4 Poetry Books by Canadian Authors you Should Read

I’ve mentioned in earlier articles that for many people poetry has become something associated more with academics than pleasure. Often the poetry that is considered “popular” is limited to Insta-poets such as Rupi Kaur, Tyler Knott Gregson, or Lang Leav. Poetry, especially Canadian poetry, has as much if not more to offer the reader than what we already consider popular, and often experiments with form in its own way. Here are 4 poetry books by Canadian authors that are well worth reading.

 

Get Me Out of Here by Sachiko Murakami:

I encountered this book in my fourth year Creative Writing course. What first captivated me about this book was its experimentation with form. As a poet myself form is something that makes or breaks a poem or book of poetry for me. I love encountering books of poetry that go beyond a single form and represent the wide variety of what poetry can actually be and become. In the case of Get Me Out of Here, while each poem is different, they all have the overlying theme of airports, and being within the timeless in-between state of waiting for your plane to arrive, or waiting to depart. While creating each poem in this collection, Murakami used quotes from friends and fellow poets of an interesting though that they had while in airports. The book is divided into 4 parts: Departures, Connections, Pickups, and Arrivals. Each quote is based on the location or airport they were in at that point in time.

 

As If A Raven by Yvonne Blomer

I first heard of Yvonne Blomer at a reading held yearly in Windsor called Poetry at the Manor. Her works moved me, and I had to read one of her books. As If A Raven was that book. Each poem in the book features a portrait of a different type of bird. What makes the book so extraordinary is its ability to call from ornithology and myths in order to create beautiful and complex portraits that perfectly evoke each type of bird expressed and what it is like to experience bird watching.

 

Throaty Wipes by Susan Holbrook

This is another book that I admire for its diverse use of form. Unlike Get Me Out of Here, however, it doesn’t have a specific thread connecting each poem to the next, but rather it feels like a celebration of poetry itself. Moving from poem to poem this books feels like a true exploration of what poetry can be. The topic of each poem ranges from one to the next, and depends on the form used, but they mostly evoke what it means to be human in today’s society.

 

The Sea is Also a Garden by Phyllis Webb

In all honesty, I first encountered  Phyllis Webb in grade 9, and I fell in love with her writing, so I have a particular weakness for Webb’s poetry. For this entry, I was initially planning on suggesting her book of collected poems, Peacock Blue. Upon consideration, however, I decided on  The Sea is Also a Garden considering this one is by far my favourite. Written in 1962, The Sea is Also a Garden is her third book of poetry, and it contains some of her most popular poems including “Poetics Against the Angel of Death”. The book plays with themes of mental illness in some poems, while also evoking the idea of the sea as a garden and how the sea is evoked in our everyday lives in others.