlene Schwartz, Maureen Scott Harris, Carrie Snyder, Cathy Stonehouse, and Chris Tarry.

How to Expect What You’re Not Expecting

Edited by Vici Johnstone

2015, Caitlin Press

​ISBN: 978-1-927575-73-4

Sometimes tragic, sometimes uproariously funny, This Place a Stranger is a diverse collection of Canadian women writing about their experiences of travelling alone. From the deceptiveness of the everyday to the extremes of geography, weather and violence, these stories go beyond the usual tales of intrepid male explorers and reveal the varied and unique circumstances in which women travellers find themselves when “going solo.”

When an Afghan soldier asks one Indo-Canadian woman, “Where are you really from,” her false sense of belonging comes sharply into focus. After thirty-seven years of marriage, another woman prepares for her return trip to Africa: vaccination boosters, nausea pills and lots and lots of condoms. A seventeen-hour journey by car through the Great Lakes region of Ontario leads another to dreamlike reflections on the travels of her Anishinaabe grandmothers and the ever-present “fear, worry” she experiences today. In another story, a woman poignantly searches for what many seek on solo journeys—inspiration, renewal, discovery—by returning to Paris only a few years after the painful dissolution of her marriage. But the grey February, a body in pain and the funeral of Mavis Gallant offer a different insight.

With new work from twenty-three emerging and award-winning authors including Yvonne Blomer, Jane Eaton Hamilton, Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy, Catherine Owen, Karen J Lee and more, these stories explore the unexpected blessings and soul-searching that aloneness offers: clarity, liberation, danger, misery, adventure, devastation and joy.

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