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Poetry Nature

Better Nature

by (author) Fenn Stewart

Book*hug Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2017
Nature, Women Authors
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2017
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2017
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Much of the language that makes up Better Nature—the first book-length poetry collection by writer and academic Fenn Stewart—is drawn from a diary that Walt Whitman wrote while travelling through Canada at the end of the nineteenth century.
But rather than waxing poetic about the untouched Great White North, Stewart inlays found materials (early settler archives, news stories, email spam, fundraising for environmental NGOs, and more) to present a unique view of Canada's "pioneering" attitude towards "wilderness"—one that considers deeper issues of the settler appropriation of Indigenous lands, the notion of terra nullius, and the strategies and techniques used to produce a "better nature" (that is, one that better serves the nation).

About the author

Fenn Stewart lives in Vancouver, where she teaches literature, writing, and research. Her poetry has appeared in The Capilano Review, Open Letter, The Arcadia Project, and in the form of three chapbooks, An OK Organ Man (shortlisted for the 2013 bpNichol Chapbook Award), Vegetable Inventory, and from Waltzing. Her research on Canadian culture and literature has appeared in various journals, including ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature and Law, Culture, and the Humanities. Better Nature is her first book.

Fenn Stewart's profile page


  • Long-listed, Gerald Lampert Memorial Award

Editorial Reviews

"With bounding lines that seamlessly blend the archival with the contemporary, Better Nature stitches together its source material with precision. The result is pure poetic wit and a timely perspective on the shaping of Canada's landscape." —This Magazine

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