In Duct-Taped Roses, Billeh Nickerson shares heartbreaks and offers odes and elegies in reflections on family, community, life, and loss.
As a bush pilot, Nickerson's father would duct-tape his planes to keep them flying. The poignancy of his relationship with his father is celebrated here in the long poem "Skies." Other poems reminisce about love and the complex resiliency of gay men.
Through his signature irreverence, honesty and wit, Nickerson explores what can be repaired, what must be celebrated, and what—inevitably—is lost to time.
About the author
Billeh Nickerson is the author of two poetry collections, both published by Arsenal: McPoems and The Asthmatic Glassblower, nominated for the Publishing Triangle Poetry Prize. He is also the author of the humorous essay collection Let Me Kiss It Better: Elixirs for the Not So Straight and Narrow, and co-editor of Seminal: The Anthology of Canada's Gay Male Poets with John Barton. A founding member of the performance troupe "Haiku Night in Canada," he is the past editor of the literary journals Event and Prism international. He lives in Vancouver, where he teaches at Kwantlen University.
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"Nickerson’s poems are understated and accomplished, shifting between modes of elegy and humorous punchlines with a voice that is distinct and intimate, recalling the playful, confessional poetry of Dorothea Lasky and the candour of Wayne Koestenbaum. Duct-Taped Roses is Nickerson’s best yet." —Hamilton Review of Books
"This is a solid collection by a writer in mid-career stride: it’s got some poems that have appeared elsewhere, some new ones, a nice homage to his queer lineage, the personal nods we’ve come to expect with the unflinching honesty (even crassness) that makes Billeh Billeh." —Plenitude
“Yes, Duct-taped Roses takes you through some of life’s best highs and also its most terrible lows, but it’s the full spectrum of the human experience—and worth a ride-along.” —The British Columbia Review
"[Nickerson's] mind is a wonder, and lucky for us, he's put so many wonderful thoughts from it onto these pages." —The Miramichi Reader