Poets in the Marsh

On Saturday, April 10, 2010, from 1 to 3 pm join local poets Kim Goldberg, David Fraser, and Leanne McIntosh for a two-hour ramble around Buttertubs Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary in Nanaimo with frequent stops for bird watching and poetry reading. It’s all part of National Poetry Month and this year’s theme is climate change. Wetlands are among the first and most sensitive areas affected by global climate change and environmental degradation. Your poet-guides at Buttertubs will be spilling the verse on these topics and more. Come find out what the Virginia Rail said to the snail, or what the Hooded Merganser encountered when she dove deep down.

Buttertubs Marsh is home to more than 200 species of birds, many of which nest here during the spring and summer. The marsh is a birdwatcher’s oasis and a poet’s retreat. All participants will be given a checklist of the most common bird species found at Buttertubs in April. Kim Goldberg is an experienced birdwatcher who is on a first name basis with the feathered denizens at Buttertubs. There will also be a short writing exercise where participants will have a chance to compose a brief poem of their own while at the marsh.

Bring along binoculars, pen, paper, sturdy walking shoes, and warm clothes. If you feel like it, bring a nature poem of your own to share along the way. The group will meet at the main parking lot at the end of Buttertubs Drive, off Bowen Road. The loop trail around the marsh is a very easy level walk. But it will take the group at least two hours to make its way around because of the stops for poems and birds. (It is a 45-minute walk without stops.) No dogs are allowed at Buttertubs. Poets in the Marsh is sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts and the League of Canadian Poets and there is no charge. Be there or be unnatural.