Guelph is lucky to claim Anna Bowen — writer, editor and community builder — as part of its arts scene. Her writing explores place, ecology, and reciprocity, often through integrated arts collaborations. Her poetry was shown at the Gladstone Gallery and the Boarding House Art Gallery as part of the ReMediate collaboration and at the Spectrum Project Space in Perth, Australia as part of ((Pollen)) InConversation. Anna’s writing has been published in This Magazine, Geez, Taproot, and Rhapsody, among others. She’s been a guest lecturer on poetry and ecology at Ryerson University and the University of Guelph and is the producer of the Eden Mills Writers' Festival podcast where she interviews Canadian authors. You can also catch her as co-host of Bookish Radio with Kim Davids Mandar.
Her skis swished ahead of her, cutting little edges into the untouched snow beside the forest path. In another language, she remembered hearing, there were more words for snow. Snow that had a crust, snow that whipped across a field in the wind. It seemed clumsy to have just this one word. She pushed the tips of her skis further along, watching them like fins slicing through the surface of water.
“Training for the Olympics?” an old man in a bright blue toque yelled as he jogged slowly by, his pompom bobbing from side to side. She didn’t have time to answer.
“Reginald, get back here!” She turned to see a young gold lab bounding across the snow at the full speed of its muscly limbs. Behind it, a middle aged woman in a fluffy, baby-blue jacket was moving less quickly behind it in her heavy boots. As the dog lunged toward her she could see its training collar, the interlocking metal barbs that could dig into its neck if the leash were attached. On impact, a hundred pounds of warm bristly sinew pushed against her parka. She fell ungracefully, covering her face with her leather mitts, giving the dog her elbow, feeling it working its jaw against her coat as she tried to ward it off with one pole. She was like that when the owner arrived. The woman clipped Reginald into his leash and gave a sharp tug. “Reginald!” she said crossly. The dog gasped and sat back on its haunches. “He’s never seen a skier before.”
(written by Anna Bowen, read by Chioke I'Anson)
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