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Correspondent
Correspondent

Correspondent

An on-the-scene report of a childhood abroad. A child's vision of real-world events made real (and unreal) by the presence of his father.

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.

Across the street, a red sun sets the windows of the Hotel Ukraina on fire. The tallest of Stalin's seven sisters. We huddle on the couch in our pyjamas. My mother holding a remote in her lap. Static sky, bad reception. The TV clearing its throat. My father's body, cut in half, moving up and down the screen.

This remarkably confident debut collection offers three long prose poems, each divided into 19 sections, fusing images of bucolic coastal summers, a father fixed by a television broadcast, and the colours of a Moscow winter with vividly depicted scenes of gunfire, media scrums, and live reporting. 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.


Dominique Bernier-Cormier was born in Quebec and grew up in Moscow, Paris, and Beijing. His poems have been shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize, ARC's Poem of the Year Contest, CV2's Young Buck Award, and the Frog Hollow Press Chapbook Award. His poem, "Fabric," won The Fiddlehead's Ralph Gustafson Prize for Best Poem in 2017. Correspondent is his first book.

96 pages
Pub date: September 18, 2018