Renée Sarojini Saklikar has worked as Surrey’s first Poet Laureate since 2015. (file photo: Gord Goble)

New book about honey bees from Surrey poet laureate Saklikar and expert Winston

‘Listening to the Bees’ will be launched at Surrey library on May 11

Surrey Poet Laureate Renée Sarojini Saklikar has collaborated on a new book that should create a buzz in local literary circles.

Harbour Publishing is behind Listening to the Bees, which will be launched with a special event May 11 at Surrey City Centre Library.

The book, co-authored by honey bee expert Mark L. Winston, is described as a “call-and-response collaboration between two writers who share a common passion for bees and for language.”

• RELATED STORY: Surrey selects its first Poet Laureate, from 2015.

As Surrey Poet Laureate since 2015, Saklikar said she’s “delighted to have had time to write a set of poems about bees and the environment, in addition to my other Laureate duties,” which include consults with Surrey residents and teaching poetry workshops in schools and libraries.

“(Winston) has written personal reflections on his over 40 year career in bee science, and I’ve responded with poetry,” Saklikar added.

Copies of the book will be available to purchase, courtesy of Black Bond Books, at the library’s May 11 event, which gets going at 7 p.m. at 10350 University Dr. Light refreshments will be available. To attend, register by calling 604-598-7426.

• RELATED STORY: ‘Surrey Stories Connect’ book a legacy project for the city’s first poet laureate, from 2017.

Understanding what bees can reveal about the world is more important now than ever, Harbour Publishing says in a press release for Listening to the Bees. “Over the past decade, bee populations have been on the decline due to elevated pesticide use, lack of nectar and pollen producing plants, and increased instances of disease and pests.”

Winston, recipient of the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-fiction for his book Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive, writes that “today, there is an urgent economic imperative to listen to the bees, since we depend on them for our own survival and prosperity. Without these pollinators, much of our food would not exist, and the habitats we depend on would similarly become wastelands.”



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