Here Is Where We Disembark
By Clea Roberts
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 ... Read more
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.
Clea Roberts lives on the outskirts of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Her debut collection of poems, Here Is Where We Disembark (Freehand Books, 2010), was a finalist for the League of Canadian Poets' Gerald Lampert Award, was nominated for the ReLit Award, and was translated into German and Japanese. Clea's poems have been published in journals and anthologies in Canada, Europe, the United States and Australia. She facilitates a workshop on poetry and grief through Hospice Yukon and is the Artistic Director of the Kicksled Reading Series.
"Her images of the landscape and climate 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… One cannot help but think of past Canadian masters when reading Roberts’ vivid portrait… Roberts writes with a rare and haunting musicality. "
"There is a northerly edge to Clea Roberts’ poems, and it extends past the obvious content. It has to do with exquisite frost-bitten brevities; it has to do with imagining northern space with scrupulous musically-tuned attention; and—not least—it has to do with an awareness of snow’s ‘convincing logic’, capable of pulling you ‘softly/into a ditch’ and sending explanations of ‘eider and light’. These are poems whose delight lies in seeing, and listening, afresh. "
— Don McKay