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Sandra Ridley | Issue 30
Excerpt from Vixen
Excerpt from Vixen
“After your foxfire...” from Vixen © 2023 by Sandra Ridley. Used with permission of Book*hug Press.
Sandra Ridley is the author of four books of poetry: Fallout; Post-Apothecary; The Counting House; and Silvija, a finalist for the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize. She has won the bpNichol Chapbook Award, Saskatchewan Book Award for Publishing, the Alfred G. Bailey Prize, and the Toronto International Festival of Authors’ Battle of the Bards. Additionally, she has been a finalist for the Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Award, the Ottawa Book Award, the Archibald Lampman Award, the ReLit Award for Poetry, and the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. She has also been nominated for the Ontario Arts Council’s KM Hunter Artist Award for Mid-Career Writer and for the Ottawa Arts Council’s Mid-Career Artist Award. Ridley has taught poetry at Sage Hill Writing, Carleton University, and has had the honour of being a mentor with Ottawa’s Supportive Housing and Mental Health Services “Footprints to Recovery” program for people living with mental illness. An audio performance of her chapbook “Lift” was presented on CBC’s Sound Exchange. Her work has been anthologized and translated into German and French. Sandra grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan and lives in Ottawa.
Vixen by Sandra Ridley Book*hug Press, 2023
Griffin Poetry Prize finalist Sandra Ridley offers a breathtaking, harrowing immersion in cruelty behind different veils: ecological collapse, the medieval hunt, and intimate partner violence.
Sparked by a haunting chance encounter with a fox, and told in six chapters of varying form, Vixen is as visceral as it is mysterious, sensuous as it is terrifying. Expanding on her body of work, Ridley exposes the wild in the domestic, the hunt in the home, and the unrelenting nature of stalking. She compels us to examine the nature of empathy, what it means to be a compassionate witness, and what happens to us when brutality is so ever-present that we become numb.
Vixen is a beautiful, difficult, and fierce tapestry of defiance and survival.
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