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The Dry Valley

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The Dry Valley encapsulates one woman's relationship with herself, her alcoholic spouse and the world in three different Saskatchewan landscapes. The poems offer a fascinating interplay between mindful explorations of self and immersions in the challenging complexities of interpersonal relationships, social issues and meaningful engagement with the environment.


The quiet, meditative quality of the longer lyrics rub up against the edgier narrative poems, contributing a wonderful tension to the manuscript. With figurative language kept to a minimum, the poems rely on detail, giving a real-time felt presence and the speaker heightened reliability. Meet Bernadette on tour this fall.

Buy The Dry Valley from Radiant Press, McNally Robinson Booksellers, or on Amazon

This hot place


Bernadette's first book examines place, heart, politics, the socio-placement of women in the land and their quest for spiritual grace and worth.


The poems tell of personal encounters with death, sexual assault, children, family, hard work, and a woman's transformation from a bad-luck existence into a meaningful new life following the life path from a young girl to wise crone. Set within detailed images of family homes, farms, and yards, the insightful and powerful forces voiced by the narrator stir all the emotional cul de sacs she experiences.

Buy This hot place on Amazon.

A Gift of the Prairie:

Writings from the Southern Shores of Last Mountain Lake


Edited by Bernadette Wagner


A Gift of the Prairie is short, focused, and includes a variety of work and writers. The anthology was the brainchild of Bernadette Wagner, who served as the literary artist-in-residence at the Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre in Regina Beach, Saskatchewan. 


The book includes four minimalist poems from Jillian Bell, a short story from romance author, Annette Bower, an excerpt from Robert A. Smith on swimming cramps, and a few funny poems from local elementary school classes. June Mitchell’s “Prairie Song” reminds us that the gift of the prairie includes “curses, and prayers, and hope that rises with the melting of the snow.”

Buy A Gift of the Prairie at Goodreads.

Bernadette is a contributing author to the following collections


Without Apology: Writings on Abortion in Canada


Rarely do we hear the voices of ordinary women—women whose lives have been in some way touched by abortion. Their thoughts typically owe more to human circumstance than to ideology, and without them, we run the risk of thinking and talking about the issue of abortion only in the abstract. Without Apology seeks to address this issue by gathering the voices of activists, feminists, and scholars as well as abortion providers and clinic support staff alongside the stories of women whose experience with abortion is more personal.


Absent Mothers


Missing, dead, disappeared, or otherwise absent mothers haunt us and the stories we tell ourselves. The absent mother, whether in literature or life, may force us to forge an independent identity. But she can also leave a mother-shaped hole and a howling loneliness that dogs us through our adult lives. This anthology explores the theme of absent mothers from scholars and creative writers, who tell personal stories and provide the theoretical framework to recognize and begin to understand the impact of motherlessness that ripples through our cultures and our art.

Check Bernadette's bio for a complete list of her work and credentials

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