Shimmers of Light

By (author): Robert Currie

Robert Currie’s Shimmers of Light: New and Selected Poems uses the vernacular of ordinary working people to tell stories and sing songs of small-town prairie life. Like Alden Nowlan, or more recently, Billy Collins, this poet constructs poems from the unvarnished wood of common language—there’s no veneer, no glossing over here.
These poems “work like small exquisite time machines . . .” writes poet Lorna Crozier in her introduction to this extensive collection of work dating from the 1970s to the present day. Currie’s poems powerfully evoke the reality of prairie life, with a frequent focus on the hard exteriors men and boys are expected to present to the world, despite the swarm of doubt and conflict roiling inside them. The characters who populate these poems are subject to difficult weather, internal and external, but their lives are sometimes illuminated by “a sudden radiance”: a deeper understanding of self, a breathtaking expanse of sky, the generosity of a friend or lover.
The beauty of the unflinching rhythm and cadence of the poems brings light to the darker corners of even the most painful times. From a father’s tenderness in the face of his young son’s fears, to the death of a lifelong friend from ALS, to earlier narrative poems about depression-era deprivation and hardship, this work is carefully crafted, deeply honest, and open-hearted. With a foreword by Lorna Crozier and an afterword by Mark Abley.


Robert Currie

Robert Currie is a poet and fiction writer who is a founding board member of the Saskatchewan Festival of Words and a former chairman of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild, Currie was honoured in the fall of 2009 when he received the Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts. Currie has taught creative writing for four summers at the Saskatchewan School of the Arts in Fort San and for three summers at the Sage Hill Writing Experience in Lumsden. He is the author of ten books, including the short story collections, Night Games and Things You Don’t Forget, and the novel, Teaching Mr. Cutler. He lives in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan where he taught for thirty years at Central Collegiate, winning the Joseph Duffy Memorial Award for excellence in teaching language arts.


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Excerpts & Samples ×
From the introduction: Robert Currie’s poetic matchmaking is among the things I am grateful for when I enter again the generous, prairie-centric world of his poems, including the new ones in this collection, and when I revisit his poignant charting of the losses we must carry as we try, with the help of his words, to savour “the marvellous moment that is now. —Lorna Crozier, award-winning poet and memoirist From the afterword: It is with boundless gratitude that I open and reopen the pages of this book. —Mark Abley, award-winning author

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312 Pages
8.5in * 5.5in * 1in


March 18, 2022


Thistledown Press



Book Subjects:

POETRY / Canadian

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