Dedication: For Kim Stafford.
Author's note: The Columbia River is known by many names to the people who live along it. To the Chinook of its lower reaches, it is known as 'Wimahi'; the Kwak'wala-speaking peoples of the river's middle reaches call the river 'Nch'i-Wana'. Both 'Wimahi' and 'Nch'i-Wana' mean 'the big water' or 'the big river'.
The 2011 Montreal International Poetry Prize was judged by former UK Poet Laureate Andrew Motion. In selecting 'Walking Underwater' as the winning entry, Motion said: 'This is a bold, big-thinking poem, in which ancient themes (especially the theme of our human relationship with landscape) are re-cast and re-kindled'. (Quoted on the MIPP website, http://montrealprize.com/)