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Literary Collections Essays

Love of the Salish Sea Islands

New Essays, Memoir and Poetry by 40 Island Writers

edited by Mona Fertig

introduction by Gail Sjuberg

Mother Tongue Publishing
Initial publish date
Jun 2019
Essays, Canadian, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2019
    List Price

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A treasury of writing celebrating the beauty, community, and importance of our archipelagos.

Forty skilled island writers share their love of the many islands in the Salish Sea off British Columbia’s coast through passionate, eclectic and reflective–new and previously unpublished–essays, memoirs and poems. They express how islands are special places of unique and lively communities, within a rare and beautiful ecosystem; with diverse indigenous, settler and outsider histories circled by an endangered sea that protects and separates inhabitants from a more crowded, invasive civilization. Islands are little refugias in the glacial landscape of urbanization—ecological and cultural. The writers invite you to take refuge, then inspire you to re-enchant your home terrain.

This anthology is a must-read for anyone who travels to and lives on an island, or yearns to live on an island. In this era when the natural world is constantly threatened by environmental destruction, through climate change, ignorance and corporate greed, it is more important than ever to affirm the significance, culture and beauty of our ocean archipelagos, and to be proactive in protecting and preserving them for the future of all.

Some of the islands poignantly rendered are: Bowen, Cortez, Denman, Gabriola, Galiano, Gambier, Hornby, Jedediah,Lasqueti, Lummi, Mayne, Mitlenatch, Newcastle, Penelakut, Pender, Prevost, Protection, Quadra, Retreat, Salt Spring, Saturna, Savary, Senanus, Texada, Thetis, Thormanby, Tumbo, Valdes and Wise.

Contributors: Taiaiake Alfred, Chris Arnett, Brenda Brooks, Maria Coffey, Daniel Cowper, William Deverell, Ann Eriksson, Mona Fertig, Cathy Ford, Gary Geddes, Katherine Palmer Gordon, Peter Haase, Amanda Hale, Diana Hayes, Jack Hodgins, Cornelia Hoogland, Stephen Hume, Christina Johnson-Dean, Des Kennedy, Michael Kenyon, Zoë Landale, Peter Levitt, Derek Lundy, Matsuki Masutani, Karen McLaughlin, Maureen Moore, Arleen Paré, Briony Penn, Michael Redican, Murray Reiss, Linda Rogers, Christine Smart, Steven Ross Smith, George Szanto, Nancy J. Turner, M.C. Warrior, Alison Watt, Bob Weeden, Rex Weyler, Sue Wheeler.

Oil Paintings by Nicola Weston

"The 500-plus islands in the Salish Sea are widely recognized as a region of international ecological and cultural significance: the Georgia Basin is considered one of the three most threatened ecoregions in Canada.”—from Islands in the Salish Sea: A Community Atlas, edited by Sheila Harrington and Judi Stevenson (Touchwood Editions)

About the authors

Mona Fertig is a poet, publisher, editor and founder of The Literary Storefront, Canada’s first literary centre (1978-1985) and Mother Tongue Publishing. She grew up in Vancouver’s Kitsilano and Burnaby and attended the Vancouver School of Art. She has been writing poetry since she was a teenager and has given hundreds of readings in many cities and towns across Canada as well as NYC and San Francisco. Her books of poetry include Mouth for Music (1979), 4722 Rue Berri (1986), Sex, Death & Travel (1998) and The Unsettled (2010), well as The Life and Art of George Fertig (2010). Fertig edited the anthologies Love of the Salish Sea Islands, The Summer Book, and 111 West Coast Literary Portraits (2012). She assisted in curating the George Fertig and Jack Akroyd exhibitions at the Burnaby Art Gallery, and the Unheralded Artists of BC Exhibition at Mahon Hall. She was a founding member of the Feminist Caucus of the League of Canadian Poets, The Federation of BC Writers, the BC Book Prizes, and has been the BC/Yukon Rep of The Writers’ Union of Canada and P.E.N. Canada. In 2016, the Vancouver Public Library honored her as a Literary Landmark. She has lived on Salt Spring Island with her husband Peter Haase, for over 30 years, where they raised two children.

Mona Fertig's profile page

Gail Sjuberg's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Love of the Salish Sea Islands is a sparkling archipelago of writers who draw us into the lives, land, and waters of their island worlds. A wonderful read –or, rather, many wonderful reads.

Ronald Wright, author of A Short History of Progress

We who live on the islands of the Salish Sea know how extraordinary it is to be part of this magical place. Each writer in this volume reflects the islands themselves. Poets, novelists, story-tellers. Different, evocative, mysterious and loved. This is a wonderful volume.

Elizabeth May, MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands, leader of the Green Party of Canada

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