On the Arts
essays by Naomi Beth Wakan
With a strong creative streak and a passion for learning and writing, Naomi Beth Wakan has dabbled in many different art forms during her eighty-eight years. Her activities have led her to see art as the awareness of sensory action and reaction in the everyday. In other words, opportunities for making art are everywhere, and the possibilities for expressing oneself as an artist are endless. One's very life is an art, if lived with awareness. In this collection of short essays, Wakan writes about her experiences as someone who both appreciates and practices art, covering topics such as ikebana, photography, reading, film noir, domesticity, recycling, personal essay writing, solitude, and more. This book will entertain, but also awaken the reader to the possibilities of living a rich and rewarding life by infusing one's life with awareness and creativity.
ARTS / General
ISBN: 978-1-951651-09-1 (print; softcover; perfect bound)
Released January 2020
Naomi Beth Wakan, a poet and essayist, has published over fifty books. Her most recent books are the trilogy, The Way of Haiku, The Way of Tanka, and Poetry That Heals (Shanti Arts). Naomi is a member of The League of Canadian Poets, Haiku Canada, and Tanka Canada. She is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Nanaimo (2013–2016), and has been made the Federation of British Columbia Writers Inaugural Honorary Ambassador. She lives on Gabriola Island with her husband, the sculptor Elias Wakan.
“In On the Arts, the irrepressible Naomi Beth Wakan shares with us the impressive results of an intellectual life lived to its fullest. This delightful collection of essays, poems, and musings on art in its many forms will make you ponder and smile and wrinkle your brow and above all it will have you marveling at how much wit, wisdom, and sheer audacity can reside in one solitary and seemingly unstoppable mind.”
“Naomi's lively voice takes us into an overview of the arts from the art of flower arranging to the art of flamenco, from short story writing to the art of survival, film noir to bel canto. Naomi defines art as "life lived awarely," and that is her expertise. Lively, juicy, couldn't-put-it-down good. No one else could have written this book!”
“Naomi Beth Wakan's On the Arts should come with a health warning for one is left breathless coming to the last page of her enthusiasms and her erudite interests. Her enjoyment of creativity in its multitudinous forms is magnetic and one is left with endless ideas to hammer out at dinner parties or in the local pub. With a book list of "must reads" that will take one over more than a summer holiday; and one will never be able to see things in quite the same light again.”
“Spoiler alert: In her latest book, Naomi Beth Wakan concludes that "one needs a reason to survive and mine is curiosity." With a free-wheeling intelligence, Wakan explores the nooks and crannies of her curiosity about art—what is art? can craft be art? what is creativity?—and transports the reader on a captivating journey into which she weaves poetry, quotes, and reflections about her own life in art. On the Arts is a terrific read for the curious mind and will steer you far beyond its pages.”
Phyllis Reeve, “Review of On the Arts,” The Ormsby Review, March 7, 2020
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