I recently returned from a few days in Halifax. I had a reading at Saint Mary’s University with Tammy Armstrong, a fabulous poet originally from New Brunswick who now lives in Nova Scotia. Tammy and I both have chapbooks in Frog Hollow Press‘s NB Chapbook Series (hers is #5; mine is #3), edited by Shane Neilson, and this reading was conceived as a celebration of chapbooks and New Brunswick poetry.
The trip was filled with great food, great conversations, a few great craft beers, and an out-of-town hike. Brian Bartlett took me to Polly Cove for an afternoon hike. Polly Cove is about 2 kms from Peggy’s Cove. The landscape was populated with erratics; vegetation grew very close to the ground; and haunting honks of geese made it feel like the edge of the world. Brian has written about this place in his absolutely splendid Branches Over Ripples (Gaspereau Press, 2017), where he says it is a place “for feeling and imagining deep time.” Indeed, that does accurately capture the feeling of being in the landscape. For all its starkness, there is wild variety, which Brian delves into (Pitcher Plants, spiders, terns, etc.) in the book (see the feature photo, for example, which I took of such varied colours). Brian’s book is a gem that I cannot recommend enough.