Some of the Books written or edited by SHARON BERG

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This is a book that remained in its planning stages for three decades. Robert passed in 1987, but he had given me 10 poems that were not published in a book, and I wanted to share them with the public. I thought of releasing a chapbook. Richard Olafson of Exstasis Editions made the suggestion to create a 'Selected Poems' and add the previously uncollected poems at the end. Then, James Deahl told me that Robert had published several pieces from a ms. he called The White City Poems in Malahat Review, so I discovered two additional poems there. I contacted his wife to ask if there were any other previously uncollected works, and she said there were not, giving me permission to publish what I had. This is the result. It also includes a memoir by Cathy Ford, President of the League of Canadian Poets while Robert Was VP (the year he disappeared) and another by Sharon Berg.

 

JAMES DEAHL says: "Robert Billings possessed an outstanding talent... I soon became convinced that Robert Billings was the foremost poet of his generation."

BRUCE MEYER says: "As someone who knew and published the work of Robert Billings this book is long overdue.Although few recognized it at the time, Billings was one of the leading lights of Canadian poetry in the Eighties."

MICHAEL CLARKSON, a school friend of Robert, says: ...Sharon Berg has captured the enigmatic, sometimes elusive, but always spiritually-provoking Robert Billings in this collection of his poems... I am thrilled that she is keeping his memory alive with these gems of man's connection to nature, of mortality, of family, of problematic and yet somehow romantic flashes of city life. The 12 unpublished works are a huge bonus.

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This is a collection of nine shorts stories and two novelettes which all deal with identifying and naming the shadows that cross our paths, even as they celebrate the light. As C.G. Jung said, "One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious."

DEBBIE OKUN HILLS says of this book: Berg never flinches from tough subjects nor sugar-coats her work. She pushes boundaries and draws attention to such inequalities and injustices as betrayal and infidelity, bullying, manipulation, torture and assault, rape and sexual deviance, the exploitation of Midgets in a freak show, street living and abuse, theft and consequences, love lost and grief, adoption and single parenting, ageism, plus the heaviness of dark secrets and confessions. These are the shadows that Berg clearly names and wants to bring to light.

​You can read more reviews by following this link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44326748-naming-the-shadows

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This is a cross genre tale, a narrative history of the first Native Way school in Canada. It was founded in the living room of Pauline Shirt as a private school in September 1976 and it was adopted by the Toronto Board of Education in February 1977 as an Alternative Culture School, the only one of its kind before the founding of the Afrocentric School in September 2009.

 

The name Wandering Spirit came to Pauline Shirt as a Cree Chief who should be remembered with pride by reading between the lines in white history texts which had twisted the story and painted him as a traitor to Canada hung in 1885. The words Survival School meant survival of a culture that had been forced underground by a government who imprisoned the first peoples of the land and stole their children from them with the aim of wiping the Indian out of the Indian. This was meant to be a learning place unlike any other Canadian school because it focused on giving First Nations students a comfortable place where they could learn about their culture and tradition in the companionship with others of a like mind.

 

Indeed, despite many struggles, including its renaming as First Nations School for close to 30 years, the school has been renamed Wandering Spirit and it still survives. In fact, it was moved into its own building in January 2017. That is unusual for an Alternative School. However, Wandering Spirit began to offer high school classes in September 2018, adding a grade each year following. In September 2021, it will offer all grades.

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New by
SHARON BERG

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This is my latest poetry collection, released in late 2020. It is both hard-hitting and tender as it delves into some difficult subjects.

RUSSELL THORNTON says: "Berg is a 'truth teller' - and no matter how painful the truth, whether of her own searing individual history or the wider world's, she refuses to pretend her way out of it... [T]his is a transforming, triumphant book -- and a valuable one".

MAUREEN HYNES says: "With clarity, purpose and skill, Sharon Berg examines losses, traumas, betrayals -- both personal and political. ...Berg's vision extends widely across continents, and is especially compelling and compassionate in her long poem about the 1990 Oka crisis.

This book took more than 30 years to publish though many of its poems followed closely on the heels of her second volume. However, it is double the size of any regular poetry book, which makes it an exceptional value. Much of her finest poetry is included in these pages.

Older work by
SHARON BERG

I published three chapbooks with Big Pond Rumours Press: Odyssey and Other Poems (2017), The Great Hoop Dance (2016), and Black Moths (2006).

I also released a CD called Sharon Berg that featured my poetry performances through BPR Press in 2006. That CD was a re-recording that drew on two audio tapes: Black Moths (Public Energies, 1986) and Tape 5 (Gallery 101 Editions, 1985.

The Body Labyrinth was published by Coach House Press in 1984.

To a Young Horse was published by Borealis Press in 1979. It is my debut collection.