[sic] magazine - spring 2013 spring 2013 - Page 16

ECO-EROTIC POETIC POLITICS Sarah de Leeuw’s Geographies of a Lover by Emily McGiffin where human beings ha ve to under stand that the v ery Geographies of a Lover is a book-length prose-poem that planet that is us, which we are, is sitting with the potential cunningly intertwines human sexuality and the Canadian of being lost. That should give us pause. It should demand landscape. Poet Nancy Holmes calls it a “true eco-erotic of us that we think about ne w modes of expression. text that fuses the lonel y carnality of the body with the There’s something breathless, something embodied about vulnerable vastness of continental landscapes.” The book that potential loss and I’ve chosen to express that through grew out of de Leeuw’s graduate training as a geographer a particular language construction. and her preoccupations with landscapes, feminist politics and literary expression. Her highl y original book is EM: Tell us mor e about the political stance underlying currently shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Award that your work. recognizes the best book of poetry published by a BC writer in 2012. De Leeuw grew up in Port Clements and SdL: I orient to the world as a f airly political human. Terrace and cur rently lives in Pr ince George where she I’ve been very actively involved for decades in what teaches at UNBC’s Faculty of Medicine. Last week, the can broadly be conceptualized as feminist g rassroots we had a con versation about her book. This is some of movements. I used to coordinate a women’s centre, I’ve what she had to say. worked in aspects of the Kingston Prison for Women, I continue to work with the Elizabeth Fr y Society here in EM: Congratulations on your nomination for a BC Book Prince George and I’ve been a counsellor around domestic Prize. That’s a fantastic accomplishment. violence for years. I take very seriously the realities of violence, particularly against First Nations women and SdL: Thank you, I’m really honoured. Northern British especially in northern British Columbia. Columbia has a vibrant writing community and I feel I believe very strongly that as writers we need to very honoured to join suc h remarkable comp any as Ken do work that somehow expands spaces for other v oices. Belford, Barry McKinnon and Gillian Wigmore—all One of the things that, for a number of years, has caused of whom ha ve either w on or been nominated for the me to at least scratch my head, is what I perceive to be Dorothy Livesay award. a remarkable lack of literar y space—particularly in Overall, I’ve had incredibly positive uptake of Canada—for an expressly muscular, raw voice of women’s the book. There’s a sense that maybe the time has come sexuality. That has a lot of theoretical implications. I think to write something deepl y sexual tha t simultaneously that if as women we are unable to write and see ourselves contemplates physical ecological geographies. In these represented in muscular, bold, sexual prose and poetry, early decades of the 21st centur y we are at a crossroads we are always at risk of having a very important aspect 15 [sic] spring 2013.indd 16 13-04-04 1:29 PM Sarah de Leeuw’s debut collection of poems,