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Topic: Emily Pohl-Weary

The Narrative Poetry of Witness: Emily Pohl-Weary’s Ghost Sick

Subtitled “a poetry of witness,” Emily Pohl-Weary’s second poetry collection, Ghost Sick, reacts to a Christmas Eve shooting in her Toronto neighbourhood. As she describes in the opening poem, “Ghost Days”: “After the shooting / I floated through life / ephemeral, near invisible [.]” The poems in Ghost Sick attempt to articulate the way violence intrinsically changes a space, and the people within that space, even those who aren’t immediately affected by that violence. Even as Pohl-Weary composes her narrative quilt, attempting individual poems-as-poems around a single, explosive event, the distance between narrator and event occasionally feels too far.