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Icarus, Falling of Birds

Icarus, Falling of Birds

36 pages
Published:   September 6, 2022
Paperback:   9781895488548    $35.00

In September of 2013, thousands of migratory songbirds perished after being lured like moths to a flame to a hundred-foot-high flare at the Canaport Liquefied Natural Gas plant in Saint John, New Brunswick. Photographer Thaddeus Holownia and poet Harry Thurston sought to memorialize this fateful event, but with Canaport LNG on trial, the fallen birds were collected and held as evidence at the New Brunswick Museum. After two long years, Holownia and Thurston finally gained access.

Icarus, Falling of Birds pairs Holownia’s photography with the poetry of Thurston. In these pages, the burned and damaged bodies of the birds are perpetually falling, while Thurston recounts their great migration: how “they wing like embroidery / through the drapery of fog that clings / to this coast” and of “a false star / burning bright,” that claims them.
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Harry Thurston is the author of more than twenty books of poetry and non-fiction including Tidal Life: A Natural History of the Bay of Fundy, A Place Between the Tides: A Naturalist’s Reflections of the Salt Marsh, and Keeping Watch at the End of the World. He lives at the edge of a salt marsh in Tidnish Bridge, Nova Scotia.

Thaddeus Holownia is a visual artist, letterpress printer, and publisher. After a forty-one-year teaching and administrative career in the Department of Fine Arts at Mount Allison University in Sackville New Brunswick, Holownia recently retired from teaching and now spends his time at his studio in Jolicure, New Brunswick.


“Thurston and Holownia have taken an event terrible in its heedless destruction and turned it into a moving and beautiful meditation on the power of mindful ecology.” — Miramichi Reader