2021 Micro-Grant Recipient: Marlie van Roy
I am a wildland firefighter with the BC Wildfire Service. I grew up in Cranbrook in Ktunaxa Territory but was born in the Netherlands, and now live on Vancouver Island in Tseshaht Territory.
I use writing to explore our connection to the natural world.
Grant Category: Poetry
Words on Fire: A Fireline Poetry Collection
My vision is to write poems about learning in wildfire and lessons that people learn, from the obvious technical skills to the more subtle and transferable. I intend to have conversations with my crew members and people from other crews about some of their most valuable, hardest, and most surprising lessons.
My goal with sharing these poems and photographs with people both within and outside the fire community is to encourage people to look for lessons in the mundane. Firefighting is certainly unique in that it often pushes oneself beyond one’s limits, but I also believe that any job has value and can offer a multitude of lessons if we can expand our definition of learning.
Favorite thing about firefighting:
I’m a bit of an introvert so the social stuff can be a bit overwhelming, but also it is still probably one of my favorite things. I love the shared vulnerabilities that people have after going through a hard day together, the laughs and goofiness, and getting to work outside. And I guess all the lessons to learn from wildfire, since I’m writing about that.