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We at Bookville are proud purveyors of poetry: whether you’re new to poetry or a seasoned poetry pro, you’ll find beautiful poems with our picks below (that rhymed, didn’t it?).
Showing all 12 results
Covering Indigenous adventures from Ontario?s Walpole Island to Northern Saskatchewan to the BC coast, #IndianLovePoems is a poetry collection that delves into the humour and truths of love and lust within Indigenous communities. Sharing stories in search of The One, or even better, the One-Night-Stand, or the opening of boundaries this collection fearlessly sheds light on the sharing and honesty that comes with discussions of men, women, sex, and relationships, using humour to explore the complexities of race, culture and intent within relationships.
Whether speaking of erotic love, domestic life, spiritual wilderness, or family entanglements, the poems of Auguries, the much-anticipated second collection from Yukon poet Clea Roberts, are saturated with their northern landscape. Roberts is well versed in the distances and dynamics between tedium and ecstasy, light and dark, isolation and solitude, freeze and thaw, flow and stillness. Her poems are spare and clean, each like a single larch in an immense white plain; their exactness startling and arresting. As the Gerald Lampert Award jury citation for her celebrated first book noted, “Her images . . . are not only crisp and precise, but manage to speak about the physical conditions of this place and its emotional landscape in one and the same lyrical breath . . .”
Written during a period in which Roberts both became a parent and lost a parent, the poems in Auguries lend themselves to prayer, surrender, celebration, reconciliation, meditation, and auspice.
how to breathe
and the beautiful,
slow with cold. (from “Cold Snap”)
“Clea Roberts writes poems of clear, quiet beauty. They contain the silence of perception: alive to the world with open eye and open heart.” — Anne Michaels
Swinging from post-explosion Beirut to a Parc-Extension balcony in summer, the verse and prose poems in The Good Arabs ground the reader in place, language, and the body. Peeling and rinsing radishes. Dancing as a pre-teen to Nancy Ajram. Being drenched in stares on the city bus. The collection is an interlocking and rich offering of the speaker’s communities, geographical surroundings both expansive and precise, and family both biological and chosen.
The Good Arabs gifts the reader with insight into cycles and repetition in ourselves and our broken nations. This genre-defying collection maps Arab and trans identity through the immensity of experience felt in one body, the sorrow of citizens let down by their countries, and the garbage crisis in Lebanon. Ultimately, it shows how we might love amid dismay, adore the pungent and the ugly, and exist in our multiplicity across spaces.
With her remarkable debut collection, Yukon poet Clea Roberts proffers a perceptive & ecological reading of the Canadian North’s past & present.
Roberts deftly draws out the moments that comprise a cycle of seasons, paying as much attention to the natural?the winter moon’s second-hand light that pools in the tracks of tree squirrels & loose threads of migrating birds?as she does to the manufactured?the peripheral percussion of J-brakes & half-melted ice lanterns. She also casts her gaze back to the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897-1898, raising the voices of those marked by a frenetic race for fortune: a seductive, edgy wolf, a disillusioned photographer, and a pragmatic prostitute, among others.
Here Is Where We Disembark is a beautifully crafted book that ignites the senses, and its presence lingers, like woodsmoke, long after the final page has been turned.
Medrie Purdham‘s Little Housewolf delves deeply into the world of domestic miniatures, a realm where thimbles, baby teeth, push pins, keyholes, teacups, and wedding rings become meticulously realized scale models of one’s terrors and joys. Purdham uses the fine-grained signatures of her poetry–close observation, exact detail, precise sounds–not only to examine childhood and its fascination with size and scale, but also to measure herself against the larger, untamed landscapes she feels increasingly alienated from (“It is all anachronism, / grasses vintage wild”). Marked by bold emotion and arresting imagery, Little Housewolf is a brilliant debut.
A new edition of a hockey saga, wrapping the game’s story in the “intense, moody, contradictory” character of Terry Sawchuk, one of its greatest goalies.
Denied the leap and dash up the ice,
what goalies know is side to side, an inwardness of monk
and cell. They scrape. They sweep. Their eyes are elsewhere
as they contemplate their narrow place. Like saints, they pray for nothing,
which brings grace. Off-days, what they want is space. They sit apart
in bars. They know the length of streets in twenty cities.
But it’s their saving sense of irony that further
isolates them as it saves.
– from “One of You”
In compact, conversational poems, Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems follows the tragic trajectory of the life and work of Terry Sawchuk, dark driven genius of a goalie who survived twenty tough seasons in an era of inadequate upper-body equipment and no player representation. But no summary touches the searching intensity of Maggs’s poems. They range from meditations on ancient/modern heroism to dramatic capsules of actual games, in which the mystery of character meets the mystery of transcendent physical performance. Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems is illustrated with photographs mirroring the text, depicting key moments in the career of Terry Sawchuk, his exploits and his agony.
This 10th anniversary edition of the book marks both the 50th anniversary of the last time the Leafs won the Stanley Cup and the 100th anniversary of the Leafs as a team. With rich reflections on the book by novelist Angie Abdou and Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean, as well as excerpts from scores of reviews by the likes of Gord Downie and Dave Bidini, this new edition of Night Work is a must-have for lovers of hockey and poetry alike.
Poems using fervent whimsy and wordplay to examine photography and seeing.
Peering inside eyeballs, pondering the paradox of absent stars, and meditating on street scenes by André Kertész, these poems squint sidelong at our ways of seeing the world. Through playful poems about photography and visual perception, Hollett dissects auroras and quarks, atmospheric phenomena, potatoes, bomb craters and peat bog cadavers. This darkly comic collection is shadowed by entoptic paparazzi, haunted by peripheral visions. Born of attentive walking and looking, of footsteps and snapshots, it bears witness to art history and alluvial light, portable keyholes, the pandemic, climate change, and the sheer strangeness of seeing everyday things with ecstatic eyes.
Poet Sareh Farmand was born in Tehran at the start of the Islamic Revolution. In this brave first collection of poems and prose a narrative arc details her family’s escape from Iran, detailing their time as immigrants in limbo, and finally, as Landed Immigrants in Canada. Using family anecdotes, memory, public documents, and images to outline her family’s story, Pistachios in my Pocket moves from the personal to the universal by exploring the influences of migration, political strife, and cultural identity on humanity. Here is a new voice to the conversation on global citizenship and multiculturalism, as themes of loss, home, and belonging are explored in a new way through a wide socio-political lens and personal accounts of a family’s unique, yet universal experiences. Ultimately, bringing forward the many ways immigrants are haunted after fleeing for safety and what it means to be Canadian.
Sales and Market Bullets
Safety Razor combines personal lyrics with translations from Old Norse, its taut poems running like high-wires between the poles of terror and joy, danger and safety, erudition and naivety. Mingling subjects as diverse as dinosaur bones and diacritical markers, Vikings and mothering, Safety Razor pits cultural and historical flotsam against the intimate and the academic. Be prepared for a voice that is both vulnerable and scientific as it explores the exploitation of Jumbo the Elephant, how a baby experiences a tornado, or a Viking demonstration of poetic prowess through vomit and blood. Every line in Osborne’s sharp verse is like a “pin dipped in tobacco spit,” something inked with precision and grit.
A whorling pseudotranslation of French Symbolist Saint-Pol-Roux’s La Repoetique, The Repoetic: After Saint-Pol-Roux is a herniating long-poem, a w(h)orld built by and for the word. Unconventional and otherwise inconceivable relationships thrive in this unreal space, where hot tub (s)cum, The Tinder-Poem, comes to life to date a mercurial living-meme, the Chose-Coke Poser: sometimes Goblin, sometimes aristocratic variant of the Femboy Hooters meme. The whorld at once a food-tray fastness, a clotted pocket mirror propping open a mouth, and a bloody buffet for twenty befanged criminals seeking refuge from the law. Whorld as ever-unrolling unraveling rug; as yawnsense; as slimey timey oneness; as aerated English, Nu-Cue-Ler Alberta English, used-to-be-the-bottom-of-an-Ocean English, as the trembling timbre of the Tinder-Poem’s voice asking “does your English always fight like this, or just at the holidays?” The Repoetic is the realm of the loser, the cruiser, and the havering grief that an immortal Mother asks of us. Sieve for the unreal, forgotten, and trampled; for Lady Di and Dido and Bart Simpson’s unending boyhood. The cerebral, no-chill, scab-picking, contours flush to contours queertopia, the nemesis to cartopia, straight-time and straight-rhyme alike. The Res Poetica a long-overdue middle-finger to Plato?s no-poet Res Publica. And though no panacea nor samizdat, The Repoetic‘s an annihilating solvent; the joke-rupt-by-hiccup haghounding its way into existence twixt split sycamore Pocky sticks; the stretched elastic embouchure of the things we wish we could say yet can’t couch-twirl thru the threshold. The Repoetic a singu(hi)larity, the Poem a noise the Poem annoys.
WINNER OF THE 2020/2021 ALCUIN SOCIETY BOOK DESIGN AWARD FOR POETRY
WINNER OF THE ROBERT KROETSCH CITY OF EDMONTON BOOK PRIZE
WINNER OF THE 2023 STEPHAN G. STEPHANSSON AWARD FOR POETRY
WINNER OF THE GERALD LAMPERT MEMORIAL AWARD
WINNER OF THE INDIGENOUS VOICES AWARD FOR PUBLISHED POETRY IN ENGLISH
SHORTLISTED FOR THE DAYNE OGILVIE PRIZE FOR LGBTQ2S+ EMERGING WRITERS
LONGLISTED FOR THE RAYMOND SOUSTER AWARD
An Indigenous resistance historiography, poetry that interrogates the colonial violence of the archive
Whitemud Walking is about the land Matthew Weigel was born on and the institutions that occupy that land. It is about the interrelatedness of his own story with that of the colonial history of Canada, which considers the numbered treaties of the North-West to be historical and completed events. But they are eternal agreements that entail complex reciprocity and obligations. The state and archival institutions work together to sequester documents and knowledge in ways that resonate violently in people’s lives, including the dispossession and extinguishment of Indigenous title to land.
Using photos, documents, and recordings that are about or involve his ancestors, but are kept in archives, Weigel examines the consequences of this erasure and sequestration. Memories cling to documents and sometimes this palimpsest can be read, other times the margins must be centered to gain a fuller picture. Whitemud Walking is a genre-bending work of visual and lyric poetry, non-fiction prose, photography, and digital art and design.