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Poetry Canadian


by (author) Chelsea Coupal

Coteau Books
Initial publish date
May 2018
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2018
    List Price

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While much of small-town living remains the same: farming is always reliant on the weather regardless of new technology, after all, there is a sense of urgency and a need to escape in Chelsea's poetry; her stories of growing up on the prairies include references to cell phones and modern farmers who are more like businessmen. There is a musical cadence and rhythm to the poems themselves, which range from reminiscences on high school and first love, to darker themes like death and suicide that haunt the Sedley residents.

Accompanied by photographs of the town, shot by Chelsea herself, this debut collection of poetry weaves together both the personal and universal, harvesting not only the prairies, but a sense of community and belonging

About the author

Chelsea Coupal grew up in the village of Sedley, Saskatchewan and now lives in Regina, where she completed a Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing. She won the 2017 City of Regina Writing Award and was shortlisted for CV2’s 2016 Young Buck Poetry Prize. Her poetry has appeared in literary journals across Canada, including Arc, CV2 and Grain.

Chelsea Coupal's profile page

User Reviews


Chelsea Coupal's book Sedley took me back to my own youth on a Saskatchewan farm. Have you ever felt the hot prairie breeze blowing on your neck, with the sweat dripping down? Have you driven the farm roads in loose gravel and almost lost it? Have you smelled the black loam? Have you smelled the opposite kind of alkali soil? Have you walked on the gravel, heard the crunch, and felt it through the soles of your feet? Have you remembered the first time you fell in love? I experienced all this and more as I read Chelsea's collection of poems. Our towns in Saskatchewan were only about 100 miles (160) apart by road. A wonderful read. I will read the book again soon.


Sedley, written by Chelsea Coupal, is a delightful and insightful reflection of life in small-town Saskatchewan that had me smiling from the first page to the last. This collection of poems that Coupal has so masterfully penned is a wonderful commentary of the author’s life and experiences growing up in the town of Sedley, SK, a small village located forty kilometers South-East of Regina, SK.

When people think of life in small-town Saskatchewan they usually conjure images of tractors consuming the entire highway, dusty farmyards, abandoned movie-theaters, and the antics of the characters from Corner Gas. While some of these themes are present, Coupal also captures the magic, beauty, tragedy, and inexplicable weirdness that come with growing up in rural Saskatchewan. As I was born and raised in a small village in Saskatchewan myself, I could not help myself from feeling nostalgic and chuckling as I read such the poems as, “The Drive Home”, or “Party”. Coupal’s eerily accurate descriptions of remedies to teenage boredom reminded me of my own young misadventures getting in trouble at parties, driving aimlessly on the grid roads, talking smack about the kids from neighbouring towns, running from the RCMP, and of course smoking cigarettes and maybe having one too many Pilsners.

On the other hand, and unfortunately just as relatable, the poems “Ms. Williams” and “Jake” are poignant and riveting recollections of how unexpected tragedy can slice a village to the very core. Tragedy and unexpected deaths always bring people together in the tightly knitted communities that we have here at home- for better or for worse. “Ms. Williams” recounts a tragic accident that results in the untimely death of a teacher, and people rush to the scene to help in any way that they can, or simply gather to be there for the members of their communities. Coupal’s powerful yet subtle words on this matter left a great impression on me and with much inner thought. I could not help but think of the recent bus crash that tragically ended the lives of sixteen people within the Humboldt Broncos. Just like in Coupal’s poem the people of Saskatchewan, being the large rectangular small-town that it is, came together to help the families, strengthen the bond in our province, and celebrate life.

In summary, Sedley is an absolute treat for poetry fans and for small-town Saskatchewan folks who want to feel right at home again. Chelsea Coupal is an immensely talented poet with an extraordinary ability to show the reader that the mundane is, in fact, extraordinary. Coupal’s breath-taking descriptions of Saskatchewan nature, commentary on the stress of the economic uncertainty of agriculture, and the trials and tribulations of growing up all fit together to create a brilliant slice Canadiana. It has left a lasting impression on me and I know that I will find myself picking it up again and again.

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