Books·Fall Book Preview

45 Canadian poetry collections to watch for in fall 2021

Here are the works of Canadian poetry we can't wait to read this season.

Here are the works of Canadian poetry we can't wait to read this season.

Lurch by Don McKay 

Lurch is a poetry collection by Don McKay. (Marlene Creates, McClelland & Stewart)

The poems in this collection are what happens when you stay out on the dance floor instead, dancing the staggers. Throughout Lurch, language dances its ardent incompetence as a translator of "the profane wonders of the wilderness." And there's the complex of lurches as we contemplate our complicity in the sixth mass extinction.

When you can read it: Aug. 3, 2021

Don McKay is the author of 13 books of poetry, including Strike/Slip, which won the Griffin Poetry Prize, Camber, Selected Poems and Angular Unconformity. McKay has taught poetry in universities across Canada. He currently lives in St. John's.

Miraculous Sickness by ky perraun

Miraculous Sickness is a poetry collection by ky perraun. (Izabela Ciechanowska, At Bay Press)

Miraculous Sickness is a poetry collection that explores schizophrenia, from ancient times to modern day. It looks at social views of the illness and how treatment has changed and evolved. The collection was inspired by ky perraun's experience with schizophrenia, which she was diagnosed with in 1997.

When you can read it: Sept. 10, 2021

perraun is a poet living in Edmonton. She has been publishing poetry regularly since 1983 and helped found the micropoetry collective Right Heart Press.

Flying Red Horse by Dale Martin Smith 

Flying Red Horse is a poetry collection by Dale Martin Smith. (Talonbooks)

Flying Red Horse is about fatherhood and masculinity, and the conditions of whiteness that pressure those terms for contemporary relevance and meaning. It looks at the precarity of relationships between people and place in diverse geographic and racial contexts; it addresses the crisis of climate change and considers parental connections to children in uncertain global circumstances. 

When you can read it: Sept. 17, 2021

Dale Martin Smith is a poet and literary scholar. He has previously published three poetry collections. Born in Dallas, Smith joined the faculty of English at Ryerson University in Toronto in 2011.

Oracule by Nicole Raziya Fong 

Oracle is a poetry collection by Nicole Raziya Fong. (Talonbooks)

Oracule is a book that exists at the intersection of poetry and theatre. Influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy, the writings of Plato, the films of Pier Paolo Pasolini and The Odyssey, Oracule approaches self and identity through a fractal, performative lens, subverting Socratic dialogue.

When you can read it: Aug. 26, 2021

Nicole Raziya Fong is a poet living in Montreal. She is also the author of the poetry collection Perfact.

Postscripts from a City Burning by Sam Cheuk

Postscripts from a Burning City is a poetry collection. by Sam Cheuk. (Palimpsest Press)

Composed over a span of three months, Postscripts from a City Burning reassembles the embers left behind by the 2019 Hong Kong protests, weaving nostalgia, loss and possible redemption into a time capsule of diaristic verse, photographs, dramatic monologues and historical testimony.

When you can read it: Sept. 1, 2021

Sam Cheuk immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong when he was in Grade 4. He is the author of Love Figures and has published poems in Canadian literary journals including Ricepaper Magazine. Cheuk is currently based in Toronto.

Reminders on the Path by Sheniz Janmohamed 

Reminders on the Path is a poetry collection by Sheniz Janmohamed. (Mawenzi House)

In Reminders on the Path, the poet is a wayfarer, exploring the path we inherit and seek out, that disappears with every step we take on it. At each step, there are reminders rooted in the ephemeral and the indelible. These poems become stepping-stones from the author's past to the present, from forgetfulness to remembrance, and from the unknowing to a deep knowing only found through direct experience.

When you can read it: Sept. 1, 2021

Sheniz Janmohamed is a poet, artist and educator. She is the author of two previous books and her writing has been published in journals and anthologies including Arc Poetry Magazine, Descant and CV2. She is the founder of Questions for Ancestors. 

Danger Flower by Jaclyn Desforges 

Danger Flower is a poetry collection by Jaclyn Desforges. (Jesse Valvasor, Palimpsest Press)

In Danger Flower, Jaclyn Desforges leads enlightened witnesses through a wild garden where archetypal tales are treated with irreverence. Amidst nesting dolls and opossums, poison oak and Tamagotchis, the poet navigates gender roles, sexual indiscretions, episodic depression and mothering, forming essential survival strategies for a changing world.

When you can read it: Sept. 1, 2021

Desforges is a poet and picture book author. She has won the 2018 RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award and the 2020 Hamilton Emerging Artist Award for Writing. Her work has been featured in Room Magazine, The Fiddlehead and The Puritan. She lives in Hamilton, Ont.

Searching for Eastman by Charles C. Smith

Searching for Eastman is a book by Charles C. Smith. (Mawenzi House)

Searching for Eastman is a multidisciplinary performance in four acts, based on the interpretation of four of Julius Eastman's compositions through poetry, theatre, music, dance, video and digital. 

When you can read it: Sept. 1, 2021

Charles C. Smith is a poet, playwright and performer based in Toronto. He has published four books of poetry, edited several collections of poetry and his writings have appeared in journals and magazines, including Poetry Canada Review and Quill and Quire. 

Why I Was Late by Charlie Petch 

Why I Was Late is a poetry collection by Charlie Petch. (Brick Books)

Petch's debut collection of poems, Why I Was Late, explores decades-long trans/personal coming of age. The collection combines text with performance, sharing wisdom, humour and personal experience. 

When you can read it: Sept. 1, 2021

Charlie Petch is a musician, spoken word artist and playwright based in Toronto. Petch was the 2017 poet of honour for Spoken Word Canada and the founder of Hot Damn It's a Queer Slam.

rump + flank by Carol Harvey Steski

rump + flank is a poetry collection by Carol Harvey Steski. (Anil Mungal, NeWest Press)

Carol Harvey Steski's debut poetry collection, rump + flank, explores the body in nature's many incarnations: human, animal, plant, microbe, even chemical. Her poetic work sheds light on what bodies — especially female ones — endure, probing the full range of experiences from pleasure and hope to deep loss and trauma.

When you can read it: Sept. 1, 2021

Steski is a poet from Winnipeg. Her poems have been published in the poetry anthology Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology and literary magazines. Steski now lives and works in Toronto. 

with/holding by Chantal Gibson 

with/holding is a poetry collection by Chantal Gibson. (Caitlin Press)

with/holding is a collection of genre-blurring poems that examines the representation and reproduction of Blackness across communication media and popular culture. Drawing on icons from past and present, this collection imagines Black voices moving freely across time and space.

When you can read it: Sept. 4, 2021

Chantal Gibson is a writer, artist and educator based in Vancouver. Her visual art has been exhibited at the ROM and galleries across Canada. Her debut poetry collection, How She Read, was a finalist for the 2020 Griffin Poetry Prize. Gibson was also on the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for her poem Three Body Problem

Problematica by George Murray 

Problematica is a poetry collection by George Murray. (Elisabeth de Mariaffi, ECW Press)

Problematica is a collection of poems, both new and previously published, from George Murray's 25-year career. The collection includes everything from early narrative poems to lyrical explorations of the metaphysical to investigations of the colloquial and contemporary.

When you can read it: Sept. 7, 2021

Murray is a poet who has published eight books of poetry. He is a former poetry editor for the Literary Review of Canada and was the poet laureate of St. John's in 2014. He is currently the editor of NewPoetry.ca and lives in St. John's.

Satched by Megan Gail Coles

Satched is a poetry collection by Megan Gail Coles. (CBC, House of Anansi Press)

Named after a local word meaning "soaked through" or "weighed down," Satched is a poetry collection that explores intergenerational trauma, ecological grief and late-stage capitalism from the perspective of a woman of rural-remote, Northern, working class and mixed ancestry. 

When you can read it: Sept. 7, 2021

Megan Gail Coles is an author and playwright originally from Savage Cove, N.L. and currently living in Montreal, where she is a PhD candidate at Concordia University. She is also the author of the short story collection Eating Habits of the Chronically Lonesome and the novel Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club which was a finalist for the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize and was defended by YouTuber Alayna Fender on Canada Reads 2020.

Umbilical Cord by Hasan Namir 

Umbilical Cord is a poetry collection by Hasan Namir. (Tarn Khare, Book*Hug Press)

Umbilical Cord is a joyful collection about parenting, fatherhood and hope. Hasan Namir's free-verse poems document the journey that he and his husband took to have a child. 

When you can read it: Sept. 14, 2021

Namir is an Iraqi Canadian author who currently lives in Vancouver. His other books include God in Pink, which won the Lambda Literary Award for best gay fiction, and War/Torn, which was a 2020 Stonewall Book Awards winner. 

Antonyms for Daughter by Jenny Boychuk

Antonyms for Daughter is a poetry collection by Jenny Boychuk. (Dean Kalyan, Vehicule Press)

Antonyms for Daughter is a poetry collection that addresses the loss of Jenny Boychuk's mother to addiction. The poems attempt to bring clarity to past memories both good and bad, as Boychuk questions whether it is possible for a child to ever extricate herself from an abusive parent — to become, as it were, a living "antonym" of a painful family legacy.

When you can read it: Sept. 15, 2021

Boychuk is a writer from New Westminster, B.C. who now lives in Victoria. Her poems and essays have appeared in The Walrus, Grain and Prism International. She won the 2019 CBC Nonfiction Prize for her essay Slow Violence

Hallelujah Time by Virginia Konchan 

Hallelujah Time is a poetry collection by Virginia Konchan. (Vehicule Press)

In Hallelujah Time, Virginia Konchan cuts down prominent cultural institutions and constructions through her fast-moving monologues. She confronts the contemporary need to constantly adjust our masks to appease impossible standards, and our desperate fear of having our true selves be seen and understood.

When you can read it: Sept. 15, 2021

Konchan is the author of two previous poetry collections and a collection of short stories. Her poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Believer and Boston Review. She lives in Halifax.

The Sweetest Dance on Earth by Di Brandt

The Sweetest Dance on Earth is a poetry collection by Di Brandt. (Darci Adam, Turnstone Press)

The Sweetest Dance on Earth is a collection of poet Di Brandt's best work, showcasing her desire to understand, question and show the world in a new light. From her feminist work to her eco-poetics, readers will get a chance to see the breathtaking career of one of Canada's most influential poets.

When you can read it: Sept. 15, 2021

Brandt is a Canadian poet and Winnipeg's first poet laureate. She has published more than a dozen books. Her first collection of poetry, questions i asked my mother, was shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award and the Commonwealth Poetry Prize.

Girl Running by Diana Hope Tegenkamp

Girl Running is a poetry collection by Diana Hope Tegenkamp. (Thistledown Press)

In her debut poetry collection Girl Running, Diana Hope Tegenkamp shares her love of the natural world and her passion for literature and art, while grappling with her personal history and identity. 

When you can read it: Sept. 15, 2021

Tegenkamp is a Métis poet. Her writing has appeared in Canadian literary journals including CV2, Grain, Matrix and more. She works across mediums like film, photography, visual art, sound and music. She made the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Birthmark, Motherfield.

Dream of No One but Myself by David Bradford

Dream of No One but Myself is a poetry collection by David Bradford. (Brick Books)

Dream of No One but Myself is a poetry collection that combines prose poems, verse and collages of family photos cut-up to showcase what it was like growing up in a troubled family. In Dream of No One but Myself, David Bradford presents an unstable, frayed account of family inheritance, intergenerational traumas and domestic tenderness.

When you can read it: Sept. 15, 2021

Bradford is a poet, editor and organizer based in Montreal. His work has appeared in The Capilano Review, The Tiny, The Fiddlehead, Carte Blanche and elsewhere. He is a founding editor of House House Press. 

An Explosion of Feathers by Conor Kerr

An Explosion of Feathers is a poetry collection by Conor Kerr. (Zachary Ayotte, BookLand Press)

An Explosion of Feathers is a unique take on an urban and contemporary Métis life. Based on oral storytelling traditions, many of the poems focus on what creates a personal connection to an urban environment that not long ago was still under Indigenous governance systems. This book explores relationality, history, disenfranchisement and cultural resurgence.

When you can read it: Sept. 15, 2021

Conor Kerr is an educator, writer and harvester. He is a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta and a descendent from the Lac Ste. Anne & Fort Des Prairies Métis communities and the Papaschase Cree Nation. Kerr received The Fiddlehead's Ralph Gustafson Poetry award in 2019. 

Where the Baedeker Leads by James Yeku

Where the Baedeker Leads is a poetry collection by James Yeku. (Mawenzi House)

Where the Baedeker Leads is a poetry collection about the space between. These poems draw attention to the personal experiences and social conditions that push people away from home to the new landscapes, sights and encounters that remind them of the times and places they have so painfully left behind.

When you can read it: Sept. 15, 2021

James Yeku is a Nigerian Canadian writer who lived in Saskatoon before moving to Kansas. He is an assistant professor of African digital humanities at the University of Kansas. 

The Good Arabs by Eli Tareq Bechelany-Lynch 

The Good Arabs is a poetry collection by El Tareq Bechelany-Lynch. (Metonymy Press)

The Good Arabs is a collection of both verse and prose poems that explores place and belonging. The poems take readers from post-explosion Beirut to Montreal in the summer and reflect on communities, identity and families both biological and chosen.

When you can read it: Sept. 21, 2021

Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch is a poet from Montreal. Their work has appeared in The Best Canadian Poetry, The Puritan, The New Quarterly and elsewhere. They are also the author of Knot Body. Bechelany-Lynch was longlisted for the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize for Nancy Ajram Made Me Gay

Broken Dawn Blessings by Adam Sol

Broken Dawn Blessings is a poetry collection by Adam Sol. (Mark Raynes Robert, ECW Press)

Adam Sol's newest collection, Broken Dawn Blessings, is made up of poems that are loosely linked to the traditional Jewish morning prayers, the Birkhot haShachar (dawn blessings), which try to find moments of blessing in the midst of personal and public pain, shame and worry.

When you can read it: Sept. 21, 2021

Sol is a Canadian American poet. He is the author of four books of poetry, including How a Poem Moves and Crowd of Sounds, which won the 2004 Trillium Award for Poetry. He lives in Toronto and teaches at the University of Toronto.

Ink Earl by Susan Holbrook 

Ink Earl is a poetry collection by Susan Holbrook. (University of Windsor, Coach House Books)

Starting with a copy that extols the iconic Pink Pearl eraser, poet Susan Holbrook erases and erases, revealing more and more in the collection Ink Earl. She is left with the promise of "100 essays" and sets out to find them. 

When you can read it: Sept. 21, 2021

Holbrook is a poet from Ontario. Her other collections include Joy Is So Exhausting, Good Egg Bad Seed and misled. She lives in Leamington, Ont., and teaches North American literatures and creative writing at the University of Windsor. 

Pitchblende by Elise Marcella Godfrey

Pitchblende is a poetry collection by Elise Marcella Godfrey. (Alexander Ivanishvil, University of Regina Press)

Pitchblende is a poetry collection about extraction, destruction and the erasure of Indigenous people. Inspired by and adapted from testimonies given at the public hearings about the Rabbit Lake mine, Elise Marcella Godfrey's poems are a choral and visual, literal representation of how industry, capitalism and colonialism seek to erase affected peoples and their voices.

When you can read it: Sept. 25, 2021

Godfrey is a Canadian poet whose poetry has appeared in literary journals such as subTerrain, Room, Prism and Grain. 

The Voyage by H. Nigel Thomas 

The Voyage is a poetry collection by H. Nigel Thomas. (Mawenzi House)

The Voyage is a collection of poems by H. Nigel Thomas culled from a lifetime of meditations on self, family, time and aging. It also reflects on political and social aspects of human lives, such as hubris, abuse of power, racism and oppression.

When you can read it: Sept. 29, 2021

Thomas was born in St. Vincent and has lived in Quebec since 1968. He is the author of four novels, three collections of short fiction, one poetry collection and two scholarly texts. Thomas received the Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award in 2020.

Mirrors and Windows by Anna Yin 

Mirrors and Windows is a poetry collection by Anna Yin. (Guernica Editions)

Anna Yin has translated more than 50 poets' works, and she decided to publish these translations in book form. Mirrors and Windows brings together Yin's best translation work.

When you can read it: Oct. 1, 2021

Yin was Mississauga's inaugural poet laureate and has authored five poetry collections. Her poems and translations have appeared in Arc Poetry Magazine, the New York Times and CBC Radio. She teaches poetry in English and Chinese.

Answer to Blue by Russell Thornton

Answer to Blue is a poetry collection by Russell Thornton. (Harbour Publishing)

The past, both ancient and recent, exerts a gravitational pull throughout Answer to Blue. With Greek myths, family histories and biblical passages, Russell Thornton gives attention to transitional states, pausing at the often rushed-through moments of change, and also examines the phenomenon of perception itself.

When you can read it: Oct. 23, 2021

Thornton is a poet from North Vancouver. His collection The Hundred Lives was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize. His poetry has appeared in several anthologies and featured on Vancouver buses as part of B.C.'s Poetry in Transit initiative.

The Book of Healing by Najwa Zebian 

The Book of Healing is a poetry collection by Najwa Zebian. (Farrah Benni, Andrews McMeel Publishing)

The Book of Healing contains Najwa Zebian's favourite pieces from her three bestselling books. Her work explores how to ​overcome pain, heal from trauma and rebuild a strong sense of self. 

When you can read it: Oct. 5, 2021

Zebian is a Lebanese Canadian author, speaker and educator. Her books include the poetry collections Mind Platter, Welcome Home and The Nectar of Pain.

Frost & Pollen by Helen Hajnoczky

Frost & Pollen is a poetry collection by Helen Hajnoczky. (Julya Hajnoczky, Invisible Publishing)

Frost & Pollen is a poetry collection in two acts. Bloom & Martyr is a sensuous walk through a menacing garden of flowers and desire. Foliage retells the Arthurian legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight from the point of view of the Green Knight, the mysterious figure who teases and torments Gawain. 

When you can read it: Oct. 5, 2021

Helen Hajnoczky is a poet based in Calgary. She is also the author of Magyarázni and Poets and Killers: A Life in AdvertisingShe was a reader for the CBC Poetry Prize longlist in 2016.

Iceland is Melting and So Are You by Talya Rubin 

Iceland is Melting and So Are You is a poetry collection by Talya Rubin. (Book*Hug Press, Terry Hughes)

Talya Rubin's latest poetry collection, Iceland is Melting and So Are You, explores the melting of ice sheets and the thawing of the heart. It reflects on the mysteries of our natural world, our human interior and the relationship between the two, while navigating the complex grief and wonder we face in considering the end of the human epoch.

When you can read it: Oct. 12, 2021

Rubin is a poet originally from Montreal who now lives in Australia. She made the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Iceland is Melting and So Are You

barangay by Adrian De Leon

barangay: an offshore poem is a book by Adrian De Leon. (Dylan J. Locke, Wolsak & Wynn)

barangay is a collection of poetry that gathers in and arranges the difficult pieces of a scattered history. While mourning the loss of his grandmother, Adrian De Leon skips his barangay, which is both a boat and an administrative unit in the Philippine government, over the history of both his family and a nation.

When you can read it: Oct. 12, 2021

De Leon is a writer and educator from Manila by way of Scarborough, Ont.. He is the author of Rouge and co-editor of Feel Ways: A Scarborough Anthology. His poetry and nonfiction have appeared in The Puritan, Joyland Magazine and Catapult. De Leon currently lives in Los Angeles and teaches at the University of Southern California.

The Endless Garment by Marguerite Pigeon

The Endless Garment is a poetry collection by Marguerite Pigeon. (AndrewQuerner, Wolsak & Wynn)

The Endless Garment ranges over time and space in a series of long poems that delve into the history and impact of fashion. Guided and haunted by a series of ghosts, the narrator moves through an existential department store, comprehending, reinventing and questioning her approach to, and understanding of, fashion.

When you can read it: Oct. 12, 2021

Marguerite Pigeon is a poet and fiction writer. She is the author of three previous books. Originally from northern Ontario, Pigeon currently lives in Vancouver, where she works as a freelance editor and writer.

The Collected Poetry of Carol Shields, edited by Nora Foster Stovel

The Collected Poetry of Carol Shields is a poetry collection. (Richard Lam, McGill-Queen's University Press)

The Collected Poetry of Carol Shields includes three previously published collections and over 80 unpublished poems from iconic Canadian American writer Carol Shields. The included works are from the early 1970s through to Shields's death in 2003. Editor Nora Foster Stovel provides detailed annotations of Shields' work.

When you can read it: Oct. 15, 2021

Shields was an American Canadian novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright and poet. Best known for her fiction writing, Shields received both the Pulitzer Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction for her novel The Stone Diaries. Her other books include Unless, The Republic of Love and Jane Austen: A Life. She died in 2003 at the age of 68.

Stovel is an author, editor and professor emerita at the University of Alberta,. 

Fetishes of the Floating World by Don Domanski 

Fetishes of the Floating World is a poetry collection by Don Domanski. (Brick Books)

Fetishes of the Floating World continues Don Domanski's lifelong exploration of mystical ecology. It is an invitation to experience the sacred dimensions of what-is and to become more intimate with the strangeness that haunts our lively, changeable world. His work is underlined by a sustained apprehension of deep time.

When you can read it: Oct. 15, 2021

Domanski was born and raised in Sydney, N.S., and lived most of his life in Halifax. Author of nine collections of poetry, his work is infused with a deep and abiding interest in mythology, religion and esoteric philosophy. Domanski mentored other poets through the Banff Centre for the Arts Wired Writing Studio and the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia Mentorship program. He died in 2020.

I Want to Tell You Love by bill bissett & Milton Acorn, edited by Eric Schmaltz & Christopher Doody

I Want to Tell You Love is a poetry collection by bill bissett and Milton Acorn, edited by Eric Schmaltz and Christopher Doody. (Lionel Stevenson, bill bissett, University of Calgary Press)

I Want to Tell You Love is the combination of bill bissett and Milton Acorn's poetics to confront the turbulent and swiftly changing world of the 1960s. A collection of poems and illustrations, the book offers an opportunity to reevaluate the nature and scope of Canadian poetry during a critical time of national cultural awakening.

When you can read it: Oct. 15, 2021

Acorn is one of the most recognizable poets of the 20th century in Canada. He published more than 20 books, including I've Tasted My Blood and The Island Means Minago, which won the Governor General's Literary Award for poetry in 1975. The Prince Edward Island poet lived on Toronto Island for many years. Acorn died in 1986.

bissett is a poet and artist born in Halifax and based in Toronto. Known for his unconventional writing style, bissett has written more than 60 books of poetry. breth is his latest collection. His awards include the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award and the BC Book Prizes Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize.

Eric Schmaltz is a scholar, poet, editor and educator. His research has focused on experimental and avant-garde Canadian literature. 

Christopher Doody is a scholar whose work has focused on book history and mid-20th century authorship in Canada. 

Essential Ingredients by Carol Rose GoldenEagle

Essential Ingredients is a poetry collection by Carol Rose GoldenEagle. (Inanna Publications)

In Essential Ingredients, Carol Rose GoldenEagle recalls when Creator's blessings have truly been bestowed in a parent's shared life with their children. The poems in this collection examine hardship and struggle, triumph of spirit and joy, and serve as a reminder to all parents that childhood is fleeting. It is a celebration of parenthood.

When you can read it: Oct. 16, 2021

GoldenEagle is a Cree and Dene author and journalist from Saskatchewan. Her book Bearskin Diary was chosen as a national Aboriginal Literature Title for 2017. She is also the author of Hiraeth and Bone Black. GoldenEagle is the ninth poet laureate of Saskatchewan.

Gold Pours by Aurore Gatwenzi

Gold Pours is a poetry collection by Aurore Gatwenzi. (James Adetoyese, Latitude 46)

In Gold Pours, Aurore Gatwenzi shares the experience of being young and Black in northern Ontario. It is a collection of poems that talk about God, identity, heartbreak and passion. The poems expose readers to humility, surrender and lessons learned from courageous acts of vulnerability.

When you can read it: Oct. 16, 2021

Gatwenzi is a poet from Sudbury, Ont. She is a frequent participant in the Sudbury Poetry Slam scene. Gatwenzi is a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Sudbury.

I Love You, Call Me Back by Sabrina Benaim

I Love You, Call Me Back is a poetry collection by Sabrina Benaim. (Sabrina Benaim, Doubleday Canada)

I Love You, Call Me Back is a poetry collection that grapples with mental health struggles and the uncertainty of the moment and beyond. Sabrina Benaim looks to embrace loneliness in all its permutations, and reminds us to love our whole selves: you can't have joy without sorrow, and being anxious or depressed doesn't mean you can never be happy.

When you can read it: Oct. 19, 2021

Benaim is a poet, storyteller and workshop facilitator from Toronto. She is also the author of the poetry collection Depression & Other Magic Tricks.

Gibbous Moon by Dennis Cooley & Michael Matthews

Gibbous Moon is a book by Dennis Cooley (bottom right) and Michael Matthews (top right). (At Bay Press, Diane Cooley)

Gibbous Moon brings together the poetry of Dennis Cooley with the abstract photography of Michael Matthews. The project plays with the concept of the "gibbous moon," which is a moon that has both light and shadow, and with the relationship between poetry and photography.

When you can read it: Oct. 25, 2021

Cooley is a teacher, poet and editor who grew up in Saskatchewan and now lives in Winnipeg. His other poetry collections include The Bestiary, cold press moon and The Muse Sings.

Matthews is a Canadian composer and photographer who lives in Berlin. He spent several years teaching music at the University of Manitoba, where he is now a professor emeritus.

Ghosthawk by Matt Rader 

Ghost Hawk is a poetry collection by Matt Rader. (Jessica Zais, Nightwood Editions)

Ghosthawk is a guidebook of imagination from grasslands to star fields to the weather of the poet's body. Where's home in the crises of ecological collapse and mortal illness? Where's joy with constant pain, a future blurred by smoke? Carrying these questions, Matt Rader wrote down what he learned, the directions as he can best describe them.

When you can read it: Oct. 31, 2021

Rader is a writer from Kelowna, B.C. He is the author of four volumes of poetry and the short story collection What I Want to Tell Goes Like This. His work has appeared in Best Canadian Poetry, Geist and The Walrus. 

Deepfake Serenade by Chris Banks

Deepfake Serenade is a poetry collection by Chris Banks. (Aura Hertzog, Nightwood Editions)

Chris Banks writes in the title poem of Deepfake Serenade, "Inside every one of us is a deepfake. A holy ghost," suggesting people have a choice to feel either like sad imposters or like survivors staring down a world both utterly familiar and strange. These poems, sometimes narrative, sometimes surreal, oscillate between these two extremes as they confront middle age, new love, renewed optimism and memories. 

When you can read it: Oct. 31, 2021

Banks is the author of six poetry collections, including Midlife Action Figure. He currently works as an English and creative writing instructor at Bluevale Collegiate Institute in Waterloo, Ont.

Pebble Swing by Isabella Wang

Pebble Swing is a poetry collection by Isabella Wang. (Zoë Dagneault, Nightwood Editions)

Pebble Swing is a poetry collection about language and family histories. Isabella Wang is an immigrant who is losing her understanding of Mandarin. In Pebble Swing, she sees her mother tongue bouncing back at her from the water's reflective surface and explores the absences and fragmentation caused by her loss of language.

When you can read it: Oct. 31, 2021

Wang was the youngest writer to be shortlisted twice for The New Quarterly's Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest. Her poetry and prose have appeared in over 30 literary journals. She is an editor at Room magazine and lives in Port Moody, B.C.

Autowar by Assiyah Jamilla Touré 

Autowar is a poetry collection by Assiyah Jamilla Touré. (Assiyah Jamilla Touré, Brick Books)

Autowar is a collection of poems exploring kinesthetic memory and longing, inherited violence and the body as a geographical site. It is a record of the scars left from the pain we're made to think we deserve — the scars we inflict upon ourselves to mark the path. The poems remind us that even our scars have worlds and lives.

When you can read it: Nov. 1, 2021

Assiyah Jamilla Touré is a multidisciplinary artist of West African descent. She was born and raised in Vancouver, lived for many years in Montreal and is now based in Toronto. Autowar is her first full-length collection.

The Absence of Zero by R. Kolewe

The Absence of Zero is a poetry collection by R. Kolewe. (Book*Hug Press/CBC)

The Absence of Zero is a celebration of the long poem tradition. Consisting of 256 16-line quartets and 34 free-form interruptions, this work is an example of thinking in language, a meditation that explores time and memory in both content and form.

When you can read it: Nov. 9, 2021

R. Kolewe was born in Montreal and lives in Toronto. His work has appeared online at ditch, The Puritan and Prism International. His previous poetry collections are Afterletters and Inspecting Nostalgia.

Corrections

  • Helen Hajnoczky was a reader for the CBC Poetry Prize longlist in 2016.
    Aug 25, 2021 10:57 AM ET

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