With her remarkable debut collection, Yukon poet Clea Roberts proffers a perceptive & ecological reading of the Canadian North's past & present.
Roberts deftly draws out the moments that comprise a cycle of seasons, paying as much attention to the natural--the winter moon's second-hand light that pools in the tracks of tree squirrels & loose threads of migrating birds--as she does to the manufactured--the peripheral percussion of J-brakes & half-melted ice lanterns. She also casts her gaze back to the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897-1898, raising the voices of those marked by a frenetic race for fortune: a seductive, edgy wolf, a disillusioned photographer, and a pragmatic prostitute, among others.
Here Is Where We Disembark is a beautifully crafted book that ignites the senses, and its presence lingers, like woodsmoke, long after the final page has been turned.
"There is a northerly edge to Clea Roberts' poems, and it extends past the obvious content. It has to do with exquisite frostbitten brevities; it has to do with imagining northern space with scrupulous musically-tuned attention; and--not least--it has to do with an awareness of snow's 'convincing logic,' capable of pulling you 'softly/into a ditch' and sending explanations of 'eider and light.' These are poems whose delight lies in seeing, and listening, afresh."--Don McKay