Sandy Shreve

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What’s New

Gulf Islands Calendar

The Heartwood Folk School has created a new events listing site on the internet that’s well worth browsing if you’re going to be visiting Pender or any of the other southern Gulf Islands:  Gulf Islands Calendar.


Sandy’s Latest Books

In Fine Form II
In Fine Form, 2nd edition – A Contemporary Look at Canadian Form Poetry (co-edited with Kate Braid). Caitlin Press 2016.

In the decade since the publication of the first edition of In Fine Form, there has been a resurgence of Canadian poets writing in “form” – from ballads, ghazals and palindromes to sonnets, villanelles and more. The first edition was called “groundbreaking” and “a landmark text.” Since then, this anthology has been used widely in classrooms and at large by students, writers and readers. With 189 poems and 51 new poets, this 2nd edition continues to break new ground, exploring new forms not acknowledged in most other anthologies, including prose poems, found poems and spoken word. 

Members of the Thursdays Writing Collective in Vancouver recently posted their appreciation for In Fine Form.


Waiting for the Albatross - cover imageWaiting for the Albatross – Found Poems from a Deck Hand’s Diary, 1936 (words by Jack Shreve, arranged by Sandy Shreve), Oolichan Books, 2015.

It’s the 1930s and jobs are scarce. In St. Stephen, New Brunswick, 21-year-old Jack Shreve is itching to see the world but stuck in – and bored with – the mill-work he knows he’s lucky to have. His dad, however, has a few connections and lands his son the offer of a new job as a deck hand on the Canadian Scottish. The cargo ship is about to sail from Halifax, Nova Scotia, down the eastern seaboard and through the Panama Canal to Australia and New Zealand and back again to Montreal, Quebec. Jack jumps at the chance.

From February to June 1936, Jack keeps a daily journal of his experiences, detailing his observations and opinions about everything from the mundane to the amazing. His diary portrays life among men isolated on board a freighter for weeks at a time and letting loose when they get ashore.

Seventy-five years later, his daughter, poet Sandy Shreve, starts diving into her father’s words and, borrowing from his vivid prose, emerges with a collection of found poems that take you inside his stories about the work the men did, the conditions they lived in, and their often volatile relationships – from singalongs on the poop deck to fist-fights in the foc’sle.

The book also features photographs from Jack’s journey and several prose vignettes from his diary.