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Poet Jane Byers launches book during National Poetry Month

Nelson poet Jane Byers launches her first volume of poetry, Steeling Effects, at the Nelson Library on Thursday, April 17 at 7 p.m. - publicity photo
Nelson poet Jane Byers launches her first volume of poetry, Steeling Effects, at the Nelson Library on Thursday, April 17 at 7 p.m.
— image credit: publicity photo

The Nelson Public Library celebrates National Poetry Month with a book launch: poet Jane Byers launches her first volume of poetry, Steeling Effects, on Thursday, April 17 at 7p.m.

Published this spring by Caitlin Press, Steeling Effects has already attracted words of praise. Shannon Webb-Campbell, Critic-in-residence for Canadian Women in the Literary Arts, says that “Jane Byers’ poems are an incendiary experience of language, inflaming mind, heart, and embodiment. It’s a stunning debut collection of poetry, deeply queer, beautiful, and expansive.”

Reflecting on her own life from difficult birth through teenage challenges to new parenthood in a same-sex relationship, Byers asks questions about strength and resilience. Her poems explore the raising of children, lesbian and gay issues, and sexism. Poems that deal with health and safety in the workplace draw from her professional experience fostering resilience in injured workers, currently through her job at Worksafe BC.

Steeling Effects is comprised of some 65 poems written over the past decade. Byers is a past winner of the Nelson and District Poetry Competition and was the 2014 recipient of the Richard Carver Award. Her work has appeared in a number of literary journals and anthologies.

“I’ve long admired Jane’s tenacious and expansive spirit, which has the ability to write from a wide view and still pay attention with fine detail,” says poet Susan Andrews Grace.” I am thrilled that a copy of Steeling Effects will soon be on my shelf.”

Byers finds time to write between full time work and parenting her two children with her wife, filmmaker Amy Bohigian. She is working on a second manuscript.

Jane Byers’ book launch is the cornerstone event in the Library’s Poetry Month celebration. Running all month is the Book Spine Poetry Challenge, inviting library users to find their inner poets by stacking books to create poems from titles and photographing them to win a prize.

Byers will have copies of Steeling Effects on hand at her launch. For more information call 250-352-6333 or go to nelsonlibrary.ca.

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