A Lytton based author looks to advocate for the recovering community and share her journey of healing and art following the devastating 2021 wildfire that destroyed her business and her community.

Meghan Fandrich, former owner of the Klowa Art Cafe that once stood in the now-destroyed Lytton downtown, will visit Merritt on Sept. 19, 2023 for a reading and discussion of her new book, Burning Sage. 

Burning Sage tells the story of the devastating fire and the ensuing trauma endured by Fandrich and many other Lytton residents, as well as the local author’s path out of it. Fandrich described it as a universal and human story of loneliness, fragility and beauty. The book explores topics such as grief, heartbreak, healing and “the impossibility of single parenting in a burned-up town.”

“About a year ago, when I was finally ready to start processing the trauma of the Lytton fire and life in a burned-up town, I started writing out the memories,” said Fandrich, noting it quickly turned into a collection of poems, and then a book, which came out with Caitlin Press on September 1.

The gallery space at the Nicola Valley Art Centre will host the book reading and talk from 7 to 8 p.m. Fandrich will read a number of her poems before leading a conversation about the healing power of art. Snacks will be provided by Valley Graze, and beverages will be available. The event is being sponsored by United Way’s Local Love microgrants.

Fandrich explained she also looks to use the book tour she is on advocate for the community of Lytton, which still has not begun rebuilding more than two years post-fire. 

“I’m looking forward to taking my little book on tour as an opportunity to advocate for Lytton,” she explained. “In a way, I’m sharing my personal emotional experience in order to show the direct, deep, intensely human effect that climate disasters can have.” 

To learn more about Fandricyh and Burning Sage, visit the free-to-attend book tour stop, or go to www.meghanfandrich.com.