BC Poetry 2018: "This Will Be Good" by Mallory Tater (Book*Hug)

My mother once created fire 
for my sisters and me in a small field. 
It was my birthday and that’s all I wanted.
Walking sticks carved into the faces
of cranes bridged across her arms.
Stemmed cedar thinning, bodies breaking,
bright bark on beaked handles to mimic
flaps of skin the birds use to move and mate.
My mother chewed the insides of her cheeks,
hated things she could not control,
asked my sisters and me to stop speaking,
laid the cranes down on rocks left
from some other party. With a match
to the local paper, lit up a place she hated.
We crumpled newspaper, crumpled our own
stories, held copper mugs above
her fire. The cranes blackened to crows.
You’re all witches, she said. We recited
Harry Potter spells and were the flames
in her eyes, furiously young and wild
and red. Someday, we’d each turn blue,
the hottest part, we’d flare and smoke
away from her, leave a lifetime of pastures
burned black for her to sift through
and try to remember her own life.


Mallory Tater is a writer from the traditional, unceded territories of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg Nation (Ottawa). Mallory’s poetry and fiction have been published in literary magazines across Canada such as Room Magazine, CV2, The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, The New Quarterly, Carousel, Prism International and Arc Magazine. She was shortlisted for Arc Magazine’s 2015 Poem of The Year Contest, The Malahat Review’s 2016 Far Horizon’s Contest and Room Magazine's 2016 Fiction and Poetry Prizes. She was the recipient of CV2’s 2016 Young Buck Poetry Prize. She is the Publisher of Rahila’s Ghost Press, a poetry chapbook press. She lives in Vancouver.


Mallory Tater’s This Will Be Good tells the story of a young woman’s burgeoning femininity as it brushes up against an emerging eating disorder. As the difficulties of her disease reveal themselves, they ultimately disrupt family relationships and friendships.

These poems deftly bear witness to the performance of femininity and gender construction to reveal the shrinking mind and body of a girl trying to find her place in the world, and whose overflowing adolescent hope for a future will not subside.

(p.s. You can read my interview with Mallory about the book here).


Arrived March 9, 2018.



Vancouver: Tuesday, April 17th, 7 PM. The American (926 Main Street).


Purchase from the Book*Hug website or at your local bookstore. $18.


Hoping for a future.

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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