A witness in words and drawings to the Reena Virk Trials 1998-2000
Winner of the Pat Lowther Award, 2002
1999 and 2000, two Victoria teenagers were convicted of the murder of
their schoolfellow, fourteen-year-old Reena Virk. Of the more than 500
drawings she prepared as courtroom artist for the trials, Heather Spears
has selected some 50 to accompany the poems that record her experience
of the process. An epilogue by the poet's niece, Holly Spears, presents
yet another perspective of the trials, that of a young person.
Wolsak and Wynn 2000, IBSN 0-919897--70-3 96p, 8 1/2x10",
21 poems, 49 drawings, epilogue by Holly Spears.
May be ordered from General Publishing,
325 Humber College Blvd.
Toronto ON M9W 7C3
1-800-387-0172 (ON and QUE)
1-800-387-0172 (rest of Canada)
416-213-1919 ext 350
"It is a story
that should be told. And Spears has done it rivetingly, her text and images
working together to powerful effect." Barbara Carey, Toronto Star
"A tremendously brave collection of poems and drawings."
Mitchell Parry, The Malahat Review
in its refusal to sentimentalize."
"The sketches (are) inexorable in detailing
expression and posture
as straightforward and clear
as running water.
"This is more than the required reading of a body: it is necessary
to 'mark, learn and inwardly digest' this book and consider seriously
our society and the teens who will make the future."
Joanna M Weston, The Dalhousie Review
"provides a framework in which Reena's life and her death are verified,
preserved and remembered."
Rita Donoven, Arc
The soft room
At Saanich police station
they've set aside a room
"Normally," a sergeant says, "there's stuffed animals
there's a love seat
it's used to interview children
in cases of child abuse
It's known as the soft room"
a love seat
the video is bad the black
machine swivelled at the judge so that the tiny heads
of mother and girl enlongate, dull curtains a lot
of static and flack
and now the prosecutor lifts her arm, aims the remote
fast forwards while the sleeve
of her gown widens and after a silence
the inanimate voices resume,
one childish one a man's
hours of it
"You are being charged
with murder do you understand?"
This is the soft room
"I didn't do anything.
I wanna go home."
This is normally.
POETRY , SCIENCE FICTION,
BOOKS OF DRAWINGS