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Canadian poetry

  • Author:
    Sumac, Smokii
    Summary:

    A curated selection from hundreds of poems written over two years of a near-daily haiku practice. Sections of selected poems such as 'recovery,' 'courting,' and 'ceremony,' tell a story of what 2016-2018 was like in the life of a two-spirit, transmasculine, Ktunaxa PhD Candidate in their late 20s, living in Peterborough Ontario.

  • Author:
    Maxwell, Mary
    Summary:

    These poems are steeped in loss and lament as they concern the death of the poet’s family members, particularly her father and the premature death of two brothers two years apart. The collection’s tone is often elegiac, but rarely maudlin, and the clipped narrative is frequently imbued with lyrical strains.There is an abundance of quotes and hat-tip allusions that act as sign posts along the grieving journey.

  • Author:
    Harper, Jennica
    Summary:

    What It Feels Like for a Girl is a series of poems following the intense friendship between two teenagers as they explore pop icons, pornography, and the big, strange world of sex. They soon learn just how complicated sexuality is--and how confusing desire can be. What It Feels Like for a Girl is about many things: the friendships girls have at the most intense times in their lives. Pornography and its “lessons” for the young woman who has never experienced sex in an unfiltered way. What sex and love have to do with each other--if anything. How so many things in this world are two things at once (thirteen is both young and old, Madonna is both the virgin and the whore, pornography is both arousing and terrifying). How teenage girls (like pornography, literature, art) hold a mirror up to the world and show it its true, beautiful, and ugly face.

    Praise for What It Feels Like for a Girl: “Smart, brave, hard-edged, and a little frightening…Jennica Harper offers a compassionate glimpse into the turbulent lives of teenaged girls. May this book find its way to school libraries. May it find itself in the hands of every young person who ever wondered What It Feels Like for a Girl.” (Elizabeth Bachinsky, Governor General's Award Nominee for Home of Sudden Service) "This is something refreshing: a portrait of female sexuality not undone by squeamish delivery or euphemistic evasions. Sex is fun, funny, silly, horrifying and irresistible in these poems. The poetic format allows the subject to emerge organically (orgasmic-ly?), true to girlhood, and true to nature..." (Gillian Wigmore, Northern Poetry Review) “... Rather than theoretical ideals, this fictive narrative folds in individual, idiosyncratic felt-experience, and in the telling and her negotiation of complexities, in her marvellous use of language and rhyme, Harper is sure, wondrous, wise, musical and winning.”(Herizons) Poetry in Transit selection (poem from the book displayed on Vancouver city buses) Adapted for theatre by Vancouver's innovative Electric Company

  • Author:
    Lane, Patrick
    Summary:

    Following the success of his award-winning memoir "There is a Season" (2004) and his bestselling novel "Red Dog, Red Dog" (2008), Patrick Lane felt his celebrated poetry career might be at an end and published his "Collected Poems" in 2011. But the process of revisiting his collected poetic works rekindled his first love and launched him on a new phase of poetry composition that resulted in this impressive and distinctive new book.
    Honest and self-aware, "Washita" evokes some of the most inexpressible experiences a human being can undergo: the loss of a parent, the breakdown of a body, the perversion of nature, the acquiring of wisdom. In "Hard-Rock," a boy begins to understand that his father will die: "His lungs created elaborate cathedrals from quartz dust, / a crystal symphony playing Mahler under water." In "Submission," a speaker struggles with losing his sight, capable only of expressing himself through metaphor. But amid this darkness sparks an awareness of the artistry of the world: ""Vete a la mierda, hijo de puta!" / Hate is beautiful in Spanish."
    As might be expected from a seventy-five-year-old poet, "Washita" is reflective in tone, exploring all facets of the poet's own life as well as those others his has touched. Introducing a new style employing medium-length, end-stopped lines, terse diction and concrete imagery, "Washita" has a solidity and mastery that marks it as a new highlight in Lane's distinguished career.

  • Author:
    Wall, Kathleen, 1950-, Geminder, Veronica
    Summary:

    Visible Cities prompts readers to reconsider their relationship to the landscapes of cities. Poems explore streets in cities all over the world, while the photographs find beauty in back lanes, observe people taking their coffee breaks, capture people playing with a work of public art or pulling a ladder onto the roof of a downtown building. The language of the poems creates a poetic style that expresses the challenges and joys of living in cities. The photographs come from all over the world--Regina, Saskatoon, Chicago, New York, Paris, and Venice.

  • Author:
    Schiffler, Carrie
    Summary:

    Umbilicus is a meditation on sensuality and the sweet ache of shame’s hangover.Carrie Schiffler is an actor, writer, and former exotic dancer. Johanna Stickland is a photographer, painter, poet, and former fashion model. Both are smitten by the female form, intrigued by unpolished beauty and drawn to dark pubs and radiant beings equally. Not only do they share similar interests, they also share DNA. Carrie and Johanna are mother and daughter. Umbilicus is their gift to one another and to those who wish the experience.

  • Author:
    Ruffo, Armand Garnet
    Summary:

    A treaty is a contract. A treaty is enduring. A treaty is an act of faith. A treaty at its best is justice. It is a document and an undertaking. It is connected to place, people and self. It is built on the past, but it also indicates how the future may unfold. Armand Garnet Ruffo's TREATY # is all of these. In this far-ranging work, Ruffo documents his observations on life - and in the process, his own life - as he sets out to restructure relationships and address obligations nation-to-nation, human-to-human, human-to-nature. Now, he undertakes a new phase in its restoration. He has written his TREATY # like a palimpsest over past representations of Indigenous bodies and beliefs, built powerful connections to his predecessors, and discovered new ways to bear witness and build a place for them, and all of us, in his poems. This is a major new work from an important, original voice.

  • Author:
    Belcourt, Billy-Ray
    Summary:

    Part manifesto, part memoir, This Wound is a World is an invitation to 'cut a hole in the sky to world inside.' Billy-Ray Belcourt issues a call to turn to love and sex to understand how Indigenous peoples shoulder sadness and pain like theirs without giving up on the future. His poems and essays upset genre and play with form, scavenging for a decolonial kind of heaven where 'everyone is at least a little gay'.

  • Author:
    Klipschutz
    Summary:

    This Drawn & Quartered Moon makes pre-millennial San Francisco its epicenter, and from there ranges out in time and space. Characters abound. The reader will meet a plagiarist, a Vietnam vet named Othello, a Mafia don, a drug mule en route to jail, Elvis Presley (the poet’s father was his doctor), a “Sculptor of the Lower Fillmore Head Shot,” a dying Arab king and a pre-fame Courtney Love. “Autodidact and gregarious loner” klipschutz mixes the personal and the public, satire and romance, dramatic monologue and prose poem, street swagger and subtle song. Over ten years in the making, this collection evokes the restless spirit of predecessors such as Nicanor Parra, Gregory Corso and Kenneth Patchen.

    Praise for This Drawn & Quartered Moon: “A succinct, speedy chronicle of events as they come at the author with bewildering multiplicity and congestion. To encompass it all, he responds with such variety that some poems look surreal despite their very real particulars.” (Carl Rakosi, The Collected Poems) “Breathtaking sound and rhythms. Endless wordplay, trippy delight, passion, heartbreaking rage, the comedic, the horror. Sorrow so deep it’s liberating.” (Sharon Doubiago, Love on the Streets, Hard Country) "... there’s a pretty fine ride to be had in This Drawn & Quartered Moon ... A close examination of the man’s work on paper reveals that, more than mere zaniness, there is frequently a beguiling complexity to his poems that lingers long after their reading. Reviewing a book of poems by klipschutz is a little like critiquing a force of nature: the first instinct is to step back uncritically and admire the man’s penchant for conversational wit and incisive panache. …" (The Pedestal)

  • Author:
    Dachsel, Marita
    Summary:

    There is beauty in the teacup like dresses requiring crinoline or beaded purses too small to carry anything but anger -- from "Inheritance" Marita Dachsel's third poetry collection explores parenthood, love, and the grief of losing those both close and distant. In the tradition of Karen Solie and Suzanne Buffam, and with a touch of Canadian Gothic, Dachsel's poetic skills unfold in a variety of brief and expansive forms. Authentic and controlled, full of complexity and disorder, her poems offer release despite their painful twists and topics. Readers across generations will find kinship in Dachsel's grief-fuelled and vulnerable words.

  • Author:
    Crozier, Lorna
    Summary:

    A testament to the miraculous beings that share our planet and the places that they live, The Wild in You is a deeply-felt creative collaboration between one of our time’s best nature photographers and a very talented and creative poet. Inspired by the majestic and savage beauty of Ian McAllister’s photographs, Lorna Crozier translates the wild emotion of these images into the language of the human heart: poetry. Featuring over 30 beautiful full-size photographs of wolves, bears, sea lions, jellyfish, and other wild creatures paired with 30 original poems, The Wild in You challenges the reader to a deeper understanding of the connection between humans, animals, and our shared earth.
    Published in Partnership with the David Suzuki Institute

  • Author:
    Harvey, Sarah N.
    Summary:

    Combining evocative haiku, informative text and luminous illustrations, The West Is Calling is a celebration, for our youngest readers, of one hundred and fifty years of British Columbia's history. Each detail-rich illustration depicts a particular moment in the province's dynamic saga, from pre-contact Haida culture, to the natural resources-fueled economic boom in the 1960s and beyond, to Expo 86, to the opening up of the North and the growing appreciation of First Nations' traditions.

  • Author:
    Rice, Bruce
    Summary:

    Bruce Rice was moved to words by the natural beauty he saw during repeated travels along Seven Bridges Road just west of Regina and in the landscape around Eastend and the Cypress Hills in southwestern Saskatchewan. As he sought to express the beauty he saw in those places on their own terms, without imposing the ego of the poet, he found resonances of himself in what he was seeing – the landscape began to write him. Distinguished by its long unhurried lines and its vivid descriptions of the Saskatchewan landscape, The Trouble with Beauty is an absorbing and moving collection of poetry about the contemporary hunger for transcendence or, what the poet calls "the mysteries/God didn't plan for." Powerfully elegiac, these poems can be read as a single sequence, an ongoing almanac of the poet's inner weather, in which epiphanies are hair-triggered to the most ordinary occurrences – the push of a breath on the back of a small clump of grass.

  • Author:
    Zwicky, Jan
    Summary:

    "The Long Walk carries a lifetime's force of meaning. A deeply beautiful book." Anne Michaels In The Long Walk, Jan Zwicky bears witness to environmental and cultural cataclysm. Both prophetic and acutely personal, these poems extend her previous meditations on colonial barbarism and ecocide, on spiritual catastrophe and transformation. The voice now penetrates the steepest darknesses; it possesses extraordinary reach and density. Zwicky is one of North America's finest poets, and in this book she gives us her most profound work to date.

  • Author:
    Summary:

    Robert Kroetsch, one of Canada's most important writers, was a fierce regionalist with a porous yet resilient sense of "home." Although his criticism and fiction have received extensive attention, his poetry remains underexplored. This exuberantly polyvocal text by Dennis Cooley - who knew Kroetsch and worked with him for decades - seeks to correct this imbalance. This work offers a dazzling, playful, and intellectually complex conversation that draws together personal recollections, Kroetsch's archival materials, and the international body of Kroetsch scholarship. For literary scholars and anyone who appreciates Canadian literature, The Home Place will represent the standard critical evaluation of Kroetsch's poetry for years to come.

  • Author:
    Legris, Sylvia
    Summary:

    In her first full-length collection published in the United States, Sylvia Legris probes and peels, carves and cleaves, amputates and dissects, to reveal the poetic potential of human and animal anatomy. Starting with the Greek writings of Hippocrates and the Latin language of medicine, and drawing from Leonardo da Vinci’s Anatomical Manuscripts, the dermatologist Robert Willan’s On Cutaneous Diseases (1808), and Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil, Legris infuses each poem with unique rhythms that roll off the tongue. The Hideous Hidden boldly celebrates anatomy’s wonders: “Renounce the vestibule of non-vital vitals. / Confess the gallbladder, / the glandular wallflowers, / the objectionable oblong spleen.”

  • Author:
    Dandurand, Joseph A.
    Summary:

    Dandurand's work tackles complicated personal and social issues by drawing on his observations of the natural world. His voice is lyrical yet intimate, obscured, yet sitting with you at the kitchen table having a cigarette. The East Side of it All is the journey of a broken man gifted with stories and poems who finally accepts his gift and shares with the world his hidden misery and joy: there was this woman that I fell in love with but she will never know who I am and I hide in the back of the room as she goes about her thing and I go about mine, and once I tried to look into her eyes but when she looked back, I knew she was a spirit and I was still a human and she passed right through me and I felt the coldness of her.

  • Author:
    Delisle, Jennifer Bowering, 1979-
    Summary:

    Part family memoir, part poetry, part love letter to Newfoundland and its people, The Bosun Chair is a lyrical exploration of how we are fortified by the places of our foremothers and forefathers and by how they endured.

    Like 'ballycater, ' the ice that gathers in harbours along the coast, Jennifer Bowering Delisle gathers fragments of history, family lore, and poetry--both her own and that of her great-grandparents--to tell stories of shipwrecks, war, resettlement, and men and women's labour in early twentieth-century Newfoundland. With the deftness and haunting imagery of Michael Crummey's Hard Light, The Bosun Chair reveals the inherent gaps in ancestral history and the drive to understand a story that can never fully be told.

  • Author:
    Brand, Dionne
    Summary:

    A startlingly original work about the act of writing itself from Griffin Poetry Prize--winner Dionne Brand. An essential observer of our time and one of the most accomplished poets writing today, Dionne Brand returns with a work that engages intimately with the act and difficulty of writing, the relationship between the author and the world, and the relationship between the author and other artists. It is a work with many preoccupations (memory, language, culture, time), beautiful and jarring juxtapositions ("The Wire is the latest version of Huckleberry Finn"), and endlessly haunting language ("On a road like this you don't know where you are. Whether you have arrived or whether you are still on your way. Whether you are still at the beginning or at the end. You are in the middle all the time. What would be the sign?"). Profound, moving, and wise in equal parts, The Blue Clerk is a work of staggering intellect and imagination, and a truly sublime piece of writing from one of Canada's most renowned, honoured, and bestselling poets.

  • Author:
    Audet, Martine
    Summary:

    Fixer l’image, l’occuper ou s’y dissoudre. Les poèmes de Tête première dos contre dos explorent ce qui nous précipite, parfois nous saisit, souvent nous invente. En trois mouvements qui articulent la mémoire de ce qui est advenu et la mémoire de ce qui est à venir, ce livre se veut une rencontre, la rencontre de ces fins qui nous tournent et nous retournent, entre crainte et ravissement, parmi les rêves, là où réellement le cœur bat.

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