Winner of the Acorn-Plantos Award
Winner of the Hamilton Literary Award, Poetry
In sure and tender poetry, Chris Pannell looks into the rearview mirror of his bus?and his life?to celebrate the humanity of his passengers, and himself. From speaking with kidney dialysis patients, to driving sleeping teenagers home, Pannell's poems engage the reader with his empathic view of our world in elegantly constructed verse.
About the author
Chris Pannell has lived in Hamilton since 1988. He has published six previous books of poetry; A Nervous City (2013) won the Kerry Schooley Book Award from the Hamilton Arts Council. His last book, Love, Despite the Ache (2016), won Poetry Book of the Year from HAC. Drive (released in 2009) won the People’s Poetry Award the following year. Pannell is also the author of a set of three poetry broadsheets, which won the Hamilton and Region Arts Council Award in 1997.
He is a former DARTS bus driver, a former technical writer, and has hosted and helped run the Lit Live Reading Series in Hamilton for twenty years. Between 2015 and 2017 he edited the US academic journal The Oxfordian, an annual publication of the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship, which encourages discussion of the Shakespeare Authorship Question. From 1993 to 2005 he ran the new writing workshop at Hamilton Artists Inc. and edited two book-length anthologies for the group.
"Readers can't help but fall in love with the people Pannell observes along his various routes." - H Magazine
"There are beautifully rendered stories of the passengers he drives, often interwoven with other observations, some of the very casual, minute and fleeting but leading in their meandering way to thoughts on larger themes." - The Hamilton Spectator
"In these poems, Pannell as driver witnesses the struggles of his passenger's quiet lives and tries to adjust the mechanisms that leave them vulnerable, dislocated from company, desperate and alone?The youthful, aged and ill travellers need their poet, and Pannell takes on this role." - Journal of Canadian Poetry