Brutal Reality Digest had a chance to catch up with writer Beverley Beckley, a local Red Deer author who writes poetry with her handle Pithy Poetry Press. Bev actively promotes Reconciliation and Indigenous rights with her chap book of insightful poetry. Check out the interview below!
BRD: Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you are from and what inspires you to write?
I'm originally from England and this June marked my 50th year in Canada and Central Alberta. The world I my inspiration, Society, people, other poets like Leonard Cohen and Gord Downie.
BRD: How did you approach building the chapbook?
The poems represent children and survivors of residential schools, stories I read or heard and some for me and my reaction, my response personally.
BRD: We understand that you had applied to present Pope Francis with a copy of the Little Bones, any updates on that?
I was invited to Maskwacis during the Pope's visit but was unable for scheduling reasons to attend but sent the organizers, the Archdiocese of Edmonton copies of the book for him.
BRD: Where can people find copies of the chapbook? Are some proceeds going to help with reconciliation?
There are copies available from Housewarmings on Ross St. Red Deer and over at the Arts Council office in the Imperil Block on 48th St. Also by emailing me or message me on Instagram (@beverleypithypoet) A portion of the proceeds are going to help the Remembering the Children Society in Red Deer.
BRD: Do you have plans to write more on the subject of Residential Schools?
Residential Schools & MMIWG could take up a lot of books as could all of Canada’s dark history ...
BRD: What would you like our readers to take away from this book? What is your message?
I want to create awareness, maybe those who won't take a course or read a history might read the book and get the emotional impact, the painful stories.
BRD: What are your 2 personal favourite poems from this chapbook?
No Matches because I pay homage a little to Gord Downie's work in Secret Path, a big inspiration for me and the title poem.
BRD: Regarding your poem The Ground: This is a strong poem. What scene played in your mind when you wrote this poem? The enormity of the crimes against First Nations really hits home with this poem!
Thanks. A little of it comes from when I went to the National Inquiry on MMIWG in Edmonton in 2017. The ground still holds many secrets, as far as our indigenous people are concerned. It's my hope that it will, with our help and all of us working together, give them all up someday.
BRD: What can people do to help further reconciliation and show their support?
Listen. Read. Remember. Be aware.
BRD: What does the future look like for you and your poetry?
My hope is to publish more and do a tour. I'm working on a poetry project now to support the Red Deer Hospice. I'm going to perform the poetry as much as I can over the summer...Strolling the Streets of downtown an also surrounding communities. I really enjoyed doing Canada Day at Bower Ponds and I think was well received.
You can follow me on Instagram: