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Poetry General


Brick Books Classics 3

by (author) Dennis Lee

Brick Books
Initial publish date
Mar 2015
General, Canadian
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2015
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 1993
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2015
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Download Teacher’s Guide

Where to buy it


Deluxe redesign of an aching solo situated at the mid-point of a long, melodious career. Includes new material.

On the occasion of the press's 40th anniversary, Brick Books is proud to present the third of six new editions of classic books from our back catalogue. This edition of Riffs features a new introduction by the poet Paul Vermeersch, a reprint of an extended interview with Dennis Lee about the book, and a new cover and design by the renowned typographer Robert Bringhurst.

Riffs is a story of a passionate love affair, told in vintage Lee style — with whoops, deep chords, and headlong improvisational arcs. We hear Bach, Bo Diddley, Bird; the news is heartache and being. Celebratory, claustrophobic, the poem tracks ways in which eros and our lives are made mutually accountable.

Tell me what you cherish, won't
just walk; give me lifetime,
not renege. I have no other use. Living I flubbed.
But mouth to mouth I could sometimes ache into words.

— from Riffs (#85)

Praise for Riffs: "Riffs is the book that unites his various voices and lyrical personae? a book in which all of his poetic attitudes are in harmony with one another." — Paul Vermeersch, from the Introduction.

About the author

DENNIS LEE, Toronto’s first Poet Laureate and song lyricist for Fraggle Rock, is the author of enduringly popular children’s collections such as Alligator Pie, Garbage Delight, Jelly Belly, Bubblegum Delicious and The Ice Cream Store. He has received many honours, including the Vicky Metcalf Award for his body of work, and is also an acclaimed poet for adults. His poetry is anthologized and read aroUnd the world. He lives in Toronto.


JEREMY TANKARD was born in Cape Town, South Africa, but left at the age of five for a new life in the United States and then Canada. After attending the Alberta College of Art and Design, he worked as a graphic designer and typesetter before embarking on a career in illustration. His artwork has appeared in major publications such as Time Magazine and The New York Times, and his picture books—including Grumpy Bird, Boo Hoo Bird, Me Hungry!, Piggy Bunny, It’s a Tiger, and Here Comes Destructosaurus!—are hugely popular and widely acclaimed.


Dennis Lee's profile page

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