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Poetry Canadian

Monkey Ranch

by (author) Julie Bruck

Brick Books
Initial publish date
Mar 2012
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    Publish Date
    Mar 2012
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  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2012
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Winner of the 2012 Governor General’s Award for Poetry, a Globe 100 Book for 2012, shortlisted for Pat Lowther Memorial Award and CAA Award for Poetry 2013.

Comic and sober by turns, these poems ask us what is sufficient, what will suffice?

… a mandrill, a middle-aged woman, a shattered Baghdad neighbourhood, a long marriage, even a spoon, grapple with this unanswerable conundrum—sometimes with rage, or plain persistence, sometimes with the furious joy of a dog who gets to ride with his head through a truck’s passenger window. Julie Bruck’s third book of poetry is a brilliant and unusual blend of pathos and play, of deep seriousness and wildly veering humour. Though Bruck “does not stammer when it’s time to speak up,” and “will not blink when it’s time to stare directly at the uncomfortable,” as Cornelius Eady says in his blurb for the book, “in Monkey Ranch she celebrates more than she sighs, and she smartly avoids the shallow trap of mere indignation by infusing her lines with bright, nimble turns, the small, yet indelible detail. Bruck sees everything we do; she just seems to see it wiser. Her poems sing and roil with everything complicated and joyous we human monkeys are.”

About the author

Julie Bruck is the author of two previous books, both with Brick: The End of Travel (1999), and The Woman Downstairs (1993). Her recent work has appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and The Walrus, among other publications. A Montreal native, she lives in San Francisco with her husband and daughter.

Julie Bruck's profile page


  • Winner, Governor General's Award for Poetry

Editorial Reviews

Monkey Ranch by Julie Bruck leaps about the ordinary world with a deft detachment and flexible artistry -- guiding us with its offbeat, caring and companionable sensibility. “There’s enough light to see by,” says Julie Bruck, even though the children turn their eyes away. This humane voice, quirky and patient, will see you through a world stripped of miracles.

Governor General's Award jury

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