Concrete and Wild Carrot

by Margaret Avison


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Winner of the 2003 Griffin Poetry Prize and of the 2003 CAA Jack Chalmers Poetry Award and Globe 100 book for 2003

“…Margaret Avison is a national treasure. For many decades she has forged a way to write, against the grain, some of the most humane, sweet and profound poetry of our time.” – from the Griffin Poetry Prize Judges’ Citation

In Margaret Avison’s new poems, little pleasures are bound up with larger ones. Her slightest subjects – beloved Toronto parks with their population of oaks, firs, squirrels, dogs, kids, even ants, and the minutest sighs of her contemporary urban soundscape – all have their being within an immense composition that calls and hauls us to a largeness, a category-breaking “always unthinkable” beyond.

“Words have their life too, won’t/ compact into a theorem,” Avison says, and this is certainly true of hers.

To myself everywhere:
Cry out, “Break!” Break
all our securities, and break out!
Explore only the ranges
beyond our mastering. Take on
the inexorable demands made by
a norm of unpremeditated excellence!

from “Alternatives to Riots but all Citizens Must Play”

Concrete and Wild Carrot is Margaret Avison’s sixth book of poems, her first with Brick Books – though we now distribute her Lancelot Press books. She is one of Canada’s most respected writers, still at the top of her form in a career that stretches back to the 1940s, and during which she has gained three honorary degrees and two Governor General’s Awards for Poetry (for Winter Sun and No Time).

5th printing


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About the Author

Margaret Avison was born in Ontario. She attended public school in Western Canada, high school and university in Toronto. She spent eight months in Chicago in 1956-57, on a Guggenheim Foundation Grant. She has worked in libraries, publishing houses, universities, archives, and missions, was writer-in-residence at the University of Western Ontario in 1972-73. In 1985…

More about Margaret Avison

Additional Info

  • ISBN: 1894078241
  • ISBN-13: 9781894078245
  • Pages: 74
  • Year: 2002
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.75 x 0.25 in
  • Category: ,
  • Cover Art:

    Photograph by Paul Best

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