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Poetry Canadian

Silent Sister

The Mastectomy Poems

by (author) Beth Everest

illustrated by Neil Petrunia

edited by Micheline Maylor

Frontenac House
Initial publish date
Sep 2016
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price

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More than a narrative of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, silent sister: the mastectomy poems bears witness to social and psychological impacts, for better or worse, of the altered body and mind. You enter the cave, and in it are fragments of truth, recollection, dream, hallucination, and birds. You laugh. You cry. You in•spire. And you breathe.

About the authors

She has worked as a freelance writer and editor, as a travel writer, and as a fiction editor. She has been teaching writing and literature and leading workshops for 20 years. Her poetry, fiction and essays have been published in a variety of journals, and she has had plays produced. She is currently working on three literary projects: a novel, an unusual book of grammar, and an illustrated childrenÕs novel. In another life, she is also a silver-smith. Her biggest project, by far, and at the same time the most frustrating and rewarding, is raising her two daughters.

Beth Everest's profile page

Neil Petrunia's profile page

Micheline Maylor is a Poet Laureate Emeritus of Calgary (2016-18) and was the Calgary Public Library Author in Residence in fall 2016. She teaches creative writing at Mount Royal University. Her most recent book Little Wildheart (UAlberta Press) was long-listed for both the Pat Lowther and Raymond Souster awards. Find her online at

Micheline Maylor's profile page

Excerpt: Silent Sister: The Mastectomy Poems (by (author) Beth Everest; illustrated by Neil Petrunia; edited by Micheline Maylor)





i phone. let my sisters


know that Dr. Kanashiro tells me


they are now at risk, in that strange


mathematics by which


my illness has made them more 






yes, yes, one sister says. i understand.


and the other, i’ll book a mammogram


and the third, well, my friend had a 


mastectomy, and she’s just fine.




my neighbour visits. do you 


want to see, i say. do you


want to show me? yes,


yes i do. i want to show you,


i want to scream naked


thru the streets and run


and run and run, one breast






then they’ll see, won’t they


then they’ll see.

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