Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Poetry Canadian

Marry & Burn

by (author) Rachel Rose

Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd.
Initial publish date
Oct 2015
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2015
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


The fourth collection from award-winning poet Rachel Rose, Marry & Burn is a journey through a troubled relationship and a troubled city, charting the territory of love and addiction, and the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. Inspired by struggles both personal and global, these are not gentle poems--they probe deep into comforting personal and cultural myths, rending them to pieces even as they expose the beauty in the bright shards that remain.


Although the language of blazing passion resonates throughout the discussion of love, longing and addiction, the driving rhythms often resemble more closely the relentless pounding of the ocean: "The sky's cauldron / tips a black storm to swarm the harried / hawk, call, Shame! Shame! Dawn has come / in flame." The golden glow of the ancient world, the dark sweetness of fairy tales, overlay these harsh contemporary moments of rape and addiction, loneliness and poverty, casting them in the richer light of another era.


The pain of letting go, whether of love, old habits or cherished personal myths, permeates the collection. But these poems insist that once the dike has broken, once the myths have crumbled, the possibility emerges of building something new.

About the author

Rachel Rose is the author of four collections of poetry and a memoir, The Dog Lover Unit: Lessons in Courage from the World’s K9 Cops (St. Martin’s Press), which was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis award for best non-fiction crime book in 2018. She is also the recipient of the Bronwen Wallace Award for fiction from The Writers’ Trust, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, a 2014 and 2016 Pushcart Prize and a 2016 nomination for a Governor General’s Award. She is the Poet Laureate Emerita of Vancouver, poetry editor at Cascadia Magazine and a contributor for Maisonneuve Magazine. Rose’s work has appeared in numerous anthologies and publications including The Globe & Mail, American Poetry Review, Poetry, Malahat Review, Rattle, New Quarterly, Best Canadian Poetry, Monte Cristo Magazine and the Vancouver Sun. She lives in Vancouver, BC.

Rachel Rose's profile page


  • Short-listed, Pat Lowther Memorial Award
  • Short-listed, Governor General's Award for Poetry
  • Winner, Pushcart Prize

Editorial Reviews

"Marry & Burn, the fourth collection of poetry by Rachel Rose, demonstrates once again the considerable skill of this poet, a skill matched by luminous sensibility. Rose delves into aspects of ordinary life, such as love, sex, marriage, loss, and children, and offers a new perspective with her gift of making language jump. ...Rose's thoughtfulness is enticing. Her ability to push language to its limits while always maintaining communication is a gift, one that her readers can open over and over."
~ Candace Fertile, Room Magazine, issue 39, Fall 2016

'As its title conjures, Rachel Rose's fourth collection of poetry, Marry & Burn, smoulders with intense lyrical energy and crackles with poetic technique....Technically sophisticated, fierce, and musical, there's much to admire in Marry & Burn."
~ Laura Ritland, The Puritan, Issue 33, Spring 2016

Related lists