“I feel like a rabbit in a coyote colony”
– Hilary Peach
“The Hobo Song”
Originally published on Instagram
February 22, 2023
This a book cover I did on commission a while back. The book came out a couple of months ago, but the author — a fine Canadian poet who also happens to be a welder and a blacksmith — is launching it with a reading in her hometown tomorrow night, so I thought I’d post to coincide.
From the back cover:
“For more than two decades, Hilary Peach worked as a transient welder – and one of the only women — in the Boilermakers Union. Distilled from a vast cache of journals, notes, and keen observations, Thick Skin follows Peach from the West Coast shipyards and pulp mills of British Columbia, through the Alberta tar sands and the Ontario rust belt, to the colossal power generating stations of the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. At times edging up to the surreal, Thick Skin is a collection of strange stories carefully told, in tenderness and ferocity, for anyone who has spent time in a trade, or is curious about the unseen world of industrial construction.”
I’d go further. I’d say the book is also for anyone not especially curious about the unseen world of industrial construction. As with Michael Ondaatje classic novel In the Skin of a Lion (another industrial masterpiece by a Canadian master poet), the real construction here is the stuff of life. Not to mention:
“The best writers make readers interested in a subject they never imagined they might be compelled by…Peach takes the reader into a rarely seen world and we leave with new knowledge and respect, her style sparking as brightly as a welder’s torch, seaming disparate pieces of the universe together.”
— The British Columbia Review
Hilary Peach will read from Thick Skin on Thursday, February 23 at:
3917 Main Street
7pm – 10pm
Thick Skin is available at Anvil Press here.
Please visit Instagram here to comment on this post.
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