Candid, poetic and forensic, Derrick Stacey Denholm’s Ground-Truthing walks the reader slowly and nimbly through the tangle of social, ecological and economic slash piles that dominate BC’s North Coast. Having lived and worked for twenty-five years as both a forestry field worker and a multidisciplinary artist, Denholm brings a rare perspective to how we can work productively and participate ethically in a life that maintains respect for the wild. Ground-Truthing explores a diverse terrain of communities that are as deeply wild as they are highly civilized. Carefully negotiating the conflicting value systems of industrial forestry, the culture of resource towns, the diversity of First Nations history and tradition, the stagnancy of government policy and the “Real Work” of the rainforest, Denholm gathers the perspectives of more than 150 academics, poets, scientists, journalists, loggers, activists, local citizens and mushroom hunters. He brings together the breadth of the local opinion, personal emotion and technical work that serves to influence the ongoing industrialization of the wild and human world – which are one and the same. Local in focus, international in scope and interdisciplinary by necessity, Ground-Truthing provides a dynamic alternate voice to the mainstream cycle of North Coast writing – which generally serves to memorialize the Euro-Canadian, colonial-settler narrative. Denholm argues that First Nations’ experience and wisdom, taken with the long-standing lessons provided by the wild itself, can provide us all with the models, principles and philosophies needed to live our lives – and not just in the rainforests of the North Coast of British Columbia, but anywhere.


Derrick Stacey Denholm

Derrick Stacey Denholm, after graduating from art school, spent most of the past twenty-five years living and working in the remote forestlands of northern and coastal British Columbia. Having recently come out of the trees to complete a BA and an MA in English, his literary work concerns respect for the wild, social and environmental justice and the ongoing industrialization of Indigenous lands. Denholm won the 2011 Barry McKinnon Chapbook Award for Dead Salmon Dialectics, which was published in full form by Caitlin Press in 2014. Denholm’s writing and visual art has been published in Canadian Literature, the Capilano Review, CV2, Dreamland, Drunken Boat, filling Station, The Goose and ::stonestone::. He feels the most at home when standing on a mossy log in the rain and listening to raven gossip, his fingertips stained with the juice of wild berries.


Ground-Truthing is not just a general nod towards the importance of conservationism; Denholm’s great success lies in his ability to create genuine reader empathy for the North Coast rainforest, perhaps even in readers who haven’t spent a lot of time considering their connection to nature.” —Carleigh Baker, The Goose


  • Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize – BC & Yukon Book Prizes 2016, Runner-up
  • Excerpts & Samples ×
    There are no other resources for this book.

    Reader Reviews



    8.00in * 5.50in * .80in


    March 15, 2015


    Caitlin Press



    Book Subjects:

    NATURE / Essays

    Featured In:

    All Books



    No author posts found.

    Related Blog Posts

    There are no posts with this book.

    Other books by Derrick Stacey Denholm