Beauty makes pain bearable
In her fourth book of poetry, Elza deftly builds a raft of questions to stay afloat amidst the breakage of things. The end of a twenty-year marriage mirrors subtler fragmentations in our world. How to survive this loss of meaning, this “wintering through”? The intricacies of light, nature, water, absences glint through grief to astonish and lift the heart into understanding again; transforming and coupling the deeper self with the soulful eros/ions of our world.
Daniela Elza grew up and lived on three continents before immigrating to Canada in 1999. Her poetry collections are the weight of dew (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2012), the book of It (2011), and milk tooth bane bone (Leaf, 2013). the broken boat is her fourth book. In 2011, Daniela earned her doctorate in Philosophy of Education from Simon Fraser University. She continues to contribute to the field of Poetic Inquiry. Her Masters degrees are in English Philology, and Linguistics (TESL/TEFL). In the literary community, Daniela facilitates writing workshops, mentors emerging writers, edits, and performs. She coordinates and hosts a reading series (Twisted Poets Literary Salon at Hood29 on Main St.), that shines a light on hundreds of published and emerging writers. Used to crossing geographic, cultural and semantic borders, Daniela’s work often dwells in liminal, and in between spaces between word and world, and the inherent possibilities for transformation through the attention. Daniela's poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net Anthology, and has won numerous contests. Her essay Bringing the Roots Home was nominated for the 2018 Pushcart Prize. She is currently exploring her passion for the personal and lyric essay. Daniela lives in Vancouver, and works at the Bolton Academy for Spoken Arts.
“This brave new collection by Daniela Elza is both lament and praise for the ending of a marriage. The poems, fractured and musical on the page, are at once stark and complex, surreal and familiar. There is a vertiginous sense of unsteady balance, of climbing, rung to rung. And yet, a delicate strength is here—a learning how to move through grief. ”—Miranda Pearson, author of Rail.
“In the broken boat, Daniela Elza explores the unraveling of a relationship as it is truly experienced: not a tidy narrative of good and bad, but an undulating, multifaceted journey through grief, with no real beginning or end. These poems shatter and shine like river light. ”—Rob Taylor, author of The News.
“the broken boat moves us through the psychological, social and legal ramifications of bodies coming together and coming apart, and Elza’s attention to the gravitational tug of metaphors bears witness to the intensities that join us. the broken boat crystallizes the transformational heft of learning how we can be “our own questions' answers. ”—Kevin Spenst, author of Hearts Amok: A Memoir in Verse.
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The Broken Boat
These poems follow me through my days, sometimes prodding, sometimes pulling me from gut punch to epiphany
"I stand on these stairs exhausted liturgical
unsure—was it up / or was it down / we were going?"
Then they sit beside me on a river bank, like Rumi might have:
"today I wrote myself / and ceased to be the writer / emerged with /
how completely the act consumes me clean /
and the light still fools me into singing"
Like the biblical Job, we too lament our losses, ecological, spiritual and relational "and I don’t know if your arms ever were /
outstretched or intended to catch me.
A four-dimensional tapestry, warp and weft of past and present, these poems hold on to each other and weave subtle unexpected threads
stitching me back to myself and own experiences.
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