BC Poetry 2018: "Cries from the Ark" by Dan MacIsaac (Brick Books)

Icon of verdigris
and pale lichen,

pelted with algae,

ark of beetles
and moon moths,

paralytic rooster
mute as a burl.

Slow lover
of red hibiscus

and tossed,
fragrant leaves,

hanging saber-

and masked
like a robber.

Torpid idol

for drowsy


Raised on Vancouver Island, Dan MacIsaac is a third-generation lawyer and served for ten years as a director on the board of the Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria. His poetry, verse translations, and fiction have appeared in a wide variety of literary journals and magazines. One of his stories was short-listed for the 2009 CBC Literary Awards, one of his poems received the 2014 Foley Prize from America Magazine, and another poem was short-listed for the 2015 Walrus Poetry Prize. He lives in Victoria. Cries from the Ark is his first poetry collection.


Humankind, at present, has breached floodgates that have only been breached before in ancient stories of angry gods, or so far back on geologic and biological timelines as to seem more past than past. Against this catastrophic backdrop (at the end of consolations, at the high-water mark), and equipped with a periscopic eye and a sublime metaphorical reach, poet Dan MacIsaac has crowded his debut vessel with sloths and auks, mummified remains and bumbling explorers, German expressionists and Neolithic cave-painters.

With the predominant “I” of so many poetic debuts almost entirely absent, Cries from the Ark is catalogue and cartography of our common mortal—and moral—lot.


Arrived September 2017.


Purchase from the Brick Books website or at your local bookstore. $20.


Breaching the floodgates.

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

1 comment:

theresa said...

I love Dan's book...