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Poetry Canadian

Head Full of Sun

by (author) Carla Funk

Nightwood Editions
Initial publish date
Apr 2002
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2002
    List Price

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Head Full of Sun celebrates poetry and language's rich spiritual heritage by weaving together the biblical and the personal. Carla Funk uses biblical forms and stories to explore the human condition and give blood and bone to the spiritual. These poems lament, question and sing praise as they wrestle with the divine.

In the main component of this collection, Funk has created an "Alphabet of Psalms" that works to find a song in every corner of Earth's many rooms. These twenty-six poems are modelled after Psalm 119, which uses each letter of the Hebrew alphabet for its twenty-two segments. In another section, Funk pulls the lives of biblical women from the background, giving them the opportunity to articulate the untold portion of the story. And finally, she takes on Revelations, a book that inspired sermons that terrified her as a child but which she has come to appreciate as a "richly poetic book with imagery to envy."

From Eve in Eden to the apocalyptic imagery of Revelations, Funk translates theology into a convincing and down-to-earth human tongue, pushing through the veil for an intimate look at God.

About the author

Carla Funk was born and raised in Vanderhoof, the geographical centre of B.C. and one of the earliest Mennonite settlements in the province. Having grown up in a world of logging trucks, storytellers, ladies' sewing circles, and rural realism, she turned to poetry as a place to set down the images of her upbringing.

Since earning degrees in Writing and English Literature at the University of Victoria, her work has been featured in anthologies including Breathing Fire: Canada's Young Poets (Harbour, 1995), in various literary journals, and as part of the Poetry in Transit series. Her books of poetry include Blessing the Bones into Light (Coteau Books, 1999), Head Full of Sun (Nightwood Editions, 2002), The Sewing Room (Turnstone Press, 2006), and most recently, apologetic (Turnstone Press, 2010).

She lives with her husband and daughter in Victoria, where she served as the City's inaugural poet laureate from 2006-2008. She teaches in the University of Victoria's Department of Writing.

Carla Funk's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"[Carla] Funk's Head Full of Sun contains an effective series of particular women (Goliath's wife, Eve, Ruth, Jezebel), and a work that is at once a brilliant comedy and a serious meditation called 'Alphabet of Psalms,' which at one point poignantly reads: 'when the words become lies and the lies/ wear the names of people I know/ I want to believe they . . . / leave the room and page thinking/ that poem is about me/ she means me/ I want her to mean me."
-W.H. New, Canadian Literature

Canadian Literature

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