A NEW YORK TIMES BEST POETRY BOOK OF 2018
Snow, canoes, frozen ponds, lonely conifers . . . Dark Woods takes the motifs and landscape of a Canadian childhood and examines their place in a world of smartphones and overflowing inboxes. The result, Sanger’s first book in 16 years, is a striking new collection full of mysteries and reassessments, wordplay, slang, and sonnets, meditations on parenthood and the “cracks in the granite”: those urges that won’t go away, and the people who have.
Richard Sanger’s previous collections are Shadow Cabinet and Calling Home; his poems have appeared in many publications in Canada, the US and Britain, including the London Review of Books and Poetry Review. His plays include Not Spain, Two Words for Snow, Hannah’s Turn and Dive as well as translations of Calderon, Lope de Vega and Lorca. He has also published essays, reviews and journalism. He lives in Toronto.
Praise for Dark Woods
“The rueful, lucid, deliberately casual poems in “Dark Woods” can surprise you with their tenderness, but also with their prickly intelligence.” —The New York Times
“In the poems' accentual, lightly metered stanzas we are made conscious of time passing, the body aging, and those quiet moments outside time...understated and moving.” —The Malahat Review
"[Sanger's] poems are tender and often funny. Sometimes arch, sometimes bemused, he is a humane observer of daily life....Throughout Dark Woods, his cleverness and verbal mischief enliven traditional forms." —Canadian Literature
Praise for Richard Sanger
“Splendidly-shaped and imagistically adroit. These are outstanding poems.”—The Globe and Mail
“[Sanger] naturalizes the traditional influences in his poems so thoroughly they are almost covert. This gives his poems an inner voice running under the colloquial surface and suggests an attitude toward consciousness in a lyric poem as interesting as the dislocated subject…” —Books-in-Canada
“Spectacular… Sophisticated metrical sense, teasing wit and limitless linguistic resources… The real thing: an original poet of rare talent.” —The Montreal Gazette
“Very accomplished… [Sanger] writes in a voice that is all his own, and its groundtone is a cleverly, progressively sophisticated one which is never merely adroit.” —Journal of Canadian Poetry