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Amy Reiswig

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Focus Magazine Nov/Dec 2016

Sept/Oct 2016.2

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Focus Magazine July/August 2016

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Focus Magazine May/June 2017

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Focus Magazine Nov/Dec 2017

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Focus Magazine May/June 2018

Focus Magazine July/August 2018

Focus Magazine Sept/Oct 2018

Focus Magazine Nov/Dec 2018

Focus Magazine Jan/Feb 2019

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Focus Magazine July/August 2019

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Focus Magazine Nov/Dec 2019

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Everything posted by Amy Reiswig

  1. June 2020 The essays in this book from the Royal BC Museum recall the history of human-orca relations and lay the groundwork for what that relationship could look like in the future. Go to story
  2. June 2020 The essays in this book from the Royal BC Museum recall the history of human-orca relations and lay the groundwork for what that relationship could look like in the future. AS THE COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift in BC, people are starting to emerge from their homes with gratitude—and some new awareness. Many of us have discovered how painful forced isolation can be, realizing the importance of communication and something as simple and precious as touch. We are social beings, and this heightened awareness of how essential connectivity is to well-being provides an
  3. April 2020 In its exploration of death and mortality—and by extension life—John Gould's new book serves up 56 very short, fascinating and timely stories. I COULDN’T WATCH OR READ ANY MORE NEWS. The world had passed the million-case mark in the COVID-19 pandemic, and what, I asked myself, was there for me to do? What I always do: Take a book and go outside. Sitting on a round paving stone below the front steps of my home—now my self-isolation chamber—on Mayne Island, like my garden plants I turned my face to the sun. A fat bee fumbled its way across a floppy crocus, and the eag
  4. November 2018 Recently nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award, Darrel McLeod’s memoir will break hearts in the best possible way. “MAMASKATCH! WE’RE FREE!” “Tapwe! Mamaskatch. MAMASKATCH!” The triumphant call and response is from a group of Cree girls who just ambushed two nuns at residential school and escaped into the woods, heading for home. Years later, in an altogether different kind of homecoming, Darrel McLeod would drive the casket bearing his mother, one of the daring escapees, to the small town of Smith, Alberta, near the Athabasca River, recalling lost
  5. September 2018 Authors Elizabeth Woodworth and Dr Peter Carter see climate change in terms of a planetary emergency needing global mobilization. WHILE MANY OF US were cooling our feet at the beach this summer, much of the world was burning. Sometimes literally. Heat records were broken around the world, wildfires grew so big they created their own weather systems, and drought areas were visible from space. So how far would you go to protect your child’s or grandchild’s life and future? How far should we all go to protect the lives of children we’ve never met or who won’t
  6. July 2018 Writer Eve Joseph stretches herself and her readers’ imagination and intellect in her new prose poetry book Quarrels. MOST OF US MOVE through our day-to-day lives with a strong sense of what we call reality. It’s a little like staying on the sidewalk: straight, flat, solid. But one might also call it un-nuanced, inflexible, and keeping us at the edge of things. Reality, if we look a little sideways, is much less structured, more surprising, and can lead us into the deepest mysteries. In her new book Quarrels (Anvil Press), Victoria writer Eve Joseph presents us
  7. May 2018 Mythic dam battle at Site C is a showdown between “progress” and those who would preserve the valley. FOUR-YEAR-OLD CALEB helped pull late September corn stalks at Ken and Arlene Boon’s farm, uncovering the pumpkins he’d eventually choose among for Halloween. There on a bank of the Peace River, this boy with blue glasses and dirty hands is the fifth generation to harvest in this garden, likely unaware that he may be the last, as the new highway for Site C will run through this part of his grandparents’ expropriated land. Nearby at Tluuge sus (Bear Flat), First Nations
  8. March 2018 Claire Sicherman delves into the silent stories of her family’s traumatic past. AN ARRAY OF OLD PHOTOGRAPHS stands on a wooden table: grandparents, great-grandparents, great-aunt and -uncle, even a great-great-grandmother against a backdrop of fruit trees. It’s Yom HaShoah, and writer Claire Sicherman, her husband, and their young son stand together, honouring their many relatives murdered in the Holocaust, as well as those who survived—the ones who made this family’s life possible. For each cherished name, they float a red anemone blossom in a bowl of
  9. January 2018 Author Pauline Le Bel’s personal journey of losses, learning, and hope for Howe Sound. OUTSIDE PAULINE LE BEL’S FRONT WINDOW on Kwilákm/Bowen Island, the Coast Mountains become something new. In what maps call Mount Strachan, Le Bel sees the head of a Sleeping Woman whose pregnant belly carries much more than the mundane name of Saint Mark’s Peak. Sometimes blanketed in snow, sometimes clothed in cloud, the reclined giant faces the sky and silently tells a new story—one about seeing differently, seeing what could be, seeing with love. Written under that view,
  10. November 2017 In his new book, award-winning writer Tim Lilburn begins the process of “personal decolonization.” HOW WOULD YOU ANSWER THE SEEMINGLY SIMPLE QUESTION: Where are you? Not the political construct of municipal boundaries or overlaid names from colonial mapmakers, but the land under your feet—where are you? How do you meet it, belong to it, and why does that matter? Tim Lilburn has been wrestling with such questions in his writing, his classrooms, and his heart for decades. In his new book of essays, The Larger Conversation: Contemplation and Place (University o
  11. September 2017 Victoria poet laureate Yvonne Blomer combines literary forces to appreciate and protect our large salty neighbour. HERE ON THE WEST COAST, we’re on the edge of something big. Quite literally, I mean the ocean, but also more. For now is a time of urgent concern and, hopefully, a shift toward responsive action to help save our big blue neighbour. Those twin engines of fear and hope have propelled Yvonne Blomer, Victoria’s poet laureate, into curating a new anthology, Refugium: Poems for the Pacific (Caitlin Press). These works invite us into greater conversat
  12. July 2017 An out-of-the-box thinker, writer, editor and translator believes in daring to be different for the social good. PAULO DA COSTA’S new book, The Midwife of Torment & Other Stories, is with Guernica Editions, an Ontario publisher specializing in world literature. Their motto, “No Borders No Limits,” is an apt summation of da costa’s work. He brings an international, multicultural background and vision to a genre that pushes readers into strange and sometimes uncomfortable territory. Through his lens, we can expand our ideas about ourselves and our place in the larg
  13. May 2017 A coming-of-age story invites us to step out of the comfortable. ON THE OPENING PAGE of Eden Robinson’s new novel Son of a Trickster (Knopf, February 2017), we learn that Jared is different. As a small child, his maternal grandmother called him Wee’git—“Trickster”—and told him: “You still smell like lightning.” While she’d treat his cousins to fudge and caramel apples, for his birthday she gave Jared a jar of blood and animals’ teeth. Like the reader, Jared has a lot of learning to do. For in this book, the seemingly normal and the magical inhabit th
  14. March 2017 Andrew Struthers takes readers on a long, strange—and fun—trip through marijuana and human culture. MANY WRITERS AGREE that stories are found in the strangest places. Like experiencing cosmological visions while bobbing at the bottom of a Tofino hot tub, stoned to the gills on cannabis-infused chocolate cake—although, sans actual gills, breathing through a length of rubber hose that once connected a heater to a propane tank. It’s from here that writer and filmmaker Andrew Struthers tells much of his tale in his new two-sided non-fiction book The Sacred Herb/The Devil
  15. January 2017 What do you really need on the long walk besides a humble, open mind and the courage to see? THE WINTER’S PEACE, stillness and slowly returning longer light make it the perfect time for the self-questioning poetry of Jan Zwicky’s newest collection The Long Walk (University of Regina Press). In it, she invites readers into that quietness of mind where we can—and must—look with love, humility and painful honesty at the dark we find both around and within us. It’s fitting that the opening poem is called “Courage,” for like a stark winter landscape,
  16. November 2016 Jennifer Manuel explores the complexity of belonging through the reflections of a nurse in a First Nations community. A SENSE OF BELONGING is critical to our quality of life, but what exactly does it mean? While our connection to neighbours, friends, family and other local networks is obviously part of it, as soon as I shift my view to a wider perspective of, in my case, being a settler on unceded territory in BC, the notion of belonging becomes much more complicated. In her new, debut novel, Duncan resident, writer and educator Jennifer Manuel looks head-o
  17. Kathy Page’s new collection of short stories explores the transformative power of one-to-one encounters. IN THE GLOBAL VILLAGE, our world has grown so big. Our care and concern is called on by people from around the planet, and we are mentally and emotionally stretched in endless different directions. Locally, too, as Focus showcases, there’s no shortage of capital “B” Big issues to be aware of and involved in. Being engaged is one of the great parts of living in a vibrant community like Victoria, but it’s sometimes easy to lose one’s boundaries and bearings amid the tide of so muc
  18. Here’s a review of John Gould's new book that I recently wrote for Focus: I COULDN’T WATCH OR READ ANY MORE NEWS. The world had passed the million-case mark in the COVID-19 pandemic, and what, I asked myself, was there for me to do? What I always do: Take a book and go outside. Sitting on a round paving stone below the front steps of my home—now my self-isolation chamber—on Mayne Island, like my garden plants I turned my face to the sun. A fat bee fumbled its way across a floppy crocus, and the eagles nesting down the road sent down a shower of staccato chatter. Feeling small
  19. Posted April 13, 2020 Photo: John Gould and his new book. In its exploration of death and mortality—and by extension life—John Gould's "The End of Me" serves up 56 very short, fascinating and timely stories. Go to story
  20. I COULDN’T WATCH OR READ ANY MORE NEWS. The world had passed the million-case mark in the COVID-19 pandemic, and what, I asked myself, was there for me to do? What I always do: Take a book and go outside. Sitting on a round paving stone below the front steps of my home—now my self-isolation chamber—on Mayne Island, like my garden plants I turned my face to the sun. A fat bee fumbled its way across a floppy crocus, and the eagles nesting down the road sent down a shower of staccato chatter. Feeling small and absorbed in the life going about its business around me was the perfect time for a
  21. Recently nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award, Darrel McLeod’s memoir will break hearts in the best possible way. “MAMASKATCH! WE’RE FREE!” “Tapwe! Mamaskatch. MAMASKATCH!” The triumphant call and response is from a group of Cree girls who just ambushed two nuns at residential school and escaped into the woods, heading for home. Years later, in an altogether different kind of homecoming, Darrel McLeod would drive the casket bearing his mother, one of the daring escapees, to the small town of Smith, Alberta, near the Athabasca River, recalling lost hope for a happier
  22. Authors Elizabeth Woodworth and Dr Peter Carter see climate change in terms of a planetary emergency needing global mobilization. WHILE MANY OF US were cooling our feet at the beach this summer, much of the world was burning. Sometimes literally. Heat records were broken around the world, wildfires grew so big they created their own weather systems, and drought areas were visible from space. So how far would you go to protect your child’s or grandchild’s life and future? How far should we all go to protect the lives of children we’ve never met or who won’t be born for generati
  23. Writer Eve Joseph stretches herself and her readers’ imagination and intellect in her new prose poetry book Quarrels. MOST OF US MOVE through our day-to-day lives with a strong sense of what we call reality. It’s a little like staying on the sidewalk: straight, flat, solid. But one might also call it un-nuanced, inflexible, and keeping us at the edge of things. Reality, if we look a little sideways, is much less structured, more surprising, and can lead us into the deepest mysteries. In her new book Quarrels (Anvil Press), Victoria writer Eve Joseph presents us with a series o
  24. Wild Fierce Life: Dangerous Moments on the Outer Coast; Listening to the Bees; Anna, Like Thunder THE COASTAL EDGE IS ALWAYS A ZONE OF TUMULT, what Tofino writer Joanna Streetly calls “a land of endless motion.” It’s the perfect place to repeatedly find yourself a hair’s breadth away from death and to literally ride the waves of self-revelation. In the 15 essays of her new book Wild Fierce Life: Dangerous Moments on the Outer Coast (Caitlin Press), Streetly takes us with her in her storm-tossed sea kayak, on trails lit only by lightning, and into the turbulence of her heart’s lonel
  25. Mythic dam battle at Site C is a showdown between “progress” and those who would preserve the valley. FOUR-YEAR-OLD CALEB helped pull late September corn stalks at Ken and Arlene Boon’s farm, uncovering the pumpkins he’d eventually choose among for Halloween. There on a bank of the Peace River, this boy with blue glasses and dirty hands is the fifth generation to harvest in this garden, likely unaware that he may be the last, as the new highway for Site C will run through this part of his grandparents’ expropriated land. Nearby at Tluuge sus (Bear Flat), First Nations families have
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