Ron Conway is a Bridge Lake poet who released his first book Slightly After Dark in the spring of this year and is already working on his next book. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Ron Conway is a Bridge Lake poet who released his first book Slightly After Dark in the spring of this year and is already working on his next book. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Poetry book captures observations about life

Bridge Lake resident Ron Conway has published a new collection, Slightly After Dark.

He started out writing poems as a way to communicate with his mother, but Ron Conway has since found his own calling as a poet.

The Bridge Lake man, who recently published his first poetry collection Slightly After Dark – began writing poetry after his mother would send him and other family members long newsy poems as a way of communicating. She had been a poet, he said, and in her later years, she had trouble speaking on the phone and would write poetry instead, which he said was “good stuff.”

One day though, his mother announced in a poem that she’d no longer be writing anymore as it had become too hard due to her loss of vision and near deafness. In response, Conway wrote a poem and sent it back, telling her every time she’d write a poem, he’d write one in return. That prompted the two of them to trade a few more poems before she passed away four years ago.

“That was it for me, I was a poet from then on,” Conway, 70, recalled. “I started getting pretty good at it and I was getting a lot of positive feedback. It’s a great way to express yourself – it’s kind of cathartic, in a way.”

Conway particularly enjoys writing form poetry, which includes sonnets, quatrains and other classical forms of western poetry. He also dabbles in free form and experimental poetry, as a way to challenge himself. Drawing on his own experience is his main source of inspiration. Capturing thoughts and the emotion of moments in poetry, rather than letting it fade away into the ether, is something he particularly enjoys doing.

“I work a lot from prompts. I belong to several different poetry groups online and we’ll prompt each other with subjects or form. Sometimes if it’s just a form, to write a sonnet say, I’ll have something in mind I want to write about, something I observed,” Conway said. “On the way in (to the Free Press) driving along Horse Lake Road, I saw hundreds of swans in the water, quite a spectacular sight to see, and then when I got to the bridge over the creek there was a dead swan on the road.

“That’s an emotional thing, I can do something with that, get it onto paper.”

Conway said Slightly After Dark is a collection showcasing the full range of his poetry, including haikus, sonnets and other styles following metered rhyme, though he does have some free form poetry present as well. It took around two years to write the poems that make it up the collection, which he started to pull together at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was a lot harder starting than it was actually doing it. The process is easier than you think it’s going to be, the old saying is nothing is ever as hard as it seems, nothing is ever easy as it seems,” Conway said. “Once I had the material collating it, formatting it and curating it, that’s what took the time.”

Conway self-published the book through’s Kindle store, which he said is the way to go if you’re looking to get your book out there as they coached him all the way through the process at no cost to the author. In addition to Amazon, physical copies of the book are available locally at Nuthatch Books and at Parkside Gallery.

He has already begun work on his next book which will be made up of a more experimental kind of poetry called hidden message poetry. This involves taking a quote from a poet or history and find a way to weave it into your poem. He hopes to have this new book done in time for Christmas.

For those interested in pursuing poetry themselves, Conway said they should consider joining a poetry circle or group as there are many good ones available online. He adds they don’t have to publish an entire book as they can get poetry published in an anthology or magazines as he has in the past.

“There are all kinds of ways to get your work out there, you can grow with your poetry by just approaching other people who do it.”

100 Mile House

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

Mailboxes at 108 Mile Ranch were broken into on the weekend. (Kelly Sinoski photo- 100 Mile Free Press).
Police report: Mailboxes broken into at several locations across region

100 Mile RCMP respond to 77 calls for service from Jan. 13-19

Chief Leah Stump communicated the state of emergency news through a Facebook video. (Video Screenshot)
Nazko First Nation tightens borders due to COVID-19

Chief Leah Stump said in a video they will be putting up checkpoints before entering the reserve

Canim Lake Band remains in lockdown. (Martina Dopf photo - 100 Mile Free Press).
Canim Lake Band loses Elder due to COVID-19

Community is devastated, Chief Helen Henderson says.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Vernon's Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with an influenza outbreak amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)
Two more deaths at Vernon care home

Noric House case numbers remain steady, but death toll rises

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Most Read