Hilary black and white.jpg


- Photo Credit: Stephen Hederich


For three decades, West Coast performance poet Hilary Peach has been writing, performing, producing, recording, and facilitating interdisciplinary collaborations and her own solo works. She has performed at events that include the Vancouver International Writers Festival, Montreal's Festival Voix d'Ameriques, and the Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam. She has recorded three CDs: Poems Only Dogs Can Hear, Suitcase Local, and Dictionary of Snakes. She was the founder of the Poetry Gabriola Society, inventor of the Poetry Gabriola Festival, and artistic director of the festival for 10 years.  Her first book of poetry, BOLT, will be released in the spring of 2018 by Anvil Press. A collection of non-fiction essays is due for publication in the fall, also with Anvil. Hilary Peach works as a welder for the Boilermakers’ Union and maintains an interdisciplinary art practice on Gabriola Island.

The Anvils Are Restless

and ramble out
onto the main road
rumbling the moonlight
their square hooves slow
as handwriting
deliberate as ice
in older times
they roamed more freely
in greater numbers
were less guarded
and so were we
scarred with chiselmarks
scorched with hope
anvils remember everything
every thing that they have
ever made
every blow and ring
and we
will make everything
or we say we will
or we want to
or we want to say
we will
make everything
out of everything
seamless and heavy
tender hammerblows
ringing bright as stone
anvils live for two hundred
or three hundred years
if they live at all
if they aren’t captured
during the dark times
confiscated and rendered
into arms
that was a long time ago
they are skittish
and on the move
making a break for it
they angle swaybacked
down the main road
swinging their great horns
from side to side
their breath
cool as smoke
the scent of something
tenderly uncertain
on the air