Carla was born and raised in Vanderhoof, the geographical centre of British Columbia and one of the earliest Mennonite settlements in the province. Though she left Vanderhoof after high school and has lived on Vancouver Island for a quarter of a century, she still returns in her writing to her childhood hometown, her family, those long Sunday sermons, and the rumble of her father’s logging truck coming down the drive.
Carla’s newest book, Every Little Scrap and Wonder – part ode to childhood, part love letter to rural life – was published on October 15, 2019 by Greystone Press.
Occasionally, Carla’s writing shows up on other pages:
“Carla Funk is one of the finest poets of her generation. She’s becoming one of the finest nonfiction writers too. It doesn’t surprise me because the strengths of her poetry are evident in the prose: the force of her imagery, the colourful characters, an insider’s knowledge of northern rural Canada, and her story-telling skills. Reading her nonfiction reminds me of reading Alistair MacLeod. There’s the same deep understanding of a place and the same tough sweetness.”
– Lorna Crozier, Governor General’s Award-winning poet and author of Small Beneath the Sky
Every Little Scrap and Wonder has been shortlisted for the 2020 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize.
Occasionally, I stand at a microphone in front of an audience and read what words I’ve written. Sometimes, the room is full of people who know how to make poetry reading sounds, the low hmmm and mmmm that seem to mean, Hey, metaphor! or, That seems deep. Or maybe just, You lost me with that image of a monkey loose in heaven.
I’ve always loved listening to writers talk about creative process. Part of that fascination comes from my
nosey nature a natural curiosity about the world. The other part comes from a desire to learn what stokes creativity and how to stoke it more.
I feel his sweating shadow at my back, the archetype of every dawdler, and emblem of each time I’ve shot a glance, rolled my eyes, shaken my head and clucked my tongue over the one who can’t catch up.
The biggest berries grow along the fence line of the farm down the road, their juice fuelled by the cows that graze the fields. Each manure pie and spell of rain mingle down to roots that drink it up, make every pinkish flower burst into a tiny clutch of seeds that sweeten with the bees and hum of sun.
My father wanted to name me Edna, after some hot chick he knew in his fast car days. I picture him at the wheel of his Ford Fairlane and her riding shotgun, shrieking around each hairpin curve, a gauzy scarf tied over her hairsprayed beehive to guard against the wind.