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Poetry Canadian

We Were Like Everyone Else

by (author) Ken Victor

Cormorant Books
Initial publish date
Mar 2019
Canadian, Family, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2019
    List Price

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Traversing the world from the Garden of Eden to a grandmother asking what’s a tweet, We Were Like Everyone Else explores the daily humanity of family, the folly of our politics, and a natural world that seems to offer the promise of consolation but never quite does. In poems both lyrical and narrative, the possibility of violence is never far off, but the same can be said of love, our capacity to endure, our hunger for healing and redemption. And yet these poems offer no prescription, no bulwark to keep menace from our children or despair from encroaching on our few vestiges of hope. Ken Victor’s first collection of poems takes us back to children ducking under desks in the nuclear fear of the 50’s, to the collapse of innocence in the face of the Vietnam War, to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the depravity of the siege of Sarejevo. Always the question of whether or not we can survive our own missteps lingers in the background of our 21st century lives as we go about raising our children, dining in restaurants, walking in woods, working from a home office. As one poem puts it, you’ve got to live your life like you’re in control of it, pray like you aren’t.

About the author

Ken Victor moved to Canada full-time from the States in 1990 after spending many summers guiding canoe trips in Northwestern Ontario. A graduate of the writing program at Syracuse University, over the years he has published his poetry in journals on both sides of the border, including The Malahat Review, Vallum, The Fiddlehead, The Antigonish Review, Grain, Queen’s Quarterly, Texas Review, and Beloit Poetry Journal. He received the National Magazine Award for Poetry, and was nominated for the Diane Brebner Prize in 2015. We Were Like Everyone Else is his first book. Now a Canadian by choice, Victor makes his home with his wife and three children in the Gatineau Hills of West Quebec, where he designs learning for organizations.

Ken Victor's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Victor’s poetry does not shy away from ugly realities and difficult content. ... There is much to admire in We Were Like Everyone Else — the book reads like a Greatest Hits album."

The Malahat Review

“Gritty, anecdotal details ... truly serve to make the Genesis theme and Victor’s initial assertion worthwhile: the Eden myth is debatable, but how far humanity has fallen is sometimes all too real.”

ARC Poetry Magazine

"Ken Victor is first rate, We Were Like Everyone Else will be amongst the best poetry you read this year."

Today's Book of Poetry

"Victor's poetry does not shirk from ugly realities, but rather exposes them with grace and intelligence."

Montreal Review of Books

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