Poems in new Victoria collection hint at writers’ personal stories

Shelters, rehab centres release commemorative poetry book

Wallace Steeves reads his poem Freedom

As celebrations wind down from Victoria’s 150th anniversary, a new poetry collection is giving a voice to some lesser-known stories of the city.

Victoria on the Banks of the Mainstream is a collection of poetry written by marginalized residents during weekly sessions at the Victoria Cool Aid Society’s Rock Bay Landing and Sandy Merriman House shelters, Peers Victoria Resource Society, Beacon of Hope House and the Addictions and Rehabilitation Centre at the Salvation Army.

“Some of the poems speak to the loneliness of how it feels that the world doesn’t really want to see or hear you or acknowledge that you have needs,” said Don McTavish, Cool Aid’s manager of shelters.

“I think one thing that they have in common is that they have felt passed by.”

Some of the budding poets read their work aloud during the launch of the book, July 31 at Rock Bay Landing.

The soft-cover poetry collection, edited by Dvora Levin, was funded by a grant from the Greater Victoria Spirit Committee Society.

Though the book has been released, Cool Aid will continue to offer writing programs for its residents, something McTavish is convinced brings positive results. “To be able to still express hope and desire (through poetry) speaks to the human spirit,” he said.

The book is available at Munro’s Books for $20, with all proceeds going to the participating shelters.


Just Posted

Some SD62 schools without emergency supplies

PACs want province to step up with funding

View Royal residents to see minor tax increase

The 0.92 per cent increase is significantly lower than what was projected

Man arrested, charged in connection with stabbing at Langford Lanes

Twenty-year-old Austin Bonner has been charged with aggravated assault

Community rallies behind Langford man battling lymphoma

More than $20,000 has been raised to help Mike Gordon

Victoria painter splashes some colour on a dreary situation

Six-week long James Bay construction project gives Teresa Waclawik an impromptu canvas

Student learns the ropes at Oak Bay fire in hands-on experience

Local department crafts four-day work experience program for Reynolds student

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

Vancouver Island university develops program to help kids cope with overdose crisis

A child and youth care professor worked with students to develop projects focused on children, families and communities dealing with opioids.

Liberals tried pilot project with Facebook data whistleblower in 2016: source

Cambridge Analytica has been accused of improperly using information from more than 50 million Facebook accounts

No opting out: Canadians to get emergency alerts on their phones soon

Canada’s wireless providers are preparing for a looming update to the National Public Alerting System

Just For Laughs sold to Howie Mandel

Just For Laughs sold to Howie Mandel and U.S. company ICM Partners

Texas bombing suspect blows himself up as SWAT moves in

The suspect in a spate of bombing attacks that have terrorized Austin over the past month blew himself up with an explosive device as authorities closed in

Witnesses: Boko Haram returns Nigerian kidnapped schoolgirls

Witnesses say Boko Haram militants have returned an unknown number of the 110 girls who were abducted from their Nigeria school a month ago.

Golden Knights win 4-1, remain undefeated against Canucks

Vegas gets points from 12 players in dominating effort versus Vancouver

Most Read