National Poetry Month: Poems on Time

Thanks to Hazel Millar and Nicole Brewer from the League of Canadian Poets for creating a recommended reading list just for us for National Poetry Month, which is happening right now. 

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This April, the League of Canadian Poets will celebrate National Poetry Month by sharing and discussing poetry and poems on the theme of “time”—history, progress, resistance, and what’s to come. These six poetry collections span lifetimes, while still reveling in the tiniest moments; they dive into a turbulent past, they celebrate change, they anxiously await the future. Take a moment this April to celebrate poetry with one of these time-themed collections! For more reading recommendations and other ways to get involved with National Poetry Month, visit poets.ca/npm.

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Passage, by Gwen Benaway

In Passage, Benaway—a Two-Spirited Trans poet of Anishinaabe and Métis descent—seeks to reconcile herself to the land, the history of her ancestors, and her separation from her partner and family by invoking the beauty and power of her ancestral waterways. Traveling to Northern Ontario and across the Great Lakes, Passage is a poetic voyage through divorce, family violence, legacy of colonization, and the affirmation of a new sexuality and gender.

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In the Small Hours, by Erin Brubacher

This tiny book of tiny poems exists in the tiny moments: the kinds of tiny moments that span a relationship, a lifetime, an era. Brubacher’s succinct writing captures the essence of those passing moments—of a dead tulip, of a bad joke, of an old t-shirt—and stretches them across her own life and into the reader’s.

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3 Summers, by Lisa Robertson

Lisa Robertson’s latest collection of poetry is steeped in time—from the poem sequences inflecting a history of textual voices, to the way time itself influences the poems and the speaker. 3 Summers is a beautiful and challenging journey through time, examining how we move through it, how we remain fixed in it, and how much may remain.

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Witness, I am, by Gregory Scofield

Witness, I Am, by Gregory Scofield serves as an urgent and emotional testimony to missing and murdered Indigenous women and the many injustices of racial and gendered violence. The book is divided into three riveting sections, including the middle part, “Muskrat Woman”, which is a reimagining and retelling of a sacred Cree creation story. Grief, anguish and defiance are woven throughout the book as Scofield’s poems inspire calls to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. 

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Operations, by Moez Surani

As Jed Rasula asks in his blurb for Operations, Moez Surani’s latest book, “Who knew that the UN was writing a long poem?” حملةOperación Opération Operation行动 Oперация is a book-length poetic inventory of contemporary rhetoric of violence and aggression, as depicted through the evolution of the language used to name the many military operations conducted by UN Member Nations since the organization’s inception in 1945. Sixty plus year’s worth of violence is reflected in this book, whose title displays the word “operation” in the six official languages of the UN.

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Fauxccasional Poems, by Daniel Scott Tysdal

The poems in this book reimagine history: from the reign of the first philosopher king once envisioned by Plato, to the twelfth-century Iroquois colonization of Europe, to Barack Obama’s career as a poet. Fauxccasional Poems traverses time to commemorate events that never occurred, forcing the reader to consider how each moment brings us to a thousand turning points.

April 6, 2017
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