Vernon author Laisha Rosnau reads from her new book of poetry

Vernon author Laisha Rosnau reads from her new book of poetry

Local author launches her fourth book on home turf

Vernon author, poet and bird lover, Laisha Rosnau is getting ready to release her new book of poetry, Pluck, at Gallery Vertigo April 17.

It’s known that many species of birds return to the same nest every year to have their young.

The same could be said for humans, many of whom leave the roost when they are ready to spread their wings, and  later return to nest when they realize it’s the best place to raise a family.

When Laisha Rosnau left Vernon for Vancouver the day after graduating  high school, she didn’t think she’d ever be back, at least not to live.

But years later she has returned, as a mother, published poet and novelist, and is getting ready to launch her third book of poetry.

“It only took me two years until I returned for my first year of arts courses at what was then Okanagan University College,” said Rosnau, adding her first creative writing professor was John Lent.

“It’s not over-statement to say that his class changed the course of my life – a sentiment that I have in common with plenty of John Lent’s former students.”

Rosnau left the Okanagan again for several years, first transferring to the University of Victoria before she completed a master’s degree at UBC. She moved to several different areas of the province, “for school, for work, for love,” pursuing her writing career the entire time, before returning in 2009.

Rosnau is perhaps best known for her first novel, The Sudden Weight of Snow, published by McClelland and Stewart and a national bestseller and an honourable mention for the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award. She has also published two other collections of poetry, been nominated for the CBC literary award three times, and has won the Acorn-Plantos People’s Poetry Award.

In 2009, Rosnau and her husband, Aaron Deans, moved from Prince George to the Okanagan “on a wing and prayer, with a newborn and a two-year-old in tow.”

The couple are now resident caretakers of Bishop Wild Bird Sanctuary in Coldstream.

“As such, birds make appearances in quite a few of these poems, though some hit the glass of windows as they do.”

Pluck was written in the years since moving back to the Okanagan.

“Most of the collection was written while both kids were quite small and I was largely a stay-at-home mom with a writing habit,” she jokes.

In the same time, Rosnau has also been a writer-in-residence at Caetani Cultural Centre and is working on a novel based on the story of the Caetani family in Vernon.

In a Globe and Mail review, Rosnau’s poetry has been described as an “edgy, bighearted plunge into those moments of shift that show us at our most human.”

“I often feel very human, indeed,” she laughed. “And those moments of shift are daily around here, as I’m sure they are in most household with kids. Finding myself here again, in the Okanagan, this time on a bird sanctuary, being able to raise our kids here – and managing to get another book out into the world, I feel like I’ve got a lot to celebrate.”

Rosnau reads from Pluck Thursday, as part of the Vertigo Voices reading series. The reading will be followed by discussion and a launch party. All are welcome to attend. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the reading begins at 7:30 p.m., at Gallery Vertigo, 3001-31 St. #1 upstairs. For more information, call (250) 503-2297.