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Poetry Death

body works

by (author) Dennis Cooley

University of Calgary Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2023
Death, General, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2023
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2023
    List Price

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The body may be feared. It may be a site of philosophic and theological weakness, a place of fear and contamination. The body may be weak. It is ephemeral and impure compared to what is supposed in an abstracted world of pure intellect. The body may be an obsession, a material concern taken up to the detriment of all else. The body may be a challenge to overcome, an enemy to silence.


In this book, dennis cooley sympathizes with the body. These poems celebrate the yearning, laughing, hurting, tender body. Here, the body is neither a site of conflict nor a place of spiritual weakness, but instead a vessel of experience that works in harmony with the intellect. Bodies burble, rejoice, yearn, and suffer. Bodies grow old, they are injured, they hold strength and grow weak in unexpected ways.


Rejecting the simplicity of transcendence for a nuanced examination of mortality, time, illness, of the things the body promises and the promises the body keeps, cooley is unafraid to challenge the eternal and the certain. These poems are humorous, intelligent, and poignant. body works is essential reading for anyone who lives inside a body that lives within the world.

About the author

Dennis Cooley grew up in Estevan, Saskatchewan, and attended the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Rochester. He is an active member of the writing community in Winnipeg and teaches at St. John’s College, University of Manitoba. His latest book of poetry is the bentleys (2006).

Nicole Markotić is a poet and critic who teaches at the University of Windsor and edits the chapbook publication Wrinkle Press. She has published two poetry books, Connect the Dots and Minotaurs & Other Alphabets, as well as a fictional biography of Alexander Graham Bell, Yellow Pages. She is currently completing a novel.

Dennis Cooley's profile page

Other titles by Dennis Cooley