Review by Martha Warren

If you’ve ever been to Vancouver, you’ll likely have seen Lost Lagoon, the man-made lake at the entrance to Stanley Park. Betsy Warland’s latest collection of prose poems takes you deep into the natural world of the lagoon, the park trails, and the apartments and chimney stacks of the West End.

Thoughtful and contemplative, the writing captures the seasons of nature, the sounds and rhythms of the lagoon, and I wonder whether especially now, in times of uncertainty and fear, more of us should make time to be quiet, “-watching, listening, sniffing, occasionally speaking softly or returning a bird’s call.” The reader is drawn in partly by the acute observances of beavers, swans and herons, but also by Warland’s descriptions of writer’s life, loss and grief, acceptance and adaptation. As you read, you find you, too, are listening and watching, finding yourself again. Which is probably summarized best by what Warland wrote when she signed my copy:

For Martha,

And for all the ways lost can become found. 


Warland has been writing and supporting writers for decades. Her efforts have included founding The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University, the Vancouver Manuscript Intensive, and she’s currently the LGBTQ2S curator for Word Vancouver. She’s published thirteen books, her most recent being Lost Lagoon/lost in thought (Caitlin Press, 2020.)

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