PEPPER, Kit




Author Tags: Poetry

Born in 1954, Kit Pepper is a longtime resident of Gabriola Island who works in the Faculty of Education at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo. She has travelled and lived for extended periods in Greece, Paris, Mexico and India. Her debut collection of poetry is dedicated to her three sons.

Written in the form of a journal covering 31 days, her evocative collection Let Beauty Be: A Season in the Highlands, Guatemala (Leaf Press $17.95) recalls Ronald Wright’s aphorism, “Beauty cloaks Guatemala the way music hides screams.” As a jogger working for a clinic in the highlands, Pepper has combined her impressions and knowledge of roosters, death squads, evangelicals, poverty, markets, snarling dogs, political corruption and the sufferings of Maya women with acutely personal insights into her own character. “Awake and for some reason reviewing my life. Looking for passion, moments where the only air wanted was air that was shared. At 5 a.m., decide I’ve not been guided by that kind of passion. Simple as that.” Anyone who has visited Guatemala will recognize the poignancy of encountering mild-mannered peasants who have been slaughtered for decades. She takes her final run. “Finally, this day, I count the greetings: thirty-six in one hour. As if the air itself speaks. Boys on bicycles, girls with buckets of corn, babies on their backs, men and their livestock or machetes, women with chickens in baskets on their heads. They all greet me.” 978-1-926655-03-1