Asking?s a collection of poems and poem-essays about paintings, ekphrasis, beauty, and deep looking which takes its title from the lines by Phyllis Webb: "Listen. If I have known beauty / let's say I came to it / asking." Conversations on the page arise from observances made at cocktail parties, art galleries, at the kitchen table, and in the suburbs. Whether offering writing prompts or advice for aspiring poets, or enacting the conventions of ekphrasis, Asking is attentive to the movements and gestures of humans as they navigate a world of bewilderments and betrayal, but also a world of light and an ordinary beauty.
Shawna Lemay is a writer, blogger, editor, photographer, and library assistant. She is?he creator and co-editor of the website, Canadian Poetries. She has written five books of poetry, a book of essays and a work of experimental fiction - All the God-Sized Fruit (McGill-Queen's University Press, 1999), Against Paradise (McClelland & Stewart, 2001), Still (published by the author, 2003), Blue Feast (NeWest Press, 2005), Calm Things: Essays (Palimpsest Press, 2008), Red Velvet Forest (Muses' Company, 2009), and Hive: A Forgery(Create Space, 2012). She resides in Edmonton, Alberta.