The Next Chapter·DOG-EARED READS

Why Canisia Lubrin reads and re-reads Dionne Brand's 'pristine' long poem Inventory

The poet and author of Voodoo Hypothesis calls Dionne Brand 'a magician of language.'
Canisia Lubrin has read Inventory by Dionne Brand countless times. (Anna Keenan)

Canisia Lubrin is a Whitby, Ont. poet whose debut collection Voodoo Hypothesis was published in 2017 and shortlisted for the Raymond Souster Award. She says that Dionne Brand's long poem Inventorypublished in 2006, is a book she's read over and over again.

"This particular book really shook me as a student of poetry, as a reader, as a person and as a mother. Dionne Brand is just the greatest magician of language to me. The language in that book is particular expansive. She takes words and turns them and reveals them anew... it was like creating three different Earths in my head at the same time. It's a way of considering again and again and again what the value of the human life is. The level of craft it is, to me, pristine."

Canisia Lubrin's comments have been edited for length and clarity.