in the shelter of the covered bridge

poems and drawings

Jane Spavold Tims

Jane Tims’ new book will appeal not only to those who enjoy the precise images of good poetry, but to all those who love the covered bridges of New Brunswick and the natural and cultural history of their settings. The words of the poems often match the music of the rivers spanned by the bridges, and the drawings often catch the images of the plants and animals that flourish in and around these unique and cherished features of the rural landscape.

The unusual thing about in the shelter of the covered bridge is the unity of focus the author has achieved in employing three “lenses,” that of poet, artist, and biologist. While each element of the book has its own narrative stance, the poems, the drawings, and the natural history notes come together in a way that has an appealing and satisfying unity for ear, eye, and mind.

Jane is not a poet who puts all her aesthetic eggs in one basket. She moves easily between modes of expression. She is a connoisseur of land and life, an emissary for the intertwining stories of natural history and human culture.

Readers attracted to the poems and drawings pick up a good deal of natural and cultural history as well. Readers interested in the natural and cultural history information have their knowledge graced with the sounds of wind and water, and with the images of plants and animals that live “in the shelter of the covered bridge.”

in the shelter of the covered bridge was created in the same way Jane created her previous book, within easy reach, through field research, poetic discernment, and visual rendition. Together, these books make a unique set of literary and graphic documents for this moment in the cultural life of New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada.

About the Author

Jane Spavold Tims is a botanist, historian, artist and writer. She was born and raised in southern Alberta and now lives in rural New Brunswick. She obtained her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in biology at Dalhousie University in Halifax and later returned to university to obtain a B.A. in anthropology and history at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. During her career she worked in environmental protection, in the fields of air quality, watershed management and community planning.

Jane writes poetry and fiction and presents her writing, painting and drawings of plants, birds and landscape at Her main interests include identifying plants, collecting wild foods and exploring New Brunswick’s built heritage, including its covered bridges. She is a member of the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick (WFNB). Her manuscript “mnemonic”, including some of the poems contained here, won the Alfred G. Bailey Prize in the 2016 WFNB Writing Competition.

Her previous books include within easy reach (Chapel Street Editions, 2016), about wild edible and other local foods, and multiple books in the Meniscus Series of science fiction poetry and a number of other self published works(see website above).

Jane believes in preserving our built heritage as an integral part of our landscape and ecology.

From the Foreword by Brian Atkinson

A few years ago … I had a deadline to meet. I was to find and photograph every covered bridge in the province. … When I saw the manuscript for Jane’s book, suddenly memories of things I had only glimpsed, or held for the moment, came flooding back.

… with Jane’s poems and sketches in hand, I am allowed to stop and linger at each bridge, to feel its presence in the landscape, its place in the history of the local community.

in the shelter of the covered bridge gives us a chance … to feel a bit of the magic that comes from slowing down and spending time with something – the magic that comes from looking and feeling and being present.

Paperback • 133 pages • $28(CAD), $24(USD) • ISBN 978-1-988299-10-5 • Published 2017/10/31