This is a poem about the city. About a man who has visions, hovering on the edge but hating it, restless and at war with the world but wanting the peace that passeth understanding. Everything he does is half-done, except his death. When he falls, his parched spirit crying "thirsty," his family falls apart. This is a poem about Toronto, the city that’s never happened before, about waiting for a bus, standing on a corner, watching a stranger: the bank to one corner, the driving school on another, the milk store and the church. This is also about the poet, her own restless sensibility woven in and out through moments of lyric beauty, dramatic power and storytelling grace. It is written in the margins, like a medieval manuscript with shades of light and darkness.
Dionne Brand is a poet and novelist living in Toronto. She was recently named the Poet Laureate of Toronto. Her ten volumes of poetry include Land to Light On, winner of the Governor General’s Award and the Trillium Book Award in 1997; thirsty, winner of the Pat Lowther Memorial Award and a finalist for the Trillium Book Award and the Griffin Poetry Prize; Inventory, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award; and the forthcoming Ossuaries. Dionne Brand’s most recent novel, What We All Long For, was published to great acclaim in Canada and Italy in 2005, and won the Toronto Book Award. In 2006, she won the Harbourfront Festival Prize for her contribution to the world of books and writing. Brand is Professor of English in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph.