Tonight’s Topic, by Theresa Kishkan:

I began my writing life as a poet in the 1970s and thought that I’d return to poetry after the births of my 3 children in the 1980s. But I found poetry wasn’t willing to have me back. I think I found my true calling when I started to write essays in the 1990s (my first collection of them, Red Laredo Boots, was published in 1996.) And what do I think of the essay? I guess I was taught that they can be descriptive, narrative, expository, analytical or reflective, which is maybe why it took me some time to find my own way to write them. They can be all those things, certainly, but also they can be terse and elliptical, lyrical, notes towards something larger, they can be mosaics, maps, juxtapositions of imagery and meaning. They can function in the spirit of Ursula LeGuin’s capacious carrier bag, holding string, seeds, bright feathers, little scraps of dialogue, bones for soup, poetry, music. Fact and ideas can sing themselves in long symphonic phrases, grateful to have the time and space to go off-topic. Carrier bag, gathering basket, magpie nest, the essay is an opportunity to (as John D’Agata observed) capture the activity of human thought in real time.


Date: Thursday November 3rd

Time: 7pm PST – The program will be approximately 1 hour.

Location: Zoom meeting – link will be sent to registrants (see below for registration form).




About The Speaker:

Theresa Kishkan lives on the Sechelt Peninsula with her husband, John Pass, in a house they built and where they raised their 3 children. She has published 16 books, most recently Euclid’s Orchard, a collection of essays about family history, botany, mathematics, and love (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2017); a novella, The Weight of the Heart (Palimpsest Press, 2020), in which a young graduate student attempts to create a feminist cartography with the works of Ethel Wilson and Sheila Watson; and Blue Portugal and Other Essays (University of Alberta Press, 2022), a collection of lyrical essays. Her books have been nominated for many awards, including the Hubert Evans Award and the Ethel Wilson Prize. Her interests include textiles, ethnobotany, music, human and physical geography, and colour theory, strands of which are braided together in Blue Portugal.


Visit Theresa’s website at: