April is Poetry Month

“Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words.” Paul Engle

April is Poetry Month. Discover words in motion, from local poets to emerging voices, available at your library.

eat salt | gaze at the ocean
by Junie Désil

eat salt | gaze at the ocean explores the themes of Black sovereignty, Haitian sovereignty, and Black lives, using the original Haitian zombie as a metaphor for the condition and treatment of Black bodies. Interspersed with textual representations of zombies, Haitian society, and historical policies is the author’s personal narrative of growing up Black and Haitian of immigrant parents on stolen Indigenous Lands. Désil’s aesthetics uses a variety of documents – fictions, newspaper articles, dictionaries, judicial papers – to tease out, exploit, and dismantle the semantics of the zombie. The expression that lends its words and rhythm to the book’s title refers to the reputed “cure” for reversing the process of zombification. (from the publisher’s website)

Home Body
by Rupi Kaur

Highly anticipated by fans the world over, ‘Home Body’ guides readers through a reflective and intimate journey visiting the past, the present, and the potential of the self. The lyrical journey through words and illustrations presents a collection of raw, honest conversations with oneself, as Rupi Kaur casts a warm light on family and home, mental health and depression, femininity and masculinity, and love and acceptance. (provided by publisher)

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Also by Rupi Kaur
Milk and Honey
print | eBook
The Sun and Her Flowers
print | eBook

Burning Sugar
by Cecily Belle Blain

In this incendiary debut collection, activist and poet Cicely Belle Blain intimately revisits familiar spaces in geography, in the arts, and in personal history to expose the legacy of colonization and its impact on Black bodies. They use poetry to illuminate their activist work: exposing racism, especially anti-Blackness, and helping people see the connections between history and systemic oppression that show up in every human interaction, space, and community. Their poems demonstrate how the world is both beautiful and cruel, a truth that inspires overwhelming anger and awe—all of which spills out onto the page to tell the story of a challenging, complex, nuanced, and joyful life. In Burning Sugar, verse and epistolary, racism and resilience, pain and precarity are flawlessly sewn together by the mighty hands of a Black, queer femme. This book is the second title to be published under the VS. Books imprint, a series curated and edited by writer-musician Vivek Shraya, featuring work by new and emerging Indigenous or Black writers, or writers of colour.

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Dearly
by Margaret Atwood

The collection of a lifetime from the bestselling novelist and poet. By turns moving, playful and wise, the poems gathered in Dearly are about absences and endings, ageing and retrospection, but also about gifts and renewals. They explore bodies and minds in transition, as well as the everyday objects and rituals that embed us in the present. Werewolves, sirens and dreams make their appearance, as do various forms of animal life and fragments of our damaged environment. Before she became one of the world’s most important and loved novelists, Atwood was a poet. Dearly is her first collection in over a decade. It brings together many of her most recognizable and celebrated themes, but distilled – from minutely perfect descriptions of the natural world to startlingly witty encounters with aliens, from pressing political issues to myth and legend. It is a pure Atwood delight, and long-term readers and new fans alike will treasure its insight, empathy and humour. (provided by publisher)

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Finish this Sentence
by Leslie Roach

Finish this Sentence is about a personal experience in dealing with racism and healing from its effects. As this book weaves through the anger and anxiety provoked by racism, it points to the ultimate realization: one is neither the conditioning nor the incessant chatter that racism can provoke. Rather, one is powerful and able to arrest those harmful thoughts. Awakening to these truths have helped Leslie to heal. She hopes that her work will be beneficial to others as well. (from the publisher’s website)

I Am Still Your Negro: An Homage to James Baldwin
by Valerie Mason-John

Valerie Mason-John’s poetry collection, I Am Still Your Negro, blends spoken word and hashtags with villanelles, sonnets, and haiku to traverse the African Diaspora experience through place, time, and circumstance. Blak Inglis street vernacular, the cadence of enslaved people in the Americas, patois and creole join the enduring spirit voice of Yaata, Supreme Being of the Kona people, to reveal narratives of liberation, entrapment, sexual assault, eating disorders, and rave culture. An emotive critique of colonization’s bitter legacy, this collection will draw audiences of the spoken word genre and poetry readers who wish to broaden their knowledge about contemporary social justice issues. (provided by publisher)

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Black Matters
by Afua Cooper

Halifax’s former Poet Laureate Afua Cooper and photographer Wilfried Raussert collaborate in this book of poems and photographs focused on everyday Black experiences. The result is a jambalaya — a dialogue between image and text. Cooper translates Raussert’s photos into poetry, painting a profound image of what disembodied historical facts might look like when they are embodied in contemporary characters. This visual and textual conversation honours the multiple layers of Blackness in the African diaspora around North America and Europe. The result is a work that amplifies black beauty and offers audible resistance. (provided by publisher)

The Response of Weeds: A Misplacement of Black Poetry on the Prairies
by Bertrand Bickersteth
Halifax’s former Poet Laureate Afua Cooper and photographer Wilfried Raussert collaborate in this book of poems and photographs focused on everyday Black experiences. The result is a jambalaya — a dialogue between image and text. Cooper translates Raussert’s photos into poetry, painting a profound image of what disembodied historical facts might look like when they are embodied in contemporary characters. This visual and textual conversation honours the multiple layers of Blackness in the African diaspora around North America and Europe. The result is a work that amplifies black beauty and offers audible resistance. (provided by publisher)

The Banister: Niagara Poetry Anthology, Volume 35
by Canadian Authors Association, Niagara Branch

Find details on submitting poetry for the next anthology. The deadline is May 31, 2021.