Rebecca Garber launches her poetry chapbook Like a Pearl at Hope Lutheran Church on Saturday, April 21. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo poet Rebecca Garber launches poetry chapbook at Hope Lutheran Church

Launch of 'Like a Pearl' was delayed for two years for health reasons

Two years ago Rebecca Garber finished her first poetry chapbook, Like a Pearl, but health problems kept her from bringing her work to an audience.

That all changes on Saturday, April 21, when Garber holds a long-awaited book launch and reading at Hope Lutheran Church.

“I’m so excited,” Garber said now that the wait is over.

“It’s a goal that I’ve been going after for years and I’m really delighted with the way it turned out.”

Like a Pearl is Garber’s first book of poetry, but she has had other work published in journals and recited on CBC radio. The event will include musical accompaniment by pianist Cheryl Tastad Satre and poetry by Garber’s mentor, Mary Ann Moore. All proceeds from the reading will benefit PEN International, a writers’ organization that promotes freedom of speech.

Garber said she wrote poetry on and off while working, but now that she is retired, writing has become her vocation. She said she brought Moore two two-inch binders full of poetry “that I thought was my best stuff” to help get an outside view of the work and suggest what to include in Like a Pearl.

Garber said she’s looking forward to having her mentor attend the book launch.

“She, in fact, has another reading at the library that she has to be at at 1 p.m. and she’s going to do that and scuttle out and come to mine, which I thought was a great honour for me,” she said.

“Because I’ve seen her as such a big support and to look at her face in the audience when I’m reading will just do my heart good.”

WHAT’S ON … Rebecca Garber reads from Like a Pearl at Hope Lutheran Church on Saturday, April 21 at 2 p.m. $10 admission includes a copy of the book.

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