Kate Braid


Dear lovers of Canadian books: For 10 years, since amendments to the Canadian Copyright Act, creators like me have not been paid by educational institutions when our work is copied. It’s meant a dramatic drop in writers’ incomes, which weren’t generous in the first place. It seems astonishing that institutions where people make good salaries, would refuse to pay writers a few cents per page for use of our work in their classrooms.

Please support amending the Copyright Act so I can keep telling Canadian stories. The “I Value Canadian Stories” website offers suggestions on how you can do so.


Poem Featured on ‘Poetry Pause’

On November 9, 2023, Kate’s Poem “Airport Security” was featured in the Poetry Pause program of The League of Canadian Poets.

The League of Canadian Poets is a National Arts Service Organization dedicated to supporting poets, building poetic communities, supporting inclusive and equitable free expression, and promoting Canadian poets and poetry. 

Poetry Pause is the League’s daily poetry dispatch program, intended to augment the presence of Canadian poetry and provide an opportunity to Canadian poets to have their poetry read by many. Poems are emailed to readers each day, as well as displayed on the League’s website. The program offers the chance for folks to pause for poetry – to spare a few minutes each day for words that heal, inspire, and sustain.

Airport Security

by Kate Braid

The old man smiles and bows,
his job a modest one – to guide
this endless line of travellers
to the appropriate security port yet
he greets each of us as if
an Emperor, Empress
who kindly graces his personal doorstep.

Never assuming a single language
(no such rudeness), he raises his head
to scan the next guest,
a gentle gesture of hands and fingers –
“You are one? Two?” smiles as if
this is the perfect number for travel
on this unique day, not to worry.
And when, at the appropriate moment,
he waves with a small bow
toward a certain security check point,
it has transformed, you’re not sure how,
into a gate, not the barrier you
first mistook it for.

The old man bows to the small child
in a stroller ahead of you,
says something quietyly so the child laughs,
parents too, and we are all suddenly
lighter, proceed forward, secure,
blessed in our travels today
by kindness.

Poetry for Ukraine

On April 2, 2022, over 30 Canadian poets participated in a marathon poetry reading in support of Ukraine, following the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine. Each wrote a new poem for the occasion.

The readings can be viewed on YouTube. Kate’s reading is at 31.29 minutes in Part 2 (the video below).

Watch Part 1.

Watch Part 3.

A book of these poems is available. You can ask your local bookstore to order it in for you.

Poems in Response to Peril: An Anthology in Support of Ukraine
Edited by Penn Kemp and Richard-Yves Sitoski
Pendass Productions, Laughing Raven Press

The book is discussed in a Globe and Mail article. Reviews are posted on Penn Kemp’s website.


Second Edition of “In Fine Form: A Contemporary Look at Canadian Form Poetry”

In Fine Form 2 book cover

In the decade since the publication of the first edition of In Fine Form, there has been a resurgence of Canadian poets writing in “form” – in sonnets, ghazals, villanelles and palindromes. The first edition was called “groundbreaking” and “a landmark text.” Since then, In Fine Form has been widely used in classrooms and at large, by students, writers and readers. With 180 poems and almost 50 new poets, this 2nd edition continues to break new ground, exploring new forms not acknowledged in most other anthologies including prose poems, found poems and spoken word.

Read More »


Rough Ground Revisited

Rough Ground Revisited

On the Roof with Death

When sawdust rolls like marbles under our boots
on the newly sheathed roof three storeys up

we talk of falling. It’s like butter boxes, Dale says.
We could slide real good. Only hurts when you land!

He yells this suddenly
as if to warn the neighbours.

Dale is a journeyman.
I am his apprentice.

You know the people who live for the moment, he says,
laughing. They yell “Whee!” all the way down.

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Journeywoman: Swinging a Hammer in a Man’s World


“Since women started working in the trades in the 1970s, very little has been published about their experiences. In this provocative and important book, Kate Braid tells the story of how she learned the carpentry trade in the face of skepticism and discouragement.

She was one of the first qualified women carpenters in British Columbia, the first woman to join the Vancouver local of the Carpenters’ Union, the first to teach construction full-time at the BC Institute of Technology and one of the first women to run her own construction company. Though she loved the work, it was not an easy career choice but slowly she carved a role for herself, asking first herself, then those who would challenge her, why shouldn’t a woman be a carpenter?

Told with humour, compassion and courage, Journeywoman is the true story of a groundbreaking woman finding success in a male-dominated field.”

See what reviewers and readers have to say about Journeywoman: Swinging a Hammer in a Man’s World.

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Turning Left to the Ladies


I parachute into man’s country,
hoist my beer in the bar as if native.

Cool, I talk shop, stand as they stand,
not quite sure
of the cocky swing of hips,
lift of the glass in a loud bass,
confidence laughing.

This is the world of the knowing.
It’s only a small slip into a minor key
when I turn left to go to the Ladies.

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A Well-Mannered Storm: The Glenn Gould Poems

Ice Man

The image of me out there – Ice Man –
it’s only image. I don’t want to show
how it all comes from the blood, from inside, you know?
I only tell you this now because I’m drunk on sound.
Tomorrow I will deny it.
Blood? What blood? I am Bach

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