First Mountain is a interconnected suite of poems about a particular place - Jasper, Alberta.
Paulette Dubé has lived there for more than a decade and her keen sense of the area and the healing powers of the natural world - seeking solitude, washing away stress, and celebrating the intimacy that is experienced by living in a pristine environment - shapes the emotional backbone of First Mountain. The poetry's measured cadence, meditative chanting, accessibility and serenity have great appeal. Considering that Dubé is at peak performance in her craft will only add to the enjoyment factor.
Sometimes I think I dreamt this: 2003, it was, a cave in Slovenia's karst region, a French-Canadian steps up to the mike, her words - poetic prose or prose poem? - projected onto the screen behind her. The first session of the festival in question, and she's running away with an award, it seems, which, that year, wasn't awarded. Paulette Dubé, it was. Reading from Talon. A voice. A presence. A heart. A soul. Phenomenal, it was. She blew us away. - And now - pinch yourself, Donal - this new collection from Jasper, Alberta. The work of a wife-mother-teacher who manages not just to walk and see, but to find the words, a form. The work of a poet with what Richard Ford calls "an intuition for the world's details". The work of a poet whose work, every time, works magic.
-- Donal McLaughlin (Scotland) April 2007.
Scottish winner of the Ecrivains-sans-Frontières, winner of the Robert Louis Stevenson Award.
This book is born where poetry and prayer intersect. These poems are wrought of sundogs and wolf willows, grace and the onslaught of family in words "sharp as wood smoke." Paulette Dube has achieved a miracle of spirituality and story-telling in this utterly original collection.
-- Kim Echlin April 2007.
Winner of the CBC Literary Award for Short Fiction (2006) and author of the acclaimed novel Elephant Winter