Read an Interview with Meghan Fandrich, author of Burning Sage: Poems from the Lytton Fire
Meghan Fandrich is sitting at a coffee shop, talking about how she’s not a poet.
In front of her sits a book of poems, with her name on the cover and praise from one of the country’s most decorated poets on the back. Fandrich is a poet. But her reluctance to proclaim herself one is understandable, given how it all came about.
A year after she fled Lytton and the café she had built into a community institution, Fandrich started writing her first poems. She mined her emotions, dumped them onto a blank page, then—feeling a new compulsion to share—sent them forth into the world. As she did so, she felt the burden of the fire lift. And in the year since, she has started to see the possibility of a new future materialize: one built not around coffee and toques, but around a new career in, of all things, poetry.
Fandrich grew up in Lytton—her father built Kumsheen Rafting Resort into Lytton’s largest business. And in 2014, after years of travelling around the globe, Fandrich returned to her hometown and started Klowa Art Café.
The café began as a place where Fandrich could sell her knitting. And by 2021, after years of plowing all the profits back into the business she had built Klowa into a place with a formidable reputation for tremendous coffee and a clientele that stretched far beyond the confines of Lytton.
But on June 30, 2021, on a blazing hot June afternoon, a fellow Lytton resident burst into her café and told her she had to leave immediately.