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Poetry Canadian

A Different Species of Breathing

The Poetry of Sue Goyette

by (author) Sue Goyette

edited by Bart Vautour

afterword by Erin Wunker

Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Initial publish date
May 2023
Canadian, Women Authors
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2023
    List Price

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What can it look like for poetry to bear witness? What might it feel like for a poem to keep company? A Different Species of Breathing: The Poetry of Sue Goyette offers an introduction to the work of a poet whose writing attends to these large and connected questions.

Goyette’s poetry experiments with (and pushes at the edges of) lyric poetry to explore webs of connection. Whether considering the ways in which systems of care fail children, the devastating reach of Big Pharma, the reciprocal relationship between oceans and humans, or the possibilities that rest in rewriting one’s own story, Goyette’s poetry is rooted in the work of witnessing and being in company with others.

A Different Species of Breathing opens with an introduction by scholar, editor, and poet Bart Vautour, which offers readers context for Goyette’s lyric innovations as well as her key poetic concerns. A selection chosen from across Goyette’s published work then presents readers with poems that appear in chronological order to ground readers in the poet’s trajectories of thinking. The volume closes with a new and previously unpublished interview between Goyette and scholar and writer Erin Wunker. For scholars, poetry aficionados, students, and those interested in questions of care, connection, and ecosystems.

About the authors

Sue Goyette has published nine books of poems and a novel. Her collections include The Brief Reincarnation of a Girl, Penelope and Ocean (for which she was awarded the 2015 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award). She is the editor of Resistance: Righteous Rage in the Age of #MeToo (University of Regina Press, 2021), The 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology (Anansi, 2017) and The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2013 (Tightrope Books, 2013). Her work has been translated into French, Spanish and German and has been featured in films, subways, buses, spraypainted on a sidewalk and tattooed. She was nominated for the 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize and the Governor General’s Award and has won several national awards including the Pat Lowther Award, the Bliss Carman Award, and the CBC Literary Prize for Poetry. She is the Artist in Residence in the Max Rady College of Medicine at the University of Manitoba and Poet Laureate for Halifax Regional Municipality. She lives in Halifax (K'jipuktuk) where she teaches in the creative writing at Dalhousie University.


Sue Goyette's profile page

Bart Vautour is Assistant Professor of English at Dalhousie University. He is a scholar of Canadian literature, with a particular interest in the interplay between the history of transnational Canadian cultural production and its contemporary publics. He is co-editor, with Erin Wunker, Travis V. Mason, and Christl Verduyn, of Public Poetics: Critical Issues in Canadian Poetry and Poetics. His is currently completing a monograph project, The Deed Becomes the Word: Canadian Media and Writing on the Spanish Civil War.

Bart Vautour's profile page

Erin Wunker is Chair of the Board of the national non-profit organization Canadian Women in the Literary Arts ( and co-founder, writer, and managing editor of the feminist academic blog Hook & Eye: Fast Feminism, Slow Academe. She teaches courses in Canadian literature and cultural production with a special focus on cultural production by women. She lives in Halifax with her partner, their daughter, and Marley the dog. Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life, forthcoming from BookThug in the fall of 2016, is Wunker's first book.

Erin Wunker's profile page

Other titles by Sue Goyette

Other titles by Bart Vautour

Other titles by Erin Wunker