Poetry


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    Micheline Maylor’s The Bad Wife is an intimate, first-hand account of how to ruin a marriage. This is a story of divorce, love, and what should have been, told in a brave and unflinching voice. Pulling the reader into a startling web of sensuality, guilt, resentment, and pleasure, this collection asks: what if you set off a bomb in your own house? What if you lose love and destroy everything you ever knew? These poems have a disarming immediacy, full of surprising im... [READ MORE]

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    Gospel Drunk follows a speaker’s journey to find clarity and identity as he contemplates his Catholic upbringing and struggles with loneliness and alcohol addiction. Sharp, intoxicating imagery and a minimalist aesthetic combine in these poems to explore some of our darkest and strongest belief systems, dismantling them with wit and wisdom. Poignant boyhood memories of hockey coaches as “dragons in suits” collide with critiques of “the broken bicycl... [READ MORE]

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    Deriving is a feminist exploration of the creation of life, of family, and of words themselves. Delisle asks: How does past infertility colour the experience of new motherhood? How do historical voices echo in the present? How does language impact our ways of being in the world? These poems embrace the rich material of mothering with unapologetic honesty, confronting the experiences that some would keep hidden. Fear, anger, envy mix with joy and ultimately hope, as Delisle... [READ MORE]

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    You lie awake,

    needlessly fingering

    this patchwork guilt.

    Remorse, a code

    you live by; distress calls

    for someone to blame.

    —from “Threads”

    Following the deaths of her Mennonite grandparents, Angeline Schellenberg began exploring their influence on her life. Her elegiac love letter to them articulates her grief against the backdrop of their involuntary emigration. She artfully captures the immigrant ... [READ MORE]

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    In this collection, E. Alex Pierce enters the territory of memory embedded in landscape where “language tied to the land” evokes the cadence of tidal rivers and creates a fluid world. She traces the fragmented childhood beginnings that lead to the formation of a young artist who moves from music, through theatre, to poetry. The passionate relationships and complex juxtapositions of art and performance that form an artist’s life find voice here in the symp... [READ MORE]

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    In the arena, she shot cigarettes and coins

    from her trusting husband’s hand. Some women

    wished she would miss.

    —from “Little Sure Shot”

    Kat Cameron’s poetry illuminates the unsung perspectives of the women of the West, creating a compelling narrative that reflects the poet’s own struggles with sorrow. She conjures ghosts and weaves together insights on loss, memory, and the impacts of boom and bust.

    ... [READ MORE]

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    Social Justice Poetry

    Spoken-word poet Valerie Mason-John unsettles readers with potent images of ongoing trauma from slavery and colonization. Her narratives range from the beginnings of the African Diaspora to the story of a stowaway on the Windrush, from racism and sexism in Trump’s America to the wide impact of the Me Too movement. Stories of entrapment, sexual assault, addictive behaviours, and rave culture are told and contrasted to the strengthening and ... [READ MORE]

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    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 varie... [READ MORE]

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    The late sun falls slowly into the afternoon of your eyes, and there

    it pauses as one might pause to take a breath —from “Lost”

    Nothing Is But You and I, the breathtaking final volume in the Apostrophes series, reveals poet E.D. Blodgett at his most accomplished. Lyrical grace meets exquisite technique as Blodgett fathoms intimacy, knowledge, and being. The poems allow us to listen to one side of an intimate conversation; yet despite th... [READ MORE]

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    Rain Shadow is a collection of poetry that explores the fraught relationship between the natural world and humans yearning to connect with something greater than themselves. The poems range through destabilized lives and landscapes, fathoming presence and absence, transformation and oblivion. They outline the major questions of our time as the poet crisscrosses western Canada and the Pacific Northwest. Witty, playful, serious, and heartsore, Rain Shadow seeks to understand... [READ MORE]

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    In a series of poems inspired by Gustav Mahler's Kindertotenlieder, E.D. Blodgett searches for meaning amidst grief. In the contemplative gentleness of his words, he finds the special light children possess in their state of unknowing as they encounter the world. These sparse poems move through acceptance and resignation to the solace that exists in the word. Blodgett's poetry will speak to readers who have experienced loss, are exploring grief, or want to find a way to co... [READ MORE]

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    Alice Major observes the comedy and the tragedy of this human-dominated moment on Earth. Major’s most persistent question—“Where do we fit in the universe?”—is made more urgent by the ecological calamity of human-driven climate change. Her poetry leads us to question human hierarchies, loyalties, and consciousness, and challenges us to find some humility in our overblown sense of our cosmic significance.

    Now, welcome to the Anthro... [READ MORE]

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    Volodymyr Svidzinsky (1885–1941) was one of the most prominent Ukrainian poets of his time and a virtuoso of lyrical poetic miniatures. His poetic oeuvre was only recently published in its entirety and this has led to the unexpected—even sensational—discovery of a masterful lyrical voice in Ukrainian poetry. Svidzinsky’s poetry represents a unique synthesis of classical poetic tradition, Ukrainian modernism, folkloric elements, and mythopoetic way o... [READ MORE]

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    first snow falling slow

    hangs in the air

    a curtain drifting there

    thickening sight

    —“Winter”

    In this new collection, Douglas Barbour experiments with what he calls “rhythmically intense open form.” Listen. If presents technically innovative poetry that invites the reader to join in some serious play. Barbour’s vivid, ekphrastic poems engage an ongoing conversation among artworks—not only classi... [READ MORE]

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    Lisa Martin’s new poetry collection seeks the kind of lyric truth that lives in paradox, in the dwelling together of seeming opposites such as life and death, love and loss, faith and doubt, joy and sorrow. Here readers will find a range of moods, tones, and subjects, as well as both traditional and contemporary forms—from sonnets to prose poems. This is a collection imbued with the light of an enduring, if troubled, faith. With its focus on spirit, ethics, and... [READ MORE]

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    By turns quirky, startling, earthy, and hope-filled, Micheline Maylor’s poems slip effortlessly through topics ranging from what we give up as we age to regrets for love that has passed, the interplay between the animal world and human thought, and the myths we append to ourselves and others. An expansive, conversational voice underscores the poet’s technical mastery as her subjects turn from love to hope to fearlessness. Maylor asks readers to perceive how we ... [READ MORE]

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    "He wants to sit and visit at the kitchen table, and he can hardly wait to get on the road again." —From Chapter 1

    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, insightfully written by dennis cooley—who knew Kroets... [READ MORE]

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    "My emptiness will not be

    frenetic with the friction

    of my father's silences

    but still as the unmarked graves

    of his many forgotten selves"

    —From "Salt"

    A cycle of poems, Sleeping in Tall Grass takes an unsparing look at a painful, sometimes abusive, yet strangely redemptive family story enfolded within the body of the Canadian prairie itself—at once physical, historical, and metaphysical. These int... [READ MORE]

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    100 days... 100 days that should not have been... 100 days the world could have stopped. But did not.

    For 100 days, Juliane Okot Bitek recorded the lingering nightmare of the Rwandan genocide in a poem—each poem recalling the senseless loss of life and of innocence. Okot Bitek draws on her own family's experience of displacement under the regime of Idi Amin, pulling in fragments of the poetic traditions she encounters along the way: the Ugandan Acholi oral tra... [READ MORE]

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    Like the ever-widening universe, Standard candles expands on Alice Major’s earlier themes of family, mythology, and cosmology, teasing out subtle wonders in form and subject. Her voice resonates through experiments with old and new poetic forms as she imbues observed and imagined phenomena—from the centres of galaxies to the mysteries of her own backyard—with the most grounded and grounding moments of human experience. In Standard candles, readers will fi... [READ MORE]