Cane Fire

By (author): Shani Mootoo

From internationally celebrated writer and visual artist Shani Mootoo comes Cane | Fire, an immersive and vivid collection that marks a long-awaited return to poetry.

Throughout this evocative, sensual collection, akin to a poetic memoir, past and present are in conversation with each other as the narrator moves from Ireland to San Fernando, and finally to Canada. The reinterpretations and translation of this journey and its associated family history give meaning to the present. Through these deeply personal poems, and Mootoo’s own artwork, we begin to understand how a life can not only be shaped, but even reimagined.

Shani Mootoo

Shani Mootoo

SHANI MOOTOO was born in Ireland and raised in Trinidad. Mootoo’s highly acclaimed writing includes the novels Cereus Blooms at Night and Polar Vortex, a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, as well as the poetry collections Cane | Fire and Oh Witness Dey!. Her poetry has appeared in Wasafiri, Poetry Magazine, and Room Magazine. She has been awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters honoris causa from Western University, is a recipient of Lambda Literary’s James Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize, and the Writers’ Trust Engel Findley Award. She lives in Southern Ontario, Canada.


“Mootoo’s artworks, most of which feature some sort of collage and reassembly, shift the effects of memory, of line, of sound, of relation and amplify the transformative possibilities of these poems.” —Winnipeg Free Press

“Mootoo uses verse, space and art to create the images and feelings here in the collection, to great effect. . . Holding this book, and experiencing the way the art is laid out on the page was a true experience by itself.” —The Miramichi Reader

“Holding this book, and experiencing the way the art is laid out on the page was a true experience by itself. When the poems are brought into the experience, it’s further elevated.”—The Miramichi Reader

“Mootoo immerses her reader in Caribbean registers, layering text and family photographs with artwork featuring Hindu goddesses and gods. Making the quotidian sacred, she transports us to a Trinidad where the ‘sitar hunts’ and ‘blind birds flew through cane-fire sweetened air.’ Her poetic gift is to teach us how to read anew, trusting the’image-language’ of art and poetry to speak of grief, family, and displacement, but also joy and renewal.” —Quill & Quire


  • Dublin IMPAC Award 2005, Long-listed
  • Scotiabank Giller Prize 2020, Short-listed
  • Lambda Literary Award 2014, Short-listed
  • Amazon Canada First Novel Award 1996, Short-listed
  • Ethetl Wilson Prize Fiction Prize 1996, Short-listed
  • Scotiabank Giller Prize 2008, Long-listed
  • Booker Prize 1996, Long-listed
  • Scotiabank Giller Prize 1996, Short-listed
  • Scotiabank Giller Prize 2014, Long-listed
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    126 Pages
    8.00in * 6.00in * .30in


    March 15, 2022


    Book*hug Press



    Book Subjects:

    POETRY / Subjects & Themes / Family

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