Kim Trainor

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Research Interests

  • poetry
  • ecopoetics
  • poetics

Other Scholars in English

Academic Introduction

BA, MA (University of British Columbia)
PhD (McGill)
Memberships: League of Canadian Poets

Douglas College Faculty Member since 2014.

I write poetry. My second book, Ledi, a finalist for the 2019 Raymond Souster Award, describes the excavation of an Iron Age horsewoman’s grave in the steppes of Siberia. My next book, Bluegrass, will appear with Icehouse Press (Gooselane Editions) in 2022. My current project is Tell me, where do we go from here? The first part, "Wildfire," includes short lyric poems such as "Paper Birch," which won the 2019 Gustafson Prize. Part 2, “Seeds,” is a long poem that thinks about forms of resistance, survival, and emergence in the context of climate change and the sixth mass extinction. Each numbered section or ‘seed’ centres on a different human-made object or organism: lentil, snowdrop, chinook salmon, 'the beautiful cell,' codex, tiny house, honey bee, among others. Each ‘seed’ is a blueprint, whether simple human-made tool/concept or complex organism driven by its DNA to adapt and respond to the current existential threat. My project also explores the idea of attention as a moral act, as observed by the neuroscientist Iain McGilchrist: “without alertness, we are as if asleep, unresponsive to the world around us; without vigilance, we cannot become aware of anything we do not already know.” The poem aims to focus attention as a form of respect for these organisms, not as resources, but as beings in their own right, withdrawn, dark noumena. In addition to the Gustafson Prize, my poetry has won the Malahat Review Long Poem Prize and the Great Blue Heron Prize. I also write poetry reviews for Arc and Prism online.

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