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Poetry Family

Cane Fire

by (author) Shani Mootoo

Book*hug Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2022
Family, Places, LGBT, Caribbean & Latin American
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2022
    List Price

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From internationally celebrated writer and visual artist Shani Mootoo comes Cane | Fire, an immersive and vivid collection that marks a long-awaited return to poetry.

Throughout this evocative, sensual collection, akin to a poetic memoir, past and present are in conversation with each other as the narrator moves from Ireland to San Fernando, and finally to Canada. The reinterpretations and translation of this journey and its associated family history give meaning to the present. Through these deeply personal poems, and Mootoo's own artwork, we begin to understand how a life can not only be shaped, but even reimagined.

About the author

Shani Mootoo was born in Ireland, grew up in Trinidad, and lives in Canada. She holds an MA in English from the University of Guelph, writes fiction and poetry, and is a visual artist whose work has been exhibited locally and internationally. Mootoo's critically acclaimed novels include Polar Vortex, Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab, Valmiki's Daughter, He Drown She in the Sea, and Cereus Blooms at Night. She is a recipient of the K.M. Hunter Arts Award, a Chalmers Fellowship Award, and the James Duggins Outstanding Midcareer Novelist Award. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, and includes the collection, The Predicament of Or. In 2021 Mootoo was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Western University. Her work has been long- and shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Dublin IMPAC Award, and the Booker Prize. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.

Shani Mootoo's profile page


  • Short-listed, Scotiabank Giller Prize
  • Short-listed, Lambda Literary Award
  • Long-listed, Scotiabank Giller Prize
  • Long-listed, Scotiabank Giller Prize
  • Long-listed, Dublin IMPAC Award
  • Short-listed, Ethetl Wilson Prize Fiction Prize
  • Short-listed, Amazon Canada First Novel Award
  • Long-listed, Booker Prize
  • Short-listed, Scotiabank Giller Prize

Editorial Reviews

"Mootoo's artworks, most of which feature some sort of collage and reassembly, shift the effects of memory, of line, of sound, of relation and amplify the transformative possibilities of these poems." —Winnipeg Free Press

"Mootoo uses verse, space and art to create the images and feelings here in the collection, to great effect. . . Holding this book, and experiencing the way the art is laid out on the page was a true experience by itself." —The Miramichi Reader

"Mootoo immerses her reader in Caribbean registers, layering text and family photographs with artwork featuring Hindu goddesses and gods. Making the quotidian sacred, she transports us to a Trinidad where the 'sitar hunts' and 'blind birds flew through cane-fire sweetened air.' Her poetic gift is to teach us how to read anew, trusting the'image-language' of art and poetry to speak of grief, family, and displacement, but also joy and renewal." —Quill & Quire

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