Books·Fall Book Preview

16 Canadian poetry collections to watch for

Love poetry? Then you'll want to bookmark your calendars for these 16 collections coming out this fall.

Love poetry? Then you'll want to bookmark your calendars for these 16 collections coming out this fall.

You can see our entire fall preview here. Want a PDF of the entire preview? Find that here.

The Girls with Stone Faces by Arleen Paré

What it's about: Arleen Paré's first book-length poem since the Governor General Literary Award–winning Lake of Two Mountains, takes a poetic look at the shared lives of Canadian artists Florence Wyle and Frances Loring, whose sculptures she comes face to face with at the National Gallery of Canada.

Why we chose it: Paré's first book, Paper Trail, was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay B.C. Book Award for poetry and won the Victoria Butler Book Prize in 2008. Her follow-up collection, Lake of Two Mountains, won the Governor General's Literary Award for poetry.

When you can read it: Sept. 1, 2017

My Ariel by Sina Queyras

Sina Queyras is a poet and the author of My Ariel. (Coach House Books)

What it's about: Artist Sina Queryas takes an analytical and poetic look at Sylvia Plath's Ariel and the mythology surrounding it.

Why we chose it: Sina Queyrras' third collection of poetry, Lemon Hound, received the Pat Lowther Award and a Lambda Literary Award. Her debut novel, Autobiography of a Childhood, was a shortlisted for the First Novel Award in 2011.

When you can read it: Sept. 18, 2017

Drakkar Noir by Jeramy Dodds

What it's about: Jeramy Dodds adopts a humanist approach to poetry. This quirky collection of elliptical poems leans on humour and emotion to get the points across. 

Why we chose it: Jeramy Dodds won the CBC Poetry Prize in 2007 and the 2006 Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award.

When you can read it: Sept. 18, 2017

Panicle by Gillian Sze

What it's about: The latest from Gillian Sze sizes up, by way of poems, the concept of passive observation, and what it means to watch, to review, to look. 

Why we chose it: Winnipeg's Gillian Sze won the Quebec Writers' Federation's 3Macs carte blanche Prize for her poem "Like This Together" in 2011. 

When you can read it: Sept. 19, 2017 

Collected Poems of Alden Nowlan

Fall Preview: Collected Poems by Alden Nowlan
(Icehouse Poetry)

What it's about: The collection of the poems of the late Alden Nowlan (January 25, 1933 – June 27, 1983) provides a reflective and autobiographical look at the career of a Canadian literary legend. 

Why we chose it: Alden Nowlan, winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Bread, Wine and Salt (1967), ranks as one of Canada's most popular 20th-century poets. 

When you can read it: Sept. 21 2017 

All We Saw by Anne Michaels

What it's about: The all-new collection of original poetry delvies into the central question of love, intimacy, passion and how feelings collide to form a shared human experience. 

Why we chose it: Writer of the Giller Prize-nominated The Winter Vault, the 1986 Commonwealth Poetry Prize for the Americas winner The Weight of Oranges and also Fugitive Pieces, winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction in 1997, Anne Michaels' continued analysis of what makes us human has established her as one of Canada's great poets. 

When you can read it: Sept. 26, 2017 

This Wound is a World by Billy-Ray Belcourt

Billy-Ray Belcourt is the author of the poetry collection This Wound Is A World. (Frontenac House)

What it's about: The genre-bending The Wound is A World is part memoir, part manifesto and all encompassing as it explores the ways Indigenous peoples stay positive in a negative world.   

Why we chose it: Billy-Ray Belcourt, who has been named as one of six Indigenous writers to watch, is an emerging poet who writes with intense passion and meaning. 

When you can read it: September 2017

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur's poetry collection The Sun and Her Flowers is the follow-up to her bestseller milk and honey. (Simon & Schuster)

What it's about: This poetry collection, divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, uses sun and flower imagery to examine themes of wilting, falling, rooting, rising and blooming. 

Why we chose it: The bestselling writer of milk and honey returns with her second collection of poetry. The superstar Instagram poet has connected with millions of readers around the world and we can't wait to see how she's grown as an artist and writer.

When you can read it: Oct. 3, 2017 

Voodoo Hypothesis by Canisia Lubrin

What it's about: Emerging poet and writer Canisia Lubrin's Voodoo Hypothesis is a reflective look at what it means to be "the other" within Western society. The collection explores the African-Canadian experience by way of by looking at today's pop culture, science, pseudo-science and contemporary news stories about race.

Why we chose it: Born in St. Lucia, home of her first poetry influence, the late Derek Walcott, the Whitby, Ontario-based Canisia Lubrin has quickly established herself as one of Canada's brightest emerging poets. 

When you can read it: Oct. 3, 2017

Cruise Missile Liberals by Spencer Gordon

(Nightwood Editions)

What it's about: Cruise Missile Liberals eschews the parameters of conventional poetry, delivering poems that playfully poke at life in a digital age. It's irreverent, flippant and urbane, all at once.

Why we chose it: Author of the 2012 short story collection Cosmo, Spencer Gordon was one of CBC Books' writers to watch in 2012 and his debut collection of poetry is highly experimental, highly witty and is dripping with charisma. 

When you can read it: Oct. 14, 2017 

Indianland by Lesley Belleau

Lesley Belleau's poetry collection Indianland is written from a female and Indigenous point of view and incorporates Anishinaabemowin throughout.

What it's about: Anishinaabemowin, is the language of the Anishinaabe nation with a rich and historical tradition. Lesley Belleau's Indianland explores this tradition in poetry form. Themes of sexuality, birth, memory and longing are explored, written from a female and Indigenous perspective.

Why we chose it: Writer and poet Lesley Belleau is a proud Ojibway based in Garden River First Nations near Sault Ste. Marie. She is on the list as one of CBC Books' 108 Indigenous writers to read. Indianland is equal parts insightful and instructive.

When you can read it: Oct. 15, 2017 

The Truth is Told Better This Way by Liz Worth

What it's about: Liz Worth's The Truth is Told Better This Wayis uncompromising in the manner it delves into the darker side of human nature, drawing on the emotional concepts of death, grief, discomfort and regret.

Why we chose it: This much anticipated poetry collection by Toronto-based writer Liz Worth has been on the forefront of pop culture and punk fiction for the past decade.

When you can read it: Oct. 16, 2017 

full-metal indigiqueer by Joshua Whitehead

Joshua Whitehead is the author of the poetry collection full-metal indigiqueer. (Courtesy of Joshua Whitehead/Talonbooks)

What it's about: Unapologetically unconventional, this collection of poems by Joshua Whitehead zeroes in on a "hybridized Indigiqueer Trickster character named Zoa who brings together the organic (the protozoan) and the technologic (the binaric) in order to re-beautify and re-member queer Indigeneity." Colour us intrigued.

Why we chose it: Writer and indigiqueer scholar Joshua Whitehead is an Oji-Cree, two-spirit poet from Peguis First Nation who delivers this highly engaging and experimental book of poems designed to provide discussion and debate.

When you can read it: Oct. 23, 2017 

Wayside Sang by Cecily Nicholson

Cecily Nicholson is the author of the poetry collection Wayside Sang. (Liam Britten/CBC/Talonbooks)

What it's about: Cecily Nicholson takes a researched look at the geography of the African diaspora in this poetic account of economy travel on North American roadways, across Peace and Ambassador bridges and through the Fleetway tunnel, above and beneath Great Lake rivers between U.S. and Canada.

Why we chose it: Lower Mainland writer and poet Cecily Nicholson won the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for her previous poetry collection From the Poplars

When you can read it: Oct. 23, 2017 

Wherever We Mean to Be by Robyn Sarah

What it's about: Wherever We Mean to Be reveals of the breadth and depth of Montreal-based writer's body of poetry work, including her best compositions in free verse, traditional forms and prose.

Why we chose it: Robyn Sarah won 1990 she won the CBC Poetry Prize and the Governor General's award for poetry in 2015 for the book My Shoes are Killing Me. Wherever We Mean to Be collects her best work from the last 25 years.

When you can read it: Oct. 24, 2017