BC Poetry 2018: "All Violet" by Rani Rivera (Dagger Editions / Caitlin Press)

Just Some of You I’ve Known

I should start how breaking your heart keeps breaking mine. 
Or the way your way of walking changed. Of how I felt pity for your face. 
Felt sorry for your eyes 
and head of hair swooped preternaturally into a capital C, 
ending with shoes you refused to lace up. 
Constantly tripping and travelling 
as if that last trip to the bar was a mistake. 
My love, all our trips were a mistake. 
You could not go on anymore runs for ruin of us.


After studying at the University of Toronto, where she majored in English, poet Rani Rivera worked as a community coordinator at Progress Place while she herself was living on the margins, struggling with trauma, past addiction and depression. This legacy of poems, All Violet, was discovered after her death among her papers.


In All Violet, a young woman chronicles the experience of living on the margins, in spaces and places where body and mind are flayed by guilt, disappointments and betrayals. Her poems record the shattering trauma of struggling to survive through periods of doubt, fear, rage and pain, creating a narrative of disconnection, indignation, alienation and emptiness, the extremes of suffering and desperation.

Employing lyrical free verse, Rani Rivera has skillfully employed the short line to pinpoint moments of acute perception.

Unadorned, taut and precise cries of pain, loss and fury draw the reader deeper and deeper inside this in-your-face confrontation with a dark world of foreboding alleviated by flashes of mordant wit and grace under fire.


Arrived September 2017.


Purchase from the Dagger Editions or at your local bookstore. $18.


Confronting a dark world with wit and grace.

The copyrights of all poems included in the series remain with their authors, and are reprinted with the permission of the publishers.

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