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I call Kamloops, B.C. home and write daily from a studio in the garden which is known as 'the paperback shack'!
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Katherin Edwards grew up on a working cattle ranch outside of Kamloops, B.C. where she experienced the ideal childhood. She rode horses, played with blue heeler puppies and tried in vain to climb into her brother's tree house. When she was thirteen she hauled a Royal typewriter, a small desk, and a table lamp into her bedroom closet, closed the door and wrote her first short story for an English class. She called it, The Horse. After graduating high school, Katherin ran away to join the Calgary/ Edmonton thoroughbred racing circuit where she worked as a groom and gallop girl for seven years, first with Simon Purdy, then Mary McDonald. In 1981, after reading numerous Dick Francis mystery novels, she ventured to Newmarket, England and worked for racehorse trainer Ron Boss, at LaGrange Racing stable. When she turned 27 she returned to school to study horticulture with the intent of working as a head gardener at an English country estate. But as the saying goes, "Man plans while God laughs," and with his sense of humour, her life took a multitude of turns. She has worked as a floral designer, maid, gardener, groundskeeper and is currently employed as a home health care worker. Along the way she stopped off to earn a BFA in creative writing at the University of Victoria. She credits her instructors Steve Price, Carla Funk and Lorna Crozier as her inspiration for poetry, and Joan Weir, Bill Gaston, John Gould and Sean Virgo for her interest in fiction. In 2008 she settled back in Kamloops and enrolled in the MFA writing program through UBC. There she worked with Susan Musgrave, Wayne Grady and Gail Anderson-Dargatz. She graduated in May of 2013 . Her thesis work, under the guidance of Gail Anderson-Dargatz, was a novel about racehorses and life. There are days she still dreams about her brother's tree house.
Awards and Recognition (Selected) ·
Publications (Selected) Books
National and International Literary Journals (Selected)
Steven Price chose my story "'Faster Horses" as the winner of the 2017 Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction.
Here's what Steven had to say about it: "Sometimes a story startles with its quiet profundity, how much it seems to know. Such is the case with "Faster Horses." Told in exquisite prose, this is a story about a man at the end of his life, as he is taken by his wife and daughter on a last drive up into the hills near his house. Sam McKenzie, who "feels like a broken promise," recognizes in the opening paragraph how "the body stops in increments, wears out like cheap clothes." And yet, while ostensibly a story about dying, what unfolds instead is a story about living---the impossibilities, the regrets, the joys in a life. And the drive itself blurs into a kind of myth: a journey both literal and figurative, a journey forward into death, and backward, into memory. "Faster Horses" has passages of aching beauty, but what haunted me most is the hard clear handling of its protagonist's inner life, its refusal of the sentimental, and how all this is set against a delicate portrait of a person not yet prepared to give up on life. This is a beautiful work of fiction."
Malahat Review's UVic 50th Anniversary Prize for Creative Nonfiction (2012) second place winner, final judge Barbara Stewart had this to say: "We do not think of roses in terms of weight or hot water extending the life of carnations. Nor do we consider a vocabulary with a shelf life, wilting as if human, expressing relationships both in bloom and decay. The writer invites the reader behind the counter of an ordinary work place, whose products when translated by a life-long skill and passion, become metaphors for our dilemmas, loves, our lives. Readers learn about the 'science of flower care,' the construction of wreaths and wedding bouquets, and the failing memory unpredictable as hibiscus: 'The next day it may bloom again, from a different stem. It may remember itself. It may not.' The insider jokes, ants escaping peonies, doghouses on enclosure cards, the wealth of specific detail establishes the veracity of the writing. When we conclude at a bedside table in a care facility, we understand the vacancy, 'perfect for a vase of flowers,' that speaks to the heart of what we cannot say."
Malahat Review's UVic 50th Anniversary Prize for Poetry (2012)Third Place: "The Brideship, 1862"
Final judge Patricia Young had this to say: "'The Brideship, 1862' paints a quietly horrible scene in which women (widows and orphans among them) stand on a dock, waiting to be chosen by men who 'sickle the wharf with smiles.' Images of 'milk faces,' a 'doll,' hair plaits, and 'dresses/ sweetened with crinoline' suggest many of the women are young, in fact, mere children. The power imbalance here is not simply between sexually deprived men and desperate, impoverished women but between perversion and innocence, brute strength and helplessness, men and children. The poem moves deftly toward its final, disturbing image: 'The oldest man swings/one dead eye like a fish hook/back and forth/back and forth/hoping to catch the littlest.' The effect of these words? Like a knife sliding into the gut."