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Poetry Canadian


by (author) Marita Dachsel

Anvil Press Publishers
Initial publish date
Feb 2013
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2013
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 17
  • Grade: 12


Glossolalia is an unflinching exploration of sisterhood, motherhood, and sexuality as told in a series of poetic monologues spoken by the thirty-four polygamous wives of Joseph Smith, founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In Marita Dachsel's second full-length collection, the self-avowed agnostic feminist uses mid-nineteenth century Mormon America as a microcosm for the universal emotions of love, jealousy, loneliness, pride, despair, and passion. Glossolalia is anextraordinary, often funny, and deeply human examination of what it means to be a wife and a woman through the lens of religion and history.

About the author

Marita Dachsel is the author of Glossolalia, Eliza Roxcy Snow, and All Things Said & Done. Her poetry has been shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry and the ReLit Prize and has appeared in many literary journals and anthologies, including Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2011. Her play Initiation Trilogy was nominated for the Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding New Script. She is the 2013/2014 Artist-in-Residence at UVic's Centre for Studies in Religion and Society. After many years in Vancouver and Edmonton, she and her family now live in Victoria.

Marita Dachsel's profile page

Librarian Reviews


This is a one-of-a-kind book of poetry. Dachsel uses many different contemporary poetic forms, including visual and erasure poems, to create poems based on the imagined experience of 34 wives of Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Themes such as jealousy are explored and mentions of birthing and sexuality are integral to the poems. Although most of the terms used to reference body parts are technical (e.g., aureole) or archaic (e.g., quim), she also uses contemporary words (e.g., “It’s all so gross.”). An appendix includes lists of women known to be Smith’s wives and a useful set of explanatory notes.

Dachsel’s work has been shortlisted for both the ReLit Award and the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry.

Caution: Content could be considered offensive, possibly even blasphemous, by followers of Mormonism.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2013-2014.

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