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by Carolyn Smart

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Shortlisted for the 3rd Annual Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry (2016)

Remember Bonnie & Clyde?

A complex, dramatic rendering of a familiar story made new.

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are the stuff of legend – why tell their story again? Chances are you don’t know the nuances – their love story and that of their accomplices Buck Barrow and his wife Blanche; their aspirations, conflicts and prayerful natures; and ultimately the sources of their tragedy. At its core, Careen is a long poem spoken by the characters, though the voices are companioned by newspaper articles often ironically at odds with the inside story. Smart lets the principal actors relate their own tale—a book of voices speaking out of the desperate Dirty Thirties.

we come shinin from the tray as real as fleshed-out fine-boned forms
even our shoes flashin, we are some fun jokers
are not coarse, cannot lie, do not limp or bleed
are kind & funny, desperately in love
we are you but better, no denyin

fix us there, that moment when you like us, want to be like us

—from “like us: the photographs left behind at Joplin”

Praise for Carolyn Smart:

“…always moving, sometimes chilling …” —University of Toronto Quarterly

“[Smart] understands loneliness in all its forms, and writes with a clarity and compassion that is powerfully affecting.”  —Anne Michaels


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About the Author

Carolyn Smart has written six previous collections of poetry, including The Way to Come Home (Brick Books, 1993), and Hooked: Seven Poems (Brick Books, 2009). Her memoir At the End of the Day (Penumbra Press, 2001) won first prize in the 1993 CBC Literary Contest. Smart is the founder of the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for…

More about Carolyn Smart

Additional Info

  • ISBN: 1-77131-382-X
  • ISBN-13: 9781771313827
  • Pages: 97
  • Year: 2015
  • Category: ,
  • Cover Art: photograph by Roger Palmer

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