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Naomi in Nanaimo Wholesale: naomi@naomiwakan.com
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52p, SS
by Naomi Beth Wakan 978-0-921358-39-8
Pacific-Rim Publishers, Gabriola 2014 Cdn $15.00
Level : Adult
"Naomi in Nanaimo” is a collection of poetry by Nanaimo's inaugural poet laureate read during her first year in office. The poetry reflects her warm relationship to Nanaimo, and her appreciation of the physical beauty that sets the city, as well as the rich cultural life of its citizens.

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Poetry That Heals Wholesale: naomi@naomiwakan.com
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108p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan 978-0-921358-38-1
Pacific-Rim Publishers, Gabriola 2014 Cdn $20.00
Level : Adult
"Poetry That Heals” is a journey taken by essayist and poet, Naomi Beth Wakan. It is not a physical journey but a journey over thirty years of poetry writing during which her writing affected shifts in her personality. The sense-focused haiku, the feeling and intellectual qualities of tanka and the community-feeling of writing renku (poetry writing by a group of poets) all worked to first ground her in nature, then open her to deep feelings and help her mature a philosophy for her life and finally encourage an intuitive trust in living in community on her small island of Gabriola. A poetry journey that was physical, intellectual and psychological. As she explains, “poetry that heals.”


Nanaimo’s Poet Laureate, Naomi Beth Wakan, brings to us a wonderful dimension of Japanese poetic forms through the lens of how they have changed her inner life. From allowing us to set emotions aside through being- in –the- moment haiku, to its open expression in tanka, to the sharing with another individual in response tanka, and with the community in renku, we are taken on a movingly illustrated journey of the healing powers of poetry. The beautiful photographs by Elias Wakan that accompany the text capture ordinary moments that are suddenly timeless and take your breath, like visual haiku.
Pamela J. Asquith, Professor of Anthropology, University of Alberta

In this delightful book, Naomi Beth Wakan takes us on a lighthearted but informative walk through the world of Japanese poetry. For her, writing Japanese poetry, from haiku through senryu and tanka to renku, has released a liberating and healing impulse, indeed changing her life. I learned much from this book, both about the principles guiding these art forms and the discipline derived from writing them. I recommend this book to all with an interest in the therapeutic power of poetry.
Gary D Prideaux, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, University of Alberta

In this inspired memoir, Naomi Beth Wakan’s exuberance is palpable on every page as she leads us on a journey through the realms of haikai (haiku and its related genres). Along the way we encounter many of the often controversial “rules” that attend the various forms. Naomi has considered the importance of these tenets without becoming ensnared. With resolve, and what Buddhism terms “the way-seeking mind,” she has reached the heart of what these forms, particularly haiku, have to offer: a deep and abiding appreciation for this ephemeral moment, an appreciation that transcends the written word. For Naomi, the journey has been both joyous and cathartic. By sharing her insights she encourages us to discover for ourselves the gifts of haikai.
Christopher Herold, founding editor of The Heron‘s Nest

"Poetry That Heals" is an absolute must for libraries (personal and educational) all over the world. I think what Naomi Beth Wakan is doing is simply grand...and this, such a strange word to be using about haiku...the humblest of all poetry forms...but grand it is....your choices to explain everything are exemplary!!
Terry Ann Carter, President of Haiku Canada

"A beautiful book, both in content and production. I like the way you weave your personal journey through Japanese poetic forms while at the same time deftly instructing readers about them (as well as about many of their foremost practitioners). As if all this wasn't difficult enough, you've managed to vividly integrate the healing aspect throughout. Congratulations on a tour de force."
George Swede

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Some Sort of Life Wholesale: naomi@naomiwakan.com
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326p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan 978-0-921358-34-3
Pacific-Rim Publishers, Gabriola 2014 Cdn $25.00
Level : Adult
Memory lies. It’s not its fault; that is just the way the mind works. If one asks for a memory, or whether the memory floods in on its own, either way it comes to light clipped and trimmed as a topiary bush, presenting the worst, or the best, but definitely only a partial viewing of a past event. Memories may come sporadically like a dripping tap, or in one big mess, like a broken egg, leaving you the necessity of reconstructing Humpty-Dumpty as it were, trying to piece it all back together again.” So says essayist, and inaugural Poet Laureate of Nanaimo, Naomi Beth Wakan, about this book of her memoirs, Some Sort of Life. She reports that this collection of essays and poetry is neither a record of a heroic journey, nor an account of dismal failure; as befits a supporter of the middle way, Naomi’s memoirs lie somewhere in between. She describes them as 'slantwise,' not quite zeroing in on the target, approaching incidents from unusual angles. Still, the “unusual” acts in a way to move her very personal moments into moments that everyone can share. In Some Sort of Life Naomi’s one story, (for after all don’t we all have only one story to tell?) is that life is bittersweet and definitely ephemeral.


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pause Wholesale: naomi@naomiwakan.com
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80p, PB
by David Bateman and Naomi Beth Wakan 978-0-9918867-1-5
Bevalia Press, Toronto 2013 Cdn $20.00
Level : Adult
"pause" is a correspondence in tanka form between Naomi Beth Wakan on Gabriola and David Bateman, performance poet, in Toronto. The contrast between Wakan's spare conventional metre tanka and David's dense metaphorical ones, between Wakan's rural setting and David's city one provide nice tensions for this clever response tanka series between two very different poets. As one poet responded to the challenge of the tanka that was sent to them, they then produced a new, but segued, tanka to send back to the first poet in exchange. An exciting book length series that explores the possible new forms that tanka might take.


These two voices, although dramatically different in timbre, resonate with each other, sometimes over a vast distance, sometimes as close as lips to ear. Rarely has listening been made so audible, each poet to the other, each poet to their own words. The compression of the tanka form itself helps bring these listening pauses into being, pauses in which we readers too have the space and time to hear what is there. This volume provides an expansive reading experience as well as opening up new possibilities in English for this form of Japanese verse with ancient roots.

Sonja Arntzen, Professor Emerita, University of Toronto, East Asian Studies


thees tanka ar sew wundrful both naomi n david work magik n wundrs with words capturing fleeting moments changing full uv brite surmise n offring then 2 us 4 out grateful plesurs theyr tankas ar colours changing as we speak snapshots transishyuning as we breeth we are changing n transishtning all the plateaus imaginaree n thats part uv whats sew beautiful in being n sew poignant all thees temporaree frames illusyuns n desires n wishes 4 immortailtee in the flesh the mind the graces records all th ideas uv ordr uv ordring what we build 4 goez david and naomis works heer not didaktik show each being breething cultural n personal succinct detaild telling natural th birds n th rain n sun around us moov thru us with evreething else we are all a part uv parts uv speech loves assersyuns deluded graceful tantalizing hurtful evreething naytur appetites eeting corroding giving we moov thru evreething els appeering n disapeerin thees brilliant tanka

say bill bissett, performance poet



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And After 80... Wholesale: naomi@naomiwakan.com
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164p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan 978-0-9918867-0-8
Bevalia Press, Toronto 2013 Cdn $20.00
Level : Adult
And After 80... is, in a way, a sequel to "Sex After 70", since it continues to express, in haiku, tanka and blank verse form, the way Naomi Beth Wakan feels about her life on a small island; celebrating the seasons, aspects of living in a community, and her own bittersweet and witty personal take on aging, the state of the world and life in general.


With a sly, delicate wit and gentle, fearless wisdom, Naomi Beth Wakan's poems guide us through the seasons of nature, and the human heart, pushing "our roots deeper down" into this, our one and only world. Wakan's poems are "small settings that expand the heart." "Are there really new things to say?" a poem asks. And After 8 … answers, brilliantly: “Yes.”

Murray Reiss: The Survival Rate of Butterflies in the Wild


Who better than Naomi Beth Wakan to walk the path past 80, between blossom time/and bare branches/ a brief picnic. And she asks important questions, how many times/does one have to paint/blackberries? How many times, indeed? Because there is always the sadness of fallen leaves. Naomi’s a poet who watches everything. And after 80? More gardens, more fallen leaves.

Wendy Morton, recipient of the Spirit Bear Award and the Colleen Thibaudeau Outstanding Contribution Award


“There's nothing like a well-ordered garden" and there is nothing quite like a poetry collection from Gabriola poet, Naomi Beth Wakan. Yet again, wit and wisdom are served up in the beauty of haiku, tanka, and other brief poems. As delicate as a Chinese lantern skeleton, as constant as emergency lights; this is a poetry banquet to be relished.

Terry Ann Carter, president of Haiku Canada, “Lighting the Global Lantern: A Teacher's Guide to Writing Haiku and Related Forms.”


In And After 80... Naomi Beth Wakan prunes her garden, both real and metaphoric, for image; image cheered on by wisdom's clear voice. These poems are small Japanese forms that always have the beauty of the thing seen in the embrace of wit and intelligence. She writes of a rainbow on tree branches, "surely at such a sight one should turn the coins in one's pocket" and if not coins, the calm center turns or stills to notice. Wakan's "small voice struggles its way on the page" and calls to our small voices, so a chorus begins to form.

Yvonne Blomer, “The Book of Places"(Black Moss), co-editor of "Poems from Planet Earth" (Leaf Press)


And After 80 cover
The Way of Haiku Wholesale: naomi@naomiwakan.com
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95p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan 978-0-921358-28-2
Pacific-Rim Publishers, Gabriola 2012 Cdn $22.00
Level : Adult
"The Way of Haiku" is an attractive introduction, not just to how to write haiku, but also to its historical roots and the finer points that traditional Japanese haiku writing requires. There is an appendix for teachers helping them with suggested ways of bringing haiku into the classroom and also an additional essay on why haiku writing is so relevant to taking the world's ecological situation into account.


"What do we get from a manual for teaching people how to write haiku in which the author firmly states, "You can't be taught how to write haiku"? The answer is, a very great deal that is essential to the beginner, who is reminded constantly that the time will come when the 'apprentice', having learned from practice and experience and become a 'journeyman', will want to go his/her own way. The reader is swept away by Wakan's style - accessible, flourishing, personal and 'racy', and by her refusal to sit on a fence. She is convincing, yet is continually at pains to present convictions that diverge from her own. This tolerance is necessary in any serious discussion of haiku. It is now 35 years since another Canadian, Sister Joan Giroux, wrote one of the first books of this kind. The Haiku Form. Hers was the book - now sadly out of print that put me on the right (meandering) road to writing haiku. If I were starting now, I would be glad to find Wakan's book in my hands, like Guiroux's primer, it deals infectiously with both the spirit and the form.

David Cobb: Past President of the British Haiku Society


In The Way of Haiku, Naomi Beth Wakan parallels the fundamentals of the genre from both the western and eastern perspectives, reaching deeply into how haiku has adapted to change while continuing to hold its original essence throughout hundreds of years and many cultures. Having lived in Japan and studied Japanese literature, Ms Wakan is well-versed in the differences and similarities between Japanese and English-language haiku.

Alice Frampton, Emeritus Associate Editor, The Heron's Nest


On Poetry
The Way of Healing Wholesale: naomi@naomiwakan.com
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115p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan 978-0-9782868-9-7
Bevalia Press, Toronto 2012 Cdn $22.00
Level : Adult
"The Way of Healing" is a sequel to the popular "Healing Bag." (now out of print). Once more Naomi has selected a wide range of useful quotations on various aspects of the healing world to help support readers through their various encounters with the world of illness. Doctors, patients, hospitals, pain, stress, laughter... these and many more "healing" topics are covered in this wide-ranging collection of quotations. Naomi accompanies each topic with a small personal essay.


"Naomi Beth Wakan has brought together quotations from a wide range of sources that speak to the nature of health, illness, and healing. Those whose words she includes embrace a holistic vision of body, mind, and spirit. The soul-baring reflections with which Naomi introduces each section take the reader straight to the heart of the challenges which life can bring us. This compendium is a rich source that those who are in their own healing process can dip into for grounding, strength, and inspiration."

April Steele, psychotherapist


"Naomi Beth Wakan's own writing and her selection of others' words in this treasure trove of quotations on healing, resonate like a clear bell across an Alpine valley. She finds words that go straight to the heart of life, in all its muddles and magnificence, with simplicity, gentle humour and honesty."

Jen Turner, psychotherapist



The Way of Healing
A Roller-coaster Ride – thoughts on aging Wholesale: Noelle.Allen@wolsakandwynn.ca
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150p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan 978-1-894987-64-6
Poplar Press, Hamilton 2012 Cdn $19.95
Level : Adult
Now past her eightieth birthday, Naomi Beth Wakan is well-placed to be writing about ageing. Qualifying between merely being old and old-old, she considers retirement homes, elder abuse, death and the often thorny question of what to call people once they're past retirement. With humour and honesty she looks at the disconnect between how she sees herself and how the world sees her and concludes it's this inner view that decides nearly everything about ageing.


Naomi Beth Wakan has given us another funny, feisty, sometimes ferocious book, irreverent, brimming over with tenderness and joie de vivre, and rooted in common sense. Sparing no one, least of all herself, she peels away layers of nonsense and reveals a self-help manual for the rest of our lives. Readers of, or approaching, the author’s generation will recognise much of themselves in her reflections and welcome the wise humour of her off-beat advice. Younger readers [age 64 and under] may discover the person they would like to be when they grow up.

Phyllis Reeve, librarian (UBC) and bookseller[retired], septuagenarian


Naomi Beth Wakan has written a long-needed book addressing her experience of growing older in our new demographic age of longevity. Wakan writes with total frankness as she records day to day, year to year, mental and physical changes, including being marginalized or bearing the brunt of harmful ageist language and stereotypes. But her evocative book makes clear the many strengths and joys getting older brings. She does so wittily, punctuated with poems and keen humour. “A roller-coaster ride: Thoughts about Aging” is simply a must read for anyone who is aging- and that’s everybody.

Lillian Zimmerman, Author of “Bag Lady or Powerhouse?” Gerontologist and Octogenarian.


"I enjoyed your thought provocative book, A Roller-coaster Ride, Thoughts on aging, so much that, at first, I couldn't put it down, and toward the end didn't want it to be over so made excuses not to finish."

Anita Thomas, Nurse


I really enjoyed reading Naomi Beth Wakan’s book, A Roller-Coaster Ride: Thinking about Aging. Her book is unique in the field of aging, being a combination of personal reflections and analyses of books on aging that most impressed her. Writing from the perspective of an aging woman, she expresses opinions that are based partly on experience and partly on her extensive knowledge of the aging literature. As I read the text, I felt that I was getting to know the author and that I cherished her lively friendship. She makes a wonderful companion on our journey through life. Her poetry fits into the text perfectly and is a pleasure as well. The book should appeal to those of us who are aging, as well as to professionals in the field who would like to understand themselves and their clients better.

Anne M. Wyatt-Brown, Emeritus Associate Professor of Linguistics, the University of Florida, Gainesville. Founding Editor of the Journal of Aging, Humanities, and the Arts.

On Poetry
On Poetry Wholesale: naomi@naomiwakan.com
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117p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan and David Fraser 978-0-9736568-9-3
Ascent AspirationsPublishings, Nanoose Bay, BC 2011 Cdn $19.95
Level : Adult
This attractive book of quotations on poetry and the poet's life is added to by Naomi Beth Wakan's and David Fraser's own poems and comments on Poets, Poetry, Techniques, Poetry Readers and Advice to poets. Perfect for the budding poet, or the established one, come to that, to remind them that poetry, that condensed form human expression, can change lives and nudge the world around.


This little book is a kaleidoscope of ways of seeing, being, reflecting, deflecting, confessing, professing, processing, revealing the mystery at the heart of things. Open anywhere to lift the spirits.
Patricia Ludwick, writer, editor, and addicted reader


The sheer volume of contradiction, whimsy, apprehension, pithiness, and diversity contained in this wonderful collection of words about poetry, by poets, proves, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that those of us who call ourselves poets frequently have no idea what we're doing, or why we do it. All we know is that it must be done. Perhaps Carl Sandburg said it best: "I've written some poetry I don't understand myself."
David Bateman, Poet



"Naomi Beth Wakan's poetry sharpens the senses, stimulates the intellect and opens the heart. Her poems are simple and easy to understand, but they have depth and bear reading over and over again. Naomi allows us to become attuned to the potentiality of each moment, the joy in the savoured moment, the sadness of loss as that moment must inevitably be let go."
Sonja Arntzen
Professor Emeritas, East Asian Studies, University of Toronto.

On Poetry
Tidepools Trade Canada: naomi@naomiwakan.com
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72p, PB
edited by Michael Dylan Welch 978-0-921358-26-8
Pacific-Rim Publishers, Gabriola 2011 Cdn $20.00
Level : Adult
This charming book of praise for Gabriola Island and the poets who live on it and visit for the annual pacifi-kana (Haiku Canada west coast) weekend meeting is an inspiration for all poets, wherever they live.
Tidepools, as it presents the loving sharing and mutual teaching of haiku, tanka and renga writers, is an example for all poetry groups. In the 10 years it has been held, the finest poets, who use these forms of poetry originating in Japan, have come to Gabriola island, BC, from up and down the west coast of North America and as far away as Australia. A fine book of homage to and by haijin.

"Tidepools: Haiku On Gabriola," edited by Michael Dylan Welch, is perfectly shaped, perfectly positioned to reflect a wordless light, the unfathomable mysteries of the visible. The book weaves together powerful memories and poems from ten years of the annual haiku weekends on Gabriola Island, British Columbia. "Tidepools" is a great joy to read-it almost feels like being there. By turns playful, ironic, and elegiac, the book's haiku show simple elegance, impressive depth. Related literary forms of haibun, rengay, and kasen renku give wider impressions of the poetic gatherings on the island. Tidepools also pays homage to Naomi Beth Wakan, a most hospitable host, and fine haiku and lyric poet in her own right. Beautiful thinking! Beautiful writing!"
Terry Ann Carter
author of Lighting the Global Lantern: A Teacher's Guide to Haiku and Related Literary Forms


"Solitude is often the poet's muse, but this charming and wonderfully candid collection of short reminiscences and poetry celebrates the pleasures and inspiration of the communal haiku workshop that has been hosted for ten years by poet and writer Naomi Beth Wakan with her husband Eli. Forty-two poets, old and new in both poetry and their experience of Gabriola Island, give a beautiful portrait of the inspiration of fellow poets, Naomi's garden, and Drumbeg Park."
Pamela Asquith
Anthropologist and Japanologist



"Naomi Beth Wakan's poetry sharpens the senses, stimulates the intellect and opens the heart. Her poems are simple and easy to understand, but they have depth and bear reading over and over again. Naomi allows us to become attuned to the potentiality of each moment, the joy in the savoured moment, the sadness of loss as that moment must inevitably be let go."
Sonja Arntzen
Professor Emeritas, East Asian Studies, University of Toronto.

Tidepools: haiku on Gabriola
Reflections: response tanka Trade: naomi@naomiwakan.com
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99p, PB
by Sonja Arntzen and Naomi Beth Wakan 978-0-921358-25-1
Bevalia Press, Toronto 2010 Cdn $15.00
Level : Adult
This is a book written in the style of traditional tanka exchange in Mediaeval Japan. Tanka are 5 line poems that have a history of over 1000 years. The poetry exchange here is between two tanka writers -- Sonja Arntzen, a scholar of Medieval Japanese literature and Naomi Beth Wakan, a poet and personal essayist. The poems are themed and included are two traditional Japanese ones - that of place (utamakura) and that of allusion (honkadori), i.e., allusion to the words of another poet

"With few words, tanka set out images that have immediate emotional resonance and express a depth of feeling that longer forms cannot. My discovery as a Japanese is that this form transcends language; in this volume the reader can expect the same effect from these English tanka. Naomi and Sonja continue the tanka tradition of exchanging a depth and richness of feeling in their spare poetic exchanges. These exchanges are as subtle as wind or water - a continuous flow of feeling that touches gently at times and sharply at others. I was especially excited to see the Japanese traditions of utamakura (travel tanka) and honkadori, (poems alluding to old masters) come alive again in these conversations between friends."

Sumiko Nishizawa, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Modern Languages
Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Vancouver


"I really love this book, a volume built on relationships between the coauthors, between English content and Japanese form, and between sight, sound, touch and smell. Besides being struck by Sonja Arntzen and Naomi Beth Wakan's skill as poets, I am really taken by the quality of their friendship. There is shared love and wisdom in these response tanka, and keen powers of observation. Reflections has a rich scholarly background behind its very artistic expression that is marvelous for the reader to share."

Tom Whalley, Ph.D
Interim Dean, Faculty of Developmental Education, Douglas College



"Naomi Beth Wakan's poetry sharpens the senses, stimulates the intellect and opens the heart. Her poems are simple and easy to understand, but they have depth and bear reading over and over again. Naomi allows us to become attuned to the potentiality of each moment, the joy in the savoured moment, the sadness of loss as that moment must inevitably be let go."
Sonja Arntzen
Professor Emeritas, East Asian Studies, University of Toronto.

Reflections: response tanka
Think Colour Trade: naomi@naomiwakan.com
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87p, PB
by Ruth Artmonsky and Naomi Beth Wakan 978-0-9551994-8-6
Artmonsky Arts, London 2011 Cdn $20.00
Level : Adult
This glossy paperback was produced to celebrate the 80th birthday of the twins and writers, Naomi Beth Wakan and Ruth Artmonsky. Naomi's small essays and tanka poetry and Ruth's introduction to each colour are splendidly added to by photography by Elias Wakan, Stella Harpley, Sally Harpley, Sonhi Kim, Becky Artmonsky, Adam Deutsch and Graeme Ferguson.
Computer art by Peter Harpley and black and white drawings by Beverly Deutsch make this book a feast for the eyes and a perfect gift for the budding artist.

"Twin sisters, Naomi Beth Wakan and Ruth Artmonsky, have pooled the considerable talents of their families to produce this celebration of colour to commemorate their 80th birthday. Nine colours are celebrated in photos, text and drawings by themselves, offspring and partners. Each colour section has interesting facts about the colour, synonyms and colour expressions, two pages of colour quotations, followed by a short essay and poem by Naomi. The small square format, 6” x 6”, is a pleasure to hold and behold, the glossy paper throughout doing justice to the brilliant colour illustrations. A striking birthday achievement and most enjoyable for the reader"
Alison Fitzgerald, librarian




"Naomi Beth Wakan's poetry sharpens the senses, stimulates the intellect and opens the heart. Her poems are simple and easy to understand, but they have depth and bear reading over and over again. Naomi allows us to become attuned to the potentiality of each moment, the joy in the savoured moment, the sadness of loss as that moment must inevitably be let go."
Sonja Arntzen
Professor Emeritas, East Asian Studies, University of Toronto.

Think Colour
Nostalgia & The Attic Trade: alicerich@telus.net
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44p, HB
by Alice Parmelee Rich and Naomi Beth Wakan 978-0-9865253-1-5
Bevalia Press, Toronto 2010 Cdn $35.00
Level : Adult
Nostalgia and the Attic is a book of nostalgic photographs taken and hand-tinted by Alice Rich. The accompanying text is also by Alice and the tanka poetry is by Naomi Beth Wakan. For anyone having to downsize an old family home, these reflections on the contents of an attic will resonate, and the reader will probably bring up many memories of similar kind.

"Wonderful photos, and wonderful, evocative text for anyone who has an attic, a family, or memories."
Roberta Rich
author of The Midwife of Venice


"This charming book, compiled as a personal tribute, nevertheless, touches any reader, leading them to reflect on their own hoardings – what have they chosen to display as constant reminders, what to put away, out of sight and of mind. At the last page, one irresistibly thinks back to what one has discarded oneself, and the significance of such things in one’s life.
Ruth Artmonsky, Art Historian, UK

Ruth Artmonsky”
Art Historian, UK



"Naomi Beth Wakan's poetry sharpens the senses, stimulates the intellect and opens the heart. Her poems are simple and easy to understand, but they have depth and bear reading over and over again. Naomi allows us to become attuned to the potentiality of each moment, the joy in the savoured moment, the sadness of loss as that moment must inevitably be let go."
Sonja Arntzen
Professor Emeritas, East Asian Studies, University of Toronto.

Sex after 70 and Other Poems
Sex After 70 eBook: Amazon
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160p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan 978-0-9782868-8-0
Bevalia Press, Toronto 2010 Cdn $20.00
Level : Adult
Sex After 70 and Other Poems contains new and selected poems from Naomi Beth Wakan's output over the last 14 years (1996-2010). Her poetry, while down-home and familiar, presents fresh angles on the topics of relationships, writing, cosmology and the arts. Her directness and conversational tone are disarming.

"I rarely laugh out loud on my own when reading a book – interesting how, like sharing a meal, it’s a social thing. But I laughed and laughed at Naomi Beth Wakan’s funny poems. I so enjoy their mixture of irreverence, outright mischief, depth, simplicity and humour."
Jen Turner”
Choir leader, Heartsong Choir


"I am reading your poetry book now and i am about 40 pages into it and it is such a special volume that i want to read it from cover to cover in one sitting, but i also want to close it and save it until morning, to make it last longer - it is filled with so many beautiful and wonderful thoughts and images; i know i will go back to many times in order to enjoy them over and over again in your poem 'thank you frenzy' i am stuck by your modesty and the generosity and directness of your thank you list, and in light of your closing line re. "modest significance,' I feel that your poems are very significant and the 'chaparral poets' piece is just wonderful - there are so many memorable spots throughout and i look forward to reading the whole volume my very best wishes to you"
David Bateman”
performance poet and scholar of 20th-century theatre history



"Naomi Beth Wakan's poetry sharpens the senses, stimulates the intellect and opens the heart. Her poems are simple and easy to understand, but they have depth and bear reading over and over again. Naomi allows us to become attuned to the potentiality of each moment, the joy in the savoured moment, the sadness of loss as that moment must inevitably be let go."
Sonja Arntzen
Professor Emeritas, East Asian Studies, University of Toronto.

Sex after 70 and Other Poems
Double Take - response tanka Trade: dmg@themetpress.com
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84p, PB
by Sonja Arntzen and Naomi Beth Wakan 978-193539819-6
Modern English Tanka Press, Baltimore 2010 Cdn $15.00
Level : Adult
Double Take – response tanka is a book of that rarely seen in English, Japanese form of poetry, tanka. Tanka is the earliest form of Japanese poetry (known as waka in its early years). In Japanese it consists of five lines of 5,7,5,7,7 syllables. It was used in the Heian court for communicating both between friends and between lovers. Tanka tend to reflect a bittersweet view of life, where life is too difficult to live, and yet too sweet to give up. Here Professor Sonja Arntzen and Naomi Beth Wakan write tanka in response to each others' tanka. Either Ms Arntzen offers a tanka first and Ms Wakan responds, or vice versa. The tanka are unusually personal, almost confessional, and offer a sensitivity to the awesomeness of the everyday as well as a gentle, wry compassion for the way mankind deals with it.

“This collection of paired lyrical responses embraces the linking dynamics that are a hallmark of traditional Japanese poetry. Such linking has the potential to increase the resonance of each poem in the way that an empathetic conversation can extend our understanding of human experience. As in any worthwhile conversation, neither voice dominates. Pauses for reflection are shown physically by the generous white spaces around each poem. Double Take demonstrates the power of the compressed poem to delight and satisfy an attentive reader.”
—Beverley George, Editor: Eucalypt: a tanka journal



“In their series of responsive tanka, experienced Gabriola Island writers, Sonja Arntzen and Naomi Beth Wakan, share their daily observations and musings, disappointments and joys. Like the pleasure of a lingering, afternoon tea party, Double Take is a book that you’ll want to read slowly and savour.”
—Angela Leuck, author of Flower Heart: Haiku



"This sophisticated, intelligent collection of tanka is full of bittersweet, piercingly true memories. It's poetry that leaves one both moved and exhilarated. This is what it means to be alive, to love and to remember."
Patricia Prime, an Auckland poet who is co-editor of Kokako, a journal of haiku, tanka and related forms



“These tanka are worthy of a double take. You will surely come back to these poems for a closer reading, returning to each collaborative pairing to dwell in their candor, their echoes, their surprising turns, their drinking in of all it means to be alive. These call-and-response poems by Sonja Arntzen and Naomi Beth Wakan offer a fluid and fulfilling tanka dance.”
Michael Dylan Welch, founder of the Tanka Society of America.

Double Take - response tanka
Book Ends - a year between the covers Trade: Noelle.Allen@wolsakandwynn.ca
Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com
200p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan 978-1-894987-42-4
Poplar Press, Hamilton 2010 Cdn $19.00
Level : Adult
A fascinating romp through books, with an author that everyone would wish to have as their favorite eccentric aunt. Book Ends – a year between the covers tracks Naomi Beth Wakan’s obsessive reading throughout the year. The book covers a wide-range of genres – from poetry to spy stories with stops for science essays in between. A passionate, witty and highly entertaining book for avid readers, who are bound to have a list of “must-reads” for themselves by the time they have finished it.

"Only yesterday did I finish reading your Bookends: A year between the covers. I enjoyed it enormously, and for several reasons. First, I really warmed to the idea of using a calendar year, with your readings in each month, as a kind of springboard for your own reflections on such various topics as weather, gardening, life on a small island, philosophy, as well as on literary matters. That structure was very clever, and it let me see how your reading meshed with the seasons, generating insights not only about the books and your opinions of them and their authors, but also into your own ideas. I found the range of readings quite remarkable. You have read so widely, and yet you very modestly complain that you have not read enough!

"A second reason I liked the book was because of its amazing candor and honesty. It is so refreshing to read a series of essays which are so down-to-earth, natural, and without a single drop of pomposity or ego. I love that.

A third reason I loved the book is that it is filled with your own special, self-effacing humor. You have a very nice, light touch and even when you dislike a book (or an idea) you are never mean-spirited or nasty. You let your reader understand that you learn even from books and opinions you dislike. That is extremely refreshing.

"Reading books of this sort (if in fact, this is a `sort' at all) is not something I would normally do. Most of my reading is highly directed by my interests of the moment. What I love about this book is that it is not "about" any particular thing at all. It ranges over so many interesting topics, but it NEVER rambles. The writing is succinct, to the point, clear, and extremely engaging. Many of the books you mention I know only by title and reputation. Others I have read and sometimes agree and other times disagree with your assessment. I was interested to see your praise of Durrell's Alexandria Quartet, upon your second reading of the series. I read these as an undergraduate and loved them. I thought the final book (Clea) was the weakest, for reasons we might sometime discuss. I tried re-reading the quarter about 20 years ago, and I simply could not get into Justine, so gave it up. How tastes change!

"So, I loved the book. I only wish it were longer. How about a second year?"
Dr. Gary Prideaux, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, University of Alberta?



"With her trademark originality and humour, Naomi Beth Wakan offers us another thought-provoking book. She describes one year in her reading journey, an eclectic and passionate endeavour, ranging from “the Tales of Genji” to Harold Bloom’s “How to Read and Why”. Along the way she finds time for poetry, thrillers, science, and many other genres. An entertaining chronicle that will prompt readers to start their own lists of `must-reads'”.
S. & B. Books



"...a vicarious journey through a year of voracious reading. As Wakan reflects with honesty and humour on how each book touches her life, she shares her unique island perspective and illustrates that a well-read life is also well-lived."
Bobbie Jo Reid, Senior Living magazine

Bookends
Reading Trade: naomi@naomiwakan.com
Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com
60p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan 978-0-9782868-7-3
Bevalia Press, Toronto 2009 Cdn $12.00
Level : Adult
This book puts the reader centre-stage as the interpreter of a book, as it explores how we read and when, where, who and what. We read in order to see how we can make a difference in the world, a difference in our own lives. Reading is the perfect book to confirm the avid reader and to support book-club members.

"On an island studded with hidden gems, Naomi's wit and eye for the off-kilter rank her as one of our most precious assets."
Kathy Ramsey, Gabriola Artworks, Folklife Village

Reading
Writing Your Way to Health Trade: naomi@naomiwakan.com
Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com
60p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan 978-0-9782868-5-9
Bevalia Press, Toronto 2008 Cdn $12.00
Level : Adult
The more than 50 exercises in Writing Your Way to Health are based on Naomi Beth Wakan’s writing workshops of the same name. The exercises probe deeply into motives for writing, “truth” in writing, and the philosophy that underlies your writing. Helpful and challenging.

"On an island studded with hidden gems, Naomi's wit and eye for the off-kilter rank her as one of our most precious assets."
Kathy Ramsey, Gabriola Artworks, Folklife Village

Writing Your Way to Health
A Gabriola Year Trade: naomi@naomiwakan.com
Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com
108p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan 978-0-9782868-4-2
Bevalia Press, Toronto 2008 Cdn $20.00
Level : Adult
A year on Gabriola is like a year anywhere else, and nowhere else. A long view on our short lives. Naomi condenses her 12 years of living on a small island into one year of events, people, and places that make up her community of Gabriola.

"A delightful romp of a read. With her irrepressible wit, compassion and humor, Naomi reminds us that the art of living simply and leaving a small footprint can indeed be abundant."
Roger Christie, Raspberry's Jazz Café, Folklife Village, Gabriola

A Gabriola Year
Compositions: notes on the written word Trade: noelle.allen@wolsakandwynn.com
Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com
228p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan 978-1-894987-25-7
Wolsak and Wynn, Hamilton 2008 Cdn $19.00
Level : Adult
A fascinating, witty and revealing tour of a writer's life and the world of books. From first inspiration to book jacket, from travel-writing to writing doggerel, Naomi will enchant you with this laugh-out-loud funny and deeply insightful book.

"Her imaginative universe is broad, and she penetrates it with finesse."
George Szanto, The Condesa of M.

Compositions
Ageing Trade & Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com 55p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan 978-0-9782868-3-5
Bevalia Press, 2007 Cdn $12.00
Level : Adult
Ageing, considered a natural process, has its positive and negative aspects. Here gathered together are poems focused on this process - sometimes angry, sometimes amused, sometimes sad, sometimes just feeling the inevitable.

"...be prepared to be amused and inspired to write yourself..."
Canadian Teacher

Ageing
Gardening Trade & Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com 44p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan 978-0-9782868-1-1
Bevalia Press, 2007 Cdn $12.00
Level : Adult
Whatever the season, the poems in Gardening vibrate with and remind one of the time spent weeding, seeding and enjoying the garden. All gardeners and those who just admire gardens will find something witty or wise in this charming book.

"...be prepared to be amused and inspired to write yourself..."
Canadian Teacher

Writing
Getting You Writing! Trade & Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com 44p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan 978-0-9782868-0-4
Bevalia Press, 2007 Cdn $12.00
Level : Adult
These exercises, based on those given at Naomi's popular "Late Bloomer" workshops, will encourage the beginner writer, stimulate the jaded writer, and supply endless ideas to writers' groups. Over 50 imaginative exercises to get you writing.

"...be prepared to be amused and inspired to write yourself..."
Canadian Teacher

Writing
Loving Trade & Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com 32p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan 1-894948-08-4
Pacific Edge Publishing, 2006 Cdn $12.00
Level : Adult
This book, with poetry around the theme of ‘loving’, is more concerned with the everyday problems  of keeping relationships cheerful than the grand passions of famous lovers.  “Loving”’s jaundiced eye is sprinkled with moments of optimistic thoughts on the subject and the occasional tender tear-inducing poem.

"...and indeed, it does whet the appetite for more!...Highly recommended."
Bookmark

Writing
Late Bloomer - on writing later in life Trade: noelle.allen@wolsakandwynn.com
Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com
200p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan 1-894987-11-X
Wolsak and Wynn, Hamilton 2006 Cdn $19.00
Level : Adult
In this lively, perceptive and empowering book, Naomi Beth Wakan shares her experiences as an older writer in order to offer insights that will amuse, inform and encourage you to "get writing." Perfect for the retiree who has planned to start writing "one day." This is the day and Late Bloomer - on writing later in life will be the book to get them writing.

"Insightful, inspirational and honest"
Bobbie Jo Sheriff, Editor, Senior Living Magazine

Late Bloomers
Writing Trade & Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com 32p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan 1-894948-04-1
Pacific Edge Publishing, 2006 Cdn $12.00
Level : Adult
This chapbook includes poems focused on writing (and reading) that were featured at the Poetry Gabriola Festival, 2005 and presented at Mocambo, Victoria, 2006. These wise and witty poems tell of the writer's life - its sublimity and stupidity. A perfect gift for your writers' group, book club, or for anyone who has contemplated putting pen to paper for a living.

"...and indeed, it does whet the appetite for more!...Highly recommended."
Bookmark

Writing
Segues Trade & Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com 88p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan 1-894987-01-2
Wolsak and Wynn, 2005 Cdn $15.00
Level : Adult
Latest poems by Naomi Beth Wakan inspired by her life on the small island of Gabriola. Taking everyday moments, Naomi transforms them so they relate to larger issues and can be shared and enjoyed by everyone.

"I loved this poetry. This is someone who's seen life, knows it pulls no punches, and who can still laugh like a child running down a" hillside. I can hear her voice. I can hear her."
jacket: Richard Harrison

Segues
Drumbeg Park Trade & Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com 52p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan 1-895110-93-9
Pacific Edge Publishing Cdn $15.00
Level : Adult
This wise and witty collection of essays and poetry is set in Drumbeg Park, a BC Provincial Park situated at the south end of Gabriola Island. The writing highlights the essence of this small but beautiful park that has won the hearts of all that visit it.

"...and indeed, it does whet the appetite for more!...Highly recommended."
Bookmark

Drumbeg Park
Haiku Bag Trade & Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com 110p, PB, small format
by Naomi Beth Wakan 1-894092-12-0
Lightsmith Publishing Cdn $10.95
Level : Adult
This small format book is an ideal introduction to the reading and writing of haiku. This smallest of poetry forms, originated in Japan but has been a form eagerly adopted by poets all over the world. Haiku Bag covers its history, rules and examples from haiku masters. It also contains haiku by Naomi Beth Wakan, written on the island of Gabriola, B.C.

"...and indeed, it does whet the appetite for more!...Highly recommended."
Bookmark

Haiku Bag
Healing Bag Trade & Retail: dorothy@lightsmithpublishing.com 164p, PB, small format
collected by Naomi Beth Wakan 1-894092-04-X
Lightsmith Publishing Cdn $10.95
Level : Adult
Insight and support from many wise writers in this small format book. Covering many aspects of illness, disease, healing and dying, Healing Bag (a book of collected quotations) has brought solace and lifted the spirits of so many readers. The perfect gift for someone who is stuck in a difficult space.

"...and indeed, it does whet the appetite for more!...Highly recommended."
Bookmark

Healing Bag
Memory Bag Trade & Retail: dorothy@lightsmithpublishing.com 173p, PB, small format
by Naomi Beth Wakan 1-894092-14-7
Lightsmith Publishing Cdn $10.95
Level : Adult
How to write your memoirs with interesting quotes, comments and questions to jog the memory; covering all aspects of life. We all need to feel as if we have counted for something in life. Writing your autobiography, jotting down your memories, help you explore your strengths in life and give you insight for new decisions to be made. This is a wonderful book for seniors or anyone wanting to reassess where they are and where they might be going.

"...and indeed, it does whet the appetite for more!...Highly recommended."
Bookmark

Memory Bag
Artworks Trade & Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com 126p, PB, small format
collected by Naomi Beth Wakan and Ruth Artmonsky 0-9541608-1-9
Artmonsky Arts Cdn $12.95
Level : Adult
This wise and witty book of quotations about art, art collectors, painters, scuptors and critics is a must read for anyone associated with the creative process. A wonderful gathering of inspiring and amusing quotes from those in the business.

"...and indeed, it does whet the appetite for more!...Highly recommended."
Bookmark

Artworks
Bookworks Trade & Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com 140p, PB, small format
collected by Naomi Beth Wakan and Ruth Artmonsky 0-9541608-4-3
Artmonsky Arts Cdn $12.95
Level : Adult
Bookworms everywhere will love this collection of quotes on authors, book-sellers, critics, poetry and every aspect of words and those who produce them. Discerning selection by a bibliophile and a poet.

"...and indeed, it does whet the appetite for more!...Highly recommended."
Bookmark

Bookworks
Designworks Trade & Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com 128p, PB, small format
collected by Naomi Beth Wakan and Ruth Artmonsky 0-9541608-2-7
Artmonsky Arts Cdn $12.95
Level : Adult
Home, theatre, industrial design, all aspects of the `designing' artist are wittily present. This book includes original poetry by Naomi Beth Wakan

"...and indeed, it does whet the appetite for more!...Highly recommended."
Bookmark

Designworks
Foodworks Trade & Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com 142p, PB, small format
collected by Naomi Beth Wakan and Ruth Artmonsky 0-9541608-6-X
Artmonsky Arts Cdn $12.95
Level : Adult
Gourmets and gourmands, chefs and home-cooks...all will find themselves in this volume of quotations on food and food production and presentations. From the profound to the scurrilous, Foodworks will have the quote you need to inspire to rush to the kitchen, or maybe, close the door on the dishes and eat out. A fun collection.

"...and indeed, it does whet the appetite for more!...Highly recommended."
Bookmark

Foodworks
Gardenworks Trade & Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com 144p, PB, small format
collected by Naomi Beth Wakan and Ruth Artmonsky 0-9541608-5-1
Artmonsky Arts Cdn $12.95
Level : Adult
For those who dig in gardens and those who admire gardens, this book of garden quotes will animate and motivate. Whatever the season in the garden you will find a quote - wise and witty.

"...and indeed, it does whet the appetite for more!...Highly recommended."
Bookmark

Gardenworks
Lifeworks Trade & Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com 120p, PB, small format
collected by Naomi Beth Wakan and Ruth Artmonsky 0-9541608-7-9
Artmonsky Arts Cdn $12.95
Level : Adult
This profound and witty collection of quotes stretches from birth to death with such topics as ambition, middle age and legacy floating around and between.

"...and indeed, it does whet the appetite for more!...Highly recommended."
Bookmark

Lifeworks
Loveworks Trade & Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com 125p, PB, small format
collected by Naomi Beth Wakan and Ruth Artmonsky 0-9541608-7-8
Artmonsky Arts Cdn $12.95
Level : Adult
Cynical or romantic, Loveworks will supply the quote to take you to bed or make you leap out of bed. All aspects of loving from sacred to plain old everday caring are found in this carefully selected collection of quotes on the many faces of love.

"...and indeed, it does whet the appetite for more!...Highly recommended."
Bookmark

Loveworks
Musicworks Trade & Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com 152p, PB, small format
collected by Naomi Beth Wakan and Ruth Artmonsky 0-9541608-3-5
Artmonsky Arts Cdn $12.95
Level : Adult
This wonderful collection of quotes on music, musicians, critics, orchestras etc. is the perfect gift for the music-lover you know. Quotes to inspire and amuse on opera to jazz, folk to New Age. Musicworks also includes introductory verse for each section by Naomi Beth Wakan

"...and indeed, it does whet the appetite for more!...Highly recommended."
Bookmark

Musicworks
Scienceworks Trade & Retail: naomi@naomiwakan.com 128p, PB
by Naomi Beth Wakan 1-894948-03-3
Pacific Edge Publishing Cdn $12.95
Level : Adult
Inspiring and witty quotes on physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology and math. Perfect for `recreational' scientists and budding Nobel Prize winners.

"I loved this poetry. This is someone who's seen life, knows it pulls no punches, and who can still laugh like a child running down a" hillside. I can hear her voice. I can hear her."
jacket: Richard Harrison

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