New Brunswick Author Portal

Jane  Spavold  Tims
Categories: Female AuthorsAnglophone AuthorsPoetsSaint John River Valley

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Source: Author / auteure


Jane Spavold Tims was born in Medicine Hat, Alberta in 1954. She has lived in rural New Brunswick, in Rusagonis, for almost 40 years. She has a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. in biology from Dalhousie University in Halifax and a B.A. in history from the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. Jane worked for the New Brunswick Department of the Environment for 34 years in the fields of air quality, watershed management and community planning. She is a member of the Writers' Federation of New Brunswick and belongs to two Fredericton writing groups, Wolf Tree Writers and Fictional Friends. She won the Alfred G. Bailey Prize in the WFNB 2016 Writing Competition for her poetry manuscript mnemonic and Honorable Mention in the same competition in 2012 and 2013 for the manuscripts water fall and within easy reach respectively. She has 84 poems published in 23 literary and other magazines including the Fiddlehead, Dalhousie Review, Galleon, and The New Quarterly. Her book of poetry within easy reach was published in 2016 by Chapel Street Editions, Woodstock. Jane is an artist who displays her paintings at Isaac's Way in Fredericton. Her illustrations also appear in her book and on its cover.


How has New Brunswick influenced your work?

The natural and cultural history of New Brunswick provides themes and inspiration for my poetry, writing and art. New Brunswick enables me to have a rural, relatively stress-free life, and the opportunity to explore the natural and rural environments. I am a botanist and bird-watcher and this province is rich in interesting species that provide observations, words, images and ideas to capture any writer. My projects have included searching for edible plants and describing wildlife in the shelter of New Brunswick's covered bridges. The people of the Maritimes have compelling stories to share and the community of writers works together to continue our history of excellence in writing.

What is your favourite New Brunswick book, and why?

I love Shari Andrew's book of poetry The Stone Cloak (Oberon, 1999). The poems are an imaginative recreation of the lives of people in New Denmark, the oldest Danish community in Canada and a part of New Brunswick's rural history. In deft images, full of emotion and family, Shari brings the past into proximity, reminding me of how much experience we share with our ancestors, whatever their origins.

What do you consider to be the highlight of your career so far?

The highlight of my writing career has been the publication of my first book within easy reach. Every aspect of this experience has been satisfying, from travelling in New Brunswick to gather the materials and experiences for my writing, to working with my publisher, Chapel Street Editions, and reading my poems in public.

Literary prizes

Alfred G. Bailey Prize, Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Writing Competition - 2016 In recognition of: mnemonic
Honorable Mention – Alfred G. Bailey Prize, Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Writing Competition - 2013 In recognition of: within easy reach
Honorable Mention – Alfred G. Bailey Prize, Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Writing Competition - 2012 In recognition of: water fall

Featured Publication

within easy reach

With a Foreword by Freeman Patterson, this book includes poems and drawings about gathering local foods, especially wild edible plants. Activities portrayed with poetry and pencil include picking berries, gardening, fishing, collecting maple sap, beekeeping and gathering herbs. The poems recall personal and family experiences of growing and gathering local foods in New Brunswick and other parts of Canada. Poems explore the benefits of eating local, as well as the barriers to obtaining wild foods.

Find this author in the New Brunswick public libraries catalogue.

Source(s): Author.