East and West, Laura Ritland’s astonishing debut, is a book of visions. These are roving poems drawn to defamiliarizing points of view, and are exquisitely attentive to the way the world exceeds our senses (“Cloud deduced cloud / after cloud and cloud.”) Beckoningly tender, lucid and intelligent, elegaic without being maudlin, East and West explores the thresholds—or “middle ground”—of childhood and family, diaspora and migration, and how new cultural ideas can disrupt traditional perspectives. “My bedroom window an escape hatch / to endless sights of coastal stars.” Ritland takes the measure of herself“I’m an integer of my own society”—in one of the most distinctive and beautifully turned styles in Canadian poetry.
About the author
Robin Richardson is the author of three collections of poetry, including Sit How You Want (named one of the best books of the year by CBC Books and winner of the 2019 Trillium Book Award for Poetry), and is Editor-in-Chief at Minola Review. Her work has appeared in Salon, POETRY, The American Poetry Review, The Walrus, Hazlitt, Best Canadian Poetry, and Tin House, among others. She holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, and a BD in Design from OCAD University. She has won the Fortnight Poetry Prize in the U.K., The John B. Santorini Award, The Joan T. Baldwin Award, and has been shortlisted for the CBC, Walrus, and ARC Poetry Prizes, among others. She lives in Toronto.