BC Poetry 2018: "Little Wild" by Curtis LeBlanc (Nightwood Editions)

I Am Not for This World Awake

Five blocks from this apartment, the tide
has served a final eviction notice
to bull kelp and capsized dungeness
left to suffocate in cool air
on a beach I never visit.

When I was younger
and that much further
east, I used to pray
to sand dollars in a vase
on my mother’ s vanity.

Now, while my thin sliver
of the earth is still dragging
through its last moments
of muddy darkness, I hope
for traffic sounds to drown out
the calls of small birds outside
this single-pane window.


Curtis LeBlanc was shortlisted for the Walrus Poetry Prize in 2016, received the Readers’ Choice Award in Arc’s Poem of the Year Contest and was shortlisted for CV2’s Young Buck Poetry Prize. His writing has appeared in The Malahat Review, Eighteen Bridges, Prairie Fire, EVENT, Geist, Arc, NewPoetry.ca and Frog Hollow Press’ The City Series: Edmonton Anthology. He’s Managing Editor of Rahila’s Ghost Press, co-host of Tonic Reading Series, Web Editor at Nineteen Questions and an occasional hockey columnist for NHL Numbers. He served as Executive Editor of Promotions at PRISM international in 2016-2017. His poetry chapbook Good for Nothing was published by Anstruther Press in 2017. LeBlanc lives in Vancouver, BC.


Little Wild explores the performance of masculinity in contemporary Canada, with a focus on how toxic masculinity relates to mental health, aggression, substance abuse and crises of identity. Through the reimagining of family histories and personal experiences, the poems in this collection exact a representation of a young man in conflict with outdated ideals of virility, struggling to redefine himself on his own terms. Little Wild is a provocative and revealing portrayal of masculinity as it is understood—and misunderstood—in a contemporary and ever-changing context. The poems are as powerful and unsettling as they are stark, combining unsentimental imagery of the natural world with first-person commentary, while exploring narratives of boyhood, adolescence and adulthood.


Launched last week in Vancouver!


Purchase from the Harbour Publishing website or at your local bookstore. $18.95.


Exploring the performance of masculinity.

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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