On a book page, this tab will allow you to add a book to one of your lists.
Please login or register to use this feature.
9780889713505_cover Enlarge Cover
5 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $18.95
edition:Paperback
category: Poetry
published: Sep 2018
ISBN:9780889713505
publisher: Nightwood Editions

What Your Hands Have Done

by Chris Bailey

reviews: 0
tagged:
add a tag
Please login or register to use this feature.
canadian, family
5 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $18.95
edition:Paperback
category: Poetry
published: Sep 2018
ISBN:9780889713505
publisher: Nightwood Editions
Description

What Your Hands Have Done looks at how life spent in a close-knit fishing family in rural Prince Edward Island marks a person. The book is rooted in PEI but moves from there to Toronto where the malaise of life proves to be unbound to the sameness of small-town days spent hauling gear on the Atlantic or toiling in rust-red potato fields.

Bailey examines the world around him from the inside, observing the minute to account for the vast. These poems are laid bare and free of ornament, revealing the hard-won wisdom just below the surface:

She was there, cooked for you. Helped clean

the mess you’d become from decades

spent on your father’s ocean hauling lobsters

from its depths, gulping down the sea air.

Even when the booze was too much,

she knew you were more than the vomit

caked to your shirt. Less than confessions

made beneath the red summer moon.

Editorial Reviews

Bailey’s work explores questions of identity: family and roots—mostly working class—character portraits and poems of romance. There’s much to admire in these short, clean stanzas and the landscape that shines through behind them—its pine trees and cold rain, its lobster and herring gear, its dark sky and restless ocean.

— Joseph Millar

Fifty years after Alistair MacLeod honoured and elegized that world in “The Boat,” Bailey summons the reality of that life in the twenty-first century, in language both visceral and eloquent. This is no quaint voice from the Land of Anne. Suffused with our era’s geist and angst, which have penetrated to the rural periphery, Bailey is a sharp-eyed, clarion-voiced witness in his crow’s nest. This book is a spy-glass you’ll want to glue your eye to.

— Richard Lemm

Chris Bailey canvasses easily—adroitly—that difficult, East Coast world of hardscrabble, hard-luck ports and hard-living, hard-drinking fishers, the epicureans of cynicism and the aesthetes of brutalism. This dominion’s one where funerals are festive and the clear-eyed must enjoy adultery and the clear-headed must tolerate suicide. Think E.J. Pratt meets Charles Bukowski.

— George Elliott Clarke

Buy the e-book:

Reader Reviews

Sign Up or Sign In to add your review or comment.

Related Blog Posts

Other Titles by Chris Bailey

The Productivity Project

The Productivity Project

Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
More Info

User Activity

X
Contacting facebook
Please wait...