University of Alberta Press

Robert Kroetsch Series

Canadian creative writing, short stories, and poetry

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    100 days... 100 days that should not have been... 100 days the world could have stopped. But did not.

    For 100 days, Juliane Okot Bitek recorded the lingering nightmare of the Rwandan genocide in a poem—each poem recalling the senseless loss of life and of innocence. Okot Bitek draws on her own family's experience of displacement under the regime of Idi Amin, pulling in fragments of the poetic traditions she encounters along the way: the Ugandan Acholi oral tra... [READ MORE]

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    would you believe me when i make consorts of alphabet runaways & stayathomes i have rounded up where they wandered all over the page Dennis Cooley masterfully extends the genre of the abecedary to explore his curiosity of the limitlessness of human communication. With linguistic wit and complexity, his poetry carries the reader through the historical developments of the alphabet. He pries open letters and words to play with both their immediate meaning and the possibiliti... [READ MORE]
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    I woke up with Moses Henry’s boot holding open my jaw and my right eye was looking into his gun barrel. I heard the slow words, “Take. It. Back.” I know one thing about Moses Henry; he means business when he means business. I took it back and for the last eight months I have not uttered Annie Mukluk’s name.
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    as if there could be no other memory a tree invisible remembering itself In as if, E.D. Blodgett takes readers on journeys of contemplation in which he re-imagines the lyric form. Each line leaves the reader breathless as it runs into the next to form a continuous cycle, a continued breath. The delicate syntax of each piece pushes one forward, ever forward. The poems are Dantesque, leading the traveller through a deeper, darker world. As a collection, as if constitutes an ars... [READ MORE]
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    "I wanted this to be a narrative. So finally Jean-Luc went all the way: every line in the script a quotation from somewhere else. Every blessed line. Love doesn't die. It's people who die. Love just goes away." -from "NOUVELLE VAGUE / New Wave (1990)" Stephen Scobie celebrates "the greatest film director of his age" with poetry exploring 44 of Godard's films. Subtle yet profound unities play from poem to poem. Characters, locations, images, and t... [READ MORE]
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    Lisa Martin’s new poetry collection seeks the kind of lyric truth that lives in paradox, in the dwelling together of seeming opposites such as life and death, love and loss, faith and doubt, joy and sorrow. Here readers will find a range of moods, tones, and subjects, as well as both traditional and contemporary forms—from sonnets to prose poems. This is a collection imbued with the light of an enduring, if troubled, faith. With its focus on spirit, ethics, and ho... [READ MORE]
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    "Most long poems contain lyric occasions. Here is an amazingly sustained lyric that contains traces of other commodities." -Robert Kroetsch Sheila Murphy and Douglas Barbour extend their singular poetic vision of that elusive third I/eye in Continuations 2. The new lyric voice sustained (within) these labyrinthine verses does so by virtue of its authors' pitch-perfect collaborative process. For ten years they have kept their song alive via email, pulsing jazz-like v... [READ MORE]
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    By turns joyous and adventurous, melancholy and nostalgic, Michelle Smith's debut collection of poems showcases a wide-ranging fascination with places, people, and story. Smith's limpid and humane handling of an array of themes, emotions, and styles-her Norwegian ancestry, her Canadian Prairie heritage, the significance of family, the fragility of memory, world travel, ekphrasis, myth, and more-exemplifies the lyric self on a poetic grand tour, or pilgrimage, to meet the worl... [READ MORE]
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    you can't stop it. everyone's expendable, James. everyone's replaceable. even you. especially you. In a penetrating, violent, sexy, and often hilarious apocalypse, a world-famous superspy meets his demise at the hands of an audacious, painstaking poet. Kimmy Beach fuses popular culture and narrative poetry to astonishing effect in this, her fifth book. Feasting on the tropes, traps, and types of the James Bond mythos and doubling back on the incendiary narrative of Nikos Kaza... [READ MORE]
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    Secrets aren’t good for families. — from “Big Luck Island”
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    first snow falling slow
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    By turns quirky, startling, earthy, and hope-filled, Micheline Maylor’s poems slip effortlessly through topics ranging from what we give up as we age to regrets for love that has passed, the interplay between the animal world and human thought, and the myths we append to ourselves and others. An expansive, conversational voice underscores the poet’s technical mastery as her subjects turn from love to hope to fearlessness. Maylor asks readers to perceive how we inh... [READ MORE]
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    Merging poetry and historical records, Zits masterfully (re)creates a poetic view of the Frog Lake Massacre of April 2, 1885. His collage and cut-up techniques challenge the histories penned by the event’s recorders and reflect upon the difficult and painful complexities of past and present. He weaves together voices of Métis and First Nations participants, settlers, and military officials, using tape transcripts, historical accounts, memoirs, and footnotes to crea... [READ MORE]
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    Melissa Morelli Lacroix explores the love and longing, loss and pain, grief and healing found in the music of Frédéric Chopin, Clara Schumann, and Claude Debussy in a series of poetic cycles that respond to each composer’s work. Lacroix writes with her ear finely tuned to the music of death and decay, to the harmonies and discords of music, nature, and human desire. Always, in A Most Beautiful Deception, we find the chords of love and devotion being torn apart... [READ MORE]
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    “Shh, my Nuala. I am with you. Today I shall teach you the newness of you.”
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    March 2018

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    March 2018
    I walk like a bear—
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    Gisèle Villeneuve’s short stories test the elastic pull between passion and terror. For inspiration, Villeneuve turned to her personal history to examine what lures urban dwellers outdoors, to test themselves against peaks and valleys. Using the overarching metaphor of mountain climbing, she plays with form, language, and narrative to reveal our fears, our loves, our passions. Rising Abruptly is a perfect companion for anyone who likes to travel, loves a climber, o... [READ MORE]
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    "We're not exactly scene-stealers, so you don't hear much from us shy folk-and that's usually how we like it." -Elizabeth Zotova, "My Dear X" The pages of this anthology are filled with personal essays and poems of thoughtful musings, raw memories, and humorous self-examinations by authors and poets who have been labelled by the world-teachers, parents, and peers-as shy. Here, they proudly own up to their shyness, and their message is clear: they don't nee... [READ MORE]
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    "My emptiness will not be
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    "Freedom is something my father has never known. How do I explain freedom to the ones born bent?" -from "Not Scared" Ella Zeltserman's poetry cuts both ways. The story of her flight from the USSR in 1979-of the young family she brought to Edmonton and the older one she left behind-does "explain freedom to the ones born bent," but it also explains oppression to the ones born free. Deftly modulating language, imagery, and events of past and present... [READ MORE]