The Waking Comes Late

Steven Heighton's collection of poetry won the 2016 Governor General's Literary Award for poetry.

Steven Heighton

Bestselling author Steven Heighton returns with a collection of laments and celebrations that reflect on our struggle to believe in the future of a world that continues to disappoint us. The poet challenges the boundaries of sleep and even death in these meditations on what lies just beneath the surface of contemporary life. These are poems that trouble over the idea of failure even as they continually recommit to the present moment. This is fierce music performed in a minor key. (From House of Anansi Press)

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From the book

The Turn

Everyone kept referring to "the turn

in the poem," and it troubled the poet —

she didn't understand. Perhaps, she thought,

in all her life's work there was no such "turn,"

nor in her life itself, which must then mean

her journey was simply a homestretch —

no epic detours, colourful car-wrecks,

no fork-in-the-road crisis where one lane

veered toward a fuller life, off-map.

Well, tough.

Maybe her heart was always unmanic —

shy, but Shaker-steady. Maybe her poems,

like her mind, served more subtle metronomes —

so what? In her life no stirring, cinematic

turns, yet still her words make song enough.

From The Waking Comes Late by Steven Heighton ©2016. Published by House of Anansi Press.

Author interviews