photo credit: Joy Dube'
This is West Coast poet and author, Joanna Streetly, leaning against her floathouse in the Tofino harbour. Her faithful dog, Schooner, is seen contemplating life behind her. I wish I was able to put the wild beauty of Clayoquot Sound into words the way Joanna does. Joanna recently read this poem to Tofino Council on the night it was announced that she is now officially Tofino's very first Poet Laureate. You can see from her writing why she will be a perfect fit for this position. Our village is thrilled. We live in anticipation of literary events to come.
Joanna's nonfiction book Wild Fierce Life: Dangerous Moments on the Outer Coast has just been released, to acclaim, by Caitlin Press. It debuted on the B.C. Bestseller List. I read nonfiction almost exclusively, and I have to say Joanna's book is my favourite of them all. She writes about fifteen experiences she lived during her years here on the Coast and, while one reads, one lives and breathes her amazing wild fierce life right along with her. I did not want the book to end. It is one to savour again and again.
Joanna grew up in Trinidad and Tobago. She had an interesting and exciting childhood with an artist mother, a mountaineering father, and four siblings, then was schooled in England. She says, "My first serious poem woke me at two a.m. when I was fifteen." Joanna arrived on the West Coast at nineteen and, as happens with many of us, fell in love with the wild beauty here and never left. She is a long-time member of the Clayoquot Writers Group, and was co-editor of the literary magazine The Sound in the 1990's. Joanna is also a wonderful artist. Her illustrations can be enjoyed throughout Wild Fierce Life.
The Mystery Yoohoo Raven
copyright Joanna Streetly
She has had several books published. Her bibliography can be found here. Joanna's life is lived on water: on her floathouse, where, she says, "the adventure continues", and on kayak trips through the Sound every chance she gets. She works at the small local hospital, freelances in writing and editing, and volunteers as an art teacher at the local school. She is the West Coast rep of the Federation of B.C. Writers. And now she is Tofino's first Poet Laureate, a position for which she is infinitely worthy!
If you wish to know more about this amazingly talented young woman, her website can be found at the littoral zone. (The littoral zone is where land meets water.)
Material shared in 'I Wish I'd Written This' is presented for study and review. Poems, photos and other writings remain the property of the copyright owners, usually their authors.