Tell: Poems for a Girlhood

By Soraya Peerbaye
Edited by Beth Follett

Tell: Poems for a Girlhood
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A collection of poems partially based on the Reena Virk murder case. Virk was an Asian adolescent whose drowned body was found in the Gorge Waterway in a Victoria, BC suburb, in 1997. Some of the poems use found material from court transcripts. The murder made international ... Read more


Overview

A collection of poems partially based on the Reena Virk murder case. Virk was an Asian adolescent whose drowned body was found in the Gorge Waterway in a Victoria, BC suburb, in 1997. Some of the poems use found material from court transcripts. The murder made international headlines due to the viciousness employed by Virk's assailants: seven girls and one boy between the ages of 13 and 16, five of whom were white. The poems examine in part the poet's remembrances of girlhood, the unease of adolescence, and the circumstances that enable some to pass through unhurt.

Soraya Peerbaye

Soraya Peerbaye's first collection of poetry, Poems for the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names (Goose Lane, 2008), was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Tell: poems for a girlhood (Pedlar Press, 2015) was nominated for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the recipient of the Trillium Award. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph, and is an advocate for equity in the arts. She lives in Toronto with her daughter.

Beth Follett

Beth Follett is the founder and publisher of Pedlar Press, a Canadian literary house. Her first novel, Tell It Slant (Coach House Books, 2001), a retelling of Djuna Barnes’s 1936 novel Nightwood, met with critical acclaim. Her poetry, prose and nonfiction work have appeared in Brick, Best Canadian Poetry 2019, and elsewhere. She lives in St John’s, NL.

Reviews

These are marvellous poems, deft, rich, searching, and with remarkable range: tender in recalling her father's French and Creole roots, spare and brilliant in depicting the landscape of Antarctica. For Peerbaye words connect lives across time and space. Reading her poems sharpens our own connection with the world. -- John Steffler, author of The Grey Islands

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