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#CephalopodCanLit

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Books with octopuses on the cover. We can't get enough. Squids count too. We accept cephalopods of all sorts.
Octopus and Other Poems, The

Octopus and Other Poems, The

edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian

The central metaphor of the collection The Octopus and Other Poems is the search for new life in the universe—to find something beyond ourselves, and simultaneously to be “found.”

The tension between wanting to understand, and giving in to the mysteries of the universe, culminates in the long poem “The Octopus,” in which former lovers debate the merits of searching for extraterrestrial life.

He considers it a futile and wasteful endeavour, particularly since there are “alien” life fo …

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Excerpt

Right now, the Voyager shuttles 1 and 2 are pushing deeper into known space. They will, like so many great American home runs, go far beyond the fence, across the street and through a window. They will never be recovered.

In a laboratory in Pasadena, at tables cluttered with cold cups of coffee and dot-matrix printouts, men interpret what Voyager sees: the spotty volcanic surface of Io, the irregular shape of Amalthea.

Voyager carries greetings from Earth. Simple diagrams of how our genes spool. Of the body of a man. Of where we can be found, like the map in the mall: We Are Here (note how the third dot in line is given more emphasis, stationed slightly above the other eight).

Also presented are rows of numbers, the elements of us:

hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and phosphorus

the modest recipe of our shared life.

I wish the world’s memories well. I have my own secrets—shoeboxes and albums full of scribblings, tokens from misplaced friends and lovers. Everything I keep is paper, already disintegrating.

But while I’m here I’ll think of you, imagine you with your newest love who looks so much like you.

The two of you get steamed up like clamshells— half-moon arcs on the seabed. When you are both concave you come together, disappear from view; when one is concave, one convex, you form a perfect circle.

*

It is amazing what thoughts we let slip in and out like mosquitoes through the window.

*

Along with the math of us, Voyager lugs gold-plated albums etched with our essences: photographs, sounds heard on earth—in nature and on highways and in the womb. Greetings in fifty-four languages, and enough music for some all-night cosmic dance-a-thon.

Our lives orbit discretely these days, seldom intersect.

Now we trade thoughts on paper— long distance chess, one move at a time.

You tell me you can’t condone the reckless hope of finding some other life out there. Can’t fathom the waste.

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Buoyancy Control

Buoyancy Control

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

Buoyancy Control, the latest collection of poems from Vancouverite Adrienne Gruber, explores themes of sexuality, sexual identity, and queerness, while confronting the feelings of loss and longing found in relationships, and the chance glimpse into a new life, while still recovering from a painfully failed connection.

Metaphors of oceans, lakes, and other bodies of water, as well as the creatures that inhabit those spaces, swim and swirl their way through Gruber's languid poems, which are divided …

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Ink from an Octopus

Ink from an Octopus

edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian

Ink from an Octopus is a book of poetry by Leonard Gasparini.

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Belinda's Rings

Belinda's Rings

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

Half-Asian teenager Grace (but she'd prefer it if you called her "Gray" instead) is not a perfect little supermom-in-the-making like her older sister Jessica, and would rather become a marine biologist than a mother--although she does understand how to take care of her special-needs kid brother Squid better than anyone else in her family. When her mother Belinda abruptly runs out on her family and flies across the Atlantic in order to study crop circles in the English countryside, Grace is left …

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Life on Mars

Life on Mars

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

Shortlisted, 2017 Danuta Gleed Literary Award

A 49th Shelf Top Fiction Book of 2017

A middle-aged sportswriter gets a new lease on life with a heart transplant and develops an intimate relationship with his donated heart. Two brothers find in their rotting family tree the tangled roots of a dark childhood memory. A young woman travels to Thailand to reconnect body and soul and returns home, physically transformed, to face the wrath of her estranged mother. A divorced man struggling to rediscover h …

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Washington Black

Washington Black

A Novel
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook Audiobook Paperback
tagged : literary

Winner of the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize

A dazzling, original novel of slavery and freedom, from the author of the international bestseller Half-Blood Blues

When two English brothers arrive at a Barbados sugar plantation, they bring with them a darkness beyond what the slaves have already known. Washington Black – an eleven year-old field slave – is horrified to find himself chosen to live in the quarters of one of these men. But the man is not as Washington expects him to be. His new master …

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Darwin's Bastards

Darwin's Bastards

Astounding Tales from Tomorrow
edited by Zsuzsi Gartner
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

Social satire, fabulist tales and darkly humorous dystopian visions by some of Canada's most adventurous and distinguished writers.

 

The 23 stories in Darwin's Bastards take us on a twisted, wild ride into some future times and parallel universes where characters as diverse as a dead boy, a one-legged international actuarial forensics specialist, a pharmaceutical guinea pig, and a far-sighted fetus engage in their own games of the survival of the fittest.

 

The collection includes the first new sho …

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Grotesque Tenderness

Grotesque Tenderness

edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian

Afraid to be alone / we met by lamplight, trading stories: // Sin of Man was one, // Age of Science, another. More // prayers than answers. Daniel Cowper's debut poetry collection, Grotesque Tenderness, speaks for an unrooted age, for unrooted people. In these poems, city-dwellers long to ally themselves with some sympathetic culture or the evolutionary logic of nature, but those alliances remain conditional, ambiguous, or dangerous. A tsunami smashes a harbour city into “tide-rows of burning …

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