"Inward to the Bones is not a book about either Georgia O'Keeffe or Emily Carr, but a book about Kate Braid, a book about her struggle to be an artist, to take herself and her chosen work seriously." -- Gary Geddes

Kate Braid received the 8th annual VanCity Book Prize for Inward to the Bones, her book about a fictitious relationship between painters Emily Carr and Georgia O'Keeffe. "When I wrote the first poem," says Braid, "I didn't have any intention of writing a book. I was simply delighting in the thought that my two favourite women painters met once, in February 1930 in New York, when Emily Carr visited the gallery where Georgia O'Keeffe had a show. When Emily Carr and Georgia O'Keeffe met, it was a non-event for both women but it led me to ask, 'What would it have been like for two of the first modern abstractionists to get to know each other?' Perhaps they would have travelled together and, if so, where would they have gone? Of course, to New Mexico and British Columbia. No sooner had I thought it, but they were off. Eleven poems spilled out the first week, along with more questions: what would have happened next? One hundred poems later, it was a book. This has been a fascinating journey. The real Georgia O'Keeffe was happy to help maintain a mystique around her life that continued until she died, at the age of 99, in 1986. Many of the incidents mentioned in the book actually happened, according to her biographers. If they didn't happen, if Georgia just let people think they did, well, they might have happened, just as the incidents I imagined might have, if Georgia had travelled with Emily Carr. As Georgia said, 'Art is a wicked thing.'"

Never a slave to convention, Emily Carr suspended chairs from her high studio ceiling to conserve space and discourage intruders. If a visitor was welcome, she might deign to lower a chair. In one of her books the painter described herself as a freakish loner. "Emily, don't you know by now that you're an oddment and a natural-born 'solitaire'?" Making her living as a Victoria landlady, Carr persevered in her lonely quest for artistry--and won. Kate Braid's Emily Carr: Rebel Artist celebrates Carr as a defiant and unconventional woman. Braid's condensed biography shows how Carr's encounters with the First Nations figure of D'Sonoqua, the wild woman of the woods, and with the Group of Seven led her to discover the spiritual aspects of the landscape she loved. Strikingly beautiful as a young woman, she retreated from society into art, eschewing intimacy to become the province's most original painter. "There is no cluster or sunburst about you,"; she wrote of herself. "You're just a paste solitaire in a steel claw setting."

Kate Braid was born in Calgary, Alberta on March 9, 1947. Raised in Montreal, she went to school in New Brunswick. She now lives in Vancouver and writes full-time after teaching creative writing for ten years at Malaspina University-College (now Vancouver Island University) in Nanaimo. She previously worked in construction as a journeyed carpenter and instructor, which is documented in her poetic account Turning Left to the Ladies. [SEE REVIEW BELOW]

Her Covering Rough Ground is poetry of empowerment which "tracks the long journey of a woman who wants, innocently enough, to build things." Her radio documentaries called 'Journey of Women' and 'Men of the Deep' aired on CBC's Ideas. Kate Braid and Sandy Shreve co-edited a compilation of 175 poems from 140 poets using 20 distinct poet forms for In Fine Form: The Canadian Book of Form Poetry (Polestar, 2005).

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Journeywoman: Swinging a Hammer in a Man's World
Red Bait! Struggles of a Mine Mill Local


Hammer & Nail: Notes of a Journeywoman (Caitlin 2020) $22.95 978-1-77386-033-6
Elements (Caitlin 2018) $18 978-1-98791-563-1
Braid, Kate & Sandy Shreve (editors). In Fine Form: The Canadian Book of Form Poetry 2nd edition (formerly Polestar, 2005 and Tightrope Books; now Caitlin 2016) $29.95 978-1-987915020
Journeywoman: Swinging a Hammer in a Man's World (Caitlin, 2012) $24.95 978-1-894759-87-8
Turning Left to the Ladies (Palimpsest Press, 2009). $18 97800-9784917-0-3
A Well-Mannered Storm: The Glenn Gould Poems (Caitlin Press, 2008). $16.95,
Braid, Kate & Sandy Shreve (editors). In Fine Form: The Canadian Book of Form Poetry (formerly Polestar, 2005 and Tightrope Books; now Caitlin 2013)
The Fish Come In Dancing: Stories from the West-Coast Fishery (Strawberry Hill, 2002) -- Editor
Emily Carr: Rebel Artist (Polestar, 2000). Now published by Dundurn.
Red Bait! Struggles of a Mine Mill Local (Kingbird, 1998), co-authored with Al King
Inward to the Bones: Georgia O'Keeffe's Journey with Emily Carr (Polestar, 1998). Reprinted by Caitlin Press.
A Woman's Fingerprint (Chapbook, Mother Tongue Press, 1997)
To This Cedar Fountain (Polestar, 1995)
Small Songs (Chapbook, Hawthorn Society, 1994). Reprinted by Caitlin.
Covering Rough Ground (Polestar, 1991; now reprinted by Caitlin)


Winner, Vancity Book Prize, for Inward to the Bones, 1999; also Nominee for Pat Lowther Memorial Award and Milton Acorn People's Poetry Prize, 1999

Winner, Pat Lowther Memorial Award for Covering Ground, 1992

Nominee, Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for To This Cedar Fountain, 1996

2nd Place, (m)other Tongue Chapbook contest for "A Woman's Fingerprint

[BCBW 2018] "VanCity" "Carr"