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Poetry Canadian

Blood Rises

by (author) David Haskins

Guernica Editions
Initial publish date
Sep 2020
Canadian, Nature, Places
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price

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The past infuses the present in the poems gathered in this collection. Painting a transformative Southeast wind helps restore a culture to a decimated people. Everyday events trigger a yearning for love from those already departed. A goldfish experiences poetry for the first time, again. An arduous trek through the Peruvian mountains leads to a stone that stops the sun. By turns ironic, comic, imagistic, experimental, these poems ask what's next, and how we get there.

About the author

David Haskins wanted to write ever since Enid Blyton sent him a handwritten postcard when he was seven. He also wanted to become a veterinary surgeon. He settled for mentorships under CanLit’s A-listers Joe Rosenblatt, Austin Clarke, Matt Cohen, John Herbert, P.K. Page and others, and a career teaching English to high schoolers. His poetry books, Reclamation (Borealis, 1980) and Blood Rises (Guernica, 2020), and his literary memoir This House is Condemned (Wolsak and Wynn, 2013) top a long list of published works that have won first place awards from the CBC, the Ontario Poetry Society, the Canadian Authors Association, gritLIT and Arts Hamilton. He continues to live in the family home in Grimsby, Ontario.

David Haskins' profile page

Editorial Reviews

Blood Rises is a collection that moves, enriches, and gives powerful meaning to life. David Haskins records scenes in vivid poetic detail, from the sublime experience of hiking at Machu Picchu to the ordinary chore of pruning a raspberry bush. He writes of the heroes and traditions of Canadian poetry with affection, nostalgia, and wicked wit. Above all, like our strongest poets, he writes against despair. In these poems, even the simplest activities—moving a file cabinet or painting a room—are imbued with deep emotion, and throughout, the beauty of the natural world graces the human soul with hope: “For one night/my tree/harbours your stars.”

Catherine Hunter, author of St. Boniface Elegies

Haskins carries such tonal vacillations with a deliberate and practised voice, both in this poem and throughout the collection, his aptitude for literary craft offering an aesthetic equanimity that clearly marks these varied pieces as his own. Read Blood Rises if you want to be shown how fully a person can manifest their life in poetry after decades of discipline.

Carousel Magazine

This collection is undoubtedly one man’s powerful life feast.

Marrow Reviews

In Blood Rises, David Haskins presents himself as a mature writer willing to avoid the easy topics in favour of driving to the heart of things, be it the culture of the much-abused Haida of Canada’s West Coast or the violence in Guatemala, Columbia, and Mexico or the fact that our own government has been complicit in torture when dealing with suspected terrorists. This book also contains a searching section on the death of the poet’s wife that explores his inner world of grief, and closes with a bold ascent to the fields of the sun at Machu Picchu. Blood Rises is an impressive contribution to Canadian poetry.

James Deahl, author of Travelling the Lost Highway