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Tom Wayman to launch two new books in Nelson and Nakusp

One is a memoir, the other a book of poems
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Tom Wayman’s memoir is entitled The Road to Appledore, or How I Went Back to the Land Without Ever Having Lived There in the First Place. Photo: Rod Currie

West Kootenay author Tom Wayman will launch two new books — a prose memoir and a collection of poems — at the Nelson Public Library on Wednesday, May 29 and at the Nakusp Public Library on Thursday, May 30.

Both events begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

Wayman’s memoir, from BC’s Harbour Publishing, is entitled The Road to Appledore or How I Went Back to the Land Without Ever Having Lived There in the First Place.

The book covers Wayman’s adventures and misadventures since moving to the Slocan Valley in 1989. Besides accounting for the author’s reasons for relocating from Vancouver, the book describes his life in the valley over three decades via the four seasons and the four classical elements: water, fire, earth and air.

“Everyone who lives here has their own story, of course,” Wayman said. “It’s very different to have been born in the area and/or to have been brought up here, whereas I arrived in my 40s. Yet there’s enough overlap to all our stories — whether trouble on the waterline, the pleasures of gardening, or a bear in the kitchen — that I hope people enjoy reading about my discovery of the challenges and delights of West Kootenay life.”

Wayman’s new collection of poems, How Can You Live Here? from Alberta’s Frontenac House, gathers poems originally published in such journals as The Walrus, Queen’s Quarterly, and The Hudson Review. The poems look at the human and natural communities of the Slocan Valley through a more lyrical lens, although 21st century issues appear, too, including a section on living through the recent pandemic in a rural setting.

In 2022, Wayman received BC’s George Woodcock Award for Lifetime Achievement in the literary arts. Since 1973, he has had published books of fiction, poetry and cultural criticism, as well as having edited a number of poetry anthologies. In 2015, the Vancouver Public Library named him a Vancouver Literary Landmark, with a plaque on the city’s Commercial Drive honoring his efforts to foreground people writing for themselves about their daily employment and its effects on them on and off the job.