The Lost Letters

by Catherine Greenwood


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Nominated for the 2014 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize (BC Book Prizes);
finalist for the 2014 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize

Atmospherically light and stylistically expansive – poems
that regard our givens as a gift.

Don McKay’s description of The Pearl King and Other Poems, Catherine Greenwood’s wonderful first book, also applies to The Lost Letters: “With discerning wit and a large range of styles and voices, she holds up each subject for contemplation as though it were a pearl. . . .”

At the centre of The Lost Letters is a sequence of radically diverse poems based on the story of Heloise and Abelard, truly lovers in a dangerous time, the twelfth century. The raw material is heavy, tension between flesh and spirit being the serious issue carried forward from the twelfth century into the twenty-first. But Greenwood’s deft and delicate handling of scenarios of love requited but balked becomes a perceptive reading – extraordinarily inventive and constantly surprising – of contemporary secular society.

The Lost Letters creates a world of wonder tinged with sadness on behalf of so much that goes unnoticed, whether it’s a bin of severed sows’ ears, a lizard tethered by its tail who severs it by self-amputation, or a down-and-out old schoolmate.

“…at her best like Elizabeth Bishop on caffeine.” ~ Marilyn Bowering


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About the Author

Catherine Greenwood’s poetry has been widely published in journals and anthologies; her first book, The Pearl King and Other Poems (Brick Books, 2004), was a Kiriyama Prize notable book. She works for British Columbia’s Ministry of Justice in Victoria, where she lives with her husband, the writer Steve Noyes.  

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Additional Info

  • ISBN: 1-926829-85-9
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-926829-85-2
  • Pages: 88
  • Year: 2013
  • Dimensions 6 x 8.75 in
  • Category: ,

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