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Poetry Canadian

eat salt | gaze at the ocean

by (author) Junie Désil

Initial publish date
Oct 2020
Canadian, Caribbean & Latin American, Women Authors
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2020
    List Price

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eat salt | gaze at the ocean explores the themes of Black sovereignty, Haitian sovereignty, and Black lives, using the Haitian (original) zombie as a metaphor for the condition and treatment of Black bodies. Interspersed with information about zombies, Haiti, and policies is the author’s personal narrative of growing up Black and Haitian of immigrant parents on stolen land. The collection is divided into two sections: the first half focusses on zombies, while the second focusses on the ocean/water and the violent crossing experienced by enslaved folks. The book’s title refers to the “cure” for reversing the process of becoming a zombie.

About the author

Junie Désil is of Haitian ancestry. Her work has appeared in Room Magazine, PRISM International, the Capilano Review, and CV2. Her first book, eat salt | gaze at the ocean (Talonbooks, 2020), received wide acclaim.

Junie Désil's profile page


  • Short-listed, Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize (BC and Yukon Poetry Prizes)

Editorial Reviews

BC Booklook

~||~ "Désil intersperses her personal story of growing up Black and Haitian in Canada with snippets from fictions, newspaper articles, dictionaries and judicial papers, creating a multi-layered exploration that is as political as it is personal."

~||~ “[Désil] … tell[s] not only her story but the story of millions before her … Racism is ALIVE. It is time to sink or swim for survival, and this collection is swimming lessons on dry land as we absorb them during lockdown.”
Ormsby Review


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