deanna color 3x5


Deanna Barnhardt Kawatski, author of best-selling memoir, Wilderness Mother (Lyons & Burford, New York) and Clara and Me, (Whitecap Books) a BC Book Prize nominee, plus the novel, Stalking the Wild Heart (Gracesprings Collective) lives in the North Shuswap where her roots reach back one hundred years. Her latest book is Burning Man, Slaying Dragon (My True & Transformative Travel Tale). Deanna attended UBC and then travelled extensively in her twenties, spending three years living in Europe. She returned home regularly to plant trees. She wrote her first novel in Paris in 1974 and it caught the interest of George Ryga, who became her mentor. In 1975 she met W.O. Mitchell on a flight back to Canada and attended his workshops at the Banff School of Fine Arts later in the year. In 1978 Deanna worked as a forestry lookout attendant in the remote reaches of Northwestern BC, where she met her hermit husband. For the next thirteen years she led the life of a pioneering mother in the wilderness. At the same time she wrote feature articles for many magazines including Mother Earth News (to which she became a contributing editor) Harrowsmith, Country Journal, and Outdoor Canada. Her life became the subject of two CBC television documentaries and she was interviewed by Vicki Gabereau and many others. Besides Bird, Bubble and Stream, a volume of poetry (Fiddlehead Press), Deanna’s poetry and short stories have appeared in many publications, including North Coast Collected (Caitlin Press), Imagining British Columbia (Anvil Press) and most recently Slice Me Some Truth, an anthology of creative nonfiction (Wolsak and Wynn). Wilderness Mother and Clara and Me were both Book-of-the-Month Club selections. Deanna is a popular workshop presenter and has given dozens of public readings including at the Vancouver International Writers’ Festival. She worked as a writer-in-resident at the Ryga Centre in 2002 and has also been a Director of the Shuswap Writers’ Festival since its inception.







Grade 12 graduate, Kamloops Senior Secondary School, B.C. 1969

Bachelor of Arts program, University of British Columbia 1969-1971

Creative Writing program, University College of the Cariboo, B.C. 1973

reative Writing, Okanagan Summer School of the Arts 1974

Mentorship by author, George Ryga 1974

Banff School of Fine Arts 1975

(invited by author, W.O. Mitchell to attend a 6-week Creative Writing program)

Attended Poetry Workshops by author, Harriet Rose (London, UK) 1976

Attended workshops at The Surrey Writers’ Conference 1998 & 2001





Writer-in-residence, George Ryga Centre, Summerland, B.C. 2002



Coordinated and taught ongoing writing workshops, Garland Gracesprings Farm 1996-2011

Two day creative nonfiction workshop, Shuswap Summer School of the Arts 1999

Regular presenter, Young Authors’ Conference, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops 1996-2006

Three Writing Workshops, 1st annual Shuswap International Writers’ Festival, Salmon Arm 2003

Two Writing Workshops, The Wise Woman Weekend, Naramata, B.C. 2003

Writers’ Workshop, (day-long) Nakusp, B.C. 2004

Three Writers’ Workshops, 2nd annual Shuswap International Writers’ Festival 2004

Two Writers’ Workshops, 3rd annual Shuswap International Writers’ Festival 2005

One Writers’ Workshop, Shuswap Mini-festival 2006

Two Writers’ Workshops, Wise Woman Weekend, Naramata, B.C. 2006

Two Writers’ Workshops, Spirit of Writing Festival, Nakusp, B.C. 2007

One Writers’ Workshop, Shuswap International Writers’ Festival 2008

DREAMSCAPES Writing Workshop, FCJ Convent, Calgary 2009

Writing Workshop Haldane School, Chase 2011

Awakening the Writers’ Voice Within Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society 2011

The Art of Revisioning, Shuswap Writers’ Festival 2011

Writing from the Wild Side, Workshop, Kamloops Writers’ Fair, November 2011




Over 90 public readings from my works (Here is a Sampling):


5-stop Kootenay book tour 1995

Victoria International Writers’ Festival 1996

Vancouver International Writers’ Festival 1997

Canadian Author Lecture Series, Kamloops, B.C. 1997

B.C. Hydro’s “Off the Page Project” (Readings to Secondary School students) 1997-1998

University College of the Cariboo, Social Sciences & Humanities Series 2002

Metrotown Library, Burnaby, B.C. 2002

Okanagan University College, Penticton, B.C. 2002

Shuswap International Writers’ Festival 2003

Merlin Books, invited by Peter Gimpel, Red Heifer Press, Los Angeles 2003

Shuswap International Writers’ Festival 2004

Wise Woman Weekend, Naramata 2004

Okanagan University College, Salmon Arm 2005

Thompson Rivers University 2005

Shuswap International Writers’ Festival 2005

CFJC Television, Kamloops 2006

Shuswap Writers’ Festival 2006

Prestige Inn, Salmon Arm 2006

Salmon Arm Art Gallery, with Arthur Black 2007

Spirit of Writing Festival, Nakusp 2007

Fireweed Art Gallery, North Shuswap 2007

North Shuswap Elementary School 2008

Salmon Arm Art Gallery 2008

Prestige Inn, Salmon Arm 2008

Chapters Bookstore, Kamloops 2008

Poetry Planet SAGA Public Art Gallery, Salmon Arm 2009

Book Launch for Stalking the Wild Heart 2009

Banyen Books, Vancouver 2009

Agro Café, Granville Island, Vancouver International Writers’ Festival 2009

Henry Grube Center 2010

Off the Page Project, Haldane School, Chase 2010

The Oracle, Whistler 2010

The Yoga Studio, North Shuswap 2010

Chapters Bookstore, Kelowna 2010

Chapters Bookstore, Kamloops 2010

Adams River Salmon Run, Roderick Haig Brown Park 2010

Main Library, Kamloops 2010

Haldane School, Chase 2011

Saga Art Gallery, Shuswap Writers’ Festival, Salmon Arm 2011

Fireweed Art Gallery, Shuswap Lake 2011

Old Court House Arts Centre, Kamloops 2011

The Oracle at Whistler 2012

North Shuswap Community Hall     2012

House Reading                                       2012

Haldane School, OTP reading        2013

Shuswap Writers Group                   2013

Nelson Public Library                      2013

Kimberley Public Library                 2013

Salmon Arm Library                        2013

Antigonish, Nova Scotia                 2013

Salmon Arm Art Gallery                  2013





Bird, Bubble and Stream Fiddlehead Press, 1980 Book of poetry

Wilderness Mother Lyons Press (New York) 1994 Literary Nonfiction

Clara and Me Whitecap Books (Vancouver) 1996 Literary Nonfiction

Wilderness Mother Gracesprings Collective (new edition) 2008

Stalking the Wild Heart Gracesprings Collective 2009 Literary novel

Burning Man, Slaying Dragon Gracesprings Collective 2012 Literary Nonfiction


MAGAZINE ARTICLES: (Over 250 pages in the form of feature articles published in national magazines in Canada and the U.S.)

“Lookout Life” Westworld Magazine, 1980

“At Home with the Cliff Dwellers” Outdoor Canada, 1986

“Living the Dream” Outdoor Canada 1987; Mother Earth News Magazine 1991

“Life in the Clearings” Harrowsmith Magazine, 1987

“Babes in the Woods” B.C. Woman to Woman.,1988

“Up Natty Creek” Harrowsmith , 1989

“The Good Life on $5,000 a Year ” Country Journal,1991, cover story

“The Garden at Natty Creek” Country Journal, 1991, feature article series

“Huckleberry Heaven” Mother Earth News Magazine (NY) 1992

“Northern Exposure ” Canadian Gardening,1992

“Leaving the Dream…Entering Civilization ” Mother Earth News, 1994

“A Doll Artist Designed by Life” Dollcrafter Magazine , 1995

“Shuswap Diary” Mother Earth News Magazine, 1995-96 feature articles series

“Late Bloomer ” Canadian Gardening Magazine, 1997 feature article

“Regional Reports” Wordworks, 2000-2002

“Our Wilderness Homestead Revisited” Mother Earth News Magazine (20th Anniversay Issue), 2003

“In Retreat at Garland Gracesprings Farm” Wordworks, 2006

“Shuswap Lake Fifty Years Ago” Shuswap Chronicles , 2006



“Return to the Cabin” Pick Poetry, 1978 Surrey, England

“What We Really Need is a Good Ice Age” Herspectives, 1991, poem

“Natty Creek Garden Journal” Caitlin Press, 1994 short story chosen for North Coast Collected, a “best of” anthology

“Avalanche and the Chicken Lady” Douglas & McIntyre, 1995 short story in anthology: How I Learned to Speak Dog (chosen from 600 submissions)

“Black Cat and Snow” The Umbrella, 2000 poem

“The Ghost Wharf ” short story in anthology: Imagining British Columbia (Anvil Press), Land, Memory & Place (20 contributors chosen from 100 submissions) Anvil Press 2008

“Pilgrimage to the Past” literary nonfiction for anthology: Slice Me Some Truth (Wolsak & Wynn), published in 2011.



Sophia’s Saga

The Ghost Wharf a collection of literary nonfiction



A Pocketful of Muse (a chapbook of regional writing) Federation of B.C. Writers 2001



Led a series of Writing workshops to elementary aged children, North Shuswap School 1997

Founding member, Wild Women’s Book Club, 1996 to present

Regional Representative (South Central) Federation of B.C. Writers 2000 to 2002

Coordinated 1st Federation of B.C. Writers’ gathering, Shuswap region, 2000

Juror, B.C. Arts Council, Creative Writing Competition 2000

Coordinated Shuswap Writers’ Gathering (featuring author, Audrey Thomas) 2001

Served on the executive of SAOW (Shuswap Association of Writers) 2004 to 2012



Clara and Me, Hubert Evans Non Fiction Prize finalist (one of three best works of nonfiction by a B.C. author) 1997

Wilderness Mother, best selling title, Whitecap Books

Wilderness Mother and Clara and Me, both Book-of-the-Month-Club selections.

Mother Earth News Magazine, Deanna Kawatski named most popular contributor

Clara and Me, included in Twigg’s 200 A Selection of Significant B.C. Literature

Library Services Branch (200 titles chosen from 7,000 books Published in B.C. in past 97 years)

Wilderness Mother and Clara and Me, included in Women’s Studies Catalogue (B.C. Books for B.C. Schools) 2003-2004 published by the Association of B.C. Book Publishers (selected by Teacher Librarians)



The Writers’ Union of Canada – member in good standing

The Federation of B.C. Writers – member in good standing.

Creative Nonfiction Collective

Shuswap Association of Writers





Country Canada Thanksgiving, 1990

Kawatski’s Dream Country Canada 2005 & 2006 (CBC National Broadcasts) (rebroadcast many times)


Page 5 “Contact”


Contact Deanna


Phone: 250 955 6308




Mailing Address: 2508 Garland Road

Celista, B.C. VOE 1M6




The Writers’ Union of Canada

Federation of BC Writers

Gracesprings Collective

Wild Women’s Expeditions




Creative Nonfiction Collective.

Shuswap Association of Writers