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Poetry Canadian

Ocean

by (author) Sue Goyette

Publisher
Gaspereau Press Ltd.
Initial publish date
Apr 2013
Category
Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781554471225
    Publish Date
    Apr 2013
    List Price
    $19.95

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Description

The ocean has never had a biographer quite like Sue Goyette. Living in the port city of Halifax, Goyette’s days are bounded
by the substantial fact of the North Atlantic, both by its physical presence and by its metaphoric connotations. And like
many of life’s overwhelming facts, our awareness of the ocean’s importance and impact waxes and wanes as the ocean
sometimes lurks in the background, sometimes imposes itself upon us, yet always, steadily, is. This collection is not your
standard “Oh, Ocean!” versifying. Goyette plunges in and swims well outside the buoys to craft a sort of alternate,
apocryphal account of our relationship with the ocean. In these linked poems, Goyette’s offbeat cast of archetypes (fog
merchants, lifeguards, poets, carpenters, mothers, daughters) pronounce absurd explanations to both common and uncommon
occurrences in a tone that is part cautionary tale, part creation myth and part urban legend: how fog was responsible for
marriages, and for in-laws; why running, suburbs and chairs were invented; what happens when you smoke the exhaust from a
pride of children pretending to be lions. All the while, the anthropomorphized ocean nibbles hungrily at the shoreline of
our understanding, refusing to explain its moods and winning every staring contest. “I wrote these poems,” comments
Goyette, “because I know very little about the ocean and yet rely on it like a mirror, a compass.” In Ocean, Goyette
demonstrates how a spirited, playful and richly mythopoetic engagement with the world can actually strengthen our grasp on
its bigger truths.

Winner of the 2015 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterwork Arts Award and finalist for the 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize.

 

About the author

Sue Goyette lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia and has published three books of poems, The True Names of Birds, Undone and outskirts (Brick Books) and a novel, Lures (HarperCollins, 2002). Her fourth collection of poems, Ocean, is forthcoming from Gaspereau Press in 2013. She's been nominated for several awards including the Governor General's Award for Poetry, the Pat Lowther, the Gerald Lampert, the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and won the 2008 CBC Literary Prize for Poetry, the 2010 Earle Birney Prize and the 2011 Bliss Carman Award. Her poetry has appeared on the Toronto subway system, in wedding vows and spray-painted on a sidewalk somewhere in Saint John, New Brunswick. Sue currently teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Dalhousie University, is faculty for the Banff Wired Writing Studio and works part-time at the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.

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