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Poetry

  • Author:
    Donawa, Wendy
    Summary:

    An elegiac and incisive debut that blends poems of social justice
    with poems of ordinary life

    In her first collection, Thin Air of the Knowable, the physical landscapes of Wendy Donawa’s life—West Coast, Caribbean, prairies—ground many of her poems and often reflect the inner geography of her preoccupations. A road-trip poem moves from prairie winter, “an icy scatter of gravel / the moving centre of this unpeopled world,” past a cattle liner on its way to the slaughter house, but it also passes beneath the sky’s “blazing scroll of light,” and magpies “flashing black and teal in the sun.” Landscape also functions metaphorically to suggest how historical settings play out in the exigencies of individual lives.

    Other preoccupations include poems that reflect on poesis itself—the strange poem-making compulsion to capture that which is largely inexpressible (hence “the thin air of the knowable”), and the role of dreams, memory, and intuition in shaping a poem’s knowledge.

    Donawa is, in many ways, a political poet, yet manages to put flesh and blood into everything she writes. In the end,

    Perhaps there is only the demonic journey.
    Small beauties by the roadside, and
    such love as we can muster.

    (from “Pu Ru Paints Zhong Kui the Demon Queller on a Mule”)

    “Wendy Donawa’s poetry rests at the very edge of beauty where a wild delicacy resides.” —Patrick Lane

    “Like the watchmakers of old, Wendy Donawa puts a spyglass to her eye and fixes her vision to the minute, to all that carries on beneath our imperfect sight—worlds upon worlds brought into the sharpest focus.” —Pamela Porter

  • Author:
    Walker, Alice
    Summary:

    "Poetry is leading us," writes Alice Walker in The World Will Follow Joy. In this dazzling collection, the beloved writer offers over sixty new poems to incite and nurture contemporary activists. Hailed as a "lavishly gifted writer" (The New York Times), Walker imbues her poetry with evocative images, fresh language, anger, forgiveness, and profound wisdom. Casting her poetic eye toward history, politics, and nature, as well as to world figures such as Jimmy Carter, Gloria Steinem, and the Dalai Lama, she is indeed a "muse for our times" (Amy Goodman). By attentively chronicling the conditions of human life today, Walker shows, as ever, her deep compassion, profound spirituality, and necessary political commitments. The poems in The World Will Follow Joy remind us of our human capacity to come together and take action, even in our troubled political times. Above all, the gems in this collection illuminate what it means to live in our world today.

  • Author:
    McKinney, Louise
    Summary:

    A sense of place has always dominated Louise McKinney's writing life. This poetry collection represents the best of her poetry written from the early 1980s to now. More than depicting mere geographical adventuring, this work expresses the poet's personal vision and emphasizes the importance of living out one's potential. This emotional journey may include the necessity of leaving something, of passing through wild and dark places in the shadow self. It may also mean becoming a different person, or persons. Sometimes inner and outer landscape merge. Always there is the hope of arriving at a place of triumphant joy where real meaning is found and love of sovereign self resides. Frequently McKinney's subject is the natural world and her deep reverence for it.

  • Author:
    Bruck, Julie
    Summary:

    Winner of the 1994 A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry (QSPELL, now the Quebec Writers' Federation)

    In The Woman Downstairs, eloquence joins intimately with an attentive and hungry eye. Julie Bruck explores the accidents and acquaintances of life, its small coincidences and occurrences, its unexpected meetings. With a passionate distance, Bruck blends the outside observer's cool embrace with a desire to know intensely life’s eccentric smallnesses, to gentle the beautiful out of the mundane. By turns witty and thoughtful, Bruck's writing is always graceful, always a delight.

  • Author:
    Lane, M. Travis
    Summary:

    Winner, New Brunswick Book Award for PoetryA Quill & Quire Best Book of the Year. Like the novella in fiction, the long poem is an oft-neglected form. Too long for publication in most literary journals and anthologies, too short to merit book-length publication, the long poem occupies a lonely space in literature. M. Travis Lane is a master of the form, in which her considerable poetic skills reach their apex. There are few that match her brilliance. This volume collects all of her long works — most of them now out of print — from a five-decade commitment to the art. M. Travis Lane has long flown under the radar of Can Lit, crafting luminous poems and sharp literary criticism — much of it published in the Fiddlehead, one of Canada's premier literary journals — but in recent years her work has been drawing the attention it deserves. Evidence of this recognition is her 2015 Governor General's Award nomination for Crossover, a collection the still-vital poet published at the age of 81. Her poetry is modernist, dense, and highly allusive, drawing adeptly on classical and biblical sources, imbued with a feminist and ecocritical perspective. Her musical lines, vivid metaphors, and phenomenological acumen launch her into the company of such poetic luminaries as Don McKay, Jan Zwicky, and Tim Lilburn. In the long poetic form, these qualities reach their highest expression. This volume, an exquisite collection that brings together her long poems for the first time, constitutes an important addition to the canon of Canadian literature and to the canon of feminist literature in North America.

  • Author:
    Lovelace, Amanda
    Summary:

    2016 Goodreads Choice Award-winning poet Amanda Lovelace returns in the witch doesn't burn in this one - the bold second book in her "women are some kind of magic" series. The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now-indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn't burn in this one.

  • Author:
    Cookshaw, Marlene
    Summary:

    Shortlisted for the 1990 Dorothy Livesay Award for Poetry (BC Book Prizes)

    Marlene Cookshaw is a Cheshire cat of a poet whose naturally realized details illuminate a shifting wholeness on the "singing edge" between dream and waking. Hers is a quilted language at once covering and revealing our fascinating ordinariness. The long poem "In The Swim" subtly captures the desperate and humourous beauty of a seemingly plain life closely observed. Other poems leap with deftness and daring across the open plain of our lives, leaving images so strong, so strange, they verge on myth.

  • Author:
    Green, Albena Beloved
    Summary:

    The Way We Hold On is Abena Beloved Green's debut book of poetry. Her poems address cultural, social, and environmental issues, relationships, and reflect on everyday life as a small-town raised, semi-nomadic, first-generation Canadian. Here are poems about holding on and letting go-of ideas, opinions, beliefs, people, places, and things.

  • Author:
    Smart, Carolyn
    Summary:

    The Way to Come Home is Carolyn Smart's fourth book of poems. It is a collection that ranges from celebrating the rural landscape north of Kingston, Ontario to re-creating the painful last phase of her friend Bronwen Wallace's life in a moving sequence titled "The Sound of the Birds." The volume's opening sequence, "Cape of Storms," views the hatred thriving amid the astonishing physical beauty of South Africa while "The woman is bathing" details a journey to Costa Rica that is a journey into the self. The outward eye is as acute as the inward in this powerful book.

  • Author:
    Eliot, T. S.
    Summary:

    Famous for juxtaposing Eastern cultures with Western literary references, The Waste Land has been celebrated for its eloquence, depth of meaning, and numerous subtleties. Rich with allusions to the religious texts of Hinduism and Buddhism, ancient literature, and Eliot's own life, the poem continues to be admired and studied in higher education English literature courses. Quickly ascending to the status of literary classic, The Waste Land is widely considered to be Eliot's finest work, representing maturity in his style and confidence in both expression and research. This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.

  • Author:
    Heighton, Steven
    Summary:

    A collection of laments and celebrations that reflect on our struggle to believe in the future of a world that continues to disappoint us. The poet challenges the boundaries of sleep and even death in these meditations on what lies just beneath the surface of contemporary life. These are poems that trouble over the idea of failure even as they continually recommit to the present moment. This is fierce music performed in a minor key.

  • Author:
    Rice, Bruce
    Summary:

    These poems peel back the layers of suburban life and the American Dream. Vivian Maier was a self-taught street photographer who worked as a nanny for wealthy employers in New York and Chicago. The poet imagines her as a documentarian who is compassionate, abrasive, and meditative, while her subjects provide their own narrative. More than anything, the poems are a response to her work, which is all we have that comes directly from her. It is a deliberate challenge to the "mystery nanny" she is reduced to in much of the constructed narrative of her life.

  • Author:
    WADDINGTON, Miriam
    Summary:
  • Author:
    O'Meara, David
    Summary:

    Winner of the 2004 Archibald Lampman Award (National Capital Region – Ottawa) and shortlisted for the 2004 Trillium Book Award for Poetry and the 2004 ReLit Awards

    In The Vicinity David O’Meara gives us a new kind of cityscape, one that brings its unseen, and usually unsung, materials to the foreground. Brick, concrete (that “not-so-silver screen / our walk-on parts are posed upon”), glass, steel, wire: they step boldly from anonymity into fresh focus, backdrops goaded into stardom. Full of casually-worn wit and humour, often using intricate forms that deftly reflect their subjects, these poems probe our conventional attitudes while walking us down present or remembered streets – “Some-such Avenue / Rue Saint Whatever.”

    A red brick wall, framed
    in timber beams and mortar,
    collects the last gold of November warmth
    on this lit morning.
    It hasn’t rested, though idle all these years.
    A brick wall is stoic toil.
    Compare one to your mother.

    from “Brickwork”

    “‘Let / how I loved to be here / not change,’ David O’Meara says, almost under his breath, in one of the stirring, subtle cadences he is perpetually discovering. The Vicinity wanders and wonders, seeking a possible home, and along the road it notices, savours, questions and praises every sight and sound, from a steel vertex to an old poster for a long-gone ska concert. Paradoxically, in his ‘fog of love, homelessness’ O’Meara’s innovative mastery of form and rhythm creates perfect, if fleeting, homes for the spirit at every step on these restless streets.” – A. F. Moritz

    Archibald Lampman Award for Poetry

    The 19th Archibald Lampman award goes this year to David O’Meara for his book of poetry, The Vicinity (published by Brick Books). The award is given annually by Arc, Canada’s National Poetry Magazine, for the best book of poetry written in English during the preceding calendar year by a writer living in Ottawa. Jury members Brian Bartlett of Halifax, Stephanie Bolster of Montreal, and Aislinn Hunter of Vancouver, had this to say about O’Meara’s book: “Though meticulously crafted, his lines never show off, always deferring not so much to their subjects as to the singular mind that moves through them.” “This book … looks hard at the common object and the day to day — how the ordinary can harbour its own kind of revelation.” “The poems show a rare balance of care and spontaneity, intelligence and intuition. This is an outstanding collection not just for the Nation’s Capital but for the nation, period.” The Vicinity is O’Meara’s second book of poetry. It has been short-listed for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and also for the Ottawa Book Award.

  • Author:
    Burgham, Ian
    Summary:

    This is a collection inspired by Coleridge’s doctrine of bringing the “the whole soul of a man into activity."

  • Author:
    Scowcroft, Ann
    Summary:

    Winner of the 2011 Concordia University First Book Prize, Quebec Writers’ Federation Literary Awards

    Shortlisted for the 2012 Award for People’s Poetry (Acorn-Plantos Award Committee)

    Poems exploring the idea of home and the difficulties of a deeply ambiguous relationship to that word.

    At once wise and achingly at a loss, Ann Scowcroft’s The Truth of Houses is an elegant debut collection. While very intimate—even startlingly intimate at times—the voices of these poems are constantly taking a step backward, wrestling for a measure of distance and perspective. Reading them, we eavesdrop on the uncovering of a personal vernacular that might allow the present to be better lived; we have the sense of overhearing a particular yet eerily familiar inner struggle—a struggle for insight, for an equanimity with which both narrator and fortunate reader might re-enter life anew.

    All of which is to say: the houses aren’t fooled
    the houses know the five truths

    The truth of light: you will see before you understand
    The truth of motion: escape is an illusion
    The truth of trees: your busy life will dissolve into the soil
    The truth of windows: what protects can also maim

    The truth of peace:
    despite all the other truths
    knowing will come to you wearing one hundred faces
    contain you as once you contained your
    own blood

    —from “The Truth of Houses”

    “These are poems filled with the intricacies of life – subtle and human, anarchic and generous, intimate as well as far ranging in their time and geography. The Truth of Houses is a wonderful first collection of poems.” — Michael Ondaatje

    Winner of the 2011 Concordia University First Book Prize, Quebec Writers’ Federation Literary Awards

    About The Truth of Houses by Ann Scowcroft, the jurors wrote:

    “Ann Scowcroft’s first collection of poems astounds with its dense writing, as if the author had been accumulating, constructing her vision long enough and could hold back no longer. Oddly mesmerising in the imagery they provoke, these poems are at once intimate and universal.”

  • Author:
    Atticus
    Summary:

    From the internationally bestselling author of The Dark Between Stars and Love Her Wild, Instagram sensation Atticus returns with another romantic and deeply moving collection. The Truth About Magic builds on the pains and joys of romance explored in Love Her Wild and the New York Times bestseller, The Dark Between Stars-heartbreaks and falling in love, looking back and looking inwards-by taking a fresh, awakened journey outward. An adventure into the great unknown. It's about finding ourselves, our purpose, and the simple joys of life. It's about lavender fields, drinking white wine out of oak barrels on vineyards, laughing until you cry, dancing in old barns until the sun comes up, and making love on sandy beaches. The Truth About Magic is a vibrant, transcendent journey into growth, which will leave you energized and eager to explore the wider world.

  • Author:
    Vautour, Bart
    Summary:

    In an A-to-Z compendium that finds the wonder in information overload. The Truth About Facts makes intimate the seeming noise of information and facts by using the tradition of the alphabet book to get back to basics: to make room for wonder, devotion, and a reinvigorated role for poetry in both quick and methodological thought. Vautour leads his readers on an info-drenched, abecedarian jaunt that is both tongue-in-cheek and unquestionably earnest.

  • Author:
    Goyette, Sue
    Summary:

    Nominated for the 1999 Governor General’s Award for Poetry, the 1999 Pat Lowther Award and the 1999 Gerald Lampert Award and Globe 100 book for 1999

    The True Names of Birds is the first book-length collection from a voice that has captured the attention of Canadian poetry readers for the last half-dozen years. Deeply centred in domestic life, Goyette’s work is informed by a muscular lyricism. These are poems that push the limits, always true to their roots.

    “This is a fresh new voice with a tense lyrical intelligence. This is a collection to begin everything with, a cure for silence, secrets that arrive with a steady eloquence.” – Patrick Lane

  • Author:
    Brown, Jericho
    Summary:

    Winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry Finalist for the 2019 National Book Award Jericho Brown's daring book The Tradition details the normalization of evil and its history at the intersection of the past and the personal. Brown's poetic concerns are both broad and intimate, and at their very core a distillation of the incredibly human: What is safety? Who is this nation? Where does freedom truly lie? Brown makes mythical pastorals to question the terrors to which we've become accustomed, and to celebrate how we survive. Poems of fatherhood, legacy, blackness, queerness, worship, and trauma are propelled into stunning clarity by Brown's mastery, and his invention of the duplex-a combination of the sonnet, the ghazal, and the blues-is testament to his formal skill. The Tradition is a cutting and necessary collection, relentless in its quest for survival while reveling in a celebration of contradiction.

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