Book details

Publication date: January 2017
Series: Robert Kroetsch Series
Keywords: Poetry / Canadian Literature
Subject(s): POETRY / Canadian, Poetry / Canadian Literature, Poetry, POETRY / Women Authors, POETRY / Subjects & Themes / Inspirational & Religious, Poetry / Canadian Literature
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press

Lisa Martin. Award-winning poet, essayist, and editor Lisa Martin is the author of One Crow Sorrow (2008) and co-editor of How to Expect What You’re Not Expecting: Stories of Pregnancy, Parenthood, and Loss (2013). She teaches literature and creative writing at Concordia University of Edmonton.

# 1 on Edmonton Fiction Bestsellers list, April 02, 2017

Edmonton Bestsellers

# 4 on Edmonton Fiction Bestsellers list, April 23, 2017

"Believing is not the same as Being Saved" is a quietly elegant book of poems.... You can see and feel the meticulous care Martin has taken in crafting these poems, constructing this book.... Martin understands that much of life is a paradox, that joy and sorrow are birds dancing on the same high wire." (Full review at

Michael Dennis, Today's Book of Poetry

'[This] is an intricate collection of poems that meditates on pivotal traumatic events in the speaker’s life that challenge her faith.... In language that turns in and out of itself in finely tuned poetic phrasing, Martin deftly manages a vision that embraces death and loss as the other side of life and love and what matters most to us.... With poems that carry a religious and philosophic fervour—whose parallel in literary tradition might be Gerard Manley Hopkins with his rapturous sonnets that delve into his own faith and doubt about God – Martin’s verses are embedded with incandescent images from the natural world and are sinuous with thought riddled with paradox." The Goose, Vol. 16, Iss. 1 [2017] [Full review at]

Gillian Harding-Russell

"Lisa Martin's "Believing is not the same as Being Saved" cleaves even closer to the holy, keeping religious motifs so near her natural language that they slip in unnoticed until they start to pile up, as in the various uses of the sword 'saved' in the title poem. Martin's best poems have a knack for reaching epiphanies by assiduously focusing and unfocusing their gaze.... Martin takes seriously the need to navigate between the philosophical and material worlds. "

Jacob McArthur Mooney, Quill & Quire

# 8 on Edmonton Fiction Bestsellers list, May 06, 2018

"... a careful examination of grief, change and the lines between things. Throughout the collection, Martin’s speaker is deeply attuned to the mutability of the world. Images blend, timelines shift, and everything changes.... Martin urgently carries life and death to the reader, not to provide answers or antidotes, but to do the important work of showing us the rawness of living in a world where good things end." [Full review at]

Noah Cain, Prairie Fire

# 5 on Edmonton's Bestselling Books list; Poetry, March 1, 2020

Edmonton's Bestselling Books

#5 on Edmonton's Bestselling Books list; Poetry, January 3, 2021

# 9 on Edmonton Poetry Bestsellers list, May 9, 2021

# 9 on Edmonton Poetry Bestsellers list, August 8, 2021

Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry | Writers' Guild of Alberta, Canada
Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize, Canada
Robert Kroetsch Award for Poetry | Alberta Book Awards, Book Publishers Association of Alberta, Canada
1 Believing is not the same as being saved
5 One hundred ways to build the world
6 One thing
7 Firsts and lasts
8 Pool
9 Map for the road home
10 Memorial at Horseshoe Lake
11 The Ascension
12 Perspective
13 Sonnet for what we resolve into—
14 A solstice is an astronomical event
15 Story
16 Return
17 River
18 Bill of Rights
19 Singing in the spirit
20 The song of the spirit drawing near to the body
21 A small sigh, a hard thought, enters
22 Individualism
23 Bearings
24 Survival and all other possibles
26 If we understand the laws at all
27 Still life with white roses
28 Easter at the zoo for agnostics
30 Learning to speak and not to speak
31 Things I can and cannot do
32 Preserve of the useful
33 Sonnet for the distance between us
34 Lightening up
35 Birth weight
37 Lessening
38 Stories are for transforming ourselves
40 Some of what we know about airports in the 21st century
42 Vanity
44 Conversions
46 What I believe now about us then
II51 Dog years
52 The opposite of the heart
53 Expiration
55 Separated
57 I-Thou
59 Adultery
60 Argument
61 On being in love
62 Fidelity
64 Weeping birch
65 Theology
66 Biology
67 The fine thinking
69 Heart
70 Friendship
72 Sonnet to myself and a stranger
73 Incandescent light
75 Elegy
78 Ecstasis
83 Circles
84 Dancing the path to understanding
85 Breathing in the northern forest
87 Acknowledgements

ISBNs: 9781772121872 978-1-77212-187-2 Title: believing is not the same as being saved ISBNs: 9781772123159 978-1-77212-315-9 Title: believing is not the same as being saved ISBNs: 9781772123296 978-1-77212-329-6 Title: believing is not the same as being saved ISBNs: 9781772123302 978-1-77212-330-2 Title: believing is not the same as being saved