Ghosthawk

By Matt Rader

Ghosthawk
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Ghosthawk is a guidebook of imagination from grasslands to star fields to the weather of the poet’s body. Where’s home in the crises of ecological collapse and mortal illness? Where’s joy with constant pain, a future blurred by smoke? Carrying these questions, Matt Rader ... Read more


Overview

Ghosthawk is a guidebook of imagination from grasslands to star fields to the weather of the poet’s body. Where’s home in the crises of ecological collapse and mortal illness? Where’s joy with constant pain, a future blurred by smoke? Carrying these questions, Matt Rader wrote down the names of the wildflowers he met in the mountains, canyons and woodlands of his home in the Okanagan Valley. These poems are what he learned, the directions as he can best describe them.

Matt Rader

Matt Rader is an award-winning author of four volumes of poetry and a collection of stories, What I Want to Tell Goes Like This (Nightwood Editions, 2014). His work has appeared in Best Canadian Poetry, Geist, The Walrus, Wales Arts Review, The Fiddlehead and The Malahat Review. Rader is a core member of the Department of Creative Studies at UBC Okanagan where he lectures in creative writing. He lives in Kelowna, BC.

Awards

  • Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize 2022, Short-listed

Reviews

"Ghosthawk is a field guide to wildflowers, birds, marriage, feeling—the “sudden animal” entering the poet’s sightline. These astonishing poems tender the world’s fullness, heavy with each, alight with looking: mariposa lily, snowberry, yarrow, yellowthroat, a body in peril, jewels of rain. From the ghosthawk of the title “circling / the white arrow / of its body smaller / and smaller away” to a sequence of islanded couplets turning on a lonely offset rhyme, the poems render the nuances and forebodings of feeling, and a singular farewell. Oh, they crackle with keen noticing and the living, vibrant world, but there’s soul ache too. Mirages and vanishing. “Yes, you can hear / moonlight / shatter. ” A haunting dissolution and nearly unbearable fragility lie at the heart of this collection. Yet it is distinguished by—and I find myself repaired by—its generous radiance. This is an exquisite book: soul rich with regret and wonder, magnifying. "

"It’s honestly, no bullshit, one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. Ghosthawk speaks to me on a profound level. "

"Many cultures have had names for seers like Matt Rader. Contemporary Western culture has none. This is the book of a man who has died more than once and who carries with him knowledge of the point where being’s blaze touches nothingness. A book of profound humility and intense vision. "

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