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Catherine Graham | Issue 27
Two Poems from Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We’re Dead: New and Selected Poems
Consider the Scythian Lamb We reason about unreasonable things: the ratio of a hippogryph’s wings to its body, if it can fly. If the yeti is more likely than elf to exist when we know they both don’t. Consider the Scythian Lamb. Seed breaks through, roots stalk their slow crawl into green networks towards the nourishing air, lengthen with sun’s ease—out climbs a lamb— hooves made of parted hair. Passage There you were, floating beneath before passing through the mist we could not face. Crabapples, red-pebbled jewels, rainwater-seeds— light drying to come out. Yolk, yellow bubble. Can you hear the singing? Water falls to where the heart aches, a ladder slowly lifts and the birds, the birds hurl themselves up. Excerpt from Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We’re Dead: New and Selected Poems, Wolsak and Wynn, Buckrider Books, 2023
Catherine Graham, an award-winning poet and novelist, lives in Toronto. Her nine books include Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric, a finalist for the Trillium Book Award, Toronto Book Award and winner of the Fred Kerner Book Award. Published internationally, she co-hosts The Hummingbird Podcast, part of the WNED PBS Amplify app, and teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies where she won an Excellence in Teaching Award. Author of The Most Cunning Heart and the award-winning novel Quarry, she has been a finalist for the Sarton Book Award and the Montreal International Poetry Prize, and has won the Miramichi Reader Award for Best Fiction and an IPPY Gold Medal for Fiction. A previous winner of Toronto International Festival of Authors’ Poetry NOW, she leads their monthly book club, interviews for By the Lake Book Club and is a judge for the 2023 CBC Poetry Prize. Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We’re Dead: New and Selected Poems is her latest book. www.catherinegraham.com
Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We’re Dead: New and Selected Poems Catherine Graham Wolsak and Wynn, Buckrider Books, 2023
Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We’re Dead is a beautiful collection of Catherine Graham’s award-winning poetry. Spanning twenty years of writing these poems trace Graham’s arc from ARC Poetry Magazine’s initial observation that “Graham is a young poet whose work should be closely attended to” to the Toronto Star writing “Catherine Graham’s seventh book of poetry is an intricate reverie.” Poems within this collection circle around profound themes, including family, healing, loss and love, but they are written with a delight in the natural world, a delicate line and ethereal imagery. Here, birds are gathered in bouquets, a ghost is a fold in the mind and the snow holds light. Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We’re Dead is a must-have volume from a much-loved poet.
Order from Wolsak and Wynn.
Spring launch in Toronto June 13, 2023 at 7:00pm (EST)
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