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category: Poetry
published: May 2018
publisher: Anvil Press Publishers


by Eve Joseph

tagged: canadian

Winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize. The acclaimed author of the memoir, In the Slender Margin, turns her focus back to poetry in this amazing and condensed work of prose poetry.

The poems in this collection reach for something other than truth, the marvelous. Leaves fall out of coat sleeves, Gandhi swims in Burrard Inlet. The poems are like empty coats from which the inhabitants have recently escaped, leaving behind images as clues to their identity. There are leaps between logics within the poems, and it is in these illogical spaces where everything comes together, like the uplift of the conductor's hand to begin a piece of music where, as Arvo Part put it, the potential of the whole exists.


"To Joseph, it makes as much sense for the dead to appear as spirits glowing in midair as for them to be inert and terminated." (The New York Times)

"Poet and essayist Joseph (The Startled Heart) serves up luminous, poetic prose in this thoughtful look at dying, grief, burial, and how animals react to loss, among many related topics." (The Publishers Weekly)

"In the Slender Margin is intended as an exploration rather than a balm or solace, though it will no doubt be those things for some people. Its resonance comes, rather, from its intelligent open-endedness, its unflinching, simultaneous embrace of death's reality and persistent mystery." (Globe and Mail)

"I was haunted by the gentling towards innerness and by the way the poem slowly opens up to the world at large. “White Camellias' is a geography of the moment before the moment passes." (Barry Dempster)

"The Startled Heart is a memorable collection that tugs on death's sleeve, sometimes with the innocence of a child, sometimes with the ache of the unforgiving." (Georgia Straight)

About the Author

Eve Joseph

EVE JOSEPH’s first book of poetry, The Startled Heart, was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. The Secret Signature of Things was also nominated for this prize, as well as the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize and the Acorn-Plantos Award. Eve was awarded the 2010 P.K. Page Founders' Award for Poetry. Her non-fiction has been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards. Her essay “Intimate Strangers” was nominated for a National Magazine Award and won both The Malahat Review’s Creative Non-Fiction Prize and the Western Magazine Awards Gold prize (B.C./Yukon). Her work has been published in a number of Canadian and American journals and anthologies. She lives in Victoria, B.C.

Contributor Notes

Eve Joseph's two books of poetry, The Startled Heart (Oolichan, 2004) and The Secret Signature of Things (Brick, 2010) were both nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Her nonfiction book, In the Slender Margin, was published by HarperCollins in 2014 and won the Hubert Evans award for nonfiction. The book was named one of the Top 100 picks of the year by the Globe and Mail.

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