Carla Funk is a teenager with her hands on the church piano keys and her feet edging ever closer to the flames. Coming of age in a remote and forested valley—a place rich in Mennonites, loggers, and dutiful wives who submit to their husbands—she knows her destiny is to marry, have babies, and join the church ladies’ sewing circle. But she feels an increasing urge to push the limits of her religion and the small town that cannot contain her desires for much longer.
Part ode to childhood, part love letter to rural life, Every Little Scrap and Wonder offers an original take on the memories, stories, and traditions we all carry within ourselves, whether we planned to or not.
Finalist for the Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher
Carla Funk, in her fifth book of poetry, illuminates the small and marvelous marginalia of earth, like the glistening trail of a snail en route, and looks prophetically to the not-so-distant future where cities burn and the body falls to ruin. A meditation on endings, intermingling wonder and praise with question and elegy, Gloryland offers poems for an apocalyptic age (which sounds depressing, but in truth, the collection riffs on joy, and includes a poem about a fly trapped on an airplane).
Finalist for the Victoria Book Prize
Capturing moments in time and nature, Carla Funk’s poems bring the world to a momentary standstill. Funk translates vivid descriptions and feeling into her poems, both testing and playing with traditional poetic meter and form (all while crafting a love poem hinged on custom-built caskets, exploring roadkill as muse, hearkening back to Christmas pageant days in a cow costume, and imagining her father in heaven dressed in his long-johns and trying not to smoke).
In The Sewing Room, Carla Funk reveals deftly observed insights into childhood and time, matrimony and spirituality, representation and recollection. Funk explores issues of faith and belief, writes about the seven deadly sins, re-imagines Bible stories, inhabits marriage and domesticity to interrogate love. In this collection, children play flashlight tag, a father builds his daughter a tree house, a mother makes a blue velvet Christmas dress: this is poetry created from memory's ragbag. (This is also poetry created from memory’s crawlspace, memory’s attic, memory’s junk drawer, and memory’s over-stuffed purse.)
Head Full of Sun celebrates poetry and language's rich spiritual heritage by weaving together the biblical and the personal. Carla Funk uses biblical forms and stories to explore the human condition and give blood and bone to the spiritual. These poems lament, question and sing praise as they wrestle with the divine. (These poems also lack punctuation, as at the time of their writing, I couldn’t stand the comma. I’ve since capitulated, though the semi-colon still troubles me.)
“With an eye for vivid and starling detail, Carla Funk has woven a richly sensual collection imbued with wisdom, wit, and a fierce tenderness. Here are poems carrying the rhythmic assurance of the Old Testament, in narratives and images that resonate and linger.”—Barbara Nickel
(This was my first poetry collection, and it contains the poem “Bums,” an ode to my Amish big-bottom heritage, a copy of which my mother once presented to the doctor performing her colonoscopy.)
In this satisfying collection of new personal essays, humour and meditations on nature, 24 BC writers capture the joys, memories and spirit of summer. (In “The Lady of the Lake,” a homemade houseboat, accordion-song, RV life, and leeches intermingle to capture my typical childhood camping experience.)
An anthology of fine poets, half of whom I’m probably related to in some way. Includes a sampling of my poems from The Sewing Room, Apologetic, and Gloryland.
“Every poet in this book is a force field unto herself,” says this anthology’s editor, Susan Musgrave. I’m happy to join the forces in this field.
This MotherTongue anthology gathering contemporary BC poetry also includes short notes on writing by each poet. (Also, I once again reference roadkill.)
“They just keep appearing. Mennonite writers,” says Hildi Froese Tiessen on the back cover of this anthology. She’s right. We’re everywhere. The Mennonites are taking over in stories, poems, and non-fiction, but peacefully, as is our heritage.
This anthology holds three of my poems, one of which contains my only use to date of the word “flatulence.” I don’t know what I was thinking.
This is a way-back compilation of poems from the chapbook days of a small press called Smoking Lung, which Patrick Lane called “the next century before it happens.” Wrap your mind around that, and while you’re it, you can crack open this book and read some poems about the wives of my favourite biblical polygamist.
When it was published, this anthology made me feel like a writer. Now, when I read my bio inside (“She resides in Victoria with her husband and one-year-old daughter”), it makes me feel ancient. I wrote one of the poems in this book for a first-year creative writing class. Also, the daughter has grown, as have my wrinkles.