April - National Poetry Month

The League of Canadian Poets is focused on resilience for 2021

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As far as you know : poems

As far as you know : poems

Moritz, A. F. (Albert Frank), author.
2020

"As Far As You Know, acclaimed poet A. F. Moritz's twentieth collection of poems, begins with two sections entitled "Terrorism" and "Poetry." The book unfolds in six movements, yet it revolves around and agonizes over the struggle between these two catalyzing concepts, in all the forms they might take, eventually arguing they are the unavoidable conditions and quandary of human life. Written and organized chronologically around before and after the poet's serious illness and heart surgery in 2014, these gorgeously unguarded poems plumb and deepen the reader's understanding of Moritz's primary and ongoing obsessions: beauty, impermanence, history, social conscience and responsibility, and, always and most urgently, love. For all its necessary engagement with worry, sorrow, and fragility, As Far As You Know sings a final insistent chorus to what it loves: "You will live."-- Provided by publisher.

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Bittersweet

Bittersweet

Ramoutar, Natasha
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Black matters

Black matters

Cooper, Afua, author
2020

"Halifax's Poet Laureate Afua Cooper and photographer Wilfried Raussert collaborate in this book of poems and photographs focused on everyday Black experiences. The result is a jambalaya ¿́¿ a dialogue between image and text. Cooper translates Raussert's photos into poetry, painting a profound image of what disembodied historical facts might look like when they are embodied in contemporary characters. This visual and textual conversation honours the multiple layers of Blackness in the African diaspora around North America and Europe. The result is a work that amplifies black beauty and offers audible resistance."-- Provided by publisher.

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Bones : poems

Bones : poems

Pennock, Tyler, 1977- author.
2020

"A luminous and arresting debut about a young two-spirit indigenous man moving through shadow toward strength and awareness."--Back cover.

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Burning sugar : poems

Burning sugar : poems

Blain, Cicely Belle, 1993- author.
2020

"The latest from Vivek Shraya's VS. Books: a poetic exploration of Black identity, history, and lived experience influenced by the constant search for liberation. In this incendiary debut collection, activist and poet Cicely Belle Blain intimately revisits familiar spaces in geography, in the arts, and in personal history to expose the legacy of colonization and its impact on Black bodies. They use poetry to illuminate their activist work: exposing racism, especially anti-Blackness, and helping people see the connections between history and systemic oppression that show up in every human interaction, space, and community. Their poems demonstrate how the world is both beautiful and cruel, a truth that inspires overwhelming anger and awe--all of which spills out onto the page to tell the story of a challenging, complex, nuanced, and joyful life. In Burning Sugar, verse and epistolary, racism and resilience, pain and precarity are flawlessly sewn together by the mighty hands of a Black, queer femme. This book is the second title to be published under the VS. Books imprint, a series curated and edited by writer-musician Vivek Shraya, featuring work by new and emerging Indigenous or Black writers, or writers of colour."-- Provided by publisher.

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Dearly : poems

Dearly : poems

Atwood, Margaret, 1939- author
2020


Even this page is white

Even this page is white

Shraya, Vivek, 1981- author.
2016


Field notes for the self

Field notes for the self

Lundy, Randy, 1967- author.
2020

"Following his Blackbird Song, Randy Lundy's fourth collection of poetry modulates the trauma of remembering with the greater spiritual affirmations offered by the natural world. Field Notes for the Self is a series of dark meditations: spiritual exercises in which the poem becomes a forensics of the soul. The poems converse with Patrick Lane, John Thompson, and Charles Wright, but their closest cousins may be Arvo Pärt's tintinnabulations--overlapping structures in which notes or images are rung slowly and repeatedly like bells. The goal is freedom from illusion, freedom from memory, from "the same old stories" of Lundy's violent past; and freedom, too, from the unreachable memories of the violence done to his Indigenous ancestors, which, Lundy tells us, seem to haunt his cellular biology. Rooted in exquisitely modulated observations of the natural world, the singular achievement of these poems is mind itself, suspended before interior vision like a bit of crystal twisting in the light."-- Provided by publisher.

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The gospel of breaking

The gospel of breaking

Christmas, Jillian, 1983-, author
2020


Heft

Heft

Islam, Doyali Farah, 1984- author
2019

"From Toronto-based poet and editor Doyali Islam comes an intimate, luminous collection of poems that investigate the ruptures in our relationships. How does one inhabit a world in which the moon and the drone hang in the same sky? How can one be at home in one's own body in the presence of suspected autoimmune illness, severe chronic/recurrent pain, and a society that bears down with a particular construct of normal female sexual experience? What might a daughter salvage within a fraught relationship with a cancer-stricken father? Uncannily at ease with both high lyricism and formal innovation and invention, the poems in heft and sing are unafraid to lift up and investigate burdens and ruptures of all kinds--psychic, social, cultural, physical, and political--while also embodying notions of alignment and constraint. Providing continuity over the poet's visually-arresting forms--including Islam's self-termed split sonnets, double sonnets, and parallel poems--is allied remembrance of the resilience of the Palestinian people. Yet, the work doesn't always stray far from home, with a triad of astro-poems that weave together myth and memory. Here is a poet small in stature, unwilling to abandon to silence small histories, small life forms, and the small courages and beauties of the ordinary hour. In these deftly wrought poems, the spirit of the everyday and the spirit of witness bind fiercely to one another. heft and sing is a ledger of tenderness, survival, and risk."-- Provided by publisher.

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A history of my brief body

A history of my brief body

Belcourt, Billy-Ray, author
2020

Billy-Ray Belcourt's debut memoir opens with a tender letter to his kokum and memories of his early life in the hamlet of Joussard, Alberta, and on the Driftpile First Nation. From there, it expands to encompass the big and broken world around him, in all its complexity and contradictions. With startling honesty, and in a voice distinctly and assuredly his own, Belcourt situates his life experiences within a constellation of seminal queer texts, among which this book is sure to earn its place.

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Home body

Home body

Kaur, Rupi, author, illustrator
2020

Rupi kaur constantly embraces growth, and in home body, she walks readers through a reflective and intimate journey visiting the past, the present and the potential of the self. home body is a collection of raw, honest conversations with oneself - reminding readers to fill up on love, acceptance, community, family, and embrace change. illustrated by the author, themes of nature and nurture, light and dark, rest here.

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I am still your Negro : an homage to James Baldwin

I am still your Negro : an homage to James Baldwin

Mason-John, Valerie, author
2020

"Valerie Mason-John's poetry collection, I Am Still Your Negro, blends spoken word and hashtags with villanelles, sonnets, and haiku to traverse the African Diaspora experience through place, time, and circumstance. Blak Inglis street vernacular, the cadence of enslaved people in the Americas, patois and creole join the enduring spirit voice of Yaata, Supreme Being of the Kona people, to reveal narratives of liberation, entrapment, sexual assault, eating disorders, and rave culture. An emotive critique of colonization's bitter legacy, this collection will draw audiences of the spoken word genre and poetry readers who wish to broaden their knowledge about contemporary social justice issues."-- Provided by publisher.

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I will be corrupted

I will be corrupted

Dandurand, Joseph A., author.
2020

"A tale of a Kwantlen man who has been given the gift of healing but also is a heroin addict living on the eastside, what drove the author to write this book of poems was how the voice of the Healer came to him and it was with ease that each poem showed itself. It was if he were right there either talking to a Sasquatch or crawling down an alley on the eastside of Vancouver. It almost has a film quality to it as if each poem is a scene from an epic tale. This is a book of hope, loss, and hopefully a sense of redemption for all the poor souls who find themselves on the street and lost from where they truly come from. It is a book for all to reflect on in the hope we find peace."-- Provided by publisher.

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I'm finding my talk

I'm finding my talk

Thomas, Rebecca (Poet)
2019

A response to Rita Joe's iconic poem "I Lost My Talk," and published simultaneously with the new children's book edition illustrated by Pauline Young, comes a companion picture book by award-winning spoken-word artist and Mi'kmaw activist Rebecca Thomas. A second-generation residential school survivor, Thomas writes this response poem openly and honestly, reflecting on the process of working through the destructive effects of colonialism. From sewing regalia to dancing at powow to learning traditional language, I'm Finding My Talk is about rediscovering her community, and finding culture. Features stunning, vibrant illustrations by Mi'kmaw artist Pauline Young.

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nedi nezu / Good Medicine

nedi nezu / Good Medicine

Campbell, Tenille K.
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Not one of these poems is about you

Not one of these poems is about you

Harrison, Teva, author, artist
2020

From Teva Harrison, the award-winning author of In-Between Days, comes a moving and illuminating work of poetry and art about living with cancer.

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The response of weeds : a misplacement of black poetry on the Prairies

The response of weeds : a misplacement of black poetry on the Prairies

Bickersteth, Bertrand, 1969- author
2020

"Bertrand Bickersteth's debut poetry collection explores what it means to be black and Albertan through a variety of prisms: historical, biographical, and essentially, geographical. The Response of Weeds offers a much-needed window on often overlooked contributions to the province's character and provides personal perspectives on the question of black identity on the prairies. Through these rousing and evocative poems, Bickersteth uses language to call up the contours of the land itself, land that is at once mesmerizing as it is dismissively effacing. Such is black identity here on this paradoxical land, too."-- Provided by publisher.

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Roguelike : poems

Roguelike : poems

Henderson, Mathew, 1985-
2020

"Mathew Henderson's Roguelike, the much-anticipated follow-up to his acclaimed 2012 debut The Lease, melds the unique online vocabulary, culture, and logic of video games with family and addiction narratives, specifically the poet's relationship with his mother and her struggle with narcotics. The resulting poems are arresting and fresh, mining game mythology, fantasy, and family history, while exploring the rich connection between video gaming and notions of addiction, repetition, storytelling, and escapism. Though the poems are largely narrative, ultimately Roguelike is less about stories themselves than it is about the psychological and emotional forces that define how and why we make them -- how we're all moved to shape the disparate and seemingly unconnected events of our lives into something meaningful, to make sense of the past and the present through storytelling."-- Provided by publisher.

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Shared universe : new and selected poems, 1995-2020

Shared universe : new and selected poems, 1995-2020

Vermeersch, Paul, author
2020

Paul Vermeersch has reinvented the "new and selected." Bringing together the very best of his poetry from the last quarter century with new and never-before-published works, Shared Universe is a sprawling chronicle of the dawn of civilizations, the riddles of 21st-century existence, and any number of glorious, or menacing, futures. Selected poetry collections are traditionally organized according to the books in which the poems first appeared, but these poems are arranged by prophecy and mythos, corresponding to the human (or trans-human) body, or as dictated by animal speech. In this universe, time is thematic instead of chronological, and space is aesthetic rather than voluminous. Here, alongside popular favorites, are recently unearthed gems and visionary new poems that reveal the books hidden within the books of one of Canada's most distinctive and imaginative poets.

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Swivelmount

Swivelmount

Babstock, Ken, 1970- author
2020

"Swivelmount's concerns - the collapse of subject and world, eros and law, knowledge and bafflement - gain new urgency as Babstock fiercely reimagines and reassembles the remnants into a viable order. At the core of their kinetic imagery is a freefall into mourning, but also a faith in others: a Babstock poem is the voice next to you in the ER waiting room, becalmed, compassionate, darkly humorous. This is Babstock at his best."-- Provided by publisher.

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Washes, prays

Washes, prays

Naga, Noor, author
2020

"Coocoo is a young immigrant woman in Toronto. After years of bargaining with God to end her loneliness and receiving no answer, her faith is already worn threadbare when she meets her mirror-image; Muhammad is a professor and father of two. He's also married. Heartbreaking and hilarious, this verse-novel chronicles Coocoo's spiraling descent: the transformation of her love into something at first desperate and obsessive, then finally cringing and animal, utterly without grace. Her best friend, Nouf, remains by her side throughout, and together they face the growing contradictions of Coocoo's life. What does it mean to pray while giving your body to a man who cannot keep it? How long can a homeless love survive on the streets? These are some of the questions this verse-novel swishes around in its mouth."-- Provided by publisher.

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What hurts going down : poems.

What hurts going down : poems.

Lee, Nancy, 1970- author.
2020


Where things touch : a mediation on beauty

Where things touch : a mediation on beauty

Orang, Bahar, 1992-
2020

Part lyric essay, part prose poetry, Where Things Touch grapples with the manifold meanings and possibilities of beauty. Drawing on her experiences as a physician-in-training, Orang considers clinical encounters and how they relate to the concept and very idea of beauty. Such considerations lead her to questions about intimacy, queerness, home, memory, love, and other aspects of human existence. Throughout, beauty is ultimately imagined as something inextricably tied to care: the care of lovers, of patients, of art and literature, and the various non-human worlds that surround us.

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Word problems : poems

Word problems : poems

Williams, Ian 1979-
2020

Poems that use the language of math problems to ask ethical questions.

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