"I used to live in the Arctic," writes Heather Simeney MacLeod, "a place where my Indian blood found room to live, elliptical it moved within me, solid as snow." A member of the Métis Nation Northwest Territories, MacLeod is a poet and playwright who came to live in the Thompson-Nicola Valley during the writing and publication of The Burden of Snow (Turnstone, 2004 $15.95), a poetry collection in which she traces "bloodlines, trap lines and ancestral migrations from Ireland, Scotland and Russia to the British Columbia interior." While living in Victoria, she published a collection of poetry, my flesh the sound of rain (1998).

MacLeod spent some of her teenage years in Carcross, "world's smallest desert, once a glacial lake," and recalls her varied past in a prose poem called 'Ask Me Anything: Yellowknife'. "I know how to use an ulu; I've seen an Inukshuk in the midnight sun on the Barrenlands. Ask me anything. I have eaten whitefish, pike and char; I've served muskox burgers at the Wildcat Café. I worked the dishpit before the dishwasher went in and wore raingear and rubber boots and watched through the flapping of the screen door as Dave wind-surfed over Back Bay. I fed Tracy's dog, Bug, scraps from plates, drank coffee with Baileys through my shift and went back in the middle of the night, after the bars closed, for wine, beer, a snack. Ask me anything. I swam nude in Long and Great Slave lakes; had picnics in the cemetery. Ask me anything. I remember The Rec Hall, the worn path between it and The Range; I remember Saturday afternoon jams with Mark Bogan singing Wild Thing (Wild meat, you make a great treat; muskox, I gotta get lots)..."

Her other books include My Flesh the Sound of Rain, Shapes of Orion and The North Woods.


My Flesh the Sound of Rain (Coteau, 1998)
Shapes of Orion (Smoking Lung, 2000)
The North Woods, co-author (2003, Rattapallax Press)
The Burden of Snow, poetry (Turnstone, 2004)

[BCBW 2004]