Written between one January and the next, A Thaw Foretold is a passionate exploration of themes that are as timeless and recurrent as the seasons. In language that is both precisely vivid and particular, embracing both colloquial directness and formal elegance, the poems confront the elementals of love and loss, mortality and remembrance. Longing and desolation and dread are powerfully evoked, but so, in counterpoint, are the consolations of shared happiness, comfort and hope. The suspension and tension implied by the title -- the promise of flowing water that murmurs beneath ice -- gives the sequence of poems unity as well as dynamic and propulsive momentum. The result is a collection that is richly textured, emotionally and intellectually resonant, and thoroughly compelling.
About the author
Mike Barnes is the author of the novels Catalogue Raisonn? and The Syllabus, the short fiction collections Aquarium -- winner of the 1999 Danuta Gleed Award -- and Contrary Angel, and two poetry collections, Calm Jazz Sea, shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial award, and a thaw foretold. His stories have appeared twice in Best Canadian Stories, three times in The Journey Prize Anthology, and won the Silver Medal for Fiction at the National Magazine Awards. He was the subject of a feature issue of The New Quarterly (Summer 2001) which included an interview and three new stories. In 2008 he released his first non-fiction title, The Lily Pond: A Memoir of Madness, Memory, Myth and Metamorphosis. Formerly a piano teacher, fishing guide, janitor, steelworker, dishwasher, clock salesman, security guard, English teacher, in recent years he has been working as a private tutor. He lives in Toronto.