Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Poetry Canadian

To float, to drown, to close up, to open

by (author) E. Alex Pierce

The University of Alberta Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2020
Canadian, Women Authors
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2020
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2020
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


In this collection, E. Alex Pierce enters the territory of memory embedded in landscape where “language tied to the land” evokes the cadence of tidal rivers and creates a fluid world. She traces the fragmented childhood beginnings that lead to the formation of a young artist who moves from music, through theatre, to poetry. The passionate relationships and complex juxtapositions of art and performance that form an artist’s life find voice here in the symphonic structure of the long poem, the provocative individual prose poems, and the final stretched sonnet sequence that interrogates a lost love, “Still. Shimmering in the morning wind. And gone.” These fiercely poised works are layered and rich, with sensuous attention to line and breath: a major work from an accomplished poet.

And in that space of summer afternoon, the image born of sound and light inhabits all her blood and bone, the mind ignites. She sees the fire – space for her is stage now, theatre is the flame. She sees it burning all the way back to the Sable River, the lamp, the voices, the two old people, in the dark, without wall or roof or post or beam – and even as her father buries refuse in the cellar hole, turns all this under, she seizes it, picks up her torch, and runs.

—from the title poem

About the author

E. Alex Pierce, author of Vox Humana, lives in East Sable River, Nova Scotia. She conducts manuscript review workshops throughout Canada, and is Senior Editor at Boularderie Island Press. Pierce holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and for ten years taught Creative Writing at Cape Breton University. Her work has been widely anthologized and published in literary journals. Her most recent publications are Aubade: Poetry and Prose from Nova Scotia Writers (Editor) and Salt and Wild: Shelburne County Anthology (Co-editor).

E. Alex Pierce's profile page

Other titles by E. Alex Pierce