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Earth Carries Spirit is a remarkable witness to a poetic vocation. It is a testament to the author's engagement with the work of culture and the spirituality of earth.

Ann Brennan is an historian, deep ecologist, and cultural activist. But she is also poet who has been recording the story of her relationship to the earth, her Irish roots, and her international engagement with culture and environment.

The first section of this book, "Going Home to Ireland," gives voice to her profound connection with the living presence of the land, the power of ancient monuments, the Irish peace process, family history, and new friends. The remainder of the book gathers poems from a wide range of times and places, from inward and outward engagement, and on the work of restoring a wounded earth.

Earth Carries Spirit witnesses to the quest for a culture of peace for people and earth. Ann Brennan speaks with a deep sense of the poetics of place. Her themes draw on the past,

celebrate the present, and lean powerfully into the future. This book is a unique cultural document and may well be read for both its artistry and spiritual resonance for many decades to come.

Thelma Ann Brennan is a gifted New Brunswick writer whose diverse body of work ranges from biography to historical novels to collections of poetry. Her publications include The Real Klondike Kate (1990), a nationally acclaimed biography of the Johnville NB native Katherine Ryan, who became a heroine of the North and made Canadian history as the first female member of the Northwest Mounted Police. The Hawthorn Bush (2005) is a novel based on the author's ancestral heritage - both 'orange and green' - and recounts the Irish contribution to the development of Canada. She has co-authored two collections of poetry, Cameos (1985) and Feathers & Shells (2000). She is also the author of an unpublished monograph, Thinking Like a Mountain: The Philosophy of Arne Naess and the Deep Ecology Movement, 1972 - 2005. Her work has appeared in the journals Cormorant, Canadian Women's Studies, Vox Feminarium, and in the book Stories of My Neighbour's Faith: Narratives from World Religions in Canada, edited by Susan L. Scott.

Ann Brennan is a founding member of the Writers Federation of New Brunswick. She is also a member of Pen Canada, The Writers Union of Canada, and the Canadian Association of Irish Studies. She is a former participant in the New Brunswick's Writers in Schools Program, encouraging youth to discover their heritage through their own research and documentation of local history.

Recognized for her many contributions to the arts and cultural communities, Ann Brennan was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa soon after it was established. In 1991 she brought together 110 musicians, actors, and historians from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland for a three-week performing arts tour of New Brunswick. In 1993 she led a similar tour of NB artists to Northern Ireland in support of the Irish Peace Process. In 2004 she served as an election observer with the Canadian mission to Ukraine.

As a writer, Ann Brennan's work has taken her to Ireland where she was a guest lecturer at the Charles Macklin Autumn School in Culdaff, and to British Columbia and the Yukon for an anniversary Klondike Kate book tour. She has studied at Schumacher College in the UK and received a Master's degree in history from the University of New Brunswick in 2006.

Ann Brennan lives in the historic Irish settlement of Johnville, Carleton County New Brunswick. Her farm home overlooks the agricultural and forested landscape of the Saint John River Valley. She and her family are among the primary organizers of the Johnville Picnic, a community celebration that has been held continuously since the 1880s.

About the Author

Earth Carries Spirit

Thelma Ann Brennan


Earth Carries Spirit by Thelma Ann Brennan
Portrait of Ann Brennan by Shirley Bear

Portrait of Ann Brennan by Shirley Bear


Paperback  •  165 pages  •  ISBN 978-0-9936725-2-1  •  Published 2014/09/23