Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Poetry Canadian

Following Sea

by (author) Lauren Carter

Turnstone Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2019
Canadian, Family
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2019
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


Spanning almost two hundred years, Following Sea finds anchor in the submerged regions of the heart. With great care, Lauren Carter wades into family histories and geography, all the while charting her own territories. Carried by the ebb and flow of language, Carter's second collection explores issues of infertility, identity, and settler migration, offering a tender examination of home. Urgent and intimate, Following Sea leads us along the shoreline of Carter's Manitoulin memories to show us what she has carried up from the depths.

About the author

Lauren Carter is the author of four books including the novels This Has Nothing to Do With You and Swarm and the poetry collections Following Sea and Lichen Bright. Her first novel, Swarm, was on CBC's list of 40 novels that could change Canada. In 2014, her short story "Rhubarb" won top place in the Prairie Fire fiction prize and appeared in the annual Best Canadian Stories (edited by John Metcalf). Her work has also been nominated for the Journey Prize and longlisted multiple times for the CBC Literary Prizes in both poetry and fiction while also earning multiple grants, including the Manitoba Arts Council Major Arts Award, given to Manitoba artists whose creative work shows "exceptional quality and accomplishment." She grew up in Blind River, ON, and has lived in the Greater Toronto Area and The Pas, MB. She currently resides in St. Andrews, MB.

Lauren Carter's profile page


  • Winner, ROOM Poetry Prize
  • Long-listed, CBC Literary Awards

Excerpt: Following Sea (by (author) Lauren Carter)

Migration (1868)

I. Five years by then
in Owen Sound. Six
children. A shop
at Boyd's Wharf
where the schooners
and steamers
slid in, cutting

calm water to sell
the fish that frothed
in the shallows
offshore, and carry
passengers south
to Meaford.

In John's eyes
every boat
took them with it.

She belongs
to what she left
behind: black char
of the village, burned
to the ground, Richard,
fourth son, buried
back there.

The walls of close
forest rebuilt
her past, those ribbons

of water that tumble
from stone, soft
grit on her fingers

like ash as she follows
the Sydenham River
from town, hunting red

birthroot in the rust-
coloured beds
of last year.

I don't know
why John had to go
so far from escarpment's
strong spine, but after
John Junior married
his Margaret, they left,
embarked the boat
once again.

Fish a silver shelf
far below, gulls grey
shadows in sun.

Like pollen, the children
drifted the deck
as the harbour
fell farther, shrank

Other titles by Lauren Carter