Fall Book Preview

15 Canadian collections of poetry to watch for this fall

Here are 15 works of Canadian poetry coming out in the second half of 2018 that we can't wait to read.

Here are 15 works of Canadian poetry coming out in the second half of 2018 that we can't wait to read.

God of Shadows by Lorna Crozier

God of Shadows is a poetry collection by Lorna Crozier. (Chris Hancock Donaldson/McClelland & Stewart)

What it's about: In this collection, Lorna Crozier invents, pays tribute to and gently mocks a gallery of gods drawn from her imagination. From the titular god of shadows to the gods of vacant houses, guilt and doubt, Crozier infuses the ordinary with the divine in her latest poetry collection. The celebrated B.C. poet is an officer of the Order of Canada and past Governor General's Literary Award winner.

When you can read it: Aug. 21, 2018

The Dark Between Stars by Atticus​

The Dark Between Our Stars is a poetry collection by Atticus.

What it's about: Atticus is an anonymous poet from British Columbia's West Coast, known online as @atticuspoetry. His handwritten and typewriter-printed poems are popular on Instagram, where he has more than 700K followers, including celebrities like Karlie Kloss and Alicia Keys. The Dark Between Stars is a follow-up to his bestselling collection Love Her Wild.

When you can read it: Sept. 4, 2018

It Begins With The Body by Hana Shafi​

It Begins With The Body is a poetry collection by Hana Shafi​. (Dylan van den Berge/Book*Hug)

What it's about: Artist Hana Shafi has written an original exploration of coming-of-age as a brown girl. It Begins With The Body combines poetry with illustrations to explore growing up, being an outsider and all the weird, scary and wonderful stuff your body goes through — and you put it through — as you get older.

When you can read it: Sept. 10, 2018

Paper Caskets by Emilia Danielewska

Paper Caskets is a poetry collection by Emilia Danielewska. (NeWest Press)

What it's about: This debut collection by Poland-born, Windsor, Ont.-raised Emilia Danielewska explores the meaning and purpose of death. It is divided into four parts, and each explores a different facet and function of a box, or a casket: as a coffin, a page, a photo and a state of mind.

When you can read it: Sept. 15, 2018

Beholden by Fred Wah and Rita Wong

Beholden is a poetry collection by Fred Wah and Rita Wong. (Allan Hughes/Talonbooks)

What it's about: Inspired by the artistic research project River Relations: A Beholder's Share of the Columbia River, which explored the development along the Columbia River, Beholden is an image-poem that brings together two lines of poetry that follow the map of the Columbia River. Fred Wah is a Governor General's Literary Award-winning poet and a former parliamentary poet. Rita Wong has written two previous poetry collections, monkeypuzzle and forage.

When you can read it: Sept. 17, 2018

The Blue Clerk by Dionne Brand

The Blue Clerk is a poetry collection by Dionne Brand. (Jason Chow/McClelland & Stewart)

What it's about:The Blue Clerk, Dionne Brand's latest poetry, is an argument between the poet and the titular "blue clerk," who is the keeper of the page. Throughout the course of their conversation, philosophers, poets and artists are referenced and memory, culture, language and beauty are explored. Brand, who is a member of the Order of Canada, is a novelist as well: her novel Theory is also coming out in fall 2018.

When you can read it: Sept. 18, 2018

river woman by Katherena Vermette​

river woman is a poetry collection by Katherena Vermette. (Lisa Delorme Meiler/House of Anansi)

What it's about: The author of the novel The Break and the Governor General's Literary Award-winning poetry collection North End Love Songs returns to poetry with river woman. river woman explores colonialism and the multigenerational trauma and loss it inflicted. It also explores the relationship between reclamation, love, nature and healing. 

When you can read it: Sept. 25, 2018

The Flame by Leonard Cohen

The Flame is the final poetry collection by Leonard Cohen. (The Canadian Press, DAPD, Kai-'Uwe Knoth/McClelland & Stewart)

What it's about: In the final days of his life, Leonard Cohen completed The Flame, a collection of unpublished poetry, selections from his notebooks and lyrics from his albums. Cohen curated the book's selections, which include his insights as an artist and thinker.

When you can read it: Oct. 2, 2018

The Nectar of Pain by Najwa Zebian

The Nectar of Pain is a poetry collection by Najwa Zebian. (Farah Benni Photography/Simon & Schuster)

What it's about: Najwa Zebian is an author, speaker and educator of Lebanese heritage. The Nectar of Pain, Zebian's second poetry collection, was inspired by a painful heartbreak and the process of healing that comes after. Zebian's debut poetry collection was Mind Platter.

When you can read it: Oct. 2, 2018

Obits by Tess Liem​

Obits is a poetry collection by Tess Liem​. (Coach House Books)

What it's about: Obits, Tess Liem's debut poetry book, is a collection of attempted obituaries for those who, too often, don't receive one or who are overlooked. Fictional characters, victims of mass violence and murder, Liem's own mysterious aunt and more are all honoured in this collection of prose poems.

When you can read it: Oct. 2, 2018

SKY WRI TEI NGS by Nasser Hussain

SKY WRI TEI NGS is a poetry collection by Nasser Hussain. (Coach House Books)

What it's about: Every airport in the world has a three-letter code. SKY WRI TEI NGS is an attempt to write a complete collection of poetry using only these codes and, while doing so, explores the relationship between place and language. If you're curious, SKY is Griffing Sandusky Airport in Ohio, WRI is McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey, TEI is Tezu Airport in India and NGS is Nagasaki Airport in Japan.

When you can read it: Oct. 2, 2018

Midday at the Super-Kamiokande by Matthew Tierney

Midday at the Super-Kamiokande is a poetry collection by Matthew Tierney. (Coach House Books)

What it's about: Midday at the Super-Kamiokande is a quirky, playful collection that explores pop culture, essentialism and language. It is the fourth book from Matthew Tierney, who was born in Kitchener, Ont., and currently lives in Toronto.

When you can read it: Oct. 2, 2018

Seven Sacred Truths by Wanda John-Kehewin

Seven Sacred Truths is a poetry collection by Wanda John-Kehewin. (Talonbooks)

What it's about: Seven Sacred Truths is a meditation on healing through the seven sacred truths: Love, Wisdom, Truth, Honesty, Respect, Humility and Courage. Cree poet Wanda John-Kehewin explores her personal connection to each of these truths through powerful imagery and connects with her past, present and future. 

When you can read it: Oct. 15, 2018

We Like Feelings. We Are Serious. by Julie McIsaac​

We Like Feelings. We Are Serious. is a poetry collection by Julie McIsaac​. (Sean Springer/Wolsak & Wynn)

What it's about:We Like Feelings. We Are Serious. combines poetry with essays and illustrations to create a powerful collection that explores womenhood in 2018 and all that comes with it: feminism, bodily functions, sex, love, family and more.

When you can read it: Oct. 16, 2018

Beyond Forgetting: Celebrating 100 Years of Al Purdy

Beyond Forgetting: 100 Years of Al Purdy is a poetry collection dedicated to "Canada's unofficial poet laureate" Al Purdy. (Harbour Publishing/Shaun Merritt, Wikimedia Commons)

What it's about: This collection, edited by Howard White & Emma Skagen, brings together 100 years of Al Purdy, the influential writer known as "Canada's unofficial poet laureate." This collection features poems written in tribute to Purdy from voices as varied as Lorna Crozier, Susan Musgrave, Bruce Cockburn, Sadiqa de Meijer and more.

When you can read it: Oct. 16, 2018

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