Poetry book delves into issues relevant to region

Ken Belford’s new poetry collection just hit the shelves this month and is already generating buzz in literary circles across the country.

Ken Belford’s new poetry collection just hit the shelves this month and is already generating buzz in literary circles across the country.

Published by the Vancouver publisher Talon, Internodes is 96 pages long, each poem offering much food (probably of the organic variety) for thought.

Belford, who currently lives in Prince George, writes with a wisdom gained from living for 32 years on and off in a remote, off-the-grid lodge in the headwaters of the Nass river.

“I flew up to the headwaters of the Nass with a friend in a 185 Cessna on floats with my chainsaw and bush tools, built two wall tent decks, and beds for four. Stayed there for a month, but never came back,” he said of his early trips into the backcountry North of Terrace and the transformation his life took during those times.

There are references to various locations around Northern B.C., mainly rivers, and a broader look at conflict and competition in our society.

Much of Internodes examines barriers to self-determination like the pressure to conform to social hierarchies and units.

The book’s publicity describes it as cutting edge, saying that it draws on modern communications theory and plant biology while speaking in straightforward terms.

There is a sense that the poet here cares for the readers and is gently nudging them towards certain points of view.

In one poem, the narrator seems to address the reader directly: “I, who lived worlds apart in divers/thickets, say be something, Firefly, be somebody” A series of book launches begin in Prince George on Sept. 29.