Poetry City hits the East Coast

April 28, 2014

Today we've finally hit the East Coast and we know what that means, National Poetry Month is almost over. We started up north, then came right across the country from the West Coast, and now we're in Antigonish, Nova Scotia with a poem from Jeanette Lynes. From her collection The New Blue Distance, published by Wolsak & Wynn, Lynes explores the idea of home in "Song of their Small Vineyard in Antigonish."

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Today we've finally hit the East Coast and we know what that means, National Poetry Month is almost over. We started up north, then came right across the country from the West Coast, and now we're in Antigonish, Nova Scotia with a poem from Jeanette Lynes. From her collection The New Blue Distance, published by Wolsak & Wynn, Lynes explores the idea of home in "Song of their Small Vineyard in Antigonish."


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Notes on “Song of their Small Vineyard in Antigonish” from Jeanette Lynes

"Song of their Small Vineyard in Antigonish" explores ideas of home and perspective. There is the sensation of viewing one’s own life from a great distance, and the contrasting close up of a bird's-eye view of a grape. It explores the ambivalence of engaging with home while also reacting against it. It ends with asking at what point is something no longer ours to care for? When do we relinquish control?

About The New Blue Distance

The New Blue Distance is a collection that skips across Canada, capturing the flavours of the country as seen by a wry scribe who is easily captivated by people, places and other poets. The collection starts in rural Ontario, with poems rooted in Lynes’s childhood and more recent past. Here we learn of her father’s barn and her mother’s feet, and Lynes lays the groundwork for the restless movement of the second section. Poems called “Morning, Dawson Creek” and “Sex is better in Regina” flow from her pen as Lynes flits across the west, but with “Song of their Small Vineyard in Antigonish” there is a questioning of the movement, a reaching back to what is left behind in travel. A garden, with grapevines. The birds who will feast on the grapes.

About Jeannette Lynes

Jeanette Lynes is the author of one novel and five collections of poetry. Her novel, The Factory Voice (Coteau, 2009), was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and a ReLit Award. Her poetry has been shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award and has won the Bliss Carman Award.

She has been Writer in Residence at Saskatoon Public Library, University of Manitoba, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, among other places. Since publishing The New Blue Distance, she has also published Archive of the Undressed, her sixth collection of poetry, with Wolsak & Wynn. She has taught writing at the Banff Centre and The Sage Hill Writing Experience. She is Coordinator of the MFA in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan's Interdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Creativity and a member of the Department of English. You can follow her on Twitter here.

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Get caught up on all our Poetry City posts for National Poetry Month here.

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Edited from the original post, published on the LPG blog


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