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How are you showing up in the world? Yourk anthology to be launched

Works of Quadra Island author to be released on March 17

To Know the Dark, a recently published anthology of work by Annette Yourk, is a soaring, vivid, and introspective journey.

Join a celebration of the release of this book at Quadra Island Community Centre on March 17, from 2 to 5 p.m. There will be readings, music by Grahame Edwards and Willow and a sweet and savoury concession.

Writer Elise Cote Velazquez gives a peak beneath the book’s covers:

Annette Yourk demonstrates her willingness to look in the mirror and ask: how are you showing up in the world? She uses specificity and granular observations about the natural settings she places her works in to introduce and reinforce the emotional tenor. Yourk’s fully rendered settings allow readers access to authentic scenes and the inner world of the poet and her protagonists. “…heavy mist greys all, swallows sound, stipples my hair and drips / from slippery tips of cedar bough,” writes Yourk in Seasons of Raven, delicately bringing forth a tangible moment.

We are privileged in To Know the Dark with the questing mind of an author who asks again and again throughout: what more can I do to be fully here – to live a considered and skillful life. We see Yourk’s musings on her place in the natural world, her love life, her children, her friends, and her community. Her introspection is at times cathartic and at times devastating. But Yourk always leaves the window open for her subjects to take wing.

“Find yourself in a police line-up, facing your victim through the two-way mirror. You know – the one who looks identical to you. You still have time to make amends,” she writes in a prose poem.

In a novel fragment called River Jumpers, Yourk shows us that being deeply present in the fullness of our lives might be scary, but we are all, in the end, river jumpers.

Paintings by the late Lesley Matthews are in stunning companionship to Yourk’s writing. Many Quadra Islanders will be familiar with Matthews’ prolific sign work, which won her gushing remarks from advertising executives. In this new book, we can appreciate Matthews’ beautiful, sometimes brooding, oil paintings, harmoniously placed with Yourk’s writing.

This is a collection of work that many will continue to revisit and enjoy for years to come. Spanning genres, settings, and themes, this book demonstrates Yourk’s well-honed craft as a writer and her meticulous attention to the business of living.

Following the launch at the Community Centre on March 17, there will be readings at the Quadra branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library on April 10.

Books will be available for purchase at both events at $26.95, by cash or cheque. For more details call Jeanette Taylor at 250-285-3651.