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Poetry Family

Cane Fire

by (author) Shani Mootoo

Book*hug Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2022
Family, LGBT, Caribbean & Latin American
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2022
    List Price

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My mother was an Anglican
My father was a priest
Together they prayed real hard
When spring came (and the Pitch Lake overflowed)
They reaped the smoothest stones you've ever seen

From internationally celebrated writer and visual artist Shani Mootoo comes Cane | Fire, an immersive and vivid collection that marks a long-awaited return to poetry.

Akin to a poetic memoir, past and present are in conversation with each other throughout this evocative, sensual collection as the narrator moves from Ireland to San Fernando, and finally to Canada. The reinterpretations and translation of this journey and associated family history give the present meaning. Through these deeply personal poems, and Mootoo's own artwork, we begin to understand how a life can not only be shaped, but even reimagined.

About the author

Shani Mootoo was born in Ireland, grew up in Trinidad, and lives in Canada. She holds an MA in English from the University of Guelph, writes fiction and poetry, and is a visual artist whose work has been exhibited locally and internationally. Mootoo's critically acclaimed novels include Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab, Valmiki’s Daughter, He Drown She in the Sea, and Cereus Blooms at Night. She is a recipient of the K.M. Hunter Arts Award, a Chalmers Fellowship Award, and the James Duggins Outstanding Midcareer Novelist Award. Her work has been long- and shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Dublin IMPAC Award, and the Booker Prize. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.

Shani Mootoo's profile page


  • Short-listed, Scotiabank Giller Prize
  • Short-listed, Lambda Literary Award
  • Long-listed, Scotiabank Giller Prize
  • Long-listed, Scotiabank Giller Prize
  • Long-listed, Dublin IMPAC Award
  • Short-listed, Scotiabank Giller Prize
  • Short-listed, Ethetl Wilson Prize Fiction Prize
  • Long-listed, Booker Prize
  • Short-listed, Amazon Canada First Novel Award

Other titles by Shani Mootoo