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Poetry Canadian

Mayor Snow

by (author) Nick Thran

Nightwood Editions
Initial publish date
Sep 2015
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2015
    List Price

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"Thran's poems offer a meditation on the creativity involved in viewing, engaging with its productivity as well as its superfluity, spilling past the edges of what is represented to reflect the ways through which viewers come to imaginatively inhabit what is seen."
--Michael Borkent, The Journal of Canadian Poetry

Mayor Snow is about both the abdication and acceptance of responsibilities and inheritance: be they civic, personal, poetic. It begins with speaker-less evocations of corrupt and oppressive political atmospheres and ends with first-person narrative tales of domestic life in Al Purdy's refurbished A-frame. All of these poems work in a shadow, be they forebears, tabloids, cultural markers or government watchdogs.


In the opening and closing sequences, narrative devices act as smokescreens to abstract illustrations of power, with the central sequence reflecting on the subject of dislocation. Parody and paradox are closely intertwined throughout, with the authority of power disrupted through dark humour, unexpected images and the deep resonances existing in apparently innocuous things: a well-worn (and literally "powerless") cabin, a baby daughter, a poem. The question of groundedness, whether literal, literary or familial, explores the terrain between the fearful and the familiar: "Go outside. / Listen to dogs howl. // How do we live / without power?"

About the author

Nick Thran is the author of one previous collection of poetry, Every Inadequate Name (Insomniac Press, 2006). His poems have appeared in numerous publications across Canada, including: Arc, The Best Canadian Poetry 2010, Geist, Maisonneuve, Matrix, The National Post and The Walrus. Since growing up in western Canada, southern Spain and southern California, Nick has spent the last few years living in Toronto, Ontario and Brooklyn, New York.

Nick Thran's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"...Nick Thran, in his third volume of poetry Mayor Snow, pushes on in the wake of loss to ask what it might mean to survive and inherit the past. In Mayor Snow, Thran assembles an eclectic, playful, and bold selection of poems..."
~Kyle Kinaschuk, Canadian Literature issue 226, Autumn 2015


“A mag­i­cal filmic qual­i­ty infil­trates Nick Thran’s most recent col­lec­tion. “

Arc Poetry Magazine

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