Mine by Stephen Collis


  • Poetry
  • 122 pages, 5×8 inches
  • Price: $18 CAD · $16 USD
  • ISBN: 9780921586876
  • Date published: 2001-11-29
  • Availability: in print & available

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About Mine

Stephen Collis’s forebears emigrated from Scotland to work in the coal mines that flourished on Vancouver Island from the mid–1800s to the early 1900s. In this book–length poem, he plunges back in time to reconstruct the history of coal on the Island. Spanning the Cretaceous era to presentday downtown Nanaimo, this is dynamic, richly textured work.Workers’ struggles against the robber barons, the classism and racism faced by miners, issues of the theft of land from aboriginal peoples and the damage mining wreaks on the earth, are all explored with fine nuance and wit. Mine recounts the hunger and extreme privation that miners’ families endured, as well as the dangers of the mineshafts. Collis unearths the "memory table" of coal–mining, and it is upon this surface that he retraces the "unwritten lives of the poor and history–less / This is their story. I mine it as I write it." A tribute to all coal miners and to the very substance itself.

About Stephen Collis

Stephen Collis's forebears emigrated from England and Scotland to work in the coal mines that flourished on Vancouver Island from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. He is the author of four chapbooks, including Midden (2001). He lives in Burnaby, BC, where he teaches English at Simon Fraser University.

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