In four sections, St. Boniface Elegies traces a poet's relationships with her family and her community through poems about travel, love, illness, work, and the writing life.
The first section, "Submission," focuses on the importance of place: the Cape Cod poems describe a holiday taken in the midst of a period of grieving, while the Irish poems delve into the poet's relationship to her ancestors, the Banff poems look at the irony of an injury to the writer's hand while away at a writing retreat, and the poem "Oodena," set at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, describes a magical place where birth, marriage, death, and the imagination converge.
"Winter Archive" questions the role of the poet in the contemporary urban environment and shifting cityscape of poverty, broken families, and broken promises in the state of emergency that is Winnipeg.
"The News" is a suite of poems about the effect of a devastating medical diagnosis on a marriage, and the final illness of Hunter's partner.
The final section, "The Reader," includes a rhythmic Twitter-generated description of Canada's "poetry wars"; a humorous but loving homage to Al Purdy; and three glosas that respond to work by the writers Adrienne Rich, Richard Wilbur and Rainer Maria Rilke.
Catherine Hunter teaches English at the University of Winnipeg. She is the author of several collections of poetry, including Necessary Crimes and Latent Heat. She is also the author of two literary mysteries: The Dead of Midnight and Where Shadows Burn.