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Poetry Canadian

Stone Rain

by (author) W.H. New

Oolichan Books
Initial publish date
Apr 2001
Canadian, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2001
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Stone Rain is a triptych that investigates what it means to see. In particular, the set of three lyrical sequences asks how the artist-observer, the urban witness, and the foreign traveler all shape the world as the site of story.

In Storyboards, a Northwest Coast Mask Exhibit serves as inspiration for lyric poems in which the poet imaginatively recreates the encounter of early explorers with the aboriginal people and pristine coastal regions of the Northwest, and interweaves these with the artist's reflections on the mask exhibit.

City Limits is grounded in the geography and culture of Vancouver. The poems in this section range across the entire territory of the urban landscape, and provide a close-up, finely ironic view of the city and its inhabitants. "Strait goods define the city's limits, shelled cliffs, salmoned reaches, firred forest, musselled shore"

Bicycle Rack brings to sensuous life a city in China, as seen through the eyes of a foreign traveler. "One young lover pedals dreamily, his eyes inward. Perched side-saddle behind him, his girlfriend, legs crossed, polishes her nails."

About the author

WILLIAM NEW is the author and editor of more than fifty books. A native of Vancouver, where he currently lives, he was educated at the University of British Columbia (where he later taught for 37 years) and the University of Leeds. From his first days as a student at UBC, he has been committed to the importance of Canadian writing and to making it accessible to readers around the world. His academic works include A History of Canadian Literature, the massive Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada, and several extensive studies of irony and the short story. Writing more personally, his Borderlands: how we talk about Canada and Grandchild of Empire consider how local perspectives inform our political judgments. A prize-winning teacher and researcher, he was awarded the Royal Society of Canada's Lorne Pierce Medal, and for his services to creative and critical writing he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006.

William New's creative publications include five books for children (including the internationally honoured The Year I Was Grounded) and eleven previous collections of poetry (including Underwood Log, shortlisted for the Governor General's Award; YVR, winner of the City of Vancouver Award; and New & Selected Poems). His latest collection, Neighbours, questions whether any of us ever lives alone.

These poems ask what it means to live near, whether in close proximity or in ragtag memory--and to consider what happens when closeness dissolves and a neighbourhood dies.

W.H. New's profile page

Other titles by W.H. New