Gaspereau Press ¶ Printers & Publishers, 2019
Bren Simmers’ Pivot Point is a lyrical account of a nine-day wilderness canoe trip through the Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit in British Columbia. At the heart of the expedition are three young women, friends whose lives seem at risk of drifting apart as they approach middle age. While buoyed by the pleasures of adventure and camaraderie, and by a deep reverence for nature, Simmers finds herself struggling to inhabit the trip’s trickier elements—storms, insects, physical fatigue, conflict, doubt, and disorientation—and, as with the challenges and changes in her own life, to embrace them with confidence. Recounted in a journal-entry style with poems interleaving each day’s narrative, Pivot Point is a frank reflection on the roles friendship, mindfulness and creativity play in the evolution of our lives.
Listen to an interview with Matt Rainnie of CBC Mainstreet here.
“Pivot Point is a pleasure to look at, hold, read, ponder and revisit.” – Heather Carruthers, Atlantic Books Today
“The lyrical concern is with relationships, where they balance, where they roll over, and how marriages and friendships navigate quotidian life. She unfolds the self-conscious, ironical experiences of modern urban life shifting to roughing it in the bush, with “boil-in-bag curry, mac’ n’ cheese, and soba noodles stir-fry” or “[a]pproaching mid-life, we take calcium to maintain bone strength and fish oil for memory.” – James Gifford, Canadian Literature
“Peppered between these firsthand observations and the unfolding dynamics of the relationships between the three friends, are the musings and questions of a poet-naturalist: What do we mean by the term wilderness? What does it mean to be aware of a place, to protect an area, or to acknowledge the territory of those that were here first? With quotes from Annie Dillard to Barry Lopez, Pivot Point is not just a conversation Simmers has with herself, but with writers from different times and places. It’s also a conversation she extends outward to us.” – Al Rempel, ARC Magazine, Summer 2020