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Poetry Canadian

Near Miss

by (author) Laura Matwichuk

Nightwood Editions
Initial publish date
Apr 2019
Canadian, General, Women Authors
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2019
    List Price

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Near Miss considers the relationship between close calls and the tenuous conditions of contemporary life. From actual cataclysms such as meteor collisions and volcanic eruptions to everyday failures and accidents, these inventive poems collide with the perpetual unease created by life’s unpredictability while contemplating mortality, fragility, gratitude and hopefulness.


... When the Emergency Broadcast

System proclaims this is only a test, you

leave the TV on because you’ve gotten

used to the sound. You keep waiting

for the heat to come on, for the regular

broadcast to resume, for a new sensation

to quicken inside you like the sight

of that fleet of ghost-planes lifted

from the desert, reanimated, hovering

over your house as if everything is fine.


— “Decommissioned Planes”


About the author

Laura Matwichuk’s poems have appeared in literary journals in Canada and the US, including ArcEVENTThe FiddleheadThe Burnside ReviewPRISM internationalVallum and Best Canadian Poetry in English. She was a finalist for the 2013 RBCBronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. Near Miss is her first collection of poetry. She lives in Vancouver, BC.

Laura Matwichuk's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Matiwichuk expertly captures everyday catastrophes and missed chances in a simultaneously affectionate yet matter of fact fashion. This is a book you will not want to put down. In short, Near Miss hits the mark.”

Arc Poetry Magazine

“This collection is up-to-the-minute contemporary, and Matwichuk’s skillful use of erasure technique creates segues that lead the reader forward, as we look for safer ground. Happily, course corrections are not required, as solid ground is indeed what we find ourselves standing on, shaky though the firmament above may occasionally seem, for this is a book that ‘…has taught me something about / the direction we’re headed, the suddenly / shifting energy of what we know.’”

The Ormsby Review