Ottawa Spotlight اضواء أوتاوا

Hitch your wagon to a star

Heather Spears, Canadian writer and artist, was educated at the University of British Columbia, The Vancouver School of Art and the University of Copenhagen. She is divorced and has four children. She has lived in Denmark since 1962.

She has held over 80 solo exhibitions and published 11 collections of poetry and three novels of speculative fiction (1991-96), the Moonfall Trilogy.

The Flourish (04), a novel of crime fiction and the family, came out in Canada and was republished in Europe as A Muted Voice (09).

The Creative Eye (07) is the first of a series on visual perception. She has three books of drawings: Drawn from the Fire (89), Massacre (90) and Line by Line (02).

Drawings from the Newborn (86), The Panum Poems (96) and Required Reading (00) contain both poems and full-page drawings.

Her latest collection of poetry, I can still draw (08), was short-listed for the Lowther Memorial Awards. She has illustrated numerous books and articles and also draws courtroom, dance, theatre and childbirth.

Specializing in drawing children, in particular premature and other threatened infants, she travels widely and has drawn in hospitals in the Middle East, Europe and America.

I can still draw

"It's what I hope for, or fear, that resonant line or image that will make it impossible for me to sleep at night, or to breathe easily."
Susan Musgrave, The Sun Saturday Review

Spears is master of the line in poetry, as she is of the pencil line. The language of these poems is never showy, never obscure, but consistently precise and forthright; sensuous but never sentimental.... an intelligent, compassionate engagement with contemporary life....This collection will be seen as a continuation of, and valuable addition to, a mature poet's faithful documentation of her world.
Sarah Klassen, Prairie Fire

No thought is left untold; no position left undisclosed. I could understand returning to this book throughout one’s life, which is the mark of a true classic. It actually stopped me mid-poem sometimes, to put down the book for a moment and fully feel what the author had done... saying the most with the fewest words. No poetic flourishes but razor sharp poetics.
Press release, Pat Lowther Awards Jury 2008 .

The soft room

At Saanich police station
they've set aside a room –
"Normally," a sergeant says, "there's stuffed animals
there's a love seat
it's used to interview children
in cases of child abuse
It's known as the soft room"

a love seat

the video is bad the black
machine swivelled at the judge so that the tiny heads
of mother and girl enlongate, dull curtains a lot
of static and flack
and now the prosecutor lifts her arm, aims the remote
fast forwards while the sleeve
of her gown widens and after a silence
the inanimate voices resume,
one childish one a man's
hours of it
"You are being charged
with murder do you understand?"
This is the soft room
"I didn't do anything.
I wanna go home."
This is normally.

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