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Poetry Canadian

The Village of Sliding Time

by (author) David Zieroth

Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd.
Initial publish date
Apr 2006
Recommended Age
Recommended Grade
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2006
    List Price

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In this masterful work by award-winning poet David Zieroth, a man opens his apartment door to find a younger version of himself. The boy becomes his guide on a profound journey from 21st-century urban Vancouver to the 1950s Canadian prairies and back again. Along the way, time slides magically back and forth between the speaker's contemporary existence and his rural childhood life.

Zieroth's language resonates with a strong cadence and rhythm, becoming almost hypnotic as it weaves back and forth through time and around subjects as diverse as the endless dark of the snow and the inexplicable way we learn from the children we once were and the adults we are becoming. The Village of Sliding Time, a marvellously achieved addition to Zieroth's work, is a major contribution to the long poem in Canada.

About the author

David Zieroth’s The Fly in Autumn (Harbour, 2009) won the Governor General’s Literary Award and was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and the Acorn-Plantos Award for People’s Poetry in 2010. Zieroth also won The Dorothy Livesay Poetry Award for How I Joined Humanity at Last (Harbour, 1998). Other publications include the trick of staying and leaving (Harbour, 2023), watching for life (McGill-Queen’s, 2022), the bridge from day to night (Harbour, 2018), Zoo and Crowbar (Guernica Editions, 2015), Albrecht Dürer and me (Harbour, 2014), The November Optimist (Gaspereau, 2013), The Village of Sliding Time (Harbour, 2006), The Education of Mr. Whippoorwill: A Country Boyhood (Macfarlane Walter & Ross, 2002) and Crows Do Not Have Retirement (Harbour, 2001). His poems have been included in the Best Canadian Poetry series, shortlisted for National Magazine and Relit Awards and featured on Vancouver buses three times as part of Poetry in Transit. He watches urban life from his third-floor balcony in North Vancouver, BC, where he runs The Alfred Gustav Press and produces handmade poetry chapbooks twice per year.

David Zieroth's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"David Zieroth begins this account with the night of his own conception, continues through early childhood to schooldays and ends with his family's move to BC... [He] skillfully avoids cynicism and nostalgia, engrossing the reader in a memory album that is not narrative, although narratives are implied... Loneliness, family ties, farmyard slaughter and schoolboy pranks; this is a loving but not mawkish reminiscence. The undertone is an awareness of death that insures against the sentimental... It amounts to an engaging and highly readable memoir."
- Hannah Main-van der Kamp, BC Bookworld

BC Bookworld

Librarian Reviews

The Village of Sliding Time

Finding a unique entrance into his past, poet David Zieroth uses a visit from his teenage self to carry the reader through a collage of distinct memories. Using short lines and evoking precise images, Zieroth recreates his world through brief visits with the people and situations that he experienced in his early life on the prairies and after his move to the west coast. This book-length poem is broken into three parts. How I Came To Be is a brief imagining of his conception, life in-utero and birth. The bulk of the poem is found in The Village of Sliding Time, as he revisits his past accompanied by his teenage self. The last section, Had I Stayed On the Farm,is a macabre look at the alternate and bleak existence that he would have endured had he not left the prairies.

David Zieroth’s previous work, How I Joined Humanity At Last, won the Dorothy Livesay Poetry prize.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2006-2007.