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Poetry Canadian

Lousy Explorers

by (author) Laisha Rosnau

Nightwood Editions
Initial publish date
May 2009
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2009
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 16
  • Grade: 11


In this collection, husbands and wives stumble into each other at the end of days, children find the wild edges of suburbs, new mothers try to navigate through a map-less terrain, and a relentless epidemic of bugs eats away at the forest. The collection explores new territory, both physically and emotionally--relocation, the north, new marriage and motherhood--in a way that is honest, raw and insightful.

"In two years, I went from being a single girl living in a studio downtown Vancouver to being a married mother in the suburbs of a northern town. We arrived in the north in the middle of an epidemic of pine beetles that was literally eating away the forest around us, leaving the landscape exposed and raw. I wanted to write about people doing this in their own lives--entering into new territory, stumbling and blundering, but also opening themselves up for change and transformation, for new life."
--Laisha Rosnau

About the author

Laisha Rosnau is the author of The Sudden Weight of Snow (McClelland and Stewart, 2002), which was an honourable mention for the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Rosnau’s first collection of poetry, Notes on Leaving (Nightwood, 2004), won the 2005 Acorn-Plantos People’s Poetry Award. Her second, Lousy Explorers (Nightwood, 2009), was a finalist for the Pat Lowther Award for best book of poetry by a Canadian woman. Her most recent book of poetry, Pluck (Nightwood, 2014), was nominated for the national Raymond Souster Award. Rosnau teaches fiction and poetry at UBC, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver Film School and Okanagan College. She and her family are the resident caretakers of Bishop Wild Bird Sanctuary in Coldstream, BC.

Laisha Rosnau's profile page

Editorial Reviews

In language assured and eloquent, Laisha Rosnau offers an edgy, big-hearted plunge into those moments of shift that show us at our most human. And reminds us that how one accommodates oneself to change, how one embraces and lives inside it, is a mark of one's humanity.
--Marnie Parsons, The Globe and Mail

As imagery goes, it is difficult to recall someone I have recently encountered as talented as Rosnau ... Every reader will feel an instant kinship with [her] presentation of the ordinary and miraculous, and it is impossible to read one poem without instantly jumping to the next. The straightforward, pure beauty of these poems will resonate with you long after your first (and second, and third) reading.
--Rhiannon Rogstad, The Goose

Rosnau steps out into the unforgiving light of a once-shaded forest and shows us the growing pains of transition through marriage, relocation, motherhood. Exposed, expanding, these are poems on the verge of eruption, as they wait in the aftermath of a pine beetle epidemic, in the lack of a forest that once was.
--Jennifer Still, Winnipeg Free Press

Librarian Reviews

Lousy Explorers

This little book is full of tough poems, but pieces that speak to today’s realities. Laisha Rosnau writes thoughtfully and beautifully about a hitchhiker who is raped and is able to toss in drug references without making them seem out of the ordinary. She writes just as beautifully about family, pregnancy and the loss of natural habitat. She is a poet whose work will speak to teens and show them how powerful words can be.

Rosnau’s previous collection, Notes on Leaving, won the AcornPlantos People’s Poetry Prize. She is also the author of the bestselling novel, The Sudden Weight of Snow. Some of the topics she writes about could raise concerns, however, nothing is handled in a way that could be construed as gratuitous.

Caution: For mature readers.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2009-2010.

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