In four sections, St. Boniface Elegies traces a poet's relationships with her family and her community through poems about travel, love, illness, work, and the writing life.
The first section, "Submission," focuses on the importance of place: the Cape Cod poems describe a holiday taken in the midst of a period of grieving, while the Irish poems delve into the poet's relationship to her ancestors, the Banff poems look at the irony of an injury to the writer's hand while away at a writing retreat, and the poem "Oodena," set at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, describes a magical place where birth, marriage, death, and the imagination converge.
"Winter Archive" questions the role of the poet in the contemporary urban environment and shifting cityscape of poverty, broken families, and broken promises in the state of emergency that is Winnipeg.
"The News" is a suite of poems about the effect of a devastating medical diagnosis on a marriage, and the final illness of Hunter's partner.
The final section, "The Reader," includes a rhythmic Twitter-generated description of Canada's "poetry wars"; a humorous but loving homage to Al Purdy; and three glosas that respond to work by the writers Adrienne Rich, Richard Wilbur and Rainer Maria Rilke.
About the author
Poet and novelist Catherine Hunter has published three collections of poetry, Necessary Crimes, Lunar Wake, and Latent Heat (which won the Manitoba Book of the Year Award); three thrillers, Where Shadows Burn, The Dead of Midnight, and Queen of Diamonds (Ravenstone Press); the novella In the First Early Days of My Death; and the spoken word CD Rush Hour (Cyclops Press), which includes a bonus track featuring The Weakerthans. Two of her novels have been translated into German. Her essays, reviews, and poems appear in many journals and anthologies, including Essays on Canadian Writing, The Malahat Review, West Coast Line, Prairie Fire, CV2, The Echoing Years: Contemporary Poetry from Canada and Ireland, and Best Canadian Poems 2013. She edited Before the First Word: The Poetry of Lorna Crozier, and for ten years she was the editor of The Muses’ Company press. She teaches English and Creative Writing at the University of Winnipeg.