Sparks from the Fire
Sandy Cameron

sparks-from-the-fire-thumb86 pp; 6×9
0-920999-03-4; $14.95

Sparks from the Fire is poetry from the pen of a man who has done many things. Sandy Cameron has been a prospector, a miner, a logger and a teacher in many parts of northern Canada from Yukon to Labrador. In the book are poems about the north, about the land and its people and what Cameron has learned from them. Here are epics that bring to life the cold of the north, a near meeting with a grizzly, a sweat lodge and the lonely cry of the loon.

But there are also poems about the author’s own inheritance as he speaks of his mother, his father, his uncle, the war and how his past colours his understanding of his life and how he moves in the world he cares so deeply about.

Sandy Cameron currently lives in Vancouver, where he volunteers at Carnegie Centre in the Downtown Eastside, a neighbourhood that is constantly the target of sensationalist media stereotyping of poor people. In a sequence of poems set here, Cameron describes the real community and the people who live in the heat of Canada’s third largest city.

“If a culture is to be whole — if a culture is to heal — it is vital to hear the voices of all its citizens. Sandy Cameron is one of those voices. He speaks for the ordinary of us — the miner, the fisher, the street worker — the ones who keep the wheel turning. He speaks for the vital of us, the silent of us. Listen!”
~ Kate Braid

“Sandy Cameron is not only my favourite poet, but the best poet I know. Nobody else speaks both personally and collectively of our common histories, oppressions and resistances, nor do many poets speak so directly and clearly with such a beautiful cadence. Cameron’s poems reveal our caring, wisdom and courage, and they also reveal our carelessness, ruthlessness and crimes against one another. But his voice is ultimately that of grace.”
~ Bud Osborn