BC Poetry 2016: "Sleeping in Tall Grass" by Richard Therrien (University of Alberta Press)


There is a light that expires in my mouth. - Georg Trakl
Once there was —the moment blasted blinded Where the tangent looking back touches the curve of time we turn to salt I re-call the glance Lot’s wife turning in her pastel robes in the pastel desert watching the pastel city burn —Bible Stories for Children open on my lap —Lot’s children huddled in the corner of my room listening to the sound of their mother’s bones turning to salt


Poet and editor Richard Therrien has worked at a number of occupations, including landscape labourer, photography instructor, filmmaker, and speech writer. Born and raised on — and a repeated escapee from — the Canadian prairie, he has published across North America and currently works and lives in North Vancouver.


A cycle of poems, Sleeping in Tall Grass takes an unsparing look at a painful, sometimes abusive, yet strangely redemptive family story enfolded within the body of the Canadian prairie itself—at once physical, historical, and metaphysical. These intensely personal poems reflect the complex relationships between sound and space, language and silence. Treating time as more layered than sequential, they reflect a process of organic composition distilled from Therrien's iterative observations and utterances. This is writing that reaches "into the very grain of existence" — a sonorous re-presentation of the human presence on the dispassionate but eternally giving plains.


Arrived in March 2016.


Book Launches: April 20th, 4 PM, at the Edmonton Poetry Festival (Edmonton) - Two days from now!!

May 7th, 3 PM, The Silk Purse, 1570 Argyle Ave. (West Vancouver).

Purchases: From the University of Alberta Press website or at your local bookstore. $19.95.


Treating time as more layered than sequential.

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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