Radiant is a poetic exploration of one hopeful person's healing journey through cancer--from missed appointment, to mammogram, to diagnosis, to surgery, chemo, and radiation,through hysterectomy, genetic testing through to wholeness. Kate Marshall Flaherty's luminouspoetry is raw, honest yet radiant and life-affirming. The poems are chronological, yettimeless; they are courageous and graphic, yet tenaciously realistic and positive. These poems are unflinching in their exploration of "fear, death, the whole shebang." They vary in form from odes to eulogies, from free verse to prose poem to "notes to self," "welcoming angels,""lighting up the night," voicing, blessing, questioning, raging, and eventually settling intoa radiant space, of acceptance and gratitude.
Kate Marshall Flaherty has been called a "poet of the luminous" whose poems "are alwayson both sides of the membrane simultaneously" (Sue Reynolds). Her poetry "has much toadmire, especially the respect paid to the ordinary and the careful, precise way she alignscompassion with observation, love with truth. Her writing immerses itself in hope andhappiness, not an easy thing to do these days. She reminds us of how essential the positive isin our lives, in our poetry" (Barry Dempster). Her poetry "is grounded in affection for thehere and now, yet always reading for the spiritual" (Elizabeth Greene). "Flaherty's vivacious writing ... is childlike in wonderment ... and reveals the extraordinary in the commonplace"(Allan Briesmaster). "Kate's poems are imbued with a sense of reverence and a hard-won faith that we can "trust in our own wingspan"" (Donna Langevin).
Poems from Radiant were shortlisted for Exile Edition's Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Prize2018, won WCDR's 2018 Poetry Prize.
"Kate Marshall Flaherty's Radiant inspired by her cancer journey challenges us to confront our own mortality and to live in the now of each sacred moment. Visceral, gut-wrenching yet affirmative, her luminous, courageous poems uplift and hearten us even as she tastes the bile rising from somewhere sterile and white, dreads chemo's red-electric juice stung into my veins, and blisters from a medical sunburn. Daring to ask, Am I a burnt offering, she glows with love for her family, friends and valiant self, worthy of the medal of honour she pins on her own wounded chest."
-- Donna Langevin, award-winning poet and playwright, and author of In the Cafe du Monde, and Brimming