A poet and a California native, Shirley Graham has made a home for herself on Salt Spring amongst the greenery. After being on the island for 24 hours in 1996, Graham knew she wanted to live here. In 2000, she, her husband, and their young son Tai made the move in order to escape the materialistic culture of California and to begin a quieter lifestyle.
Salt Spring is a paradise of artisans and writers for someone like Graham, who has been writing for as long as she can remember, saying that she most likely wrote her first poem in grade 1 or 2. Graham says that she is “grateful for a population of informed readers [on Salt Spring]. People are, for the most part, well-read and curious”. The population would have to be well-read to keep up with someone like Graham, whose father would read works like Poe’s The Raven at bedtime and who read the likes of EE Cummings, Samuel Beckett, Franz Kafka, Dylan Thomas, Virginia Woolf, Yasunari Kawabata, and countless others.
In February 2014, Graham released The Book of Blue, an ode to the sensation of blue. Currently, she is working on a book written in the style of her favourite author Robert Walser, and a book of prose poems she calls Shakespearean Blues, another project to satisfy her love of blue. When asked who she writes for, Graham thought for a moment, then said, “People who love the things I do, people who stop and notice the small moments of life as a form of daily bread.”