This podcast features Western Canadian authors reading from their novels, short fiction, poetry, memoirs, or non-fiction. It is created and hosted by Saskatchewan novelist Lisa Guenther. Reading West is open to featuring published authors from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. For the most part, the podcast focuses on literature, but writers working in other genres are welcome to inquire. For more information on submitting, visit lisaguenther.com/reading-west-podcast/ You can also check out the show on Facebook at www.facebook.com/readingwest/
Theme music is Flax Flower Blue by Best Kept Secret Girlfriend
Bernadette Wagner, writer, editor, and community based educator, has recent work in Absent Mothers (DP: 2017) and Without Apology: Writings on Abortion in Canada (AUP: 2016). Her poetry and nonfiction have been broadcast on radio and TV, recorded
on video and film, and published in magazines and anthologies. Shortlisted for the Saskatchewan First Book Award, she toured This hot place (Thistledown, 2010), her first poetry collection, across the country. An activist for social justice, a spokesperson for various feminist organizations, a founder of the Prairie Lily Feminist Society and Friends of Regina Public Library, a board member for the Saskatchewan Writers Guild and Sage Hill Writing Experience, a past Literary Co-ordinator and two-time Chair of the Cathedral Village Arts Festival, and the inaugural literary artist-in-residence at the Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre, Bernadette lives in Regina, Saskatchewan.
The Dry Valley encapsulates one woman’s relationship with herself, her alcoholic spouse, and the world, in three different Saskatchewan landscapes. The poems offer a fascinating interplay between mindful explorations of self and immersions in the challenging complexities of interpersonal relationships, social issues and meaningful engagement with the environment. The quiet, meditative quality of the longer lyrics rub up against the edgier narrative poems, contributing a wonderful tension to the manuscript. With figurative language kept to a minimum, the poems rely on detail, giving a real-time felt presence and the speaker a heightened reliability.