Night Lunch is a shapeshifting sonnet sequence set in the cold waters off the North Coast of Labrador. Reflecting Chaulk's own experience, the speaker – a young deckhand on a freight and passenger ferry servicing isolated communities – endures long irregular work hours, weather, icebergs, and loneliness, all the while navigating the taut intersections of race, labour, class, and masculinity. That Chaulk has Inuit family in and from Labrador makes this debut poetic journey a cultural coming-home for the young deckhand, as chronicled in supple, powerful verse.
About the author
Mike Chaulk lives in Guelph, Ontario, where he drives trucks full of beer for a living. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Best Canadian Poetry 2018, The Malahat Review, Arc Poetry Magazine, The Puritan, PRISM: international, and filling Station, among other places. In 2015, Chaulk co-founded & collective, an experimental poetry collective in Guelph, with whom he published two group chapbooks (& 1: works by & collective, self-published, and & 2: this happened to one of us, Publication Studio Guelph). He has worked as a seaman in Labrador, Sweden, and Wales, and previously lived in Montreal for five years where he punched time as the Associate Poetry Editor of The Incongruous Quarterly as well as the Editor-in-Chief of The Void Magazine at Concordia University. He now spends a good deal of time walking his dog in the woods.
"Night Lunch is a shimmering, sea-deep book about identity, family and territory, disguised as one of the most gorgeous books about work I have ever read. These poems take subtle, brilliant delight in language and rhythm, but it is their speaker's generous, steady voice that is the humming engine at the collection's heart, keeping time as he presses deeper into the complexities and contradictions of his Indigenous heritage, his work, and his past. Night Lunch is many things – autobiography, investigation, hymnal, crown – but more than anything it is an atlas, mapping brand new ancient territories of the mind, the land and the heart." – Emma Healey, author of Begin with the End in Mind and Stereoblind