Vernon-raised Kerry Gilbert lived on Vancouver Island, South Korea and Australia before returning to Vernon to raise a family and teach writing at Okanagan College. Her 2005 verse novel called (kerplnk) has been followed by a collection of prose poems Tight Wire (Mother Tongue 2016). The cover of Tight Wire features an act of tightrope walking known as funambulism. "The theme of 'life is circus' surfaced," she told the Vernon Star, "and the beautifully grotesque images of 'trying to balance it all' fit perfectly." Interviewed by Kristin Froneman, Gilbert references the documentary Miss Representation in which Jennifer Pozner says women these days are: “expected to look like Miss U.S.A., have sex like Samantha on Sex and the City and think like June Cleaver.”

One of the first lines in Tight Wire reads: “funambulism. barefoot—no leather soled slippers. her big and second toe cut deep in between by braided tight wire. no props–just freehand.” The definition of funambulism is “tight rope walking.”


(kerplnk) (2005)

Tight Wire (Mother Tongue 2016) $18.95

[BCBW 2016]