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