From Bonnie and Clyde and Love Actually references to symbolist poetry and exploded sestinas, not to mention a collection that began as reworkings of the CIA’s Human Resources Exploitation Training Manual. Canadian poetry is looking good this fall!
Composer, performer, teacher, and experimental poet Samuel Andreyev’s second collection is The Relativistic Empire (October), combining the brevity and lightness of a comic strip with the complexity and richness of French symbolist poetry. The first collection by Ali Blythe, a recipient of the Candis Graham Writing Scholarship from the Lambda Foundation (for excellence in writing and support of the queer community), is Twoism (September). In Laundry Lines: Stories and Poems (September), Ann Elizabeth Carson looks to the past from the perspective of a contemporary feminist. Nicole Brossard’s latest book is Ardour (September), translated by Angela Carr, poems about how “even as vowels tremble in danger and worldly destruction repeats itself on the horizon…the silence pulsing within us is also a language of connection.”
Laura Clarke, who was the winner of the 2013 Bronwen Wallace Award, releases her first book, Decline of the Animal Kingdom (October), a love letter to the city of Toronto, and to extinct animals and office misfits alike. Sideshow Concessions (October) was winner of 2015 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, and is the first book from queer performance artist and professor Lucas Crawford. The Wild in You(August), a collaboration between poet Lorna Crozier and photographer Ian McAllister, is a testament to the miraculous beings that share our planet and the places where they live. Skeena (October), by Sarah de Leeuw, is an elegy to and celebration of British Columbia’s second-longest river, one at the centre of contemporary conversations about resource extraction and northern geographies. From the origin of the genre (It Happened One Night) to its contemporary expressions (Love Actually), the poems in Rom Com (October), by Dina Del Bucchia and Daniel Zomparelli, trace the attempt to deconstruct as well as engage in dialogue with romantic comedy films and the pop culture, celebrities, and tropes that have come to be associated with them.
Regeneration Machine (October), by Joe Denham, is a requiem, elegy, lament; a sort of flailing attempt to make sense of a friend’s violent death. Josie Di Sciascio-Andrews’s third collection is A Jar of Fireflies(September). Judith Fitzgerald, whom Alistair MacLeod called “the most intelligent poet in Canada,” releases her latest book, Impeccable Regret (October). The latest by Don Guttridge is Tidings(June). Conveying her experiences witnessing homelessness, poverty, disability, and chronic illness on the streets and within women’s emergency shelters, nancy viva davis halifax orients readers to recognize ongoing suffering in our society in Hook(October). Cosmophilia (October), by Rahat Kurd, represents and discovers the modern Muslim woman’s experience in Kashmir as well as urban North America, a setting both alienating and stimulating. And The Essential Travis Lane (September), edited by Shane Neilson, presents a selection of poems by a Canadian poet who combines exquisite observations of the natural world with profound thoughts about time and mortality.
The new book by John B. Lee, who is Honourary Poet Laureate of Norfolk County, is The Full Measure (August). Our Inland Sea (October), by James Lindsay, is a carnival world rich with marvels and wonders. The second collection by Jennifer Londry, whose After the Words was nominated for a Saskatchewan Book Award, is Tatterdemalion (October). In Bedlam Cowslip: The John Clare Poems (October), Jeanette Lynes follows in the tradition of Michael Ondaatje’s The Collected Works of Billy the Kid as she turns her attention to the life and work of John Clare, the great Victorian poet of the countryside. The Snow Kimono (September) is a new collection by Ilona Martonfi, recently nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Andy McGuire’s debut collection is Country Club(October), “a wilderness of traditional and nontraditional forms, rebel rhyme, and irresistible lines.” Maurice Mierau, whose Fear Not won the ReLit Award in 2009, has a new book,Autobiographical Fictions (September). Working in a variety of languages and referencing traditional African poem forms, Peter Midgley expands our ideas of poetry and language in Unquiet Bones(October).
In the second collection in her planned medievalist trilogy, Myrmurs: An Exploded Sestina (September)—following on her critically acclaimed, fur(l) parachute—Shannon Maguire develops a new type of poetic form. In de book of mary (October), Pamela Mordecai writes an epic poem in Caribbean vernacular based on the Biblical story of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. With Prairie Harbour (September), the contrapuntal follow-up to Governor General’s Award finalist, Discovery Passages, Garry Thomas Morse traces multiple lines of his mixed ancestry. The poems in Code Orange (August), by well-known poet and editor Karen Mulhallen, translated by Nancy Huston, are situated in an emergency situations, asking the reader if we should all be reader to evacuate. And George Murray’s Diversion(September) has its own questions: What happens to poetry if one stops trying to block the incoming cacophony and instead embraces the multiple streams of data that bombard the contemporary thought process?
Learning to Settle Down (October) is Chad Norman’s sixteenth book. Arleen Paré’s He Leaves His Face in the Funeral Car(September) follows up the Governor General’s Award-winning collection, Lake of Two Mountains. Forecast (October) recovers early out-of-print work by Governor General’s Award-winning poet John Pass. Marry and Burn (October) is the fourth collection from award-winning poet and Vancouver Poet-Laureate Rachel Rose, a journey through a troubled relationship and a troubled city, charting the territory of love and addiction, and the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. Mysteries pervade Fairfield (October), by Robert Edison Sandiford. And Lisa Shatzky, whose previous book was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Poetry Award, releases When the Colours Run (October).
In Careen (September), Carolyn Smart delves into the nuances of the story of Bonnie and Clyde. Emanations: fluttertongue 6(September) is the sixth chapter of the “life poem” by Steven Ross Smith, who is one of the preeminent sound poets in Canada. Award-winner David Solway’s 14th collection is Installations (September), a book that celebrates the way ordinary elements can be yoked to create wholly original insights. Nick Thran, whose previous collection, Thrum, won the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, releasesMayor Snow (September), a book that begins with speaker-less evocations of corrupt and oppressive political atmospheres and ends with first-person narrative tales of domestic life in Al Purdy’s refurbished A-frame. And Karyotype (October) is the first collection by Kim Trainor, whose poems have won prizes across the country.
Joshua Trotter’s Mission Creep(September) began as reworkings of the CIA’s Human Resources Exploitation Training Manual. Chris Turnbull’s long-awaited debut is the visual and multi-voice continua (October). Daniel Scott Tysdal returns with Fauxccasional Poems (September), in which he imagines himself into poetic voices not his own, writing to commemorate events that never occurred, for the posterity of alternative universes—and the delight of our own. Inspired by the Rocky Mountains, the poems in Salimah Valiani’s Land of the Sky(September) use detail from a distance to reflect on the socio-politcal and the human that is all around us. Scree: The Collected Earlier Poems, 1962-1991 (October) collects the early work of the legendary Fred Wah.
Floating is Everything(September), Sheryda Warrener’s second poetry collection, touches on the illusion of remaining grounded and a sense of belonging. Toronto poet Andy Weaver’s third collection, this (October), is interested in how language can and cannot grapple with the problem of how we experience and relate to the present moment, and how language both explains the problem but also provides a false sense of comprehension. Peacock Blue(September) collects the work of Phyllis Webb, whose work Northrop Frye hailed as “a landmark in Canadian literature.” Derek Webster’s Mockingbird (September) tracks the aftershocks of a failed marriage through a variety of self-portraits. In No Work Finished Here (September), Liz Worth rewrites Andy Warhol. In Flesh Tongue(October) Yaya Yao confronts her inherited fragmented self and her hunger for a home, using scraps of personal and communal memory to bridge languages, worldviews, and physical distance from the ancestral homeland. And Anna Yin’s latest collection is Seven Nights with the Chinese Zodiac (August).