Book details

Publication date: March 2022
Series: Robert Kroetsch Series
Keywords: Loss; Time; Climate change; Suicide; Family; Environment; Dementia; Love; Julian of Norwich; Ponderosa Pines; Hope; Resilience
Subject(s): POETRY / Canadian / General, Creative Writing, Creative Writing / Poetry, POETRY / Subjects & Themes / Nature, POETRY / Women Authors, Poetry by individual poets, Modern and contemporary poetry (c 1900 onwards), Nature and the natural world: general interest, Canada, Canadian Literature, Loss; Time; Climate change; Suicide; Family; Environment; Dementia; Love; Julian of Norwich; Ponderosa Pines; Hope; Resilience, Poetry / Canadian Literature, Poetry
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press

Nancy Holmes. Nancy Holmes is an award-winning poet and editor, and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at UBC Okanagan. She also collaborates on eco art projects both locally and internationally.

Arborophobia, the latest collection by award-winning poet Nancy Holmes, is a poetic spiritual reckoning. Its elegies, litanies, and indictments concern wonder, guilt, and grief about the journey of human life and the state of the natural world.

49th Shelf, February 28, 2022

#8 on the Calgary Herald Non-fiction bestsellers list, May 2, 2022

"Arborophobia is made up of a series of narrative, meditative lyric on trees and dementia, loss and falling, mothers and motherhood, grief and erosion. Holmes writes of breakings, and of breaking apart, from climate to forests to the human ability to endure.... Through long, narrative stretches, she offers poems as companion pieces to climate anxiety, personal loss and the uncertainty of where we sit as a species, thanks in large part due to an array of choices both historic and ongoing." rob mclennan, April 27, 2022 []

"'The slow unzipping/
Of the body from time:/
I didn’t notice.'

Nancy Holmes brings us beautifully observed instances of the natural world, a huge breadth of imagery, and documentation of an intense engagement with the living world. There is wit, and colour, swagger, and texture all played out along these lines, which move and live, brimming with invention." Jury comments, SCWES Book Awards for BC Authors

"... Nancy Holmes’ brilliant newest collection, Arborophobia, ... [explores] in some deeply philosophical ways the relationship between the natural and spiritual selves and the manifold ways in which one may negotiate the complexities of living a life bound up in both." Neil Querengesser, Canadian Literature, September 1, 2023 [Full review at]

“Nancy Holmes’ fluent poetic language, her clear intelligence, her deep seriousness, her playfulness, her fierceness, her elegance—all are here. Arborophobia cannot be viewed as anything less than a necessary work, and like all superb books of poetry, it’s a trove of imaginative insight, a collection to keep close at hand.” Russell Thornton, author of Answer to Blue

"From aching poems on dementia to the stunning, layered, multi-voiced 'A Cloth in the Wind, or Being with Julian of Norwich,' Nancy Holmes carefully picks up sorrows and turns them, delicate, entrancing, in her hand. The voice crackles; everywhere in these poems is a mystical or metaphysical sensuality. Arborophobia is remarkable." Tim Lilburn, poet and essayist

Sunshine Coast Writers and Editors Society Book Awards / Poetry, Canada
I Orb
2 The Tribes of Grass
3 The Milk Chute, an Ode
6 Spring Shave
7 Lunolio
10 Anemone in Cyprus
12 Saint Lucy
13 Newborn
II Arborophobia
16 Ponderosa Pine
16 I. Gotcha
24 II. Qualms
III Stain
32 Early Spring Elegy
33 Mother Julian Imagines One Drop of Christ’s Blood
As the Scale of a Herring
34 Being Upright
36 The Time Being
48 Saint Veronica
49 WTF—The Anthropocene?
50 The Animals in That Backyard
52 Before the Flood
54 Dementia, the Queen
56 Meat
57 Pitted
58 Saint Ursula
IV Julian
60 A Cloth in the Wind, or Being with Julian of Norwich
V Path
76 Saint Cainnech
77 Ways and Means
78 How I Came Back to the Morning
80 The Way We Are Made Of
81 Paths Taken
85 Notes
87 Acknowledgements
ISBNs: 9781772126020 978-1-77212-602-0 Title: arborophobia ISBNs: 9781772126105 978-1-77212-610-5 Title: arborophobia ISBNs: 9781772126112 978-1-77212-611-2 Title: arborophobia