Searching for Kalala: An update on the elusive poet, Skyros Bruce (from the 1970s)


I recently talked about Skyros Bruce in my #T5W Video- Authors I’d Like to Meet. I was talking about Kalala Poems, and how I had never been able to find any information about its author, a twenty year old Squamish girl named Skyros, or Mary Bruce. The book is small, beautiful, with thick pages and beautiful, minimalistic poems. Turns out I hadn’t googled Bruce in a while, and today (after I finished the video, naturally) I found out some more about her!

Kalala Poems was published in 1971 in a limited edition of 250 copies. I happened to come across one, as a young teenager, in a thrift store, for less than a dollar.

Skyros Bruce now goes by Mahara Allbrett, and works as a family counsellor for aboriginal youth in BC.

I found a 2013 video from 2013 of her reading her poetry.

Here is the link where I got most of my info about Skyros/Mahara 🙂

I’m thinking of contacting her in the future, but for now I would like to leave you with some of her exquisite writing:

when they took you from me / with their beautiful blue serge suits we cried / they looked on / with willowy / all-wise / eyes / as you pulled the stockings / over your hands / with your closed eyes / we saw a gentle man, green / under the limber stalks / and i saw your life-force / moving / over / my womb / all they ever saw was a convict

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