Stalking the Wild Heart



In her debut novel Deanna Barnhardt Kawatski weaves a rich wilderness tale that begins in 1970 and involves two childhood friends, Emily and Rachel. Emily remains in their northern hometown while Rachel sets out for Europe. The focus is on Emily and her quest for wholeness, which leads her, at the age of twenty, back to a wilderness home in the company of Sam, a man she meets while working in a mining camp. An early tragedy forced her family to flee, and now at last she has the chance to return and to learn answers to questions that have haunted her her whole life.


“Deanna Barnhardt Kawatski’s beautifully written novel launches us into the world of her previous memoirs, Wilderness Mother and Clara and Me. She again paints the vivid beauty of nature, this time through the eyes of Emily, a dedicated homesteader. Kawatski captures our hearts, minds, and souls in the aching story of a woman who must save herself from an abusive relationship while pitting herself against corporate ‘stalkers’ who would destroy the wilderness she loves. The story is cast against a setting of such grandeur and awe-inspiring creation, that each page literally turns itself in honour of Kawatski’s riveting authorship.” Bette Shippam


Deanna Barnhardt Kawatski was born in Salmon Arm, and grew up in Kamloops. She has lived in Berlin, Paris, and London and also spent thirteen years as a pioneering mother in the wilderness of Northern B.C. Fiddlehead Press published Bird, Bubble and Stream, a book of her poetry. Other books include best-selling Wilderness Mother and Clara and Me, a Hubert Evans Award nominee. Deanna’s stories have appeared in many magazines including Harrowsmith, Mother Earth News, and Country Journal. Several of her stories have also been anthologized, most recently in Imagining British Columbia.
Stalking the Wild Heart
Gracesprings Collective, September 2009
ISBN 978-0-9809608-3-9 $24.95


Clara and Me



Set on a remote homestead in British Columbia, this is the true story of the evolution of a unique friendship. Deanna Kawatski spent eleven years longing for a female companion. Then Clara arrived. Clara and Me traces Deanna’s rich journey from awkwardness with her mentally challenged new neighbour, to gradual acceptance and even joy in her companionship. Clara taught Deanna much more than she ever bargained for and opened her heart in surprising ways. Clara and Me was a Hubert Evans Award nominee.

Clara and Me
Published in 1996 by Whitecap Books Limited Vancouver/Toronto
ISBN 1-55110-489-X $17.95


Wilderness Mother



Wilderness Mother is a lovingly written account of the thirteen years that Deanna Kawatski spent living a pioneering life far off in the wilderness of British Columbia. There she and her husband built their own house, lived largely off the land, and raised two children. Deanna’s love of the wilderness and her life there shines from every page. This best-selling awe-inspiring story continues to win the hearts of readers.”Kawatski tells her absorbing tale in eloquent prose.”

Publishers Weekly


“…a remarkable tale told by a strong woman and compelling writer with powerful descriptive skills.”

Catherine Mitchell, Winnipeg Free Press


“Wilderness Mother is a Canadian classic. It is nothing less than Canada’s Walden. A deep book and a superbly written one, it will always be read – and reread – with joy”.

Alexander Forbes, Professor & Poet Thompson Rivers University


“As a child I treasured castaway fantasies ranging from Robinson Crusoe to Adventures of Perrine. Deanna Kawatski’s true story is even more absorbing. I could not put it down.”

Maine Kumin, Pultizer Prize Winner, Author of Women, Animals & Vegetables.


“A beautifully unsentimental account of one woman’s experiences as a modern pioneer in the wilds of British Columbia.”

Book-of-the-Month Club


“Deanna Kawatski is an engaging, no-nonsense writer who give us both the glories and the hardships of her life in the Canadian bush straight up.”

Robert Kimber, author of Upcountry


“Wilderness Mother is a fascinating account of a true lover of the wilderness. The book describes a lifetime experience that is unique in the modern world.”

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Hidden Life of Dogs


Wilderness Mother
Originally published by Lyons & Burford, New York 1994
Put back in print May 2008 by Gracesprings Collective
ISBN 978-0-9809608-0-8 $24.95

Bird, Bubble and Stream



Published in 1980 by Fiddlehead Poetry Books,

University of New Brunswick

ISBN 0-920110-91-6



This slim limited-edition volume of poetry, written thirty years ago, explores the meanderings of a young creative spirit finding her own voice. In rich imagery Deanna’s words evoke the themes of love and loss, and even then, of nature in peril.




Leaves are Embers


Leaves are embers

tap dancing down

Wind licks them on fire

ghosthair flaming out

as they plunge to the certainty

of death

Leaves are canary ships

carrying ghosts to rest

in the ghost earth

faces in all things

molecule to molecule

Rain down rain down

you yellow applause

This is where we waver

breathless notes

from the flute of life