Born in 1968 in The Hague, Erik Lindner is one of the Netherland’s most acclaimed poets. Admired for a style that fuses simplicity with strangeness, Lindner builds his poems through a montage of descriptive images that, by fending off closure, generate extraordinary visionary power. Gathering together new work with a selection from his previous six collections, Words are the Worst offers a range of pleasures that have made him celebrated in his home country: an austere eloquence; a hard, unsparing precision; a restless and idiosyncratic eye. Best of all is how his intensely filmic observations transform haunted landscapes of windmills, birds, dogs and houseboats on canals into, as one critic put it, “Lindner-like” moments. Brilliantly translated by Francis R. Jones, with an introduction by Canadian poet David O’Meara, Words are the Worst introduces a leading Dutch voice to English readers.
Antonyms for Daughter, Jenny Boychuk’s poetry debut, addresses a harrowing subject: the loss of the poet’s mother to addiction. Deploying a range of forms and techniques astonishing in a first collection, Boychuk creates unsparing scenes of their complicated life together. Poem after poem attempts to wring clarity from memories ripe with trauma and love, as Boychuk questions whether it is possible for a child to ever extricate herself from an abusive parent—to become, as it were, a living “antonym” of a painful family legacy. A booklength loss-lyric of vivid beauty, Antonyms for Daughter is a singular example of grief transformed into art.
“Urgent, whip-smart—each poem opens like shaken champagne.” —John Emil Vincent
“Konchan’s audacious, sophisticated, and valiant poems, fueled by their honest failure to outwit mourning, are a revelation.”
“Her work is flamboyant, but underlying the glitz is a serious engagement with how we create meaning out of a welter of experiences and influences.” —Barb Carey, Toronto Star
We're celebrating National Poetry Month with a new bundle of poetry, hot off the press! For only $25, plus GST and $6 shipping in Canada, you'll get:
Little Housewolf by Medrie Purdham
Medrie Purdham's Little Housewolf delves deeply into the world of domestic miniatures, a realm where thimbles, baby teeth, push pins, keyholes, teacups, and wedding rings become meticulously realized scale models of one's terrors and joys. Purdham uses the fine-grained signatures of her poetry—close observation, exact detail, precise sounds—not only to examine childhood and its fascination with size and scale, but also to measure herself against the larger, untamed landscapes she feels increasingly alienated from.
Nectarine by Chad Campbell
Memory—how we retrieve and replenish it—is at the heart of Nectarine, Chad Campbell's visionary second collection. Figures, cities, and landscapes from the author's life shift in and out of these dreamlike poems that explore the "unaccountable, uncountable" ways in which our past keeps speaking to us: through objects, through paintings, through colours, and through the spectre of places that map themselves over the places we live in.
Founded in 2010, the Montreal International Poetry Prize has established itself as a major event in contemporary poetry, both in Canada and around the world. The Montreal Prize Anthology 2020 explodes with talent, combining radiant vision with striking invention in form. The loss of a father finds equivalence in a tornado’s blowing an apartment open to the night sky. Sacred and profane images of a mother pile up in couplets, making a heap of gold. Family memory stirs in the dreamy measures of a sestina. Racial injustice is defied and reversed in the unflinching mirror of a palindromic poem. A doctor confesses her life work to be a striving to right the wrong done her father. These poems, a handful of the thousands submitted to the 2020 competition, were chosen for the lone virtue of their speaking directly to the reader, with conviction and with art.
In 2019, the founder of the Montreal Prize, Asa Boxer, transferred it to the Department of English at McGill University. A team of dedicated faculty and graduate students recruited a distinguished international jury, headed by Pulitzer-prize-winner Yusef Komunyakaa, to judge the entries. This book is the result.