Super Secret Festival of Lit: Poetry

It’s the last day of our Super Secret Festival of Lit mystery title reveals! Our top choice is an aphorism wrapped in a riddle wrapped in a poetic burst of insight, and is a must-have for any Canadian poetry-lover’s collection. Buy any one of our selected Poetry reads from now until December 18th and receive a free set of four CanLit holiday cards.Drum roll please…


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Short Talks by Anne Carson (Brick Books)

What it’s About

Short Talks is famed Canadian poet Anne Carson’s debut collection. First published in 1992, it’s a collection of “Short Talks” on topics ranging from “the Youth at Night” to “the Sensation of Aeroplane Takeoff”. It remains Carson’s favourite collection to read from.

Why We Chose It

This deluxe reimagining of the book for Brick’s 40th Anniversary would make a beautiful addition to a poetry library, or a great start to one. The added introduction by Margaret Christakos and afterword by Anne Carson herself contextualize the book. It’s an accessible book of poetry, but a challenging one, too. As winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize, Anne Carson is not a member of the canon to miss.

Who Would Love This Book

Anyone interested in aphorisms, riddles, epigrams, and illuminating puzzles, as well as fans of Lisa Robertson, Jorge Luis Borges, and Sina Queyras would be fans of this book. Don’t forget existing Carson fans, who would no doubt be looking to see this first-floor look at her trajectory as a poet, or want a gorgeous replacement for their original, battered copies.

Reviews & Media

You can listen to Anne Carson read from the collection, here.”What is a short talk? An aphorism? A riddle? A poetic burst of insight? In Carson’s hands, it is all of these and more…Carson’s short prose pieces bring ideas and images into a collision on the page. Then orange juice. A pile of rind and pith.” –Julie Enszer, The Rumpus“Perhaps Short Talks’ most endearing quality—and what allows this collection specifically to endure, despite her myriad subsequent publications—is Carson’s sense of humor.” –Maple Tree Literary Supplement“Carson’s “talks” are full of exacting enigmatic scrutiny. One after another, she turns crystalline descriptive-statements inside out, revealing an oftener than not previously un-thought, surprisingly counter-intuitive direction from which to approach the subject.” –Patrick James Dunagan, New Pages* * *

Poetry Presents for Persons Passing on Paragraphs:

The Poison Colour by Maureen Hynes (Pedlar Press)

The Poison Colour is award-winning poet Maureen Hynes’ newest collection, examining what makes us human through the minutiae of the everyday: asphalt, rosaries, wool. Her explorations add weight to each object and interaction: which make us stronger and which slowly poison? Learn more.

Why We Chose It

The Malahat Review stated of the collection that “Hynes knows that this felted togetherness of sadness and joy is the human condition,” and she delivers the message in true language.

Who Would Love This Book

Anyone concerned with or thinking about lyrical poetry, women’s studies/feminist theory, environment/nature/animals, politics/law/government, grief, and/or social justice would find a reading home with this collection, as would fans of Lorna Crozier.

Autobiographical Fictions by Maurice Mierau (Palimpsest Press)

Mierau’s newest collection discusses our daily anxieties and delusions through the voices of some of high- and pop-culture’s biggest names, including Ovid, Alan Turing, and Michael Jackson. Learn more.

Why We Chose It

We love us some pop-culture poetry at All Lit Up, and Mierau’s is no exception (references to MJ never hurt, either).

Who Would Love This Book

Besides us, you mean? Give this book to someone who feels trepidation about poetry, and see them delight at Mierau’s celebrity “fictions.”

He Leaves His Face in the Funeral Car by Arleen Paré (Caitlin Press)

An “elegiac, lyrical, ironic” rendering of our relationships – to people, things, and ideas – and how their complications require deep meditation. Learn more.

Why We Chose It

In Focus magazine, Amy Reiswig says of Paré’s poetry that it “holds nothing less than the entire state of being, in constant beautiful and frustrating creation and decay.” We also haven’t gotten over Paré’s 2014 GG win, and were thrilled to see new work from her.

Who Would Love This Book

Fans of careful, precise poetry with mysteries hidden in each word will love Paré’s style. Anyone looking to step back and ponder on life would also do well to read it.

We Are No Longer the Smart Kids in Class by David Huebert (Guernica Editions)

Huebert’s debut collection is a visceral, funny assortment asks what it means to be what we are, in relation to the sometimes devastating changes going on in our world. Learn more.

Why We Chose It

We love the meta nature of this collection, which essentially asks how poetry matters to its very subject: the world around us. David Huebert is an award-winning fiction writer, and we’re delighted by this move to poetry.

Who Would Love This Book

Are you experiencing poetry fatigue? A millennial looking to get their poetry chops? With poems like “life after Twitter” and “twenty-four abandoned attempts at the beginning of my first novel,” this might just be the collection for you.* * *That (un)wraps it! Get caught up on the rest of our Super Secret Festival of Lit here. Buy any one of these titles from now until December 18th and receive a free set of four CanLit holiday cards.