Creekstone Press

Northern BC's publisher


Review of The Enpipe Line: 70,000 km of poetry written in resistance to the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal

A recently released volume from Creekstone Press, The Enpipe Line, presents a poetic manifestation of resistance. Written in opposition to Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipelines and similar projects around the world, the collected works resonate as series of insurgent gestures. The collection projects a wave of words intended to surround, submerge and suffocate the pipelines.

The Enbridge Northern Gateway project proposes the construction of 1,170 kilometre twin pipelines to carry bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to port at Kitimat. A thick, sticky form of crude oil, bitumen is so heavy and viscous that it will not flow unless diluted. Enbridge proposes using one 20 inch diameter pipeline to ship natural gas condensate east in order to thin tar sands bitumen for transport. Diluted bitumen would then flow west along the larger 36 inch diameter pipeline at a rate of 525 thousand barrels per day. At the port in Kitimat, the heavy crude would subsequently be loaded onto supertankers for export, filling approximately 225 tankers per year.

Faced with the numbing scale of this proposal, there are moments when capacity for words seems almost entirely surpassed. What can words do to counter the overwhelming force of a $5.5 billion industrial project? How can the weight of words block the flow of thousands of barrels? How can the strength of a poem slow the progress of a tanker?

Web link to full review