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Poetry Canadian

Miraculous Hours

by (author) Matt Rader

Nightwood Editions
Initial publish date
Apr 2005
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2005
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Matt Rader's debut collection is the fierce and tender retelling of our first "miraculous hours"--those early significant-and-strange interactions with the ones we love and the world we live in. From a world where wild dogs slide like ghosts into homes, water towers are "giant blue bullets unexploded in the earth" and walls are tortured to talk, Matt Rader forms a meticulously crafted reflection on how the events, experiences and environment of our early lives shape our sense of faith, our strongest convictions, and the map of the world we carry with us.

About the author

Matt Rader is the author of three books of poems: A Doctor Pedalled Her Bicycle Over the River Arno (House of Anansi, 2011), Living Things (Nightwood Editions, 2008), and Miraculous Hours (Nightwood Editions, 2005), which was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and long-listed for the ReLit Award. His poems, stories and non-fiction have appeared in The Walrus, Prism International, The Fiddlehead, The Journey Prize Anthology, as well as many other publications across North America, Australia and Europe and have been nominated for numerous awards including the Gerald Lampert Award, the Journey Prize and two Pushcart Prizes. His website is

Matt Rader's profile page

Editorial Reviews

With Miraculous Hours, Matt Rader has hit the ground running. The poetic voice is confident and for the most part the poems are admirably sure-footed. A kind of calm self-possessedness was the right note to strike. The pieces in this collection are not exactly recollections in tranquility, their often dramatic subjects and content requiring a cool hand at the switch to avoid the slide into melodrama. Rader's control of the language and tone mean that this largely works... In Rader's work, the urban and domestic is as much a wilderness as wilderness is, charged with discovery and danger.
-Karen Solie, Event

These poems are the work of an artist who sees things differently... [and] provide illuminating bursts of insights and recognition. This is brawny, challenging work.
-Statesman Journal, Salem, Oregon

This is the real and strange British Columbia, where rough-hewn frontage roads lead to ancient middens, and the fringes of every little town are choked with salal, fireweed, and abandoned logging equipment... Rader casts an uneasy eye on this subject matter, serving up neither an environmentalist's usual stew of rant and lament, nor any condescending canonization of the tough and sometimes wild people who necessarily populate such places... Rader [has] a keen eye for nature's hidden and blind machinations; an abundance of that rare poetic skill, knowing when to stop; and that virtue which matters most in fine poets, an evident but unflamboyant work ethic.
-Lyle Neff, Books In Canada

Constructs a series of solid images and then takes them apart to see what makes them tick. It's hard to believe this is Rader's first book... The poet has the ability to see strange things, the quirky unseen details that might be difficult to mention... He documents that continuing sensual edge between the bright light and the burn.
-Jacqueline Turner, The Georgia Straight

Very impressive... Rader has craft to burn and a compelling dark vision of life.
-Zachariah Wells, Quill & Quire

"What's most striking about Rader's voice is the lack of attitudinizing; the brutal scenes he describes (the accidental crushing of a kitten's throat under a child's heel, a rape, a man hiding a dead body in the forest) are presented with respectful care and integrity, finished in language of high gloss... Rader's speaker possess the fragile lucidity of one who encounters the world in all its violence and beauty."
-Linda Besner, The Dominion

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