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Tacoma Narrows

Tacoma Narrows

In Tacoma Narrows, Mitchell Parry reflects on the nature of disasters, both public and private. A reflection on things lost, Parry allows himself to feel deeply, to ask what went wrong and to ruminate tragic moments with humility and romantic sensibility. Acutely aware of the nature that surrounds him, Parry embraces things like the wind howling at his window, an elk in the backyard or an orange sunset, and attaches them to memories.

A deep mediation in three parts, Tacoma Narrows is a consideration on how we weather storms, the "currents, turmoil, vortices" of life and recognizing that one is "still learning to let lost things stay lost." The result is a courageous, moving and deeply personal collection that asks us to realise that letting things go is the hardest thing disasters of all kinds demand of us, but it's also perhaps the most important lesson they can teach us.


Mitchell Parry's work has appeared in the Malahat Review, the Antigonish Review, Grain, Event, and Pottersfield Portfolio. His first book, Tacoma Narrows, was finalist for both the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize and the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. He lives on Pender Island, BC, and teaches film theory and literature at the University of Victoria.

"Parry performs the definitive poetic feat of saying two (or more) things and making them inextricably one." — Seattle Times

"Tacoma Narrows is a beautiful collection, speaking elegantly of love and loss, and the many ways to keep loving through pain." — PoetryReviews.ca

"With their sparrow-like poise in the moment, their tentative self-correcting music, their extreme close-ups of image and emotion, and their combination of wonder and humility, Mitchell Parry's poems constantly remind us that 'there is no flight — / only falling endlessly deferred.' Tacoma Narrows is a brave and exciting collection." — Don McKay

"At first I was swept away by Mitchell Parry's romantic sensibility, the way his imagery flows from the moment outwards, giving that moment an almost mythical luminousness. Then I was struck by the courage behind so many of these poems, the courage to find the richness in loss, to celebrate the importance of feeling deeply, no matter the cost. There's so much to admire in Tacoma Narrows, from its lovely cadences to its bittersweet honesty. These are poems that were lived and loved before being written." — Barry Dempster

"Beauty leans in hard in Tacoma Narrows, wanting a kiss, a glimpse of a 'pale but freckled waist,' a bottle of whiskey, and a 'table round enough for all.' 'Who knew / love could weigh so much?' Parry asks, but in Tacoma Narrows, love is buoyant, an expansiveness borne out in imagery as diverse as sparrows and tattoos, elk and ashtrays, and in lines that sway with the subtle rhythm of two lovers dancing, slowly, as close to each other as possible." — Sharon McCartney

90 pages
Pub date: March 10, 2006