View Royal poet Terry Ann Carter’s piece, Oceans Child, is one of 82 poems that are part Refugium: Poems for the Pacific, an anthology that focuses on exploring humans’ connection to the Pacific Ocean. (Contributed photo)

Poets band to together to protect Pacific Ocean

New anthology includes works from View Royal, Colwood poets

When Yvonne Blomer initially heard about plans for the controversial Kinder Morgan pipeline that would carry crude and refined oil from Alberta to the West Coast, a feeling of helplessness washed over her.

Having lived on the Island since she was a teenager, Blomer has seen many changes in the Pacific Ocean. She’s watched as the starfish vanished from the Breakwater downtown, noticed the decline of fish in the ocean due to unsustainable practices, and grew more concerned for the decrease in whale populations because of rising temperatures and noise created by ships.

The idea of increased tanker traffic that could potentially endanger the Pacific Ocean even more was a thought she couldn’t bear.

“It feels like such a slow process to get us to change,” Blomer said. “It left me feeling quite frustrated and little bit helpless.”

That’s when Blomer, the City of Victoria’s poet laureate, sprung into action and decided to combine her passion for poetry with her concern for the environment. The result is Refugium: Poems for the Pacific, which launches this week.

Consisting of works from 82 poets from across Canada, California, Alaska, the Yukon, the U.S. and even one from New Zealand, the anthology highlights humans’ connection to the Pacific Ocean and their concerns for the health of the ocean.

“I know a book is a commercial thing, but for me, it’s beyond that, it’s the ocean,” said Blomer, who received more than 260 poetry submissions for the anthology. “I wanted to create a kind of conversation and community through the book.”

Among the poets who have lent their voices to the cause is Colwood’s Dan MacIssac and View Royal’s Terry Ann Carter. Carter’s poem, Oceans Child, compares her then unborn granddaughter, Sophie, in the womb to a sea animal floating in the ocean.

“In the embryo, it’s kind of like she is in an ocean. The beauty of the sea and what the sea gives us is something I want to hold on to,” Carter said. “I just feel we have to speak out and make sure that everything that’s possible is being done to keep our waters safe, to keep them clean so that little Sophie, when she grows up, will have ocean water, will have fish and have everything that the ocean provides us.”

The launch of Refugium: Poems for the Pacific takes place at the Maritime Museum of B.C. (634 Humboldt St.) on Thursday, Oct. 5 beginning with a pre-reception at 6:30 p.m. There will also be readings and a performance at 7:30 p.m., followed by a post-reception, which includes drink and appies. Money raised from the launch will be used for environmental education programs through the museum.

The anthology will be available to Munro’s Books and the maritime museum.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

kendra.wong@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Majority of Greater Victoria youth likely to be steady marijuana users: UVic study

UVic psychology researcher studied cannabis use among youth in Greater Victoria for more than a decade

Environmental all-candidates forum includes all running in the CRD

Issues addressed will include climate change, tanker traffic and resident killer whales

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

PHOTOS: Celebration, heartbreak from weekend World Rowing in Sidney

On-water photographers capture the action for coastal rowing’s North American debut

North Saanich residents commended for bravery in crash response

Six residents did not hesitate after serious single-vehicle crash

VIDEO: How to roll a joint

The cannabis connoisseur shares his secrets to rolling the perfect joint

Advance voting begins Oct. 10 in Greater Victoria

The polls open at 8 a.m. for the 2018 municipal election with the general election taking place Oct. 20

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

1,000 needles pulled from Cowichan River

Duncan area cleanup project nets three huge truckloads of garbage

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day two of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

Demand for legalized cannabis in early hours draws lineups, heavy web traffic

Government-run and privately operated sales portals went live at 12:01 a.m. local time across Canada, eliciting a wave of demand.

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set to make parole pitch today

Paul Bernardo, whose very name became synonymous with sadistic sexual perversion, is expected to plead for release on Wednesday.

Hero campaign raises $1.1 million for Canada non-profits

Lowe’s Canada Heroes campaign was held throughout September

Scope of Hurricane Michael’s fury becomes clearer in Florida Panhandle

Nearly 137,000 Florida customers remain without power from the Gulf of Mexico to the Georgia border

Most Read