Usually, we take for granted or plain ignore the Earth we walk on, the Sky above, the Water we drink and bathe in or that falls as rain, the Fire we assume for heat, and the Wood that makes up our landscape and building materials. But over fifteen years as a construction carpenter, Kate Braid began to pay more attention to the materials she worked with and depended upon. Out of these she has crafted an intimate picture of what it is like to be wholly engaged with the elemental materials of earth, sky, water, fire and wood that we depend upon every day.
Elemental is a poignant, intelligent collection that asks us to look more closely at ourselves and the details that construct our rich and delicate world.
About the Author
Beginning in 1977, Kate Braid worked for fifteen years as a construction labourer, apprentice, red-seal carpenter and contractor. She was the first woman on the Executive Board of the Vancouver, BC Carpenters' Union and first woman to teach construction at the BC Institute of Technology. She later taught Creative Writing for 12 years. She has published fourteen books and chapbooks of non-fiction (including a memoir, Journeywoman: Swinging a Hammer in a Man's World), and of prize-winning poetry.
"Kate Braid’s new collection, Elemental, is artistically and conceptually very tight—an impressive feat considering the poems were written over several decades and therefore likely not, originally, composed with this present collection in mind. And yet they work so well together: while the parts are accomplished, the whole is even stronger. […] Braid is so good at what she does: the line “one luminous black eye holds you” slows the reader right down and fixes their attention on that singular eye, just like the speaker’s experience…" — Amy Mitchell, The Temz Review
"Braid knows exactly what she is doing as a poet…" — Christopher Levenson, The Ormsby Review