Endlings takes us across continents and through the long expanse of aeons to give voice to the dead. In poems that are lyrical, exact, and deeply melancholic, Joanna Lilley demands audience for the final moments of animal extinction. From the zebra-horse quagga and chiding dodo, to the giant woolly mammoth and delicate Xerces Blue Butterfly, the haunting, urgent words of these "endlings" cut to the bone to expose the brutality of Nature and the devastating repercussions of human ignorance and intent, while giving hope that our humanity will help save what remains.
About the author
Joanna Lilley has lived north of the 60th parallel in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, since she emigrated from the UK in 2006. Her poetry collection, The Fleece Era, was published by Brick Books in 2014 and her short fiction collection, The Birthday Books, will be published by Hagios Press in their Strike Fire New Author Series in 2015. Joanna's poems and stories have been published in journals and anthologies in Canada, the US and the UK, including The Malahat Review, The New Quarterly, Grain, The Fiddlehead and The Antigonish Review. Her awards include first prize in the 2005 Lothian Life poetry contest and first prize in the 2004 Worldwise regional creative writing competition. Joanna has a MLitt degree in creative writing from the universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde and is a Humber School for Writers graduate. In 2011 and 2013, she received Advanced Artist Awards from the Government of Yukon. With diplomas in plain language editing and journalism, Joanna earns her living as a public sector communications professional.
- Winner, Planet in Peril Poetry Competition
Excerpt: Endlings (by (author) Joanna Lilley)
There's a rumour about beauty,
its long whiskers and golden eyes,
its stripes as dark
as the moon shadows of trees.
There's a rumour that the forest
took the beauty,
that the people who took
the forest took the beauty.
The beauty's stripes tightened,
sliced right through--the people
said they had nothing to do with it.
The whiskers caught fire
and the golden eyes burned
We are so disconnected from nature we think it's the economy that makes our lifestyles and lives possible. In fact it's the complex web of nature within which we are inextricably linked and on which we are utterly dependent. When a species disappears, that complex web of life loses resilience and productivity. Endlings is a reminder of what we have lost within human memory. It's a frightening reminder that Nature is our Mother and source of life. --David Suzuki