In her much-anticipated eighth collection, Carolyn Marie Souaid distils the complex emergencies of the everyday with a keen eye, sharp ear and sure hand. Cycling through themes of aging, dying and the inescapable erosion of life, her poems are a poignant catalogue of finite moments, a nod to the “inadequacy of the present” and the “incremental withdrawal” of earthly things, peppered with insistent, eleventh-hour reminders that what ultimately matters is not the “finish line” or the “final performance” of a career, but the human spirit “orbiting the nucleus of time.” Whether it’s the irony of the Exit sign on a crashed plane or the wind arriving in the nick of time to depose our received ideas of the world, these poems of the eleventh hour are bridges connecting life and death, where nothing and everything matters, the sayable and the unsayable, the necessary and the futile.
About the author
Carolyn Marie Souaid has been writing and publishing poetry for over 20 years. The author of six books and the winner of the David McKeen Award for her first collection, Swimming into the Light, she has also been shortlisted for the A.M. Klein Prize and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Much of her work deals with the bridging of worlds; the difficulty, perhaps the impossibility of it, but the necessity of the struggle. She has toured her work across Canada and in France. Since the 1990s, she has been a key figure on the Montreal literary scene, having co-produced two major local events, Poetry in Motion (the poetry-on-the-buses project) and the Circus of Words / Cirque des mots, a multidisciplinary, multilingual cabaret focusing on the "theatre" of poetry. Souaid is a founding member and editor of Poetry Quebec, an online magazine focusing on the English language poets and poetry of Quebec.
In only sixty-nine pages, not a word wasted, in spare and lucid poetry, Carolyn Marie Souaid gives us the world, the world calling out, as it does, for the world. Each line is wisdom, history: personal, familial, and far beyond, woven essentially, as it must be, from what’s left behind, from scraps, beautifully. This collection is a harbinger; it is the eleventh hour, the language so accurate and clear. And yet it is also a solace, balm for our uneasy twenty-first century hearts. - Arleen Paré