Do-Lit-Yourself: Poetry Picnic Baskets

Venturing out into the great outdoors? Why not make your sojourn a little poetic? We’ve rounded up five poetry collections – Subduction Zone, Summer Sport: Poems, The Collected Poems of William HawkinsKingdom, and Short Talks – and hosted five picnics to go along with them. In other words, anyone who tells you working in the book biz is hard work is lying to you (but not really). We’ve paired our spreads with a little excerpt from each featured collection: something for your mind to snack on when you need a break from actual picnic planning.

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Venturing out into the great outdoors? Why not make your sojourn a little poetic? We’ve rounded up five poetry collections – Subduction ZoneSummer Sport: PoemsThe Collected Poems of William HawkinsKingdom, and Short Talks – and hosted five picnics to go along with them. In other words, anyone who tells you working in the book biz is hard work is lying to you (but not really). We’ve paired our spreads with a little excerpt from each featured collection: something for your mind to snack on when you need a break from actual picnic planning.

Enviro-picnic

Our eco-friendly picnic features a reusable water-bottle, vegan tuna salad sandwiches, hippie footwear of choice, and Subduction Zone by Emily McGiffin (Pedlar Press, 2014).
“Fourth Law of Ecology”
The sun doesn’t lift the yellow hand
it has laid on your back. Summer heat
rises from the blonde sweep of grass
to a hawk drawing circles on the liquid sky.

Sporty Picnic

Because we weren’t sure which sports we’d be into, we brought runners, a tennis ball, and a baseball glove, plus snacks and gatorade to consume while we tried to figure out the hybrid rules of the game we’d invented. We also brought Summer Sport: Poems by Priscilla Uppal (Mansfield Press, 2013), which covers them all, anyhow.
“Umpire Love Poem”
Even if you find
fault with me, let me climb your
ivory tower.

Music Picnic

This might be a picnic lunch at your favourite music festival: in any case, we’ve packed some sweet beads, comfy boaties, a totally real* guitar to jam along with, and The Collected Poems of William Hawkins, edited by Cameron Anstee (Chaudiere Books, 2015).*Not real at all, but half-guitar and half-tambourine, so still cool in our books.
“Simple Song”
doddle doddle dum
but modal (changes) have not modality.
Music & language cannot contain one another.
I am learning, am beginning to learn,
to be monotonously modal
as I ride out in Notaman Town.

(Black sheep at a) Family Picnic

Ignore your loved ones with sunglasses, your diary, some Chucks, and Elizabeth Ross’ Kingdom (Palimpsest Press, 2015).
“Dear Diary: June 10, 1995”
from Kingdom
Linoleum, his mom’s kitchen,
she was grocery shopping.
He didn’t know what to do
so I lay down and showed him.

Beach Picnic

Slather on some SPF, put on your fave tunes, and luxuriate in Anne Carson’s Short Talks (Brick Books Classics Edition, 2015) while relaxing at the beach.
“Short Talk on the Sensation of Aeroplane Takeoff”
Well you know I wonder, it could be love
running towards my life with its arms up
yelling let’s buy it what a bargain!
***Let us know what you’d take on your own literary picnic – and what you’re reading this summer, besides.