Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Open Book Recommends: Books of Poetry in Celebration of National Poetry Month

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Open Book Recommends: Books of Poetry in Celebration of National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month and we think the best way to celebrate is to read and support our talented Canadian poets.

We've put together a list of some excellent poetry collections to get you started, and we encourage you to visit our event pages at Open Book: Toronto and Open Book: Ontario for opportunities to hear some of our country's poets throughout the month of April.

bp: beginnings (BookThug) by bpNichol and edited by Stephen Cain
bp: beginnings brings together iconic Canadian poet bpNichol's early "fugitive" sequences, that have long been out of print. These sequences show the development of bpNichol's talent, illustrating his union of visual poetry and lyricism.

School (Coach House Books) by Jen Currin
Jen Currin's School is both a call to action and an intimate conversation that speaks to the political and environmental issues of contemporary life. The sensual and surreal poems act as an instruction manual for igniting change through a collective effort of love and community.

Ordinary Hours (Brick Books) by Karen Enns
Gerald Lampert Award-nominated author Karen Enns revisits her rural Mennonite childhood in her sophomore collection. Writing with effortless rhythm and phrasing, she also touches on the Mennonite exodus from Russia and the powerful effect of redemption.

Broom Broom (Coach House Books) by Brecken Hancock
In this collection of poems, Brecken Hancock takes the safe and comfortable parts of the world and turns them into the eccentric. From the evolution of bathing to tragic family misgivings, Hancock deftly plumbs the sweep of human history.

THOU (BookThug) by Aisha Sasha John
THOU is a powerful collection of two long, narrative poems that will ignite the reader's senses. Aisha Sasha John has a crush on time; she explores it, plays with it and poses the question of time being an object of desire and the book as a theatre for it.

Light Light (BookThug) by Julie Joosten
Light Light, shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, explores the technologies and languages that shape the discourse of knowing. From the Enlightenment science of natural history to the contemporary science of climate change, Julie Joosten provocatively engages with how language, rhythm and thought form a politics engaged with the environment and its increasing alterations.

For Tamara (House of Anansi) by Sarah Lang
For Tamara is essentially a mother's letter to her daughter on how to survive on this earth. Sarah Lang has created a heartbreaking long poem that becomes a roughly-hewn, genre-bending, post-apocalyptic survival guide that forces the reader to ponder our own future.

The Fleece Era (Brick Books) by Joanna Lilley
In this debut collection, Joanna Lilley explores the intricacies of our various relationships with a refreshingly frank style and an eloquent mix of sardonic wit and compassionate understanding.

Prologue for the Age of Consequence (House of Anansi) by Gareth Martens
In this debut collection, Garth Martens's poems explore the Alberta Tar Sands and the men who work there, in a world that is both beautiful and severe. A book about grace and error, with a strong ethical and psychological reach, it has the force of a great epic.

Blue Sonoma (Brick Books) by Jane Munro
In the heartbreaking exploration of a partner's crossing into Alzheimer’s, Jane Munro uses his "battered blue Sonoma" as an evocation for numerous other crossings. With sharp wit and insight, Munro renders difficult conditions with a light touch in her sixth book.

Lake of Two Mountains (Brick Books) by Arleen Paré
Arleen Paré's second book of poetry is a moving portrait of a lake, the many relationships to the lake and the geography that surrounds it. The collection explores the correlation of landscape and memory and how the lake comes to inhabit us as we inhabit it.

MxT (Coach House Books) by Sina Queyras
In MxT or Memory x Time, Sina Queyras has written a powerful exploration of grief and mourning. Through invoking other poets and by appropriating the language of technology, Queyras explores grief to devastating and hallucinatory effect.

The Quiet (House of Anansi) by Anne-Marie Turza
In her fierce debut collection, Anne-Marie Turza presents a sinister landscape where anything might appear; out of science, myth or history. Her lyrical poems test the affinity between silence, imagination and the material world and measures space and temporal distances through degrees of silence.


Buy these books at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

Related item from our archives

JF Robitaille: Minor Dedications

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