Langley poet ventures out of comfort zone with summer story

Glen Valley’s Susan McCaslin shares a story about falling in love with a man and his Cariboo cabin.

Susan McCaslin fell in love with both a person and a place, and in her latest published works, she explains how those two intertwined.

McCaslin is a Glen Valley writer, probably best known for her poetry. But she has published a volume of essays and memoirs, and most recently an autobiographical story in a creative non-fiction anthology called The Summer Book.

In this recently released book, published by Mother Tongue Press, McCaslin is one of 24 B.C. contributors sharing a special summer-themed story from her life.

Her piece, Cariboo Moon, takes up five of the 232-page anthology, and recounts the first time her now husband, Mark, took her to his family cabin on Young Lake, near 70 Mile House.

The couple have now been married 38 years, but this story tells of how their friendship flourished into a four-decade long relationship, and how that lakeside cabin has been an integral part of their life together through all the years.

The book, which came out last month, is described as a treasury of warm tales, timeless memories and meditations on nature, summer memories, humour and seasonal anticipations – with McCaslin being the only Langley contributor.

She has been a writer since the age of 12, discovering what she calls “the magic of great books and the power of poetic language.”

Retiring after a 23-year long career as an English and creative writing teacher at Douglas College, McCaslin is now a full-time writer, much of her attention focused on poetry.

“Poetry has been central to me since grade seven when a kindly teacher invited me to edit a poetry column in the student newspaper,” she shared with the Langley Advance.

Speaking to her passion for poetry – and in between duties as a self-proclaimed “dogmother” to a new puppy – McCaslin is currently editing the final galley of her 15th volume of poetry called Into the Open: Poems New and Selected (Inanna Publications).

That collection is set to released in September in Toronto and in late October in Vancouver.

I’ll also be giving a public talk and reading from both my memoir and new selected poems in Fort Langley at Rasayana Studio on Oct. 13,” she said.