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Local Poet John Pass Launches Book in Sechelt

Posted: June 8, 2011

Coast poet John Pass’s new collection of poems, crawlspace, has just been released from Harbour Publishing and everyone’s invited to the launch on Monday, June 20 at 7:30 pm at the Arts Centre in Sechelt.

Pass will also be making a special advance appearance at Blue Waters Book Co. in Madeira Park’s Plaza. He will be signing books there from 1:00-3:00 pm on Saturday, June 18.

Pass’s last appearance at the Arts Centre was at a Nomination Celebration party for his most recent book, Stumbling In The Bloom, which went on to win the Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry in 2006. Since then his writing has taken him as far north as Yellowknife on a reading tour of the NWT, and as far east as Brno in the Czech Republic where he read at The Moravian National Library last fall. He’s just returned from the Shuswap Writers Festival and is off to the Whitehorse Poetry Festival later this month.

But his favourite reading venue is our very own Arts Centre. His new poems, from “the low room/understory navigated at a crawl’s pace in aging, beneath the weight of everything built and grown in one’s time,” are richly, deeply shaded. Contending with grief, decline, renovation, they nonetheless celebrate family, language, the environment, culture. They are grounded, as his work always is, in time and place—in our time, this place. There’s even a poem that precisely locates the Arts Centre (where he’s launched three books and two chapbooks since the 1990s) on Canada’s cultural map.

As many of you know Pass is also a letterpress printer/publisher, and in gratitude for the community’s support of his work over three decades High Ground Press is offering a broadsheet of one of the poems from crawlspace to celebrate the launch, available only at the event, free to anyone who buys a book. The remainder of the limited print-run will be for sale, with proceeds to go to the Arts Centre’s Literary Readings Program.

The launch will also feature Dick Harrison, who will be introducing John Pass, and Talewind Books will be on hand to sell books. And oh, yes, admission is free and refreshments will be served! For more information about the launch or Blue Waters Book Co. signing, phone Harbour Publishing at (604) 883-2730 or email