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Escape Velocity
Escape Velocity

Escape Velocity

Winner, E.J. Pratt Poetry Award

Shortlisted, BMO Winterset Award

Carmelita McGrath's Escape Velocity — the long awaited follow-up to her Atlantic Poetry Prize-winning collection To the New World — culls overlooked fragments from our domestic lives and ferries them on unpredictable journeys. A conversation with a telemarketer becomes a monologue on overcoming loss, stray animals provoke cautionary tales shared between generations of women, and junk mail fosters a meditation on necessity, debt, and the inevitability of one's passing. From the elegiac, to the playful, to the meditative, McGrath effortlessly shifts from a natural refinement to a near breathless elegance. Well worth the wait, Escape Velocity marks the return of McGrath's receptive intelligence, gathering strength and taking flight.


Carmelita McGrath (1960) was born in Branch, St. Mary's Bay, NL, and now makes her home in St. John's. In 1998 she received the Atlantic Poetry Prize for To the New World. Her collection of short stories, Stranger Things Have Happened, won the Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador Bennington Gate Award.

Shortlisted: BMO Winterset Award
Winner: E.J. Pratt Poetry Award
"Escape Velocity is the latest collection from poet, novelist, and editor Carmelita McGrath, who wastes no time in displaying her talent for writing. ... will encourage any unfamiliar with her work to find more and read it as soon as possible." — Scene

"Escape Velocity demonstrates the craftsmanship of another fine Atlantic writer in her prime. These images are strong, and the writing is both elegant and approachable, an outstanding achievement in these flippant times. I highly recommend it." — Chronicle Herald

"You'll want to lie down in Carmelita McGrath's new book. By turns seductive, funny, keen and wild, these poems pull us close, all ‘smoke and shadow and shimmer-shape.’ And they're a tribute to daily-ness — a man in a clinic filling out a form for a luxury car, lovestruck graffiti on a wall, a woman in a grocery store choosing hearts of palm. Escape Velocity is a rare achievement." — Anne Simpson

96 pages
Pub date: April 23, 2013