Cult Life

By Kyeren Regehr

Cult Life
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Enlightenment may not be on everyone's bucket list, but for the three hundred devotees of the Master Teacher, "awakening" was their singular purpose. Cult Life follows three years in the life of the poet as a twenty-something single mother whose spiritual devotion stood in juxtaposition ... Read more


Overview

Enlightenment may not be on everyone's bucket list, but for the three hundred devotees of the Master Teacher, "awakening" was their singular purpose. Cult Life follows three years in the life of the poet as a twenty-something single mother whose spiritual devotion stood in juxtaposition to her search for worldly love. All the marvellous peculiarities of coterie life are laid bare through the voices of strange characters and the poet-narrator's own unflinching honesty. Cult Life is a crucible where philanthropists and sociopaths, artists and misfits, dare to seek the mystical, transcendent, something that calls from the realm of the soul.

Kyeren Regehr

Kyeren Regehr's poetry has appeared in literary journals and anthologies in Canada, Australia, and America. Cult Life is her first full length poetry collection. Kyeren lives on Vancouver Island on the traditional territories of the Lkwungen speaking peoples.

Excerpt

Questing To lose a long-haired surfer go somewherehe'd never daydream his board. I meanwho plans to run away to Mid-Western America? Who flees a beachy barefoot paradiseto Nowhere Rednecksville with six suitcases,a fold-up Fisher Price dollhouse and a three-year-old child? I'm not really leaving,I promise, indulge me another pilgrimage. Like my half-baked trip to India, and the crystal healing cacoethes, those Vipassana silences,Kriya Yoga initiations. .. And my mother-- she doesn't want to knowwe've landed at a ramshackle resortthe ashram owns. Doesn't want to knowwe're safer away from himin a building that's never locked,keys in all the dorm room doors, ghostsand other darknesses slugging the basement, sinking cornerstones--will we ever get backhome? At night I'm runningNorth with my daughter, through snow. The sky glows white, everything's white; maybe it's sand not snow, maybe it's Shangri-la or a billowy formless Nirvana.

Awards

  • Canada Writes CBC Poetry Prize 2012 2012, Long-listed
  • Prism International Poetry Prize 2014, Runner-up
  • The Fiddlehead Poetry Prize 2015, Runner-up

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