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Poetry Canadian

The Outer Wards

by (author) Sadiqa de Meijer

Vehicule Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2020
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2020
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2020
    List Price

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The Outer Wards, Sadiqa de Meijer's new collection, explores questions of maternal love and duty--and the powerlessness that comes with the disruption of that role through illness. "I was awake. / The hour was wrong," de Meijer writes, and her poems track, in visceral and tender detail, the distraction, exhaustion, exhilaration, and fear of child-rearing through crisis. For de Meijer, the experience was also a crisis of language, and the struggle to find new terms for her state. Addressed, in part, to a child she calls "my grievous spectacle, / my dearest unpossessable," The Outer Wards is everywhere marked by a joy in words--their quick-fire turns, sumptuous sounds, and nursery-rhyme seductions.

About the author

Sadiqa de Meijer was born in Amsterdam, and moved to Canada as a child. Her poetry, short stories and essays have appeared in many journals, including The Malahat Review, Geist, The Fiddlehead, Riddle Fence and Poetry Magazine. Her poems were anthologized in The Best of Canadian Poetry in English 2008 (Tightrope Books) and in the international anthology Villanelles (Everymen's Library). In 2012, her series "Great Aunt Unmarried" won the CBC Poetry Prize. Leaving Howe Island is her first collection.

Sadiqa de Meijer's profile page


  • Nominated, Pat Lowther Award
  • Nominated, Governor General's Award for English-language poetry

Editorial Reviews

"A voice of authority and grace."--Michael Crummey
"Sadiqa's poetry is taut, spare, incredibly evocative...and unerringly sharp"--Wayne Grady
"[De Meijer's] attention to detail creates dynamic pieces."--Canadian Literature

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