In these poems, readers will find a celestial and transcendent re-discovering of the self, an unraveling of society’s expectations of gender roles, love, and desire and how these falsehoods threaten to eclipse our truth. Phases slides through time, summoning profound memories of the loss of childhood innocence through each gendered ritual, yet the resilient heart of a tomboy who stands up to bullies and can “tie a tie better than anyone” is too powerful to suppress. Betker then takes us into adulthood—an experience cut sharp by the “dark side of the moon” with a health crisis and surgery—and the victorious recovery and unearthing of buried desire and resplendent sensuality. Phases is mercurial and unpredictable, a celebration of the non-conformist in each of us.
Belinda Betker is a prairie-born poet living in Saskatoon. Her work is published in several anthologies, including Fast Forward: New Saskatchewan Poets, and Spring (Vols. 7, 8, & 9); as well as in various literary journals and chapbooks. She is a founding and long-time board member of the Saskatoon Writers Collective; and a founding/core member of two Saskatoon writing groups – Sisters’ Ink, and Obsessors. Photo by Debra Marshall