The Work

By Bren Simmers

Local poet Bren Simmers will launch her new collection, The Work (Gaspereau Press), on July 27 at 7 pm at the Beaconsfield Carriage House in Charlottetown. She will be joined by friends and fellow poets Keagan Hawthorne from Sackville, NB, and Jamella Hagen from Whitehorse, YT. The evening will feature music by Adam Hill and include three short readings by the guests. 

The poems in The Work engage with the work of love and loss and the hope that we might somehow learn to carry our portion of grief. Simmers writes of churning in an accumulation of losses—the sudden death of her father, the descent of her mother into dementia, her sister-in-law’s terminal illness—and of the work of slowly making wholeness out of brokenness. Her writing fosters a vulnerability and wit that sidestep easier tropes, a reminder that healing often comes through saying “Hello” and “Yes”; a realization that “all this noticing/was love.”

Simmers is the author of four other books: If, When (2021), Pivot Point (2019), Night Gears (2010) and Hastings-Sunrise (2015), which was a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award. Her writing has won The Malahat Review Long Poem Prize and the Arc Poem of the Year Award, and poems from this new collection won the 2022 CBC Poetry Prize.

The event is free, and everyone is welcome to attend. Books will be available for purchase, thanks to Bookmark.