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Poetry Canadian


by (author) Joe Denham

Nightwood Editions
Initial publish date
Sep 2009
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2009
    List Price

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Windstorm is a passport to the place where chaos and form meet; Denham's timeless ethereal gaze is rooted in the mastery of poetic forms such as the sonnet and Dante's terza rima. These quiet, forceful poems explore heaven, earth and sea with arresting images, ideas and words. Like the wind, Denham's poetry has the power to move.

in the windsong. This is no translation,
this long-line tow trawling the abyssal
silt, oceanic-soul, in the low opaline
light sifting down through fire's alburnum.
--excerpt, Windstorm

About the author

Joe Denham is the author of Flux (Nightwood Editions, 2003), Windstorm (Nightwood Editions, 2009), and The Year of Broken Glass (Nightwood Editions, 2011) His most recent poetry collection, Regeneration Machine (Nightwood Editions, 2015) was the winner of the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies including Breathing Fire 2: Canada's New Poets (Nightwood Editions, 2004). He is currently at work on a sequel to Windstorm, and is preparing to release his first album of songs, Lost at Sea, in the spring of 2017. He lives with his wife and two children in Halfmoon Bay, BC.

Joe Denham's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Rather than a collection of standalone lyrics, the five untitled sections spin an extended meditation on work, the environment, and humanity, on the sacred and the profane. [Denham] weds the active to the contemplative and eschews pat moralizing and trendy poses, resulting in poetry complex enough to mirror the contradictions and ambivalences of life. Throughout this collection, [he] evinces an awareness that solid craftsmanship is one possible antidote to conspicuous consumption and waste. One thing is for sure: this is no disposable book. I can't recommend it highly enough.
--Zachariah Wells, Quill & Quire

Windstorm is extremely well-informed in its project: an extended praise-song/elegy for the ocean and enunciation of those who have contributed to its ruin. ... Sometimes working in terza rima, the rhyming three-line form created by Dante, sometimes in sonnets, sometimes in free verse, Denham repeats lines and images, but the repetition works. Windstorm is a book you lean into; its combination of passion for subject matter and hard-earned craft is almost enough to bowl a reader over.
--Winnipeg Free Press

Windstorm ... speeds through work, pain, love and savage nature. We expect the language of the worker to be simple and concrete, but this book is an anomaly. It is not easily accessible poetry. It is chaotic and fierce, like the weather it describes. However, if you lean into it hard enough you will see the forests swaying and falling, hear the sea rumbling and imagine the many creatures, whales and crustaceans, floating beneath.
--Jan Degrass, Coast Reporter (BC)

User Reviews

Sweeping the reader in

Windstorm sweeps the reader in with powerful, all-encompassing imagery couched in rapid, muscular tercets. That unrelenting rhythm swoops from the broad - swirling cyclones, wild seas, wheeling flocks of birds - to the grimly specific: the pain, panic and bloodshed of an injury inflicted with a saw while mending a fence. The plunge from the immense natural world to the personal in spiritual and bodily senses, to the even microscopically analytical is often swift, breathtaking, dense and condensed.

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