Worth More Standing: a poetic homage to the world’s trees

Poets paid homage to trees on beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon beside an organic farm and heritage buildings among stands of Douglas Fir at the Ta’talu Festival, held at the A Rocha Environmental Centre in the Hazelmere Valley along the Little Campbell River in Surrey.

Nine of us read from a very special new anthology, Worth More Standing: Poets & Activists Pay Homage to Trees (Caitlin Press, 2022). Trevor Carolan, Bibiana Tomasic, Daniela Elza, Jacqueline Pearce, Calvin Wharton, Susan McCaslin, Renee Saklikar, Heidi Greco and I read poems in honour of trees and forests. There were also musical performances by the Hazelmere Heritage Fiddlers, Celtic songster Marlowe Ferris and The Mountain Dew musical duo.

During this family-friendly festival, people could take tours of the grounds. Artists had their easels set up. On sale were organic farm produce, delectable homemade baked goods and colourful bouquets of local flowers, as well as delicious bannock, crepes, and pizza offerings from nearby food stands.

Thank you to organizer and host/emcee Heidi Greco for all her efforts to organize the reading at this wonderful local festival. For decades, she has advocated for poetry and poets, plus fostered poetry-writing in varied community settings for writers of diverse backgrounds. She is a true poetry pillar!