Big River author connects with nature through poetry

Big River author, Carla Braidek, shared her appreciation for the natural world and all its curiosities during a reading of her published work at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library on the evening of Nov. 21.

Braidek said the biggest thing she draws inspiration from is nature; how she reacts to it and how she can share that with others. She called her first poetry collection, ‘Carrying the Sun’, a celebration of all nature has to offer, and said her second book, ‘A Map in My Blood’, takes a look at people and how they respond to the outside world.

While she was unable to chose just one poem out of her newest collection that she considers her favourite, Braidek said the ones that stood out to her most touch on some tough topics.

“I was definitely writing longer poems in this collection than I had in my first collection, sort of trying to figure who I was and sort of acknowledging some major changes in my life,” she explained.

Since her first publication in 2005, Braidek has allowed herself to encompass bigger concepts and further develop the history behind her poetry. She has moved away from the short snippets of ideas of the past and is now moving on to larger projects like personal essay writing. She learned poetry and essay writing are closely related; the use of lyrical language linking them together.

“I love the music of language,” said Braidek. “To to be able to carry that through an essay, I’m happy with that.”

While in previous years she typically followed a “free writing” creative process for her poetry, Braidek said this is not the case for essays.

“It’s often an event that sparks the beginning,” she said. “When I think back to all the essays that I’ve written so far, they all stem from one event and then it’s really interesting. I write it and it kind of goes where it goes. Sometimes it’s a bit scary the ending you get, the unexpected.”

In the next step of her writing career, the local author is hoping to put together a collection of both personal essays and poetry for her next book.

Braidek’s achievements have been recognized all over North America. Her first published book, ‘Carrying the Sun’ was shortlisted for the Saskatchewan Book Award for poetry, and many of her titles have been featured in literary magazines and other collections like the Hagios Press anthology New Saskatchewan Poets. In 2010, Braidek attended the international artists’ collaboration, Emma, and her poetry was included in the full-length documentary, Unplugged – Emma 2010 Collaboration, that was filmed during that time.

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