46 Canadian poetry collections to watch for in spring 2023

If you love poetry, watch for these books coming out in the first half of 2023.

If you love poetry, watch for these books coming out in the first half of 2023.

The Ridge by Robert Bringhurst

The book cover features an abstract illustration in red and black.
The Ridge is a book by Robert Bringhurst. (Harbour Publishing)

The Ridge is a nonfiction poetry collection that uses metaphor and provocative imagery to reflect on the ecological history and future of the West Coast of Canada. 

When you can read it: March 4, 2023 

Robert Bringhurst is a writer and former Guggenheim Fellow in poetry. His poetry collection The Beauty of the Weapons was shortlisted for a Governor General's Literary Award in 1982 and his nonfiction book A Story as Sharp as a Knife was shortlisted for a Governor General's Literary Award in 2000.

In 1985, he won the CBC Poetry Prize for his poem The Blue Roofs of Japan and later won the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence in 2005. He is also a recipient of the Order of Canada and lives on Quadra Island, B.C.

the trick of staying and leaving by David Zieroth

The book cover features an image of a river with a castle on a hill in the background.
the trick of staying and leaving is a book by David Zieroth. (Harbour Publishing)

David Zieroth's latest poetry collection, the trick of staying and leaving, is about relationships across borders and the universal ways we can all find love. 

When you can read it: March 4, 2023

Zieroth is a Vancouver writer. His poetry collection The Fly in Autumn won the Governor General's Literary Award and was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and the Acorn-Plantos Award for People's Poetry in 2010. Zieroth also won The Dorothy Livesay Poetry Award for How I Joined Humanity at Last. His other work includes watching for lifethe bridge from day to night and Zoo and Crowbar.

Heating the Outdoors by Marie-Andrée Gill, translated by Kristen Renee Miller

The book cover features a paper-collage illustration of a window on fire.
Heating the Outdoors is a book by Marie-Andrée Gill and translated by Kristen Renee Miller. (Book*hug Press, submitted by Book*hug Press)

Heating the Outdoors is a collection of micropoems that explore love and writing as decolonial resilience. Marie-Andrée Gill examines her interior world of heartbreak, love and loss through examining the historical subjugation and reclamation of land and language. 

When you can read it: March 7, 2023

Marie-Andrée Gill combines her Quebec and Inu identities through her writing. Her work deals with decolonization and territory while blending kitsch and existentialism. In 2018, Gill won an Indigenous Voices Award. She is also the author of the poetry collections SpawnBéante and Chauffer le dehors.

Kristen Renee Miller is a writer and translator currently living in Kentucky. She previously translated Gill's poetry collection Spawn.

Spells, Wishes and the Talking Dead by Wanda John-Kehewin

The book cover features an illustration of the prairies. Green grasses foregrounds a field of wheat. Above, there are layers of mountains in shades of green and a dark-green sky above.
Spells, Wishes and the Talking Dead is a book by Wanda John-Kehewin. (Talonbooks, Tammy Jayne Quinn)

Spells, Wishes and the Talking Dead explores the beauty and liberty of the Cree language and compares it to the English language. Wanda John-Kehewin also pulls from her family's lived experience, examining the impact of colonialism on her family alongside a historical timeline that begins with the so-called doctrine of discovery and moving through time to the present-day. 

When you can read it: March 14, 2023 

John-Kehewin is a Cree writer, poet and film scriptwriter. She is the author of the Dreams series of graphic novels, including Visions of the Crow. Her other work includes Seven Sacred TruthsHopeless in Hope and In the Dog House, which won the World Poetry Foundation's Empowered Poet Award. 

Song & Dread by Otoniya J. Okot Bitek

The book cover is an abstract water colour illustration featuring a set of rectangles side by side.
Song & Dread is a book by Otoniya J. Okot Bitek. (Talonbooks, Seasmin Taylor)

Otoniya J. Okot Bitek wrote her latest collection, Song & Dread, inside during the early days of the pandemic, observing the emotions and experiences of a slow life in isolation. Song & Dread takes inventory of the value of community and what becomes normalized in the face of survival. 

When you can read it: March 15, 2023

Bitek is a poet and scholar. Her collection 100 Days was nominated for the BC Book Prize, the Pat Lowther Award, the Alberta Book Awards and the Canadian Authors Award for Poetry. It won the 2017 IndieFab Book of the Year Award for poetry and the Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry. She was also longlisted for the 2018 CBC Poetry Prize.

Dislocations by Karen Enns

The white book cover features the image of a bottom half of a single tree with a focus on its roots. The tree is photoshopped against the white backdrop.
Dislocations is a book by Karen Enns. (University of Regina Press, Caitlin Tates)

Karen Enns's latest collection, Dislocations, examines human and animals lives through the themes of weather and seasons. 

When you can read it: March 18, 2023 

Enns is the author of three previous books of poetry: Cloud Physics, which won the Raymond Souster Award, Ordinary Hours and That Other Beauty. She lives in Victoria.

The Natural Hustle by Eva H.D.

The book cover features a black and white image of a city street from above with a cityscape in the background.
The Natural Hustle is a book by Eva H.D. (Penguin Random House Canada, Charlie Kaufman)

The Natural Hustle explores the intimacy of everyday life, poking at profound truths and provoking introspection. 

When you can read it: March 21, 2023

Eva H.D. is the author of Rotten Perfect MouthLight Wounds, which was co-produced with photographer Kendall Townend, and the short film Jackals & Fireflies.

Continent by Aaron Boothby

The orange book cover features a topographical-style image of a mountain land mass covered in red lines.
Continent is a book by Aaron Boothby. (Penguin Random House Canada, Karine Fortin)

Aaron Boothby's debut poetry collection, Continent, contemplates violence across borders and the roles people play in taking part in, being a victim to, or witnessing such violence. In examining the harm humans inflict on one another, Boothby presses forward, reflecting on how we can move past it and see beyond a continent's worth of pain. 

When you can read it: March 21, 2023

Boothby is a poet from Riverside, Calif., now living in Montreal. His work has appeared in carte blanche, Prism and The Puritan, as well as two chapbooks: Reperspirations, Exhalations, Wrapt Inflections and Wave Fields.

Wires that Sputter by Britta Badour

The magenta book cover features the book's title "Wires that Sputter" in big, orange block letters, covering most of the book cover.
Wires that Sputter is a book by Britta Badour. (Penguin Random House Canada, Gilad Cohen)

Britta Badour's debut collection of poetry, Wires that Sputter, explores topics like pop culture, sports, family dynamics and Black liberation. 

When you can read it: March 21, 2023 

Badour, better known as Britta B., is an artist, public speaker and poet living in Toronto. She is the recipient of the 2021 Breakthrough Artist Award from the Toronto Arts Foundation. She teaches spoken word performance at Seneca College.

More Sure by A. Light Zachary

The book cover features a red rectangle on the left and the black silhouette of the back half of a fox or coyote.
More Sure is a book by A. Light Zachary. (Arsenal Pulp Press, Saul Freedman-Lawson)

A. Light Zachary's debut collection, More Sure, is about the process of finding oneself again and again through time, experience and community. The poet explores themes of queerness, neurodivergence, labour, love and family. 

When you can read it: March 28, 2023

Zachary is a writer, editor and teacher living in Toronto and Grande-Digue, N.B. Zachary was longlisted twice for the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize for their poems Two Girls and Why bury yourself in this place you ask.

Entre Rive and Shore by Dominique Bernier-Cormier 

The beige book cover features a polaroid of what appears to be a burnt image of a valley.
Entre Rive and Shore is a book by Dominique Bernier-Cormier. (Goose Lane Editions, Kate Balfour)

Dominique Bernier-Cormier uses a family myth in Entre Rive and Shore to discuss what it means to live between two languages. For him, that's English and French. For his family, the story goes that Bernier-Cormier's ancestor escaped a British prison the night before the Acadian Deportation by disguising his identity by wearing a dress. Bernier-Cormier explores the limitations and fluidity of translation. 

When you can read it: March 28, 2023 

Bernier-Cormier is a Québécois Acadian poet and translator. His first book, Correspondent, was longlisted for the Raymond Souster Award. He lives in Vancouver, where he writes and teaches in both English and French.

A thin fire runs through me by Kim Trainor 

The book cover is an aerial shot of a green land mass and an ocean.
A thin fire runs through me is a book by Kim Trainor. (Goose Lane Editions, Kim Trainor)

A thin fire runs through me examines the tiny and mundane moments in life that exist amid ecological disaster and political turmoil. Written during a period of heartbreak, depression and new love, Trainor's collection of short poems pull from many places, including current events, Jewish liturgy and lyricism. 

When you can read it: March 28, 2023 

Kim Trainor is the author of the poetry collections Karyotype and Ledi. Her poems have won the Fiddlehead's Ralph Gustafson Prize, the Malahat Review Long Poem Prize, the Great Blue Heron Prize. Her poem Desolation made the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize longlist. She lives in Vancouver.

Chores by Maggie Burton

The white book cover features an illustration of a blue fish split open at the neck.
Chores is a book by Maggie Burton. (Breakwater Books, Maggie Burton)

Chores is a semi-autobiographical collection about motherhood and domestic life. Maggie Burton examines everyday life with humour, direct language and a feminist lens. 

When you can read it: April 1, 2023

Burton is a multidisciplinary artist and writer living in St. John's.

Baby Book by Amy Ching-Yan Lam 

A blue book cover with an abstract black and white illustration.
Baby Book is book by Amy Ching-Yan Lam. (Brick Books, Marvin Luvualu Antonio)

Baby Book locates mundane and everyday experiences, such as a family vacation via bus tour, to discuss how belief systems are first formed and how everything we know about power, death, life and property can be formed and reformed again and again. 

When you can read it: April 1, 2023

Amy Ching-Yan Lam is a Toronto-based artist and writer. She is the author of Looty Goes to Heaven. Baby Book is her first collection of poetry. 

Love is a Place But You Cannot Live There by Jade Wallace

The book cover features two snails on either side of the book's title. Surrounding the black snail beneath the title is a red border and two droplets, one black and one red. Above the title, six outlines of stars surround a red snail that is upside down, sitting on a red border.
Love is a Place But You Cannot Live There is a book by Jade Wallace. (Guernica Editions, Mark Laliberte)

Jade Wallace's debut poetry collection, Love is a Place But You Cannot Live There, examines the way people are formed by their environment and one another. Through a series of unique and varied characters, including two ghost hunters in a dying relationship and a mother-daughter duo stuck in an undesirable vacation, Love is a Place But You Cannot Live There calls out the voids in all of us and urges us to respond back. 

When you can read it: April 1, 2023

Wallace is a writer and editor. Love Is A Place But You Cannot Live There is their first book.

Optic Nerve by Matthew Hollett

The book cover is an illustration of a grey sidewalk marked by puddles of water. A dark green tree branch is reflected in the water.
Optic Nerve is a book by Matthew Hollett. (Brick Books, April White)

Matthew Hollett employs wordplay and a specific kind of playfulness in poems about photography, perception and ways of seeing in the poetry collection Optic Nerve. Hollett dissects the way we see the world, from perspectives such as the inside of an eyeball to the impact of a bomb crater.

When you can read it: April 3, 2023

Hollett is a writer and visual artist in St. John's. He published his debut book, Album Rock, in 2018. Hollett won the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize for Tickling the Scar.

Celebrate Pride with Lockheed Martin by Jake Byrne

The blue book cover features a purple silhouette of two people with short hair who appear to be kissing. Layered over their faces is a circle that is cut up into four pie-shaped pieces. The pieces are made up of purple, blue, black and hot pink.
Celebrate Pride with Lockheed Martin is a book by Jake Byrne. (Wolsak & Wynn, Jessica Laforet)

Jake Byrne's debut poetry collection, Celebrate Pride with Lockheed Martin, chronicles modern queer life, including the writer's thoughts on the appropriation of queer culture in capitalism and war. Sharp imagery, incisive critiques and playful, sexual tones layer the poems.

When you can read it: April 4, 2023

Byrne is a poet and writer based in Toronto.

Way to Go by Richard Sanger

The beige book cover features the title "way to go" in bubbled black font.
Way to Go is a book by Richard Sanger. (Biblioasis, Rita Leistner)

In Way to Go, Richard Sanger uses poetry to explore his passions, give gratitude and provide humourous observations about a life well-lived. 

When you can read it: April 4, 2023

Sanger was a writer who grew up in Ottawa and lived in Toronto. He published three poetry collections and a chapbook. His plays included Not SpainTwo Words for SnowHannah's Turn, and Dive. He also published essays, reviews and poetry translations.

Trinity Street by Jen Currin

The book cover is an image of a park with a solo white bench in the background.
Trinity Street is a book by Jen Currin. (House of Anansi Press, Sarah Race Photography)

Jen Currin's latest collection of poetry, Trinity Street, explores the concept of a flawed utopia, imaginary gardens and the worlds of the living and the dead. Trinity Street is wide-ranging in its themes and topics, including a meditation on friendship amid climate crisis and the grief of late capitalism.

When you can read it: April 4, 2023

Currin is a B.C. writer who teaches writing at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Jen's first collection of stories, Hider/Seeker, was awarded a Canadian Independent Book Award and was named a 2018 Globe and Mail Best Book. Their previous collections of poetry include The Sleep of Four CitiesHagiographyThe Inquisition Yours and School.

Xanax Cowboy by Hannah Green

The book cover is yellow with black block lettering that reads, "House of Anansi Press Xanax Cowboy Poems Written and Directed by Hannah Green."
Xanax Cowboy is a book by Hannah Green. (House of Anansi Press, Hannah Green)

Hannah Green's poetry collection is about Xanax Cowboy, a larger-than-life, spitfire character who Green uses to reflect on mental health, alienation and the Wild West. 

When you can read it: April 4, 2023 

Green is a Winnipeg-based writer and poetry editor. She was a poetry finalist for the 2021 Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers

Gills by Ayòmide Bayowa

The book cover features a close-up image of two Black people with their faces tilted towards each other.
Gills is a book by Ayòmide Bayowa. (Buckrider Books, Sam Steiner)

Ayòmide Bayowa's debut poetry collection, Gills, explores themes of race, identity and the Black diaspora. 

When you can read it: April 4, 2023 

Bayowa is a Nigerian Canadian poet, actor and filmmaker. He is the current poet laureate of Mississauga, Ont.

Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We're Dead by Catherine Graham

An oil-painting-like illustration of a pink flower in the foreground with a valley of forest and fog in the background.
Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We're Dead is a book by Catherine Graham. (Buckrider Books, Marion Voysey)

Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We're Dead chronicles 20 years of Catherine Graham's award-winning work, including poems that explore themes of family, healing, loss, love and the natural world. 

When you can read it: April 4, 2023 

Graham is the author of eight collections of poetry, including Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric, which was shortlisted for the 2021 Toronto Book Awards. Her debut novel, Quarry, won an Independent Publisher Book Awards gold medal for fiction. Graham lives in Toronto, where she teaches creative writing and leads the Toronto International Festival of Authors Book Club.

The Four-Doored House by Pierre Nepveu, translated by Donald Winkler

The book cover is of a mud or ceramic mass with three holes in it.
The Four-Doored House is a book by Pierre Nepveu and translated by Donald Winkler. (Karine Prévost-Nepveu, Vehicule Press, Carlos Ferrand)

In The Four-Doored House, Pierre Nepveu forms poetry around two women in his life: his granddaughter, Lily, and a woman named "C." The collection begins with poems about Lily and her possible future as Nepveu projects a version of her grown-up life, their relationship and his eventual absence from her life. Next, poems about "C" reveal the value of her companionship in his life as a source of inspiration. Honouring both women, these poems are a celebration of childhood and love. 

When you can read it: April 5, 2023

Nepveu has received the Governor General's Award three times. His other awards include the Québec-Paris Prize, the Prix Victor-Barbeau de l'Académie des lettres du Québec and the Canada-Swiss Prize. Nepveu was made a member of the Order of Canada in 2012. Under its original title, L'espace caressé par ta voixThe Four-Doored House was a finalist for The Grand Prix du Livre de Montréal in 2020.

Donald Winkler is a filmmaker and translator from Montreal. He won the Governor General's Literary Award for French-to-English translation for The Lyric Generation: The Life and Times of the Baby-Boomers by François Ricard, Partita for Glenn Gould by Georges Leroux and The Major Verbs by Pierre Nepveu. Two books translated by him have been shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller PrizeA Secret Between Us by Daniel Poliquin in 2007 and Arvida by Samuel Archibald in 2015.

archipelago by Laila Malik

The beige book cover features a persian rug that is torn and tattered.
archipelago is a book by Laila Malik. (Book*hug Press, Meera Sethi)

archipelago is a collection of lyrical poems exploring family dynamics and self-identity in the face of multigenerational migration. 

When you can read it: April 6, 2023

Laila Malik is a writer living in Adobigok, the traditional land of Indigenous communities that include the Anishinaabe, Seneca, Mohawk Haudenosaunee, and Wendat. archipelago is her debut poetry collection.

A beautiful rebellion by Rita Bouvier

The book cover features a rushing river, banked by trees.
A beautiful rebellion is a book by rita bouvier. (submitted by Thistledown Press)

A beautiful rebellion is a poetry collection about reconciling with the loss and pain caused by residential schools. Rita Bouvier writes with an open heart and an eye toward future generations of Métis people. 

When you can read it: April 10, 2023 

Bouvier is the author of two poetry collections, Blueberry Clouds and papîyâhtak. She has been nominated for several Saskatchewan Book Awards.

Safety Razor by Emily Osborne

The blue book cover features a pink razor blade in the middle of the cover.
Safety Razor is a book by Emily Osborne. (Gordon Hill Press, submitted by Gordon Hill Press)

Safety Razor combines science and personal experience, as well as lyricism and translation from Old Norse to navigate wide-reaching emotional terrain.

When you can read it: April 14, 2023

Emily Osborne's poetry, short fiction and Old Norse-to-English verse translations have appeared in journals and anthologies including The Literary Review of Canada and Barren Magazine. She is the author of the poetry chapbook Biometrical. In 2018, Osborne won The Malahat Review's Far Horizons Award for Poetry. Safety Razor is her debut poetry collection. 

Swans by Michelle Brown

The book cover features three dancers in leotards and bun hairstyles that are each striking a different pose. They look as though they are are in freefall because their image is placed in the air.
Swans is a book by Michelle Brown. (Anstruther Books, Grady Mitchell)

Swans is a narrative poetry collection following three best friends on a regular night out that quickly turns into a surrealist coming-of-age before dawn. Michelle Brown writes about tense female friendships, alcoholism, spontaneity and sexuality. 

When you can read it: April 15, 2023

Brown is a poet living on the west coast of Canada. Brown's first full-length collection of poetry, Safe Words, was shortlisted for the 2018 ReLit award. 

body works by Dennis Cooley

The book cover features the up-close image of someone's five fingers, which have multi-coloured paint smeared across them.
body works is a book by dennis cooley. (University of Calgary Press, Jan Horner)

Body works compassionately contemplates the body in all its forms as a way of thinking about mortality, illness, growth and the eternal. 

When you can read it: April 15, 2023 

Dennis 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, Gibbous Moon and The Muse Sings.

A knife so sharp its edge cannot be seen by Erin Noteboom

The beige book cover features a close-up image of the tip of an old knife. The knife tip is illustrated with grooves and lines.
A knife so sharp its edge cannot be seen is a book by Erin Noteboom. (Brick Books, Wayfinder Bow)

Erin Noteboom uses the lyric form to write about illness, grief and loss in A knife so sharp its edge cannot be seen. The former-physicist-turned-writer tests hypotheses about sadness, science and love to ask important existential questions. 

When you can read it: April 15, 2023 

Noteboom is a former physicist who currently writes poetry and young adult novels. Originally from Nebraska, Noteboom came to Canada in 1997. Her poetry collections include ​Seal Up the Thunder.

Noteboom won the CBC Poetry Prize in 2001 for her poem Poems for Carl Hruska and made the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for her poem How to write at the end of the world.

Noteboom publishes YA fiction under the name Erin Bow. Her novels include Plain KateThe Scorpion RulesThe Swan RidersStand on the Sky and Sorrow's KnotPlain Kate won the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award in 2011.

The Suspect We by Roxanna Bennet & Shane Neilson

The book cover features dark yellow and black diagonal stripes moving from left to right.
The Suspect We is a book by Roxanna Bennett (right) and Shane Neilson (left). (Roxanna Bennett, Palimpsest Press, Portraits by Mina)

Written in social isolation during the pandemic, The Suspect We is a nonfiction poetry collection chronicling Roxanna Bennet and Shane Neilson's concerns with the pandemic conditions and barriers faced by mad, neurodivergent, and disabled communities. 

When you can read it: April 15, 2023

Bennett is a poet from Whitby, Ont. Their other poetry collections include Unmeaningable and The Uncertainty Principle. Unmeaningable won the 2020 Raymond Souster Award from the League of Canadian Poets and the 2020 Trillium Book Award for poetry.

Neilson is a disabled poet, physician and critic from New Brunswick. He is the author of four books of nonfiction about medicine and literary criticism. His poetry collections include You May Not Take the Sad and Angry ConsolationsDysphoria, which won the Hamilton Literary Award for Poetry and Complete Physical, a finalist for the Trillium Award. Neilson now lives in Oakville, Ont.

A Devil Every Day by John Nyman

The book cover is an illustration of a devil with a green face watering a pot of red flowers with yellow water.
A Devil Every Day is a book by John Nyman. (Anstruther Books, Brent Rose)

A Devil Every Day employs philosophy, critical theory and folk theology interrogates where white Western culture devolves into evil. John Nyman contemplates the everyday monstrosity of the modern West. 

When you can read it: April 15, 2023

Nyman is a Toronto-based poet, critic and book artist of mixed European and Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. His previous works include Players, which was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award. 

Your Therapist Says Its Magical Thinking by Sadie McCarney

The book cover features a white unicorn sitting on a pink lounge chair. In the background are different flowers and rainbows on a background of pink, blue and purple ombre.
Your Therapist Says It’s Magical Thinking is a book by Sadie McCarney. (Submitted by ECW Press)

Sadie McCarney's second collection, Your Therapist Says Its Magical Thinking, pulls from a mix of her lived experience and historical fiction to explore neurodivergence, mental health and our current "self-care" culture in a whimsical, fragmented and honest way. 

When you can read it: April 18, 2023

Sadie McCarney is a P.E.I-based author of the poetry collection Live Ones and the poetry memoir Head War. Her work has appeared in Best Canadian Poetry, The Walrus, Literary Review of Canada, the Gay & Lesbian Review, and various literary journals.

Uiesh / Somewhere by Joséphine Bacon, translated by Phyllis Aronoff

A wateroclour image of a black-silhouetted trees lines along a body of water. In the water, the reflection of the trees look like skyscrapers.
Uiesh / Somewhere is a book by Joséphine Bacon (left) and translated by Phyllis Aronoff (right). (Benoit Rochon, Talonbooks)

Uiesh / Somewhere is a collection of short poems in which Joséphine Bacon writes directly to her reader about her life as a Innu woman.

When you can read it: April 18, 2023

Bacon is an Innu poet born in Québec and now living in Montréal. Her poetry has won many awards, including the Indigenous Voices Award, the international Ostana Prize and the Prix des libraires du Québec, and has been shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry and the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal.

Phyllis Aronoff translates fiction, nonfiction and poetry from French, solo or with co-translator Howard Scott, with whom she won the Governor General's Literary Award for translation in 2018 for Descent Into Darkness by Edem Awumey. Aronoff received the Quebec Writers' Federation Translation Award in 2002 for The Great Peace of Montreal of 1701 by Gilles Havard. She previously translated Bacon's poetry book, Message Sticks. 

A Net of Momentary Sapphire by R. Kolewe

The book cover is an image from above of a river with grass and trees on either side. The stars in the blue night sky are reflected in the river below.
A Net of Momentary Sapphire is a book by R. Kolewe. (Talonbooks, R. Kolewe)

A Net of Momentary Sapphire is a three-part long poem examining the impacts of 20th century modernism. 

When you can read it: April 25, 2023 

Born in Montreal, R. Kolewe spent many years working in the software industry while living in southwestern Ontario. He now writes and captures photographs full-time. His work includes Afterletters and Inspecting Nostalgia. 

If It Gets Quiet Later On, I Will Make a Display by Nick Thran

The book cover features an illustration of twelve different books stacked and displayed in various ways.
If It Gets Quiet Later On, I Will Make a Display is a book by Nick Thran. (NightWood Editions, Drew Gilbert)

If It Gets Quiet Later On, I Will Make a Display is a collection of poems and essays on the interior lives of booksellers, readers and writers. Nick Thran, a bookseller himself, captures the passion and heart of reading communities. 

When you can read it: April 29, 2023 

Thran is the author of three collections of poems. His second collection, Earworm, won the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. He works as an editor and bookseller in New Brunswick. 

Old Gods by Conor Kerr

The book cover features a black and white photo of bison on the prairies.
Old Gods is a book by Conor Kerr. (Nightwood Editions, Zachary Ayotte)

Old Gods is a poetry collection in motion. From coyotes that race through the night to buses that drive from region to region or people that search for lost loves on the Internet, Conor Kerr's book is a meditation on the travels humans and animals take over time. The poet places readers in the "Métis mindset," showing that wherever one is in the natural world, there is life in the rivers, the hills and the prairies we travel on. 

When you can read it: April 29, 2023

Kerr is a Métis and Ukrainian educator, writer and harvester. He is a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta and is descended from the Gladue, Ginther and Quinn families from the Lac Ste. Anne and Fort Des Prairies Métis communities and the Papaschase Cree Nation. His poem Prairie Ritual was on the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize longlist.

Kerr won the 2022 Novel ReLit Award for his debut novel Avenue of Championswhich was also longlisted for the 2022 Giller Prize and a finalist for the 2022 Amazon Canada First Novel Award.

Mattress Makers by Sasenarine Persaud

The book cover is a bed of twigs against a black background.
Mattress Makers is a book by Sasenarine Persaud. (Mawenzi House Publishers Ltd., Denise Noone)

In Mattress Makers, Sasenarine Persaud explores his Indian roots through language, traditions, music and paying homage to beloved writers. 

When you can read it: April 30, 2023 

Born in Guyana, Persaud has published essays in various journals about the term he originated, Yogic Realism. He has lived in Canada and now makes his home in Florida.

Duck Eats Yeast, Quacks, Explodes; Man Loses Eye by Gary Barwin & Lillian Necakov

The orange book cover features a black sketch illustration of what could be a rabbit or a duck. The illusion drawing is drawn so that it could be the head of a rabbit with ears facing left or a duck whose beak faces right.
Duck Eats Yeast, Quacks and Explodes: Man loses and Eye by Gary Barwin (left) and Lillian Necakov (right). (Guernica Editions)

Duck Eats Yeast, Quacks, Explodes; Man Loses Eye is a poetic conversation between its two authors. While the book-length poem explores themes of trauma, war, culture polarization and illness, it makes a case for unabashed joy. 

When you can read it: May 1, 2023

Gary Barwin is a writer, composer, visual and multidisciplinary artist and the author of more than two dozen books of poetry, fiction and books for children. He lives in Hamilton, Ont.

His national bestselling novel Yiddish for Pirates won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour as well as the Canadian Jewish Literary Award (Fiction). It was also a finalist for both the Governor General's Award for Fiction and the Scotiabank Giller Prize. In 2017, he published the poetry collection No TV for Woodpeckers and in 2022, another collection The Most Charming Creatures

His novel Nothing the Same, Everything Haunted won a 2021 Canadian Jewish Literary Award in the fiction category.

Lillian Necakov is the Toronto-based author of about a dozen poetry chapbooks, including The Lake Contains an Emergency Room, and four full-length collections, including Hooligans and The Bone Broker. 

Slows: Twice by T. Liem

The book cover is orange with a rectangular illustration of gold lines that look like a collage of seashells.
Slows: Twice is a book by Tess Liem. (Coach House, Surah Field-Green)

Slows: Twice is a book of repetition: each poem is paired with a mirror poem as a way of exploring identity, time and the hopeful potential of the future. The speaker of the poems searches for joy in the future while in the presence of their father's birthplace or a Motel 6 in Alberta or an aisle in the grocery store.

When you can read it: May 5. 2023

T. Liem is a queer writer living in Montreal. Their debut collection Obits was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award and won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award in as well as the A.M. Klein Prize in 2019.

Sargasso Sea Scrolls by Dannabang Kuwabong 

The book features a the sunlight streaming across a blue sky.
Sargasso Sea Scrolls is a book by Dannabang Kuwabong. (Submitted by Mawenzi House Publishers Ltd.)

Dannabang Kuwabong's poetry collection Sargasso Sea Scrolls is provocative and candid, taking readers to the Dutch Caribbean island Curacao where the writer makes connections between language, food and nature, while also paying tribute to experiences of slaves in history and his present-day experiences in his homeland and beyond. 

When you can read it: May 15, 2023

Kuwabong is a Ghanaian Canadian poet who lives in Hamilton, Ont.

Moving Upstream by Mary Barnes

The book cover features a red fish made up of a triangle design on a white background.
Moving Upstream is a book by Mary Barnes. (At Bay Press, John Barnes )

Mary Barnes's second poetry collection Moving Upstream is a love letter to the natural world inspire by her Ojibwa roots.

When you can read it: May 18, 2023

Barnes is an Ontario writer of Ojibwa descent. Her first collection of poetry, What Fox Knew, was released in 2019 and was nominated for The League of Canadian Poets Pat Lowther Award and the Manuela Dias Award. 

Continuity Errors by Catriona Wright 

An illustration of a pink woman crouching in a green chair in the corner of a blue room with a yellow carpet. Her face is obscured by her long hair as she looks down, crouched on top of the chair, facing the back of the chair.
Continuity Errors is a poetry book by Catriona Wright. (Coach House Books, Eric Overton)

Continuity Errors is a meditation and critique on the pitfalls of hustle culture.The feminist collection imagines the future Wright's son will inherit and questions whether hyper-productivity will move humans forward to a type of future loving parents desire for their children. 

When you can read it: May 23, 2023

Catriona Wright is the author of the poetry collection Table Manners and the short story collection Difficult People. She is the poetry editor for The Puritan and a co-founder of Desert Pets Press.

Reckoning by Patrick Friesen

The book cover is an illustration of water against the backdrop of a yellow sky with an orb of sun in the right-hand corner. Over top of the ocean image is what looks like black topographical lines mapping out the arc of a wave.
Reckoning is a book by Patrick Friesen. (Anvil Press, Eve Joseph)

Reckoning is a long poem that takes inventory of life and its meanings. Ushering in memories and snippets of conversations to musings and metaphors pulled from every area of living, Patrick Friesen asks important questions in his observance of the personal and universal. 

When you can read it: May 31, 2023

Friesen has published more than a dozen books of poetry, a book of essays, stage and radio plays, and has co-translated, with Per Brask, five books of Danish poetry, including Frayed Opus for Strings & Wind Instruments by Ulrikka Gernes. 

The Vanishing Act (& The Miracle After) by Mirabel

The book cover is a purple silhouette of a woman with a bun hairstyle.
The Vanishing Act (& The Miracle After) is a book by Mirabel. (Guernica Editions, Tam Lan Truong/Tam Photography)

The Vanishing Act (& The Miracle After) is a meditation on grief and recovery. The speaker of the poem disentangles lived experience and social issues as a woman of colour and survivor of abuse and self-harm. Split into two sections, one focusing on turmoil and the other on renewal, the book explores the nuances of agency amid loss and the creativity involved in surviving. 

When you can read it: June 1, 2023

Avleen K. Mokha, also known as Mirabel, is a Montreal-based poet. 

Muster Points by Lucas Crawford

An illustration of a pink hand reach into a peanut butter jar. The image is against a green background and bordered by a pink and yellow rectangular border.
Muster Points is a book by Lucas Crawford. (University of Calgary Press, Lucas Crawford)

Lucas Crawford's latest collection, Muster Points, is about queer love, kink, depression and pleasure. Chronicling periods of his life while quarantined in the mountains at the beginning of the pandemic, Crawford writes candidly about his experiences as a genderqueer guy journeying through the ruins of heterosexual culture, remaking masculinity and the fluidity of both queer love and regret. 

When you can read it: June 15, 2023

Crawford is a writer and Canada Research Chair of Transgender Creativity and Mental Health at the Augustana Faculty of the University of Alberta. Crawford's poetry collection Belated Bris of the Brainsick won the J.M. Abraham Poetry Award at the 2020 Atlantic Book Awards. Crawford is also the author of the poetry collections Sideshow Concessions and The High Line Scavenger Hunt. The poet was a 2020 CBC Poetry Prize reader.

Bramah's Quest by Renée Sarojini Saklikar

A brown woman with curly medium-length, grey hair smiling to camera. Her arms are folded in front of chair. She is wearing a watch on her right wrist and a grey tanktop. Behind her is a street running left to right and the branch of a tree is foregrounded in the image.
Renée Sarojini Saklikar is the author of Bramah's Quest. (Sandra Vander Schaaf)

The second instalment of Renée Sarojini Saklikar's fantasy poetry saga, Bramah's Quest is a book-length long poem about a demigoddess named Bramah who, in 2087, is on a mission to find her people in an Earth corrupted by extreme inequality and climate change. 

When you can read it: June 24, 2023

Saklikar is a lawyer and writer born in India who now lives in Vancouver. She is also the author of the poetry collections Bramah and the Beggar Boy and children of air india and the nonfiction book Listening to the Bees, which she co-authored with Dr. Mark Winston. 

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