2014 National Poetry Month Poem of the Day: Fred Wah

2014 National Poetry Month Poem of the Day: Fred Wah

Turnstone Press
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

“Waiting for Saskatchewan,” the title poem for the book, arose out of an event that occurred in Nelson, BC on a winter night in the early ’80s. We had been anticipating an exhibition of art from Saskatchewan about to open at a local art gallery when we were advised that the show would be delayed due to heavy snows over Kootenay Pass, preventing delivery of the art. So I took the poetic hint and used the phrase to meditate on my own historically tethered relationship to Saskatchewan, a place that held, for me, the complications of a mixed-race family history and the geographical site for an Asian-European intersection, a kind of hyphen that I have used to construct a personal imaginary. The poem is a biotext that offers the space to measure the accumulation of particularities and apprehensions, dreams, and memory. The poem is one way to remember the future.

Fred Wah on “Waiting for Saskatchewan”

Waiting for Saskatchewan
and the origins grandparents countries places converged
europe asia railroads carpenters nailed grain elevators
Swift Current my grandmother in her house
he built on the street…

Read the entire poem here.

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