Read This, Then That: Poetry Collections

February 25, 2022

If Chad Campbell's poetry collection  Nectarine  (Véhicule Press) resonated with you about how memories are preserved in time like “a glass of frozen nectarine halves”, then try Alan Hill's poetry collection  In the Blood (Caitlin Press) — a similar poetry collection that offers poetic explorations of mental health and family connections.

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A memory can escape us, ground us, or bring us closer to the people we love. In both In the Blood and Nectarine, writers Alan Hill and Chad Campbell capture the elusive, powerful nature of memories to explore the intricacies of mental health. 

In Alan Hill’s In the Blood, the former City of New Westminster Poet Laureate bravely delves into the memories of a lifetime of mental illness – both his own and that of his brother. Hill spent significant portions of his childhood visiting his brother in institutions, and the experience is one that both marked him deeply and became intertwined with what he would one day realize were his own struggles with mental health. Hill deals with feelings of guilt, shame, and loss but uses his experiences to give hope to others. He explains that depression, anxiety, and overall mental wellness are commonplace in our current world, and his book is a triumph in the face of stigma. 

In Nectarine, poet Chad Campbell explores memory through art, nature, and relationships with loved ones. He brings readers visions of cities, landscapes, and figures from his life that move, dreamlike, through the many layers of memory. Like Hill, he uncovers the myriad ways in which the past affects the future and bravely grapples with questions of mental health. But while Hill’s focus is on his relationship with his brother – rarely do we get to see a brotherly relationship portrayed with as much thought and care as in Hill’s debut poetry collection – Campbell explores family networks and the immigrant experience. 

Readers of both books will come away with a greater appreciation of the power of memory and mental health in shaping how we view and exist in this world. 


Read this, then that




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A special thank you to Malaika Aleba at Caitlin Press for sharing these fantastic poetry collections for this edition of  Read This, Then That.


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