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Poetry Canadian

questions I asked my mother

by (author) Di Brandt

introduction by Tanis MacDonald

Turnstone Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2015
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2015
    List Price

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questions I asked my mother is a seminal work of both Canadian and Mennonite literature.
Included in this new edition, poet and scholar Tanis MacDonald reflects on the the impact of Di Brandt's poetry undercuts centuries of patriarchal culture. Powerful and lyrical, filled with humour and intelligence, [Brandt's] language enfolds desire and hate, birth and death, mother and child.

"You can feel the warmth of the poets breath, sometimes gasping, sometimes singing, always affirming life itself. Read these poems. They will take your breath away."
--Magdalene Redekop

About the authors

Winnipeg's Di Brandt is one of Canada's most loved and admired poets. Her internationally celebrated and award-winning poetry titles include questions I asked my mother; Agnes in the sky; Jerusalem, beloved; and Now You Care. Her most recent work, Walking to Mojacar, is a multilingual collaboration with gifted poets and translators Charles LeBlanc of St. Boniface, Manitoba (l'appétit du compteur : poèmes accumulés), and Ari Belathar, Mexican writer-in-exile, currently living in Vancouver (The Cities I Have Left Behind). Mojacar was shortlisted for two 2011 Manitoba Book awards, and has been nominated for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Di Brandt has lived in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Toronto, Windsor (Ontario) and Berlin. She currently holds a Canada Research Chair in Literature and Creative Writing at Brandon University, Manitoba ( Di Brandt is also an award-winning essayist and literary critic, and has collaborated with numerous other writers, critics and artists, including Annie Jacobsen, Jane Finlay-Young, Barbara Godard, Aganetha Dyck, Rebecca Campbell, Carol Ann Weaver and Jana Skarecky.

Di Brandt's profile page

Tanis MacDonald is the author of two books of poetry: Fortune (2003) and Holding Ground (2000), and is the winner of the 2003 Bliss Carman Poetry Prize. She has published articles on the poetry of P.K. Page, Lorna Crozier, and Anne Carson. She teaches English at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.

Di Brandt’s poetry titles include questions I asked my mother (1987), Agnes in the sky (1990), Jerusalem, beloved (1995), and most recently, Now You Care (2004). She has received numerous awards for her poetry, including the CAA National Poetry Prize, the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, and the Gerald Lampert Award. Di Brandt recently returned to the Manitoba prairies, her home, after a decade away, to take up a Canada Research Chair in Creative Writing at Brandon University.

Tanis MacDonald's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"The book begins with early memories of raging against a system of belief and custom that was supposed to be unquestionable. The poems are written in an unassuming lower case, in punctuationless, out of breath tirades, the run-on flow of someone flooded with words. Taboo words, the necessity to speak the unspeakable, to shout the unthinkable."- Poetry Canada Chronicle"There are surrealistic and visionary moments in these poems. Predominantly, however, they are down-to-earth, rooted in a woman's body and a prairie landscape."- John Oughton, Books in Canada"Questions i asked my mother is an important first book....Brandt deserves a wide audience"- Prairie Fire Review of BooksSecrets "spill onto the page in an irresistible torrent of detail, leading to an ever expanding inner world of associations. Brandt's writing is a flowing stream of consciousness, drawing its power from the effects of accumulation and resonance."- Journal of Canadian Poetry"This is finely crafted rage."- Border Crossings

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