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April 10| 5.5 x 8.5 | 112 pp | 978-1-926655-09-3 | $18.00

Flesh in the Inkwell: poems from a writer's life

by Winona Baker

You should write only when, each time you dip your quill
in the inkwell, you leave in it a piece of flesh.

Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy

Baker shares her internal and external life over eight decades with grace, charm and more than a little self-deprecation.
                          Goody Niosi, writing in the

Winona Baker published her first poem when she was eleven years old. During a writing career that has spanned a lifetime, her poems have been published all over the world and translated into six languages; she has also received many international honours and awards. Flesh in the Inkwell is her autobiography in verse.

Baker: "The book's poems detail what it was like for me, a child growing up in the '29 depression. How sometimes when poverty enters the door, love flies out the window."

Her fascination with words and writing started very early: "On the farm we all went to the crossroads where every two weeks everyone gathered early to gossip, even the children. We waited for a van with drop-down sides to pull up. Stacked behind them was a selection of books.
"Heavenly! We could take two out every two weeks. It doesn't sound like many for a budding bibliophile but in a big family that was quite a number. No TV then, but we had a radio, if the batteries weren't dead."

“It would benefit anyone’s immune system to dip into this book … subtlety, mystery, typical human blundering and humour as well as beauty ...” Christine Lowther, from a review of Baker’s previous book Even A Stone Breathes.

About the Author:

Born on March 18, 1924, in Southey, Saskatchewan, into a large family, Winona Louise Baker moved to B.C. in 1930. Living in Nanaimo, she raised four children with her husband Art. A Haiku specialist, she received the top global prize in a 1989 World Haiku Contest in honour of Matsuo Basho’s 300th anniversary. After self-publishing with Red Cedar Press, she released Moss-Hung Trees with Gabriola’s Reflections Press. It takes its title from her prize-winning haiku. Her other books include Beyond the Lighthouse (Oolichan, 1992) and Even a Stone Breathes (Oolichan, 2000).

In 1994 the Romanian Haiku Society gave her a Commemorative Medal and in 1997 an Award of Excellence for her paper presented at a Symposium on Basho in Bucharest. The Croatian Haiku Association also presented her with an award in 1997.

Winona Baker’s work is in more than seventy anthologies in North America, New Zealand, Japan and Europe, including The Haiku World: An International Poetry Almanac (Kodanshu International 97: 621 poets from 52 countries writing in 25 languages), and has been translated into Japanese, French, Greek, Croatian, Romanian, Yugoslavian. She has haiku in The Book of Hope, an international anthology published to raise funds for children in Afghanistan. Her work is archived in the Haiku Museum, Tokyo; the Basho Museum, Yamagata; the American Haiku Archives in California, and the Haiku Collection in the Fraser-Hickson Library Montreal.

Cover Image is by Catherine Heard, Untitled, 2010
© CARCC, 2010.

Catherine Heard is represented by Edward Day Gallery in Toronto:

Author's photo is by Helen Baker.

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