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Poetry Canadian

Steeling Effects

by (author) Jane Byers

Caitlin Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2014
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2014
    List Price

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Why do some of us learn to bend? Others break? How do we move from shame to being "enough"? How do we bounce back stronger after adversity and then embrace our own humanity with its flawed beauty? In her first full collection of poetry, Jane Byers explores her personal experience with resilience, beginning with her own difficult birth, which she describes as "inoculation against despair." As a young adult, the writer moves from complicity and its illusion of power to building a pliantself.Byers turns an unflinching eye to parenthood, as the mother of adopted twins, and examines the workplace through the eyes of a female safety specialist working alongside firefighters, transportation crews and heavy equipment purchasers. The author draws on the steeling effects of being queer to imbue her children and injured workers with suppleness. A late fall swim in an alpine lake; a woman in the twilight of life, risking delight. "Red thermometers of grass shed their glistening mercury" ina "fever of gratitude"; to tumble from the divine is to be alive in the pungent beauty that the so-called mundane has to offer. STEELING EFFECTS asks whether what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and lives its way into the pliant beauty that gratitude affords.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Jane Byers lives with her wife and two children in Nelson, British Columbia. She writes about human resilience in the context of raising children, lesbian and gay issues, sexism, local geography and health and safety in the workplace. She spent many years working for the City of Toronto in corporate health and safety and now works at WorkSafeBC where she continues to facilitate resilience in injured workers. She has had poems, essays and short fiction published in a variety of books andliterary magazines in Canada, the US, and the UK, including GRAIN, RATTLE, DESCANT, THE ANTIGONISH REVIEW, THE CANADIAN JOURNAL OF HOCKEY LITERATURE and OUR TIMES. She is a three-time winner of the Nelson and District Poetry Competition.

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