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Time Together

poetry by Naomi Beth Wakan
photography by Elias Wakan

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Time Together, a collection of poems and photographs by Naomi Beth Wakan and Elias Wakan, is dedicated with love to Gabriola, the island near Vancouver, British Columbia, where the couple has lived for some twenty years. The Wakans have been solo artists for quite some time: Elias, a photographer and sculptor using wood as his medium; Naomi, an essayist and poet, and dabbler in many other art forms. This book, however, was a joint adventure, and creating it was an opportunity both to look back on their time spent with each other as well as their time spent on the island whose earth and people have gifted them with lives of joy and bounty. Time Together is a celebration of longevity, community, and love.

POETRY / General

ISBN: 978-1-956056-41-9 (print; softcover; perfect bound)

LCCN: 2022938029

Released May 24, 2022  |  Copyright 2022

120 pages  |  54 full-color, high resolution photographs

Author Biography

Naomi Beth Wakan is the Inaugural Poet Laureate of Nanaimo (2014–2016) and the Federation of British Columbia Writers’ Inaugural Honorary Ambassador. She has published over 50 books. Her trilogy, The Way of Tanka, The Way of Haiku, and Poetry That Heals was published by Shanti Arts in 2019. Naomi is a member of The League of Canadian Poets, Haiku Canada, and Tanka Canada. She lives on Gabriola Island, British Columbia.

read "Meet Naomi Wakan"



Elias Wakan studied mathematics and philosophy at Stanford University. Later, he became interested in algorithmic constructivism as an art form, and as soon as his studio and workshop were established on Gabriola, his paper maquettes began to be translated into constructions using multiple identical wood units. His works are in collections across Canada and abroad. Two of his pieces were chosen by the Canadian government to go in diplomatic offices abroad. See his complete portfolio: —





Time Together interweaves images and words in a lucid meditation on presence, patterns, and essence. Gabriola’s communities of nature and of humans emerge as microcosms of timeless rhythms, where the fleeting and the eternal are made manifest in each other in a hundred different ways. These are, in the happiest sense of the word, companion pieces, while they also form one work that lovingly marks the passing and the persistence of our world.”
Andreas Kahre, interdisciplinary artist

“Naomi and Eli Wakan have long represented to me the ideal creative couple: one is outgoing, determined, and decisive; the other quiet, reflective, and deeply thoughtful. It is a pleasure to gaze on the images in this book, to observe the distinctly different characteristics of their work and the complementary forces that hold them seamlessly together.”
Elizabeth Wood, installation artist

“Naomi Beth and Elias Wakan, beloved artists of Gabriola, ‘bring heaven closer to earth.’ Her poetry and his photographs reflect their love and life together on this small island. Their meticulously crafted works both enrich and are uplifting. This is a celebration of a glorious cultural fusion: a wife’s poetry and her husband’s photos. Here a critical eye blends with a generous heart.”
Deborah Dallyn, artist

Time Together is a thoughtful and inspiring collaboration of poetry by Naomi Beth Wakan and photography by Elisa Wakan that weaves together a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a life lived together in companionship and art. While reading Time Together, you quickly become attuned to the Wakans’ rhythms, the ebbs and flows of life in their home and island community, a place that provides time and space for thinking, writing, reflecting, and making. Elias’s photographs often depict a microscopic glimpse of things that go unnoticed, the ordinary yet extra-ordinary everyday life. Naomi’s poems exude a clever and philosophical wit and wisdom, revealing the life of two artists living within a unique island community. Near the end of the book you come away with one of the most important philosophical questions we can ask ourselves: What is a life?”
April Vannini, researcher/scholar, writer, filmmaker, post-secondary educator

Articles and Reviews

Phyllis Reeve, Review


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