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Welcome to the Part Two of our Poetry Tuesday holiday special, where we explore some of our published collections past and present! Today, we’ll be looking at Joelle Barron's Ritual Lights, Douglas Walbourne-Gough's 2019 hit Crow Gulch, Stewart Cole's Soft Power, and Dominque Bernier-Cormier's Correspondent.
Traversing badlands, sandhills, prairies, suburbia, Miami, London, Dublin, Paris, and beyond, Cole's voice revels in questions of travel while resonating with the unheimlich "Canadalienation" of his expatriate existence. Whether bog surfing, gallery hopping, bug hunting, or meditating on the "strange genre" of national anthems, the poems in Cole's long-awaited follow-up collection to his critically acclaimed Questions in Bed exist in a searching exchange with the world, both entering and being entered by it.
Learn more about Stewart Cole at his website.
In his debut poetry collection, Douglas Walbourne-Gough reflects on the legacy of a community that sat on the shore of the Bay of Islands, less than two kilometres west of downtown Corner Brook. He lyrically sifts through archival memory and family accounts, resurrecting story and conversation, to patch together a history of a people and place. Here he finds his own identity within the legacy of Crow Gulch and reminds those who have forgotten of a glaring omission in history.
Check out CBC's coverage of Douglas's book at the history of Crow Gulch:
Absorbed in the small, everyday rituals of existence, this remarkable collection of poems tears open the fruit of life and scoops out beauty and joy, pain and suffering, in equal measure. Ritual Lights takes the reader on a journey through an underworld that is both familiar and uncanny, a space between death and life where one nourishes the other. Shadowed by the aftermath of sexual assault, Joelle Barron places candles in the darkest alcoves, illuminates mysteries, and rises again to an abundant Earth where the darkness is transformed into rich loam.
Read Plentitude Magazine's review of Ritual Lights.
Memories of snow falling on Quebec City's copper roofs; scientists tracking the location of a sinking submarine near the Russian Coast. Children flipping bright kopeks at a dancing bear outside a flea market; a translator awaking from a suicide bombing with ears ringing, surrounded by destruction. A young boy watching his father report the news on TV as hostages hold wet handkerchiefs to their mouths, trying not to breathe too much. In this unusual hybrid of the personal and the historical, Dominque Bernier-Cormier tenders alternating perspectives on what is said, what is seen, and where the silence begins.
Read Dominique Bernier-Cormier's interview with The Fiddlehead.