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Topic: Ronsdale Press

The Earthen Parts of Pain and Joy: Kelsey Andrews’ Big Sky Falling

Kelsey Andrews’ debut collection is grounded in the body, in the mind, and in nature, whether the landscape is prairie, West Coast, or the B.C. interior. The poems also move through a grittier cityscape that mirrors interior struggles. Crows lead a speaker “along twisting paths” (“Not Much”). Navigating this labyrinth involves elements of both joy and pain.

Against Equations: Bruce Meyer’s The Arrow of Time

In Meyer’s latest collection, the universe is an orderly one, home to the perfection of snowflakes and sunflowers that correspond to mathematical laws such as the Fibonacci sequence. Even the sun, moon and stars are “measured complications,” as though the product of a sky-dwelling watchmaker. The complexity of human relationship is mostly hinted at. Meyer focuses on the workings of existence; he makes a poetry of seeking answers, carefully piecing together experience and line as in the poem “Jigsaw” where the narrator invites us to “to put the moment together.”

Heartfelt and Urgent: Pamela Porter’s Late Moon

“I didn’t know which I’d find— / the father watching at the window / or the one in hiding / behind the mountain” writes Pamela Porter in “The River Asked Me”, an early poem in this unusually lengthy book (121 pages). The collection spins around an unknown but richly imagined birth father, with the occasional […]

I Love an Old Story: Joanne Arnott’s A Night for the Lady

Storytelling—specifically old, passed-on stories—shape the poetry in Joanne Arnott’s A Night for the Lady. Arnott writes, “I love an old story. Old stories / are the food I eat and / the water I drink.” A conversational tang flavours the poetic voice completely, as if readers are transported to her kitchen table, or perched, listening […]