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Canadian poetry

  • 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:
    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:
    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:
    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:
    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:
    Summary:

    Surrey Stories connect is a time-capsule: a snapshot of Surrey in the fall of 2016. The stories here were written and created on three separate afternoons at three different locations: Cloverdale, Strawberry Hill, and Historic Stewart Farm. These Surrey stories are 'moments created in one sitting' whre individual voices are able to shine.

  • Author:
    Hunter, Catherine
    Summary:

    St. Boniface Elegies includes short lyric poems on the themes of domestic life and loss; longer poems that explore the role of the poet within a changing cityscape; and a series of poems that engage with poetic tradition. Hunter plays with poetic forms, including a new invention: the cento sestina.

  • Author:
    Mancini, Donato
    Summary:

    Same Diff by Donato Mancini meets at the intersection of contemporary poetry, art, and current politics. Influenced by documentary cinema such as the films of Frederic Wiseman, Dada poets, montage techniques, and a range of poets who are still writing, Same Diff explores the way social and economic histories become imprinted within language itself. The political and poetic melancholy of our moment is revealed in a long poem on climate change, particularly the disappearance of snow, while the real-life effects of fiscal austerity and poverty are voiced in fragments conveying social neuroses that stem from amplified, unfair competition for basic necessities. The nonce forms of Same Diff draw attention to their construction and history using monotype fonts, speaking to the surfaces of words and paper, and diverging from a sole focus on meaning. Each poem introduces a dominant motif that develops through repetition and incremental variations, sourcing language from newspapers, web sources, and overheard conversations to create an emotive effect, as felt in music. Bringing together research that spans from the 15th century to the present day, Same Diff searches for symbols that stand in for major social issues to articulate the nuances of living in a precarious time.

  • Author:
    roberts, stephanie
    Summary:

    "those of us who've seen miracles know how to ask. / if you've asked, do you love me, i almost certainly / don't love you." This meditative, musically attentive collection explores the confounding nature of intimate relationships. stephanie roberts's poetic expression is often irreverent, unapologetic, and infused with humour that can take surprisingly grave turns. rushes from the river disappointment traverses city, country, and fantasy using nature as artery through the emotional landscape. As they wrestle to come to terms with the effects of uncertainty and grief on hope and belief, these diverse field notes are interspersed with the fabulous: a polar bear and owl engage in flirtation, a time traveller appears on a lake, an erotic scene takes place on a train, and we confront "people capable of eating popcorn at the movie of your agony." roberts's language is dense with images and sometimes acrobatic. In poems that affirm love and desire as treasures fought for more than just felt, rushes from the river disappointment turns an unblinking gaze on the failures of courage that distance us from love.

  • Author:
    Poirier, Thelma
    Summary:

    Thelma Poirier writes of the land and its inhabitants – plant, animal, and human – in vivid and loving detail, with deep feeling and authenticity. In poetry that is spare, strong, and unsentimental, she describes the rancher’s life, a life lived on the land where work is hard and weather matters, a life that changes as the seasons change, a life of fixing fence and hunting strays, of round-ups and branding and shipping cattle to market, but also a life made memorable by the beauty of landscape and sky, of birds and beasts.

    The section “New Orleans, Saskatchewan” adds an exotic touch as, on the strains of a mother’s bluesy music, readers are carried south from the Great Plains to Louisiana. In “The January File”, it’s the threat of the Gulf War that throws its foreboding shadow over ranch country. Finally in “Call This Place Home”, a section that reprises many of the currents flowing through the book, the narrator admits that it`s time to leave the ranch and the live she loved and longs for.

    Thelma Poirier’s very spirit shares the fragility of the grasslands ecosystem and all its creatures, great and small.

  • Author:
    Langhorse, Barbara
    Summary:

    How do you rebuild a life? In this unsentimental collection of poems, Barbara Langhorst revisits a violent personal tragedy through startling imagery that rends even as it heals. Restless White Fields is unique, unexpected, and impossible to ignore.

  • Author:
    Carson, Anne
    Summary:

    A continuation of the author's Autobiography of red (1998), following the characters in later life, but in a different style and with changed names.

  • Author:
    Hamon, Tracy
    Summary:

    In a series of poems that move between narrative and lyric, the personas of Austrian artist Egon Schiele and his mistress/model Valerie Neuzil are revealed in exquisite detail. Dividing the work into three sections, equal energy is given to the artist, his model, and the alluring energy of Viennese eroticism. Creating intimacy through the use of first person and exposing drama through the use of the third, Hamon's poems resonate with Egon's and Valerie's story: how they met, their intense desires, and the union and bond that would keep them together for years. Red Curls chronicles lives but in the retelling, captures the enterprise and intensity of Schiele as he pushed the culture of desire to new heights.
    But not all of Hamon's poems simply celebrate Schiele's genius nor do they romantically colour the hard love that he shared with Valerie. Many poems are left to the reader to ponder as Hamon gathers the fragments and forces at work in her subjects. Other poems remind us of the mundane moments of Egon's and Valerie's financial struggles, their needling uncertainties, and the mitigating circumstances of family relationships. But never far from any revelation is the arching theme that, in Schiele's world, the pervasive drive is to find inspiration in the erotic and an audience to support it. Sometimes Hamon conjures that Viennese world that would reject his bohemian lifestyle only to celebrate his artistic vision, other times she intensively explores the truth of her subjects through their portraits and Schiele's paintings that themselves became the revolutionary and liberating edge of a generation of artists.
    The various poetic forms featured in the book let the reader visualize the art and lives of Schiele and Neuzil. Throughout, three voices appear as dramatic monologues that allow Schiele, Neuzil, and a voice from the present to speak. Central to the voices is the emotion of desire and how the desire to paint, love, or write inspires us to a different greatness.

  • Author:
    Franco, Tanis, 1986-
    Summary:

    Spaces are not exterior to bodies. They influence and affect the way bodies exist in the world. A quarry is an unnatural place within a natural territory. At any moment, it can be abandoned. A body is not separate from the spaces it inhabits. They exist together, in a mutual state of interrelation and instability. Quarry relays a year in the life of a body in transition as it changes with other bodies; human, animal, and mineral. It examines queer social spaces and contested natural spaces, asking how they affect each other. Using evocative metaphor and refreshing language, these poems make bodily experience new. Tanis Franco eschews traditional narratives of the queer and transgender body, bringing nuanced ideas to an ongoing literary and philosophical conversation. Their strong sense of location and landscape is interwoven with sensual language and impeccable craft, creating a unique and distinctive voice.

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