Robert Kroetsch Series

Canadian creative writing, short stories, and poetry

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    May 2021

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    June 2021

    You Look Good for Your Age is a collection of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry about ageism by 29 women writers ranging in age from forties to nineties. The anthology responds to a culture that values youth and that positions aging in women as a failure. Questions arise. What effects do negative social assumptions have on women as they age? What messages about aging do we pass on to our daughters? The collection includes personal essays, short stories, poetry, and hybrid p... [READ MORE]

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    March 2021

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    April 2021

    Micheline Maylor’s The Bad Wife is an intimate, first-hand account of how to ruin a marriage. This is a story of divorce, love, and what should have been, told in a brave and unflinching voice. Pulling the reader into a startling web of sensuality, guilt, resentment, and pleasure, this collection asks what if you set off a bomb in your own house? What if you lose love and destroy everything you ever knew? These poems have a disarming immediacy, full of surprising ima... [READ MORE]

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    March 2021

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    April 2021

    Deriving explores infertility, motherhood, and family, while troubling the colonial legacies of the English language and Canadian identity. A feminist exploration of ancestral and etymological origins, Jennifer Bowering Delisle’s critical collection asks how does language impact our ways of being in the world? How do historical voices echo in the present? How does past infertility colour the experience of new motherhood? Within these poems, the rich material of mothe... [READ MORE]

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    March 2021

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    April 2021

    Aidan Chafe’s Gospel Drunk is a personal journey to find clarity and identity in the face of alcoholism and religion. Sharp, intoxicating imagery and a gutsy, minimalist aesthetic combine in these poems to explore some of our darkest and strongest belief systems, dismantling them with wit and wisdom. An impressive mix of tightly-crafted lyric and prose poetry touch on content that ranges from poignant boyhood memories of hockey coaches as “dragons in suits̶... [READ MORE]

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    You lie awake,

    needlessly fingering

    this patchwork guilt.

    Remorse, a code

    you live by; distress calls

    for someone to blame.

    —from “Threads”

    Following the deaths of her Mennonite grandparents, Angeline Schellenberg began exploring their influence on her life. Her elegiac love letter to them articulates her grief against the backdrop of their involuntary emigration. She artfully captures the immigrant ... [READ MORE]

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    In this collection, E. Alex Pierce enters the territory of memory embedded in landscape where “language tied to the land” evokes the cadence of tidal rivers and creates a fluid world. She traces the fragmented childhood beginnings that lead to the formation of a young artist who moves from music, through theatre, to poetry. The passionate relationships and complex juxtapositions of art and performance that form an artist’s life find voice here in the symp... [READ MORE]

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    In the arena, she shot cigarettes and coins

    from her trusting husband’s hand. Some women

    wished she would miss.

    —from “Little Sure Shot”

    Kat Cameron’s poetry illuminates the unsung perspectives of the women of the West, creating a compelling narrative that reflects the poet’s own struggles with sorrow. She conjures ghosts and weaves together insights on loss, memory, and the impacts of boom and bust.

    ... [READ MORE]

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    Social Justice Poetry

    Spoken-word poet Valerie Mason-John unsettles readers with potent images of ongoing trauma from slavery and colonization. Her narratives range from the beginnings of the African Diaspora to the story of a stowaway on the Windrush, from racism and sexism in Trump’s America to the wide impact of the Me Too movement. Stories of entrapment, sexual assault, addictive behaviours, and rave culture are told and contrasted to the strengthening and ... [READ MORE]

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    There is beauty

    in the teacup

    like dresses

    requiring crinoline

    or beaded purses

    too small to carry

    anything but anger.

    — from “Inheritance”

    Marita Dachsel’s third poetry collection explores parenthood, love, and the grief of losing those both close and distant. In the tradition of Karen Solie and Suzanne Buffam, and with a touch of Canadian Gothic, Dachsel’s poetic skills unfold in a varie... [READ MORE]

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    The late sun falls slowly into the afternoon of your eyes, and there

    it pauses as one might pause to take a breath —from “Lost”

    Nothing Is But You and I, the breathtaking final volume in the Apostrophes series, reveals poet E.D. Blodgett at his most accomplished. Lyrical grace meets exquisite technique as Blodgett fathoms intimacy, knowledge, and being. The poems allow us to listen to one side of an intimate conversation; yet despite th... [READ MORE]

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    The verb esperar means to wait. It also means to hope.—“The Past Was a Small Notebook, Much Scribbled-Upon”, Cora Siré

    Waiting, that most human of experiences, saturates all of our lives. We spend part of each day waiting—for birth, death, appointments, acceptance, forgiveness, redemption. This collection of thirty-two personal essays is as much about hope as it is about waiting. Featuring literary voices from the renowned to the e... [READ MORE]

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    Rain Shadow is a collection of poetry that explores the fraught relationship between the natural world and humans yearning to connect with something greater than themselves. The poems range through destabilized lives and landscapes, fathoming presence and absence, transformation and oblivion. They outline the major questions of our time as the poet crisscrosses western Canada and the Pacific Northwest. Witty, playful, serious, and heartsore, Rain Shadow seeks to understand... [READ MORE]

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    In a series of poems inspired by Gustav Mahler's Kindertotenlieder, E.D. Blodgett searches for meaning amidst grief. In the contemplative gentleness of his words, he finds the special light children possess in their state of unknowing as they encounter the world. These sparse poems move through acceptance and resignation to the solace that exists in the word. Blodgett's poetry will speak to readers who have experienced loss, are exploring grief, or want to find a way to co... [READ MORE]

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    Alice Major observes the comedy and the tragedy of this human-dominated moment on Earth. Major’s most persistent question—“Where do we fit in the universe?”—is made more urgent by the ecological calamity of human-driven climate change. Her poetry leads us to question human hierarchies, loyalties, and consciousness, and challenges us to find some humility in our overblown sense of our cosmic significance.

    Now, welcome to the Anthro... [READ MORE]

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    Secrets aren’t good for families. — from “Big Luck Island”

    In The Left-Handed Dinner Party and Other Stories—a collection of new, delightful, distinctive short stories—everyone is missing something or someone; every family is riven by secrets and absences. From “The Remedy,” a tale of revenge and justice, to “The Smart Sisters,” a story of tricky family dynamics, Coulter’s narratives portray rel... [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.

    In strolls Annie Mukluk in all her mukiness glory. Tonight she has gone traditional. Her long black hair is wrapped in intu’d... [READ MORE]

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    first snow falling slow

    hangs in the air

    a curtain drifting there

    thickening sight

    —“Winter”

    In this new collection, Douglas Barbour experiments with what he calls “rhythmically intense open form.” Listen. If presents technically innovative poetry that invites the reader to join in some serious play. Barbour’s vivid, ekphrastic poems engage an ongoing conversation among artworks—not only classi... [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... [READ MORE]

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    “Shh, my Nuala. I am with you. Today I shall teach you the newness of you.”

    As the Engine breathes life into Nuala, her gaze falls on Teacher-Servant, the chosen one. He alone will be able to hear her thoughts and interpret her emotions. But soon Teacher-Servant starts to worry that Nuala will be able to give away her thoughts freely. Set in an atypical dystopian world, Nuala is startlingly original and inventive, echoing the work of Margaret Atwoo... [READ MORE]

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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 ... [READ MORE]