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Poetry Canadian


by (author) Nancy Holmes

The University of Alberta Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2022
Canadian, Women Authors, Nature
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2022
    List Price

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Arborophobia, the latest collection by award-winning poet Nancy Holmes, is a poetic spiritual reckoning. Its elegies, litanies, and indictments concern wonder, guilt, and grief about the journey of human life and the state of the natural world. When a child attempts suicide and western North America burns and the creep of mortality closes in, is spiritual and emotional solace possible or even desirable? Answers abound in measured, texturally intimate, and often surprising ways. The title sequence, named for a word that means “hatred of trees,” sassily blurs the boundaries between human beings and Ponderosa pines, reminding us how fragile our conceptual frameworks really are. Another sequence responds to Julian of Norwich’s writing and call “to practise the art / of letting things happen.” Saints’ lives interlace with our quotidian experience, smudging connections between the spiritual and the earthly. Taking a hard look at what we have done to this beautiful planet and to those we love, Arborophobia is a companion for all who grapple with the problem of hope in times of crisis.

About the author


Nancy Holmes has published four collections of poetry, most recently Mandorla (2005). She has lived in Alberta, Ontario, and, most recently, British Columbia, where she teaches creative writing at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in Kelowna.

Don McKay has published eight books of poetry. Among his many awards are the Governor General’s Award in 1991 (for Night Fields) and in 2000 (for Another Gravity). He was shortlisted for the 2005 Griffin Poetry Prize for Camber and was the Canadian winner in 2007 for Strike/Slip. Born in Owen Sound, Ontario, Don McKay has been active as an editor, creative writing teacher, and university instructor, as well as a poet. He lives in Newfoundland.


Nancy Holmes' profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Arborophobia is made up of a series of narrative, meditative lyric on trees and dementia, loss and falling, mothers and motherhood, grief and erosion. Holmes writes of breakings, and of breaking apart, from climate to forests to the human ability to endure.... Through long, narrative stretches, she offers poems as companion pieces to climate anxiety, personal loss and the uncertainty of where we sit as a species, thanks in large part due to an array of choices both historic and ongoing." rob mclennan, April 27, 2022 []

#8 on the Calgary Herald Non-fiction bestsellers list, May 2, 2022

Arborophobia, the latest collection by award-winning poet Nancy Holmes, is a poetic spiritual reckoning. Its elegies, litanies, and indictments concern wonder, guilt, and grief about the journey of human life and the state of the natural world.

49th Shelf, February 28, 2022

Other titles by Nancy Holmes

Flicker Tree, The

Okanagan Poems

by (author) Nancy Holmes

Open Wide a Wilderness

Canadian Nature Poems

edited by Nancy Holmes
by (author) Don McKay


by (author) Nancy Holmes

Writing the Terrain

Travelling Through Alberta with the Poets

contributions by Ian Adam, Robert Stamp, Tammy Armstrong, Margaret Avison, Douglas Barbour, John O. Barton, Doug Beardsley, Bonnie Bishop, E.D. Blodgett, Robert Boates, George Bowering, Tim Bowling, Jan Boydol, Gordon Burles, Murdoch Burnett, Anne Campbell, Weyman Chan, Leonard Cohen, Dennis Cooley, Joan Crate, Michael Cullen, Cyril Dabydeen, Lorne Daniel, Alexa DeWiel, Jason Dewinetz, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Cecelia Frey, Gary Geddes, Gail Ghai, Deborah Godin, Jim Green, Leslie Greentree, Vivian Hansen, Tom Henihan, Michael Henry, Walter Hildebrandt, Gerald Hill, Robert Hilles, Nancy Holmes, Richard Hornsey, Tom Howe, Aislinn Hunter, Bruce Hunter, Laurence Hutchman, Sally Ito, Pauline Johnson, Aleksei Kazuk, Robert Kroetsch, Fiona Lam, William Latta, Tim Lilburn, Alice Major, Kim Maltman, Miriam Mandel, Sid Marty, David McFadden, Barry McKinnon, Erin Michie, Deborah Miller, Anna Mioduchowska, James M. Moir, Colin Morton, Erin Mouré, Charles Noble, P.K. Page, Rajinderpal Pal, Ruth Roach Pierson, Joseph Pivato, Roberta Rees, D.C. Reid, Monty Reid, R. rickey, Ken Rivard, Stephen Scobie, Allan Serafino, Joan Shillington, Greg Simison, Carol Ann Sokoloff, Karen Solie, Stephan Stephansson, Peter Stevens, Ivan Sundal, Anne Swannell, Vanna Tessier, Colleen Thibadeau, John O. Thompson, James M. Thurgood, Eva Tihanyi, Yvonne Trainer, Aritha Van Herk, Rosalee van Stelten, Miriam Waddington, James Wreford Watson, Wilfred Watson, Tom Wayman, Phyllis Webb, Jon Whyte, Christine Wiesenthal, Sheri-D Wilson, Christopher Wiseman, Stacie Wolfer, Rita Wong, Richard Woollatt & Jan Zwicky

Adultery Poems, The

by (author) Nancy Holmes