Ghosthawk is a guidebook of imagination from grasslands to star fields to the weather of the poet’s body. Where’s home in the crises of ecological collapse and mortal illness? Where’s joy with constant pain, a future blurred by smoke? Carrying these questions, Matt Rader wrote down the names of the wildflowers he met in the mountains, canyons and woodlands of his home in the Okanagan Valley. These poems are what he learned, the directions as he can best describe them.
About the author
Matt Rader is the author of three books of poems: A Doctor Pedalled Her Bicycle Over the River Arno (House of Anansi, 2011), Living Things (Nightwood Editions, 2008), and Miraculous Hours (Nightwood Editions, 2005), which was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and long-listed for the ReLit Award. His poems, stories and non-fiction have appeared in The Walrus, Prism International, The Fiddlehead, The Journey Prize Anthology, as well as many other publications across North America, Australia and Europe and have been nominated for numerous awards including the Gerald Lampert Award, the Journey Prize and two Pushcart Prizes. His website is www.mattrader.com.
- Short-listed, Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize
"It’s honestly, no bullshit, one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. Ghosthawk speaks to me on a profound level."
Jordan Scott, author of <i>I Talk Like A River</i>
"Many cultures have had names for seers like Matt Rader. Contemporary Western culture has none. This is the book of a man who has died more than once and who carries with him knowledge of the point where being’s blaze touches nothingness. A book of profound humility and intense vision."
Jan Zwicky, author of <i>Songs for Relinquishing the Earth</i>
"Ghosthawk is a field guide to wildflowers, birds, marriage, feeling—the “sudden animal” entering the poet’s sightline. These astonishing poems tender the world’s fullness, heavy with each, alight with looking: mariposa lily, snowberry, yarrow, yellowthroat, a body in peril, jewels of rain. From the ghosthawk of the title “circling / the white arrow / of its body smaller / and smaller away” to a sequence of islanded couplets turning on a lonely offset rhyme, the poems render the nuances and forebodings of feeling, and a singular farewell. Oh, they crackle with keen noticing and the living, vibrant world, but there’s soul ache too. Mirages and vanishing. “Yes, you can hear / moonlight / shatter.” A haunting dissolution and nearly unbearable fragility lie at the heart of this collection. Yet it is distinguished by—and I find myself repaired by—its generous radiance. This is an exquisite book: soul rich with regret and wonder, magnifying."
Geri Doran, author of <i>Resin</i>