She currently lives in the Yukon where she teaches English at Yukon College but Hazelton is never far from this published poet.
Jamella Hagen recently had published a collection of poetry titled “Kerosene,” and it is a story which starts in the Hazeltons and leads into her travels to other parts of the world.
“It’s a bit of a journey. It starts in the Hazelton area in Northern B.C.,” said Hagen.
The second part of the book is about her travels to South America and overseas, and then in the third part she writes about her return to Canada, her 10 years in Vancouver and eventual move to Whitehorse in the Yukon.
Northern Canada has always held her appeal and she was happy to return after living in the Lower Mainland.
“I think it was really important for me to come back to the north. I lived in Vancouver for about 10 years and also spent some time in Korea and South America … so it was neat to come back to the north.”
The Hazeltons in particular hold a special spot in her memory. The community helped foster her creative works, she said.
“It was a really neat place to grow up in a lot of ways,” she said. “I grew up in a country location without electricity and raised by a single mother and single father in different country locations. I think…there was a lot of nature and a lot of opportunities to do things outdoors. I have poems about goats that lived at one of the houses that I lived in, and poems about building cabins and things like that. I think was a neat place to grow up.”
She added, “I think it is an inspiring place and I think it will always be a place that I am deeply connected to.”
She had a lot of friends in the Hazeltons, including Olympian wrestler Carol Huynh, and she returns approximately once a year to see her mother, who lives next to the Bulkley River.