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Poetry Canadian

Escape Velocity

by (author) Carmelita McGrath

Goose Lane Editions
Initial publish date
Apr 2013
Canadian, Women Authors
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2013
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2013
    List Price

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Winner, E.J. Pratt Poetry Award
Shortlisted, BMO Winterset Award

Carmelita McGrath's Escape Velocity — the long awaited follow-up to her Atlantic Poetry Prize-winning collection To the New World — culls overlooked fragments from our domestic lives and ferries them on unpredictable journeys. A conversation with a telemarketer becomes a monologue on overcoming loss, stray animals provoke cautionary tales shared between generations of women, and junk mail fosters a meditation on necessity, debt, and the inevitability of one's passing. From the elegiac, to the playful, to the meditative, McGrath effortlessly shifts from a natural refinement to a near breathless elegance. Well worth the wait, Escape Velocity marks the return of McGrath's receptive intelligence, gathering strength and taking flight.

About the author

Wendy McGrath’s poetry has been published in CV2, Prism international, NeWest Review, Tessera, Room of One’s Own, Orbis, and Grain. Her verse has been broadcast on CBC Radio and her work has appeared in several anthologies. Previously she published Go Van Gogh, a chapbook of her poetry. In 1998 she received the James Patrick Folinsbee Prize from the University of Alberta’s Department of English. She lives in Edmonton, AB. Common Place Ecstasies (Beach Holme, 2000) is her first book of collected poetry.

Carmelita McGrath's profile page


  • Winner, E.J. Pratt Poetry Award
  • Short-listed, BMO Winterset Award

Editorial Reviews

"You'll want to lie down in Carmelita McGrath's new book. By turns seductive, funny, keen and wild, these poems pull us close, all ‘smoke and shadow and shimmer-shape.’ And they're a tribute to daily-ness — a man in a clinic filling out a form for a luxury car, lovestruck graffiti on a wall, a woman in a grocery store choosing hearts of palm. Escape Velocity is a rare achievement."

Anne Simpson

"Escape Velocity is the latest collection from poet, novelist, and editor Carmelita McGrath, who wastes no time in displaying her talent for writing. ... will encourage any unfamiliar with her work to find more and read it as soon as possible."


"Escape Velocity demonstrates the craftsmanship of another fine Atlantic writer in her prime. These images are strong, and the writing is both elegant and approachable, an outstanding achievement in these flippant times. I highly recommend it."

<i>Chronicle Herald</i>

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