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Most Anticipated: Our Spring 2016 Poetry Preview

Book Cover Injun

Spring is all about the daffodils, and rain showers, and looking forward to April—otherwise known as National Poetry Month! Here are some poetry titles that we're really excited about. 

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Injun (May), by the award-winning Jordan Abel, composed of text found in western novels published between 1840 and 1950, creates a long poem about race, racism, and the representation of Indigenous peoples. Tough poems for tough times: Martial Music, George Amabile's eleventh book, explores the relationships between civilization, technology, empire and human violence, theatres of war, the collateral damage of military occupation, the machinations of power politics, oil spills, destruction of the environment, PTSD, and other characteristics of what we call “world events.” Chewing Water (April), by Nelson Ball, represents a landmark event in a six-decade writing career. And House of Mystery (June), by Courtney Bates-Hardy, is a collection of poems about monsters, mothers, witches and mermaids that will tear apart our conceptions of fairy tales.

Slick Reckoning (April) is by Ken Belford, a timber framer who mills his own lumber, and whose poetry reads similarly, with powerful connections artfully made. Award-winner bill bissett's new collection of concrete poetry is th book (April). Roo Borson and Kim Maltman, writing as Bazijou, release Box Kite: Prose Poems (April), a mediation on travel between places and times (and languages). Slow States of Collapse (April), by Ashley-Elizabeth Best, navigates the fault lines of popular culture and traditional poetry. And The Red Files (May), a collection about the legacy of the residential schools system, is the latest from Lisa Bird-Wilson, author of the award-winning short story collection Just Pretending.

Book Cover 100 Days

Drawing on her own family's history of displacement, Juliane Okot Bitek recorded the lingering nightmare of the Rwandan genocide in a poem each day for 100 days and her collection, 100 Days (January), is the result. Lara Bozabalian, who was named Toronto’s Best Poet in Now Magazine in 2015, releases Tourist in April. A Map in My Blood (April) is the latest by Carla Braidek, whose previous book was shortlisted for the Saskatchewan Book Award for poetry. Award-winner Suzanne Buffam is back with A Pillow Book (April): "Not a narrative. Not an essay. Not a shopping list. Not a song. Not a diary. Not an etiquette manual. Not a confession. Not a prayer. Not a secret letter sent through the silent Palace hallways before dawn." And Saint Twin (April) is the debut of Sarah Burgoyne, described as an emerging star in Canadian poetry.

Book of Short Sentences (April), the fourth book by Alice Burdick, delves deep into the life of an urbanite who has relocated to small-town Nova Scotia. Pound @ Guantanamo (April), by Clint Burnham, is described as “a meeting of obscene or politically charged material, as well as comment on language usage under extreme circumstances of duress such as the Arab Spring.” Dopamine Blunder (April) is the third collection by well known Winnipeg poet, Lori Cayer. Human Tissue (April), by award-winner Weyman Chan, is a collection of poems that try to get along with each other—but can’t. And The Exiles Papers Part Four (March), completes a sweeping sonnet sequence by Wayne Clifford (whose first book was the first book ever published by Coach House Press).

Late Victorians, by Vincent Colistro (April), is described as a book by a poet who builds his weirdness from scratch. With Departures (April), Dennis Cooley contemplates his mortality and also makes fart jokes. Fans of Michael Crummey will welcome Little Dogs (April), a collection of new and selected work. In Disturbing the Buddha (March), Barry Dempster engages with a love of the flaw. To Greet Yourself Arriving (April), by Michael Fraser, makes homage to the inspirational and illustrious figures of the African diaspora. And Kim Fu, who won acclaim for her first novel, For Today I Am a Boy, releases How Festive the Ambulance (May). 

Book Cover Serpentine Loop

Inaugural Vancouver Poet Laureate Carla Funk’s latest book is Fallow and Feast, whose poetry looks to the small and marvellous. Serpentine Loop (May), by the award-winning Elee Kraljii Gardiner, is a collection of poems about life on and off the ice rink. Touch the Darkness (April) is the first book by Marty Gervais since he was appointed Windsor’s Poet Laureate in 2011. Tight Wire (April), by Kerry Gilbert, is a collection of poems about the distorted expectations of domesticity and of the female heart. Deaf Heaven (February), by Garry Gottfriedson, deals with the ways in which the world is deaf to the problems of First Nations people in Canada. With Settler Education (March), acclaimed poet Laurie D. Graham explores the Plains Cree uprising at Frog Lake. 

Buoyancy Control (April), by acclaimed poet Adrienne Gruber, is at times humorous, and revealing look inside the mind and body of a woman manoeuvring through experiences of longing, loss, and the fluidity of sexuality. Assdeep in Wonder (May), by Christopher Gudgeon, explores the nature of identity. Wolverine States (April) is the latest by Eva HD, of whom George Elliott Clark has said, “She understands that poetry can be—and can do—anything.” Burning In This Midnight Dream (April), by Louise Bernice Halfe, describes how the experience of the residential schools continues to haunt those who survive, and how the effects pass like a virus from one generation to the next. And Magyarázni (May), by Helen Hajnoczky, is a faux-Hungarian language primer that invites readers to experience what it’s like to be "made Hungarian" by growing up with a parent who came to North America as a refugee.

Conjugation (March)—the new collection of poetry from Governor General's Literary Award and Trillium Book Award-winning poet Phil Hall—sees an open realm where individual letters inside a word are each rolling through their possibilities, from A to Z. Governor General’s Literary Award finalist and bestselling author Steven Heighton returns with The Waking Comes Late (April), a collection of laments and celebrations that reflect on our struggle to believe in the future of a world that continues to disappoint us. Hard Work Cheering Up Sad Machines (April) is new from Jason Heroux, whose previous work has been shortlisted for a ReLit Award. And Documentaries (April), by Walter Hildenbrandt, draws a clear line from historical outrages such as the Dakota Wars of the nineteenth century and the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike to injustices in present-day England, Cuba, and Canada.

Throaty Wipes (May), by Susan Holbrook, follows up her amazing collection, Joy is So Exhausting. Jennifer Houle's debut collection is The Back Channels (April), with poems that come from a place of grappling, an attempt to find meaning, beauty and connection in the day-to-day, without being confined by it. Being eaten by a lion is a gift rather than a loss, an opportunity for grace, or so explains award-winner Michael Johnson in his new book, How to Be Eaten by a Lion (May). Richard Kelly Kemick's debut collection is Caribou Run (March), whose beating heart is the Porcupine caribou herd of the western Arctic. In Never Mind (April), Katherine Lawrence navigates the theme of settlement through the perspective of a nineteenth-century immigrant. And Measures of Astonishment (March), by the League of Canadian Poets, shines a northern light on Canadian poetry and why it matters.

All the Gold Hurts My Mouth (March), a debut by Katherine Leyton (the inaugural Writer-in-Residence at the Al & Eurithe Purdy A-Frame), takes on the sexual politics of the twenty-first century. The poems in Mood Swing, With Pear (April), by Sue MacLeod, range from a tribute to iconic paintings by the late Canadian painter, Alex Colville, to poems constructed from how-to books and encyclopedias to a eulogy for an upstairs neighbour who is both an inspiration and an annoyance. The Names (March) is the latest by Governor General’s Award-winner, Tim Lilburn. The poems in Dorothy Mahoney's third collection, Off-Leash (March), delve into the anguish of dogs loved and lost, and the joy of homecoming. And Whelmed (May), by Nicole Markotic ́, starts from the premise that we all intuitively know what a word is, then ends by challenging that certainty.

Book Cover Metanoia

The poems in Wind Leaves Absence (April), by Mary Maxwell, chronicle the journey of grief. Don’t Be Interesting (March) is the third collection by Jacob McArthur Mooney, whose previous work has been nominated for the Trillium Book Award. Metanoia (April), by Sharon McCartney, is a book-length meditation on transformation, enlightenment, and on opening one’s eyes. In Touch Anywhere To Begin, Jim Nason's fifth collection of poetry, poems are set in a physical world where full-throttle desire commingles with love, loss, and grief. John Nyman's Players is staged in an urban dreamscape, fusing popular culture with narratives about hand-to-hand combat, how to hustle, and high art.

Book Cover Let The Empire Down

Readers who loved Alexandra Oliver's 2014 Pat Lowther Award-winning Meeting the Tormenters at Safeway are looking forward to her latest, Let the Empire Down (April). Ceremony of Touching (April) is the second collection by Karen Shklanka, who draws upon her experience as a physician in her work. My Dinosaur (March), by award-winning Quebec poet François Turcot, translated by Erin Moure, is a dedication to the poet's vanished father. Model Disciple (April), by Michael Prior, whose poetry has won prizes across Canada, gives voice to speakers confounded by painful Japanese-Canadian legacies. Barking and Biting: The Poetry of Sina Queyras (March), edited by Erin Wunker,  brings together representative work from the poetic oeuvre of Sina Queyras, who is at the forefront of contemporary discussions of genre, gender, and criticism of poetry.

Book Cover Weathervane

Matt Rader's latest collection is Desecrations (March), poems about entering middle age, living a life of books, and trying to know what it means to be or not be from or of a place. Where We Live (April), by John Reibetanz, works as a kind of long poem, its three parts interconnected, each presenting a particular interpretation of the process of possession, loss, and recovery. Meditatio Placentae (April), by award-winner Monty Reid, is a book about “unruly stuff.” Stuart Ross' latest is A Sparrow Came Down Resplendent (May). The poems in Weathervane (March), by Mark Sampson, deal with the unpredictability of weather due to climate change. And The Dirty Knees of Prayer (March), by Timothy Shay, is a collection of poems that shrug at death.

Even This Page is White (May), is the first collection of poetry by Vivek Shraya, author of She of the Mountains and God Loves Hair. Acclaimed poet and critic Sue Sinclair engages with big questions in Heaven's Thieves (May). Shift (April), the first book by Kelly Shepherd, champions the beauty and resilience of nature and reminds us that we need to protect our relationships with it. Ignite (May), by Kevin Spenst, is a collection of elegiac and experimental poetry powder-kegged with questions about one man's lifelong struggle with schizophrenia. The poems in Après Satie: For Two and Four Hands (April)
, by Dean Steadman, echo Satie’s haunting music and refract the ironies of the Parisian Dada movement.

Book Cover Waiting Room

Anne Michaels describes The Largeness of Rescue (May), by Eva Tihanyi, as a book of both restlessness and acceptance; as both a longing for clarity and a reconciliation. A Bedroom Full of Searchlights (June), by Joanna M Weston, explores the poet’s mother’s experience of divorce and single motherhood in a time when this was all unusual. The poems in The Unlit Path Behind the House (April), by Margo Wheaton, listen for the lyricism inside the day’s blessings and catastrophes. I’ll Be There Soon (April) is the second collection of poetry by comedian and America's Got Talent-finalist John Wing Jr.

The poems in You Can’t Bury Them All (April), by Patrick Woodcock, reflect on the poet's experiences in Iraq, Azerbaijan, and the Northwest Territories. And Waiting Room (April), by Jennifer Zilm, subverts, shares, and repurposes the vocabularies of psychiatry, dentistry, the Bible, and academia in a humorous investigation of the contained intimacy of appointments and therapeutic relationships.

February 1, 2016

Books mentioned in this post

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Injun

by Jordan Abel
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian

Award-winning Nisga’a poet Jordan Abel’s third collection, Injun, is a long poem about racism and the representation of indigenous peoples. Composed of text found in western novels published between 1840 and 1950 – the heyday of pulp publishing and a period of unfettered colonialism in North America – Injun then uses erasure, pastiche, and …

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Chewing Water

by Nelson Ball
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian

Chewing Water continues Nelson Ball's fascinating forays into the social, into communities of humans, after spending decades writing almost exclusively about nature. While mourning, loss, and decay are featuring more heavily than ever in his poetry, friendship, hope, and love are gaining on those themes. Nelson's poems concentrate on the tiniest th …

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House of Mystery

by Courtney Bates-Hardy
edition: Paperback
tagged: women authors, canadian
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Slick Reckoning

by Ken Belford
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian

In these thoughtful, yet playful poems, Belford builds a poetry experience for the curious reader can open anywhere, read, and read on.

Although the phrasing of his lines is unusual, Ken Belford’s poetry is not easily forgotten. His poetry collections, like this one, his slick reckoning, are experiences the curious reader can open anywhere, read, …

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th book

by bill bissett
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian

New poems from Canada’s shaman of sound and performance poetry, bill bissett.

bissett’s innovations in sound poetry, have shaped poetry, music, painting, and publishing and stimulated, provoked, influenced, shocked, and delighted audiences for half a century. In this new collection of concrete poems, bissett writes “poemes uv greef transisyun …

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Box Kite

by Kim Maltman & Roo Borson
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged: canadian

"A piece of paper with writing on it is flat, but when what is written on that paper fills the mind of a reader, it takes off into the wind like a box kite on a windy day," writes Baziju — the shared voice of poets Roo Borson and Kim Maltman. This exquisite, collaboratively written sequence of prose poems, unfolding through rich, delicate imagery …

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Slow States of Collapse

by Ashley-Elizabeth Best
edition: eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged: canadian

 

The eagerly anticipated debut from one of Canada’s most exciting new poets

In her debut collection, Ashley-Elizabeth Best explores the cultivation of resilience during uncertain and often trying times. It’s a book built around day-to-day conflicts — poems about love, family, grief, power, and longing. Navigating the fault lines of popular cul …

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The Red Files

by Lisa Bird-Wilson
edition: Paperback
tagged:

This debut poetry collection from Lisa Bird-Wilson reflects on the legacy of the residential school system: the fragmentation of families and histories, with blows that resonate through the generations.

 

Inspired by family and archival sources, Bird-Wilson assembles scraps of a history torn apart by colonial violence. The collection takes its name f …

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100 Days

by Juliane Okot Bitek, foreword by Cecily Nicholson
edition: eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged: african, canadian, women authors

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 o …

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A Map in My Blood

by Carla Braidek
edition: Paperback
tagged: women authors

Traditional poetry continues to hold its place in contemporary literature, in part, because of the emergence of women whose writing is informed by tradition but whose subject matter crystalizes in the personal search for meaning. This work represents a search through life, querying events and ideas. Thoughts are offered and ideas considered, but no …

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A Pillow Book

by Suzanne Buffam
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged: canadian

Not a narrative. Not an essay. Not a shopping list. Not a song. Not a diary. Not an etiquette manual. Not a confession. Not a prayer. Not a secret letter sent through the silent Palace hallways before dawn. Making a daybook of oblivion, A Pillow Book leads the reader on a darkly comic tour through the dim-lit valley of fitful sleep. The miscellaneo …

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Saint Twin

by Sarah Burgoyne
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian

Saint Twin is a collection of story poems, short lyrics, long walks, tiny chapters and fake psalms. The poems explore themes of absurdity, loss, and wonder, and make their way through intuitive leaps from speaker to speaker, scene to scene, sometimes (but not always) hunting for a holy other, or the holiness of the Other. The structure is unique, c …

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Book of Short Sentences

by Alice Burdick
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian

In her fourth poetry collection, Alice Burdick delves deeper into the life of a Toronto/Vancouver urbanite who has relocated to small-town Nova Scotia to live, work and raise a family. Her quirky, playful, often surreal poems are deeply imbued with the landscape of Nova Scotia's south shore, as well as her own inner landscape, and the landscape of …

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Human Tissue

by Weyman Chan
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian

Weyman Chan’s fifth collection takes poetry to the laboratory, splicing a layered, tactile network that is Human Tissue.

Short lyric poems navigate personal experience and memory, then weave into serial poems such as “Parables for Frankenstein,” diving into the material conditions of hybridity to construct the symbiotic self of a prototype mis …

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The Exile's Papers: Part 4

Just Beneath Your Skin, the Dark Begins

by Wayne Clifford
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian

The Exile's Papers Part Four: Just Beneath Your Skin, the Dark Begins, is the final chapter of Wayne Clifford's sweeping sonnet sequence. In this volume, the exiled poet questions notions of truth, identity and salvation in his quest to describe and interpret a journey through life that is both familiar and unfamiliar.

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Late Victorians

by Vincent Colistro
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged: canadian

"I was only born into the world," begins one of Vincent Colistro's poems, "didn't invade it, didn't ransom it for a nicer one." The Late Victorians, Colistro's debut, is a beguilingly irreverent investigation of the life he was "born into." Hyper-fluent, riding wave after wave of copious invention, Colistro builds his weirdness from scratch, turnin …

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departures

by Dennis Cooley
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian

The moon migrates, seasons cycle, and the body ebbs and flows. Drawing together the skeins of existence and his family's nearness, Dennis Cooley's departures joyously intermingles poetry and science. In the end, faced with his own mortality, Cooley fights back with great big clods of earthy humour and humility.

With departures Dennis Cooley coils an …

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Little Dogs

New and Selected Poems

by Michael Crummey
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged: canadian

Twenty years after the publication of his debut, Little Dogs: New and Selected Poems brings together selections from Michael Crummey’s first four books of poetry with a significant offering of new work. In this collection, Crummey emerges not only as the master storyteller we know him to be, but also as one of our great poets of connection. Wheth …

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Disturbing the Buddha

by Barry Dempster
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged: canadian, mysticism

A beloved poet explores why life is so rich, even at the worst of times.

Disturbing the Buddha, Barry Dempster's fifteenth collection, is disarmingly conversational and, like the best conversations, it moves between reverence and irreverence, sincerity and irony as it grapples with love, loss, loneliness and simple lack of luck—the “three-leaf …

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How Festive the Ambulance

by Kim Fu
edition: Paperback
tagged:

In this debut poetry collection by award-winning author Kim Fu, incantations, mythical creatures and extreme violence illuminate small scenes of domestic life and the banal tragedies of modern love and modern death.

 

A sharp edge of humour slices through Fu's poetry, drawing attention to the distance between contemporary existence and the basic fact …

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Gloryland

by Carla Funk
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian

Carla Funk, in her fifth book of poetry, illuminates the small and marvelous marginalia of earth, like the glistening trail of a snail en route, and looks prophetically to the not-so-distant future where cities burn and the body falls to ruin. A meditation on endings, intermingling wonder and praise with question and elegy, Gloryland offers poems f …

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Serpentine Loop

by Elee Kraljii Gardiner
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian

"Writers, like skaters, score the blank sheet and test the edge of inclusion and exclusion.&nbspMost of these poems begin with a word from skating and push off to another topic. Others revisit ideas of femininity, control and language as pattern, or visit the past through movement, or enact principles from the rink such as symmetry, joy, endurance, …

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Touch the Darkness

by Marty Gervais
edition: Paperback
tagged:

This is a collection of poems Marty Gervais has written since his appointment as Windsor, Ontario's first Poet Laureate in 2011. As Susan McMaster, an Ottawa writer and past president of the League of Canadian Poets, "These rich stories of Windsor, its history and inhabitants, are told in a plain, inviting voice that distills them to their essence, …

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tight wire

by Kerry Gilbert
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian, women authors

“Darling girl, when all else fails…join the circus.” –unknown

 

“The “tight wire” is where the feminine is performed within the callousness of the culture’s expectations.” –Sharon Thesen, author of Oyama Pink Shale

 

“Delivered in crisp, edgy prose verse reminiscent of Ondaatje in The Collected Works of Billy The Kid, Tight Wir …

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Deaf Heaven

by Garry Gottfriedson
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged: canadian

As the title suggests, this new collection of poetry from Garry Gottfriedson of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) Nation deals with the ways in which the world is deaf to the problems First Nations people face in Canada today. Gottfriedson examines such issues as the Truth and Reconciliation movements as well as the missing and murdered Aboriginal women. The …

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Settler Education

Poems

by Laurie D. Graham
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian, places, women authors

"A tone-perfect elegiac meditation on the impossibility of engaging with painful history and the necessity of doing so." – Margaret Atwood, Thomas Morton Memorial Prize for Poetry
In the stunning poems of Settler Education, Laurie D. Graham vividly explores the Plains Cree uprising at Frog Lake -- the death of nine settlers, the hanging of six Cr …

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Buoyancy Control

by Adrienne Gruber
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged: places, women authors

Buoyancy Control, the latest collection of poems from Vancouverite Adrienne Gruber, explores themes of sexuality, sexual identity, and queerness, while confronting the feelings of loss and longing found in relationships, and the chance glimpse into a new life, while still recovering from a painfully failed connection.

Metaphors of oceans, lakes, and …

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Assdeep In Wonder

by Christopher Gudgeon
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian

Assdeep in Wonder is a collection of new poems that explore the idea of identity in a myriad of contexts: personal, sexual, cultural, national, literary, and poetic. The poems are raw and immediate, exploring themes of addiction, sexuality, loss, love, and wonder in equal measures.

Selected Praise: "Gudgeon's first poetry collection is a quirky vale …

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Shiner

by Eva H.D.
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian

Shiner is Eva H.D.'s powerful successor to her critically acclaimed debut, Rotten Perfect Mouth, and includes the Montreal International Poetry Prize-winning "38 Michigans." This is lyrical poetry that is as beautiful as it is angry, bracing in the sharpness of its observations. Whether noting the emotional effects of the financial crisis, the long …

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Burning in this Midnight Dream

by Louise Bernice Halfe
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian

Burning in the Midnight Dream is the latest collection of poems by Louise Bernice Halfe. Many were written in response to the grim tide of emotions, memories, dreams and nightmares that arose in her as the Truth and Reconciliation process unfolded.

In heart-wrenching detail, Halfe recalls the damage done to her parents, her family, herself. With fea …

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Conjugation

by Phil Hall
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged: canadian

I am sitting outside at dawn on Otty Lake, where I live, in the woods. The light is coming over the trees, and each morning the poem is written as if right while it is being read.
A rough immediacy. Gap & Hum. Caesura. Syllables as musical notes.
The lyric weaving of honesty about the self--toward revelation & transformation.
My poetics has widene …

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The Waking Comes Late

by Steven Heighton
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged: canadian

2016 Governor General's Literary Award Winner

2017 Raymond Souster Award Finalist

Governor General’s Literary Award finalist and bestselling author Steven Heighton returns with 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 …

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Hard Work Cheering Up Sad Machines

by Jason Heroux
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian

Jason Heroux's fourth collection of poems takes him to the laboratory. The book is marked by several long serial poems that take his work further than ever before. Working in free verse, more formal structures and the prose poem, Heroux's image-rich verse explores loss, death, angst -- but with wit, an empathetic gentleness, and magic.

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Documentaries

by Walter Hildebrandt
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian, places

Taking its inspiration from director Werner Herzog's concept of "ecstatic truth" and recalling D.W. Griffith's silent film classic Intolerance, poet/historian Walter Hildebrandt's ambitious new book of poems is a searing denunciation of the exploitation of the poor and powerless at the hands of the wealthy. In forceful, unadorned language, Hildebra …

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Throaty Wipes

by Susan Holbrook
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged: canadian

In 1934, Gertrude Stein asked 'What is poetry and if you know what poetry is what is prose.' Throaty Wipes answers this question and many more! How does broadband work? Does 'chuffed' mean pleased or displeased? What if the generations of Adam had mothers? Through her signature fusion of formal innovation and lyricism, Holbrook delivers what we've …

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The Back Channels

by Jennifer Houle
edition: Paperback
tagged: women authors

Jennifer Houle's debut collection, The Back Channels, reflects the effort to build a meaningful life in a rapidly changing culture, in a region afflicted, as many are, with outmigration and an economy of anxiety and hard choices. Here, where memories of a more prosperous past loom large, she takes us to the backwoods where a discouraged woman walks …

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How to Be Eaten by a Lion

by Michael Johnson
edition: Paperback
tagged:

From the monk who sets himself on fire in a crowded intersection of Saigon ("the familiar corded tendons of his hands, become / a bracken of ashes, a carbon twine of burnt"), to the salmon run in British Columbia ("The salmon word / for home is glacierdust and once-tall trees unlimbed, / a taste, no matter where, they know"), Johnson writes of topi …

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Never Mind

by Katherine Lawrence
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian, emigration & immigration

In Never Mind, Katherine Lawrence constructs a centuries-old immigrant tale that is fiercely feminist, surprisingly modern, and darkly funny. The voice in these exquisite poems is a 19th century woman who straddles both old and new worlds as she navigates her own interior landscape. Observations are wry, intimate, and shot with musicality.

This mus …

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Measures of Astonishment

Poets on Poetry

introduction by Glen Sorestad, compiled by League of Canadian Poets
edition: Paperback
tagged: speeches, essays, poetry

"A society without poetry and the other arts would have broken its mirror and cut out its heart."
-Margaret Atwood

So boldly insists one of our greatest writers in Measures of Astonishment, a refreshing and eclectic mix of both deeply personal and formal essays that offer a glimpse into the minds of some of Canada’s most influential poets. In ad …

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All the Gold Hurts My Mouth

by Katherine Leyton
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged: canadian, women authors

Winner, 2017 ReLit Award

Katherine Leyton's fresh and vibrant debut collection takes on the sexual politics of the twenty-first century, boldly holding up a mirror to the male gaze and interrogating the nature of images and illusions.

Confronting the forces of mass communication — whether television, movies, or the Internet — Leyton explores the …

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Mood Swing, with Pear

by Sue MacLeod
edition: Paperback
tagged: women authors

Mood Swing, with Pear is a refreshing take on life, love and everything in between. Ranging from a tribute to iconic paintings by the late Canadian painter, Alex Colville, to poems constructed from how-to books and encyclopedias to a eulogy for an upstairs neighbour who is both an inspiration and an annoyance. Sue MacLeod illuminates, instructs and …

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The Names

Poems

by Tim Lilburn
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian, family

From Governor General's Award-winning poet Tim Lilburn comes a new collection of poetry of great scope and ambition.

The Names is personal and familial archaeology, an extemporal dig giving spectres back to their bodies. With its lines sped up and dazzlingly associative, Tim Lilburn’s cocktail of obsessions – confession, ontology, mystical theo …

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Off Leash

by Dorothy Mahoney
edition: Paperback
tagged: nature, canadian, women authors

Everyone has a dog story, from the salesman at Home Depot to the passenger on a plane who confesses about the scar on his face. The poems in Mahoney's third collection explore the concepts of identity and ownership through rich linguistic textures and voices. From a boy's fascination with Tom Terrific and Mighty Manfred to uniquely imagined Biblica …

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Wind Leaves Absence

by Mary Maxwell
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian

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 h …

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Don't Be Interesting

Poems

by Jacob McArthur Mooney
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian, places

An acclaimed finalist for the International Dylan Thomas Prize -- and one of our most galvanizing poets -- takes on The Future in a sharply perceptive and provocative new collection of poetry.

Don’t Be Interesting is a collection that grapples with The Future – as public morality-keeper and private reckoner. The book explores the lines dividing …

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Metanoia

by Sharon McCartney
edition: Paperback
tagged:

T.S. Eliot and Tennessee Ernie Ford, Buddha and Jesus, Jung and Heidegger. Love, solitude, obliteration, the ocean and a sad neighbor who feeds pigeons. Metanoia is an aphoristically narrative poem that engages all of these, a book-length meditation on transformation, enlightenment, on opening one's eyes. McCartney's work evinces that journey, the …

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Touch Anywhere to Begin

by Jim Nason
edition: Paperback
tagged: lgbt

In Touch Anywhere To Begin, Jim Nason's fifth collection of poetry, poems are set in a physical world where full-throttle desire commingles with love, loss and grief. Although death is ever present, death of a father, death of a friend, there is a life-affirming/mystical quality at the core of this book. Nason reminds us that the city is both real …

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Players

by John Nyman
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian

Finalist: 2017 Gerald Lampert Award

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Let The Empire Down

by Alexandra Oliver
edition: Paperback
tagged:

Alexandra Oliver takes us on a journey of escape from the suburbs of North America to Glasgow, Scotland. Training her eye on the locals?on the streets, by rivers, in museums, in playgrounds, in their own homes, in the ill-starred town of Lockerbie?Oliver reflects on issues of escape, exile, memory and identity, while traveling back into her own pas …

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Ceremony of Touching

by Karen Shklanka
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian

With intoxicating fervour, Karen Shklanka's new poetry collection, Ceremony of Touching, winds its way through time and place to bring you the stories of everyday people. From her real-life experience as a doctor trying her best to heal patients, to war-era Japan, and the devastation of Hiroshima, Shklanka's poems beg us to witness and explore our …

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My Dinosaur

by Turcot François, translated by Erin Moure
edition: Paperback
tagged: death, family

The figure of the father occupies a particularly significant place in Quï??bï??coise literature--there's a real fascination with fathers, and this recurring persona populates fiction, films, and the stories people tell of their families and themselves.

Thus, it's not surprising that, as he witnessed his own father's frailty, Franï??ois Turcot--o …

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Model Disciple

by Michael Prior
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged: canadian

One of the most commanding poetic debuts in years.

A mesmerizing and moving first collection, Model Disciple gives us a poetry of two minds. Confounded by Japanese-Canadian legacies too painful to fully embrace, Michael Prior's split speakers struggle to understand themselves as they submit to their reinvention: "I am all that is wrong with the Old …

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Barking & Biting

The Poetry of Sina Queyras

by Sina Queyras, edited by Erin Wunker
edition: eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged: canadian, women authors

This collection brings together representative work from Sina Queyras’s poetic oeuvre. Queyras is at the forefront of contemporary discussions of genre, gender, and criticism of poetry. Her influential blog-turned-literary-magazine, Lemon Hound, published up-and-coming writers as well as work by established literary figures in Canada and abroad. …

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Desecrations

by Matt Rader
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian, places

A luminous new collection of poems about entering middle age, living a life of books, and trying to know what it means to be or not be from or of a place.
If pattern is information, and verse the mind's conversation with Time, Matt Rader's Desecrations animates a theatre of silence we recognize as mystery. Building on an already astonishing body of …

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Where We Live

by John Reibetanz
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged: canadian

shell in the night sky / and whose anti-clockwise spiral / repeats the Milky Way’s unwinding / informed not with the lore of clocks or teachers / but of gods and children Where We Live explores how specific places and their features (street scenes, classrooms, furniture, creatures both real and mythical) become part of our identities, and illustr …

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Meditatio Placentae

by Monty Reid
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged: canadian

A wide-ranging meditation by an accomplished poet on the uncontainable materiality of the world.

From yoghurt tubs to pop-up books to bobcats, from cement trucks to lost socks to the products of conception, Meditatio Placentae, Monty Reid's twelfth collection, is a book about unruly stuff. Stuff that functions but also stuff that exceeds, stuff tha …

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Sparrow Came Down Resplendent, A

by Stuart Ross
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian

Winner of the Kitty Lewis Hazel Millar Dennis Tourbin Poetry Prize

Always willing to take aesthetic and artistic risks, Stuart Ross is the author of some of Canada's most daring, and also most rewarding, poetry. Long celebrated for his surreal narratives and humorous wordplay, here Ross focuses more intensely on intimate subject matter?investigating …

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Weathervane

by Mark Sampson
edition: Paperback
tagged: nature, canadian

A book of poems that's as unpredictable as the seasons that guide it, Weathervane is part eco-tourism, part domestic nocturne, and part tempest. In a shifting world, Mark Sampson resounds like a modern Zeus, advising his readers to “wear galoshes, / even if it doesn?t rain.? Weathervane is an intensely personal, alchemical debut from an accomplis …

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The Dirty Knees of Prayer

by Timothy Shay
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian

The poems in THE DIRTY KNEES OF PRAYER are hot and dark as night rain. The new Honeywell fan blows whips of simmered air against Shay's glistening back. He suspects a dystopian future and apparently it has arrived. These poems shrug at death. A tide of smoke rises and hovers over the city. Shay's picture is taken for his collection of grief and apo …

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even this page is white

by Vivek Shraya
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian, lgbt

Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature winner

Lambda Literary Award finalist

Longlisted for Canada Reads

As a writer, musician, performance artist, and filmmaker, Vivek Shraya has, over the course of the last few years, established herself as a tour de force artist of the highest order. Vivek's body of work includes ten albu …

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Heaven's Thieves

by Sue Sinclair
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged: canadian

Lyric poems built with consummate skill by a poet at the peak of her powers.

Heaven's Thieves is a collection engaged with the big questions—What are bodies for” What does it mean to be alive” What is beauty and why does it have such power over us” What is the point of art??and the urgent ones—how to live in a shattered ecology, what to d …

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Shift

by Kelly Shepherd
edition: Paperback
tagged: inspirational & religious

These poems are filled with awe and celebration, sadness, and ironic humour as Shepherd explores the themes of human relationships with the natural world including connection, alienation, and the negative impacts of human activity on nature; interspecies kinship – ecological as well as animistic and shamanic; and intersections of ecology and indu …

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Ignite

by Kevin Spenst
edition: Paperback
tagged: canadian

A finalist for the&nbspAlfred G. Bailey Prize,&nbspIgnite&nbspis a collection of elegiac and experimental poetry powder-kegged with questions about one man's lifelong struggle with schizophrenia. Born into a strict Mennonite family, Abe Spenst's mental illness spanned three decades in and out of mental institutions where he underwent electric shock …

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Après Satie

For Two and Four Hands

by Dean Steadman
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged: canadian, individual composer & musician

Poems that echo Satie's haunting music and refract the ironies of the Parisian Dada movement.

A man who might be Erik Satie floats, à la Magritte, above Paris rooftops, thinking of a newly-extinct species of songbirds, “contemplating grief in the absence of song.” By turns tender, wry, playful and fierce, the poems in Dean Steadman's second co …

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Largeness of Rescue, The

by Eva Tihanyi
edition: Paperback
tagged: women authors, canadian

The big theme-- perhaps the only theme-- is the narrative that unfolds between the bookends of our birth and our death. Each of us is born into a time and place-- our present-- and must answer the questions only we can answer for ourselves: Who are we? What will we do? What choices will we make? The Largeness of Rescue helps us travel along our own …

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Bedroom of Searchlights, A

by Joanna M. Weston
edition: Paperback
tagged: women authors, canadian

The poems in this collection explore the life of the poet's mother who divorced in 1939, at a time when a woman divorcing was still frowned upon by society. This collection draws a picture of the artist and single mother who struggled with poverty, war, and the realities of daily life, yet still found beauty and comfort in her garden, and her art.

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The Unlit Path Behind the House

by Margo Wheaton
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged: canadian

The day’s an old room / stripped of its furniture; there are / never enough beds in winter. / By late afternoon, the shadows / are forming a blue inconsolable hall // as sparrows retreat to makeshift / cots of pine bark and eaves. // Even the parched marsh grass / has stilled, every blade / become an ear. Sensuous, atmospheric, and spare, The Unl …

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I'll Be There Soon

by John Wing
edition: Paperback
tagged:

You've seen him on stage, but have you ever heard the man behind the microphone? America's Got Talent 2013 semi—finalist John Wing is a comedian who shares his jokes on stage and shares his emotions and experiences through poetry. He started in small—town Sarnia and made his way to big-time Los Angeles. He's previously been published by Black M …

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You can’t bury them all

by Patrick Woodcock
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged: canadian

A poetry that is at once harrowing, angry, and achingly beautiful

Patrick Woodcock has spent the past seven years engaging with and being shaped by the people, politics, and landscapes of the Kurdish north of Iraq, Fort Good Hope in the Northwest Territories, and Azerbaijan. His powerful new collection offers a poetry that simultaneously explores ho …

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Waiting Room

by Jennifer Zilm
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged: canadian, women authors

You're welcome to take a seat in (the) Waiting Room, the first full-length collection of poetry from award-winning writer Jennifer Zilm. Featuring a mï??lange of styles and forms (sonnets, erasures, unsent emails, footnotes, session notes, CVs, tweets, and other disparate source materials--including, the Gospels and the Dead Sea Scrolls), Waiting …

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