Winner of the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize
A stunning debut book of poems from a bold new voice unafraid to engage with the exigencies of our contemporary world.
In Liz Howard’s wild, scintillating debut, the mechanisms we use to make sense of our worlds – even our direct intimate experiences of it – come under constant scrutiny and a pressure that feels like love. What Howard can accomplish with language strikes us as electric, a kind of alchemy of perception and catastrophe, fidelity and apocalypse. The waters of Northern Ontario shield country are the toxic origin and an image of potential. A subject, a woman, a consumer, a polluter; an erotic force, a confused brilliance, a very necessary form of urgency – all are loosely tethered together and made somehow to resonate with our own devotions and fears; made “to be small and dreaming parallel / to ceremony and decay.” Liz Howard is what contemporary poetry needs right now.
About the author
- Winner, Griffin Poetry Prize
- Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Award - Poetry
Liz Howard’s first book of poems, Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent, won the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize, the first time a debut collection has won the award. The book was also a finalist for the 2015 Governor General’s Award for Poetry. Born and raised in northern Ontario, Howard received an Honours Bachelor of Science with High Distinction from the University of Toronto. Her poetry has appeared in Canadian literary journals such as The Capilano Review, The Puritan, and Matrix Magazine. Her chapbook Skullambient was a finalist for the 2012 bpNichol Chapbook Award. She recently completed an MFA in Creative Writing through the University of Guelph and works as a research officer in cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto.
Globe and Mail 100 — 2015
“In these gorgeously heretical poems, Liz Howard sculpts a vocabulary that is co-extensive with the tenacious landscape of the North and the deeply resistant jurisdiction of a female natural history. Shot through too with urban furor, forest, dioxin, tern, and sulphur are syllabic elements in a passionate argument for pleasure, where pleasure is one name for a principled refusal of the colonizing machinations of the current regime. Not afraid to draw limits that are both sonic and ethical, robust and delicate, Howard listens closely to the bodies of this thinking earth.”
– Lisa Robertson, author of Cinema of the Present