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Poetry

  • Author:
    Nye, Naomi Shihab
    Summary:

    A collection of almost one hundred poems in honor of the artists, writers, poets, historical figures, ordinary people, and diverse luminaries from past and present who inspire us.

  • Author:
    Nguyen, Hoa
    Summary:

    The poems in Violet Energy Ingots contain a sense of dis-ease, rupture, things frayed, and grief—as love shimmers the edges. Ryo Yamaguchi describes Nguyen’s writing as “a kind of stuttering with intelligences, impressions, and emotions flaring up as the words find their pathways.” As grounded in the earth as in the stars, her poems are reminders of the possibilities of contemplation in every space and moment.

    Shortlisted for the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize.

  • Author:
    Jones, Rodney
    Summary:

    "A novel in language as dense and lush and beautiful as poetry ... [or] a book of poetry with the vivid characters and the narrative force of a novel' Whatever you care to call it, it's a remarkable achievement." - Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls Village Prodigies imagines the town of Cold Springs, Alabama, from 1950 to 2015 and unfurls its narrative reach as six boys-prodigies and swains-grow up and leave the familiarity of home and the rural South. Yet all prodigies, all memories, all stories inevitably loop back. Through a multiplicity of points of view and innovative forms, Rodney Jones plays with the contradictions in our experience of time, creating portals through which we travel between moments and characters, from the interior mind to the most exterior speech, from delusions to rational thought. We experience Alzheimer's and its effect on family, listen to family lore and read family Facebook posts, relive war, and revive half-forgotten folktales and video games. In this deep examination of personal and communal memory, Jones blurs the lines between analog and digital, poetry and prose.

  • Author:
    Phaneuf, Richard
    Summary:

    Fille d’eau et de sable, sur les rives de ce long fleuve, libre d’espaces, tu imaginais tes contes de fée. Le bonheur ! Tu as couru dans les prés parmi les fleurs, les ronces, les blés. Vient un temps où on désapprend le rêve et se glisse dans le savoir des autres. Oui, j’appris à tourner le dos au froid, à me présenter face au bonheur. Tu es venu tête frisée, m’as prise par la main et ensemble avons marché, marché tant d’années, éraflures aux pieds et joie dans le coeur. Nous avons parcouru notre chemin accrochés au temps, aux blessures. Mon piano, nos soirées à peindre. Nous nous sommes levés ce matin de grandes noces et avons bâti maison au pays de l’amour infini. Le soleil a séché nos doutes et rempli de joyaux l’espace entre nos deux corps. Cette maladie sournoise, mon sang, tes larmes. Je te soignerai de mes baisers, de mon amour, de mes craintes. N’aie pas peur. Nous ne céderons pas notre bonheur aux désirs de la mort. Que veux-tu que nous fassions d’une seule vie ?... Ce livre est un seul poème dédié à la mémoire de la conjointe de l’auteur qui retrace, dans un seul souffle, le fil de leur vie commune alors que son épouse l’a quittée au terme d’une maladie.

  • Author:
    Williamson, Alex
    Summary:

    Very Bright, Almost Pretty, by Alexander Williamson explores the largely under-represented impact of Cystic Fibrosis, a life-threatening disease affecting over four thousand Canadians, and their families. The poems wander through hopelessness, the fight for health, quiet moments of gratitude in the face of mortality, and dark, urgent prayers, joys, and ideals. At once visceral and contemplative, these poems ask what it takes to live a doomed life, and what it takes to reconcile with death.

  • Author:
    BULL, Margaret
    Summary:

    A collection of verse from the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia.

  • Author:
    Lee, John B.
    Summary:

    Winner of the 1995 Milton Acorn Memorial People’s Poetry Prize

    Variations on Herb is the latest in a lengthening series of books that emanate from the south-western Ontario farm of John B. Lee's childhood. The focus of Variations is Herb Lee, John B's grandfather (and an absolutely unforgettable curmudgeon) but the background of rural Ontario is also made palpable entirely without indulgent explanation. This grain, this rich vein that appears in book after book, may well be inexhaustible; the cumulative effect certainly has few parallels in Canadian writing.

  • Author:
    Glenn, Lorri Neilsen
    Summary:

    Mothers of the 1950s were wasp-waisted, dutiful, serene, and tied to the kitchen with apron strings. Or so we thought. This collection of searing and startling poetry and prose unties the stereotype and reveals women who were strong, wild, talented, wise, mad, creative, desperate, angry, courageous, bitter, tenacious, reckless and beautiful, sometimes all at once. The contributors include multi-award-winning poets, novelists, and essayists, as well as compelling new literary voices.

  • Author:
    Smith Gagnon, Maude
    Summary:

    « L’auteure, Maude Smith Gagnon, procède par des touches narratives bien ciselées que sert une belle maîtrise de la langue. Un drap. Une place., à la forme très minimale, proche d’une sensibilité orientale, est un hommage à l’intensité d’être. Il y a là une pratique du dépouillement qui imbibe peu à peu la mémoire et l’absence et les rend aptes à accueillir tant le moindre événement du monde que tout son avènement. »Jury des Prix littéraires du Gouverneur général« Par une singulière alchimie de sensibilité et d’extrême retenue, ainsi que par les multiples jeux de miroirs ponctuant la traversée, l’écriture de Maude Smith Gagnon [dans Une tonne d’air] installe une atmosphère méditative sans effusions, parvenant à nous convaincre que, même au plus profond du silence, toujours, “il se passe quelque chose”. »Benoît Jutras, Voir

  • Author:
    Goyette, Sue
    Summary:

    Shortlisted for the 2005 Atlantic Poetry Prize, the 2005 Dartmouth Book Award and the 2005 Acorn-Plantos Award for People’s Poetry

    Undone is a cornucopia of passionate poems arranged into three sections. “Forgotten” has mostly to do with the aftermath of a heart-rending breakup; “Kindred” features poems on fellow artists in poetry, music and painting (ranging from Georgia O’Keeffe to Snoopy, beagle-novelist); in “Apprentice,” leaving is transformed into celebration, poem after poem about fierce loving of a world that we will have to leave. In these hard-hitting, highly personal poems, lamentation is a key note. Crushing loneliness weighs heavily on the spirit. But Sue Goyette has ways of sharing pain with a compensating lift: wonderful flights of metaphor, language charged with verbal energy. “Isn’t that our job,” she asks, “to coax out the light in the story?” It’s a job she takes to heart and performs brilliantly.

    The poems in Undone have the amplitude proper to “watching wide” – a discipline good for seeing shooting stars and, as this book illustrates, all other kinds of light in a darkness palpable but never enveloping, not when probed so truly and sung so beautifully.

    If I had to do it again, I’d place a stethoscope on the heart of us
    Sooner. I’d prescribe Neruda, not the despair but the slow blossom of 20 kisses.

    Goodbye, goodbye to the slippery duvet of this bed. The cold floor
    of awake and how hope can have insomnia, spend the whole night wishing.

    Heartbreak is a geological occurrence.

    from “A Version of Courage”

  • Author:
    Reddy, Srikanth
    Summary:

    Simultaneously funny and frightful, Srikanth Reddy's Underworld Lit is a multiverse quest through various cultures' realms of the dead. Couched in a literature professor's daily mishaps with family life and his sudden reckoning with mortality, this adventurous serial prose poem moves from the college classroom to the oncologist's office to the mythic underworlds of Mayan civilization, the ancient Egyptian place of judgment and rebirth, the infernal court of Qing dynasty China, and beyond - testing readers along with the way with diabolically demanding quizzes. It unsettles our sense of home as it ferries us back and forth across cultures, languages, epochs, and the shifting border between the living and the dead.

  • Author:
    Blythe, Ali
    Summary:

    Shortlisted, Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Part roving eye, part devotion, you wander hotel corridors, entering rooms not quite yours, trying on clothes, blankets, skins. Arguing with the body's limits and its trickery, you are always in disguise. Sometimes you're Leda; sometimes the swan. The rooms are haunted with gendered injuries of the past . . . but messengers arrive to guide you. In this stunning debut collection by Ali Blythe, every poem is unerringly built with hatches and escapes. Every line shimmers with life and shivers with fleeting materials. Someone or something is always leaving. The early poems, almost claustrophobic in their double vision, gradually give way to poems of aching beauty, erotically charged by the myth of completeness. Ultimately, whether you emerge or disappear, you are transformed.

  • Author:
    Roches, Roger Des, D'Alfonso, Antonio
    Summary:

    Translated by award-winning author Antonio D’Alfonso, this collection presents four books by prolific Quebec writer Roger Des Roches. Considered by many scholars and critics to be one of the founders of modernity in Quebec, Des Roches’ writings span more than four decades and have acted as a source of inspiration for an entire generation of Quebec writers.

  • Author:
    Paddon, Susan
    Summary:

    Winner of the J.M. Abraham Poetry Award (East Coast Literary Awards)

    Chekhov’s work and life fuse with a daughter’s caring for her dying mother in this powerful debut.

    Two Tragedies in 429 Breaths is a book-length series of poems written from the perspective of a daughter who reads Chekhov obsessively while spending a spring and summer caring for her mother, who is dying from pulmonary fibrosis. Through the prism of the relationships in Chekhov’s work and life an honest, intimate, and even occasionally humorous portrayal of the energy we put into each other’s lives through deterioration and suffering. A prismatic, memorable debut

    …In the early

    editions of Chekhov’s letters, his editors removed
    anything that might stain his image or the image
    of Russia. An ellipsis stands in for vulgar language,
    deleterious remarks, and the references to masturbation
    he used, like little brooks across the page, but as far as I know,
    no one made confetti of his personal life.

    If it were up to me, I’d prefer to talk today. To ask
    my mother questions, finish half-told stories.

    —from “Yellow”

  • Author:
    Novakovich, Josip
    Summary:

    In this latest short-story collection Josip Novakovich explores the shallow roots of emigration as he traverses North America from university post to writing residency. These stunning stories showcase the author at his most intimate, taking on an aura of memoir as they invite us into the privacy of his family experiences. Above all, Novakovich is in search of a natural existence, whether it be living close to the land or raising animals. The author of the critically acclaimed Ex-Yu, which illustrated the lives of those scarred by the Balkan wars, here revels in the rootlessness of America and its wide-open spaces. As a companion to Ex-Yu (2015), Tumbleweed reveals a rarefied author who is as capable of warming readers’ hearts as he is of probing the depths of global despair. Praise for Ex-Yu: “It’s refreshing to encounter an author whose work engages with the world beyond the solipsistic purview of selfhood, and which treats mortality in a serious way.” –Pasha Malla, The Globe and Mail “Ex-Yu is packed with … images that can take your breath away.” –Ian McGllis, Montreal Gazette “A consistently intriguing collection.” –Jim Bartley, Quill & Quire

  • Author:
    MacLean, Kath
    Summary:

    The hunt over; the kill complete / limping towards perfection, padding / about the room, thorns in her thumbs / Hermes crawling on all fours - / That was the last I saw of Hilda. What is it to remember a life, to relive it, to mythologize it? Things that were said or not said haunt us for a lifetime. In Translating Air Kath MacLean imagines conversations between the modernist poet H.D. and Sigmund Freud during the poet's sessions with him in 1933 to 1934 and the dialogues that continued long afterwards in H.D.'s own mind. Shadowed by uncertainty and memory lapses or blinded by flashes of profound truth, readers are transported to a world of myth, continuity, and human connection. H.D.'s palimpsest account of herself as girl and woman, writer and Imagist, and psychic and spiritualist is engaging and elastic as it pulls readers into a space where time is both endless and sure. Questioning her sanity and a world gone mad with war, H.D.'s personal accounts help us understand what it means to love deeply, to feel passionately, and to think beyond the limits of our individual consciousness. MacLean demystifies and humanizes one of the most misunderstood modernist writers in this stunning collection. Translating Air takes us on a remarkable journey into the known and unknown and allows readers to experience one remarkable woman's struggle to get it right, to live life with dignity, hope, wisdom, and the courage to have no regrets.

  • Author:
    Sexton, Anne
    Summary:

    Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Anne Sexton morphs classic fairy tales into dark critiques of the cultural myths underpinning modern society Anne Sexton breathes new life into sixteen age-old Brothers Grimm fairy tales, reimagining them as poems infused with contemporary references, feminist ideals, and morbid humor. Grounded by nods to the ordinary'a witch's blood "began to boil upke Coca-Cola" and Snow White's bodice is "as tight as an Ace bandage"'Sexton brings the stories out of the realm of the fantastical and into the everyday world. Stripping away their magical sheen, she exposes the flawed notions of family, gender, and morality within the stories that continue to pervade our collective psyche. Sexton is especially critical of what follows these tales' happily-ever-after endings, noting that Cinderella never has to face the mundane struggles of marriage and growing old, such as "diapers and dust," "telling the same story twice," or "getting a middle-aged spread," and that after being awakened Sleeping Beauty would likely be plagued by insomnia, taking "knock-out drops" behind the prince's back. Deconstructed into vivid, visceral, and often highly amusing poems, these fairy tales reflect themes that have long fascinated Sexton'the claustrophobic anxiety of domestic life, the limited role of women in society, and a psychological strife more dangerous than any wicked witch or poisoned apple.

  • Author:
    Guénette, Daniel
    Summary:

    Le doute apparaît ici comme un antidote à la folie meurtrière de ceux qui imposent leurs certitudes. Un certain dieu semble avoir la vie dure et s’ingénier, à travers ses prétendus représentants, à rendre l’existence des hommes tout à fait impossible. Devant la montée des intégrismes, force est de constater que l’intolérance religieuse n’est pas plus morte que ses dieux.

  • Author:
    Cooper, Allan
    Summary:

    This collection brings together Allan Cooper's best poems over the last forty years. He weaves visions of nature with insight into the workings of the human heart. Read them individually or read them as a single long, flowing and eloquent narrative. The meditative and compassionate observations will transport the reader from the chaos of everyday life into a healing realm of possibility. In Toward the Country of Light, the author offers open sonnets, prose poems, ghazals, small poems inspired by the Chinese and Japanese, and poems influenced by Robert Bly and Francis Ponge. As Cooper observes, "Over the years I've come to understand that the poem itself usually demands the form it takes and that language uses us for its own secret purposes."

  • Author:
    Cook, Méira
    Summary:

    Shortlisted for the 1997 Pat Lowther Award and for the 1997 McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award

    Toward a Catalogue of Falling, Méira Cook’s second full-length book, proves that the fall into language can be both graceful and startling. Whether she is rewriting Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Little Mermaid” (as she does in her poem sequence “Days of Water”), thinking of Breughel’s/Williams’/ Auden’s Icarus, reading oranges, or offering advice for catching crows, Cook’s words are luminous. Language is a character in these poems, along with circus performers, Venetian tour guides, clumsy sons and migrating geese. Cook writes poems that bless hearts turned to salt, and revive the silenced energies of words. Always unexpected, always elegant, this is language that endures.

    “The poems are dramatic rushes of words, vibrant and intense…. Some are bizarre narratives fusing the wild ‘slanguage’ of Eliza Clark and Ondaatje-like exotica.” for A Fine Grammar of Bones – George Elliott Clarke

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