Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Poetry General

Limited Verse

by (author) David Martin

University of Calgary Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2024
General, Dystopian, Alien Contact
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2024
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2024
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


At the close of the twenty-first century, a prison population awaits transport to a world where their memories will be Cleaned, and where they will be Harmonized into the language of New English, made up of only 850 words. One person, knowing of this inevitability, secretly translates poetry into this limited tongue, a gift to a self who will no longer be able to understand the literature they love.

In the years beyond this time, two scholars make a remarkable discovery: a book of poems, a work of translation, and a record of a desperate experiment. This manuscript becomes a window to an impossible realm, and they work diligently to understand the storied document and its tangled history.

Limited Verse is an uncanny collection of familiar poems made newly strange, wrapped in a fascinating speculative mystery. Inspired by the real-life restricted language Basic English, a project of linguist C.K. Ogden, and by the work of George Orwell, H.G. Wells, and Jorge Luis Borges, author David Martin invites you to a place where nothing—not our words, not the building blocks of worlds—is quite what it seems.

About the author

David Martin was born and raised in Calgary, where he lives with his wife and children. His poetry has been awarded the CBC Poetry Prize, shortlisted for the Vallum Award for Poetry and PRISM international's poetry contest, and published in many journals and magazines across Canada. He is an instructor at The Reading Foundation, one of the organizers for Calgary's Single Onion poetry reading series, and the frontman for an indie-pop group, The Fragments. His debut book, Tar Swan, is a part of the Crow Said Poetry series.

David Martin's profile page

Other titles by