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Poetry Canadian

How to Be a River

by (author) Brenda Niskala

Wild Sage Press
Initial publish date
May 2013
Recommended Age
14 to 18
Recommended Grade
9 to 12
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2013
    List Price

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Brenda Niskala's How to Be a River is an intimate tour through the tough territory of bars and courtrooms, the angst and glory of sex, and, yes, of romance. Niskala's poetry celebrates wise and accepting love for family, for flawed yet wondrous people, and, with a detour across the Atlantic, for this place of grass. Powerful and vivid, How To Be A River evokes the currents, the riptides and the flow of life.

About the author

Brenda Niskala is a poet, fiction writer and currently the Executive Director for the Saskatchewan Publishers Group. She has two chapbooks, What Butterflies Do at Night (2005, BPrint Editions) and Emma's Horizon (2000, Hagpapers), one co-authored collection, Open 24 Hours (1997, Broken Jaw Press), and a book of poetry, Ambergris Moon (1983, Thistledown Press). She has taught Creative Writing for the University of Regina Extension Department, and Sage Hill Writing Experience.

Brenda Niskala's profile page

Excerpt: How to Be a River (by (author) Brenda Niskala)

Fear of flying
Northern lights curtain the sky,
an owl repeats itself.
Coyotes keen, soprano
over the froggy bass. There are more stars
than any night should carry. Some fall,
others give birth.
     Yes, a dangerous place.
He wraps his arms
over his chest, breathes shallowly.
There is no safe place to store fear.
Anita confesses her own.
The night licks it away.

Editorial Reviews

"Brenda Niskala's How to Be a River offers to readers a set of poems as diverse as they are nuanced, as piercing as they are enigmatic. Niskala's writing is crisp and tight, unburdened by sentimentality, and the poems glimmer with an immediate and luminous arousal of recognition, of the sense of truly 'being here.' The poems capture surprising crossways of feeling and consciousness...Niskala is a poet with exquisite taste in subject matter and a native ability to capture forms and expressions of human connectedness."

- Justin Dittrick, SPG Book Reviews

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