We close the 2016 Fall Edition with performances by four of our favourite poets.
"Stephen Brockwell‘s poetry, already luminous with intelligence and subtle musical energy, pulses with a new, raw, elegiac edge in his latest collection, All of Us Reticent Here Together. Ever curious, ever vigilant, Brockwell’s voice sorts through bruised truths and reverberant detail to deliver these poems of jarring tenderness and honesty."—David O’Meara
Witness, I Am, the latest from Gregory Scofield, is divided into three gripping sections. The first part of the book, “Dangerous Sound,” contains contemporary themed poems about identity and belonging, undone and rendered into modern sound poetry. “Muskrat Woman,” the middle part of the book, is a breathtaking epic that considers the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women through the reimagining and retelling of a sacred Cree creation story. The final section of the book, “Ghost Dance,” raids the autobiographical so often found in Scofield’s poetry, weaving the personal and universal into a tapestry of sharp poetic luminosity.
In a sequence of five feverish elegies, Sandra Ridley’s Silvija combines narrative lyric and experimental verse styles to manifest dark themes related to love and loss: the traumas of psychological suffering (isolation and confinement), physical abuse (by parent and partner), terminal illness (brain tumour and heart attack), revelation, resolution and healing. Pulsing with the award-winning writer’s signature blend of fervour and sangfroid, the serial poems in Silvija accrue into a book-length testament to a grief both personal and human, leaving readers with the redemptive grace that comes from poetry’s ability to wrestle chaos into meaning.
Always willing to take aesthetic and artistic risks, Stuart Ross is the author of some of Canada’s most daring, and also most rewarding, poetry. Long celebrated for his surreal narratives and humorous wordplay, his latest collection A Sparrow Came Down Resplendent , focuses more intensely on intimate subject matter–investigating the often complex, often absurd, but always powerful connections between loved ones. The care and delicacy with which he renders these portraits of family members, friends, mentors–and even himself–is nothing short of arresting. And readers–both those familiar with his work and those new to it–will admire the dexterity with which he juxtaposes such pieces with more audacious inventions.
Books available for purchase at every event: Proceeds support our free children’s literacy programs.