Author Tags: Poetry

Poet and poetry reviewer Hannah J. Main-van der Kamp was born in Kampen, The Netherlands on July 19, 1947. She came to Canada and Vancouver in 1955. As a teacher and administrator, she has specialized in the needs of children with disabilities. She lived in Scotland, Ontario, Oregon and Spain before settling in Victoria, and living in seclusion for part of each year in Desolation Sound. An avid birdwatcher and "hopelessly amateurish" watercolourist, she is a self-described nature poet, married to a musician. Concerned with feminism and eco/theology, she received the Word Guild poetry award for Canada in 2005. She has written regularly for BC BookWorld as a poetry reviewer and for Diocesan Post as a columnist. Her prose and poetry have been included in more than a dozen anthologies and she performs at story-telling festivals.


Slow Sunday on the Malaspina Strait (Toronto: St. Thomas Poetry Series, 2012) 9780973591071
According to Loon Bay (Toronto: St. Thomas Press, 2004)
With Averted Vision (Toronto: St. Thomas Press, 2000). Out of print.
The Parable Boat (Wolsak & Wynn, 1999)
A Gift of Ruin (Netherlandic Press, 1995). Out of print.
Distant Kin (Netherlandic Press, 1987)

[BCBW 2012] "Poetry"

Slow Sunday on the Malaspina Strait
Excerpt (2012)

Hannah Main-van der Kamp has published two previous books in the St. Thomas Poetry Series: With Averted Vision (2000), out of print, and According to Loon Bay (2004). Here is the title poem for her third title in the series, Slow Sunday on the Malaspina Strait (St. Thomas Poetry Series $15)

Slow Sunday on the Malaspina Strait

Mist, old friend, welcome.
Though most October mornings you offer
a taste of ease, today you fill the windows.
Old acquaintance, again you dissolve islands.

You were expected, though nasturtiums on the deck
still hold up their heads and the scrub willow is not yet
completely spent. Valued tutor, you teach
gazing. Grant us a day for not trying out recipes

or list making. Thank you.
On unseen islands out there
do others also laze and cease from labour,
languid on sofas, idle as moist air? But “lazy” and “idle”

give the wrong impression; we are
engaged in slowness training. A day that hums
without motors, a day set aside
for some crying, soft

without dramatic heaving. Hours stand still
and also pass. The weeping relieves,
ceases without shakiness.
At sunset, low clouds lift, reveal

the ferry’s languid traverse of the strait.
Island lights regain clarity
and the willow by the door is still not ready
to shed its last, bright shards.

[Slow Sunday on the Malaspina Strait (St. Thomas Poetry Series $25) launched at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 in the parish hall of St. Thomas’s Church, 383 Huron Street, Toronto.]