Going Around with Bachelors

by Agnes Walsh


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Shortlisted for the 2008 Pat Lowther Award and the 2009 Heritage and History Book Award [Writers Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador], nominated for LGBT Poetry (2008 Lambda Literary Awards) and longlisted for the 2008 ReLit Awards

The spirit of the departed – source, origin, heritage, history – is the essence of this book, rich with the tang of Newfoundland speech.

Agnes Walsh’s first book, In the Old Country of My Heart, is one of the most read and best loved books of poetry to come out of Newfoundland. Going Around with Bachelors continues and extends Walsh’s distinctive subject matter: the past in the present, Ireland and Portugal in Newfoundland, weather internal and external, the Cape Shore. Here are poems of place and of people in place, of family both immediate and extended. They are also absolutely contemporary poems by a poet, gifted with a remarkably flexible and distinctive voice, who is planted, in her own words, “straight up and down into what’s new.” 

The Laying Out, 1956

Wash the corpse, put on the habit,
put the pennies on the eyelids,
the prayer book under the jaw,
fold the arms with the rosary beads
entwined around the fingers,
stop the clock, turn the looking glass
to the wall, knock him on the forehead
with the hammer to make sure he’s dead.


The CD includes a selection of poems read by the author.

“The tone and timbre of … Walsh’s voice seem to emanate from the heart of North America-from the most ancient parts of the continent.” —AudioFile Magazine

“…Walsh’s poetry is like nothing else you will read: ‘clean as a shriek,’ declarative, funny in all the unexpected places, full of unadorned wisdom and bone-naked sadness. There is no word for what you will find here – the closest we have is truth.” – Lisa Moore

“In precise and beautiful language, Agnes Walsh gives us back a world that has become lost to us. Going Around with Bachelors is both a remarkable book of poetry and a remarkable historical record of a time gone just out of reach.” – Helen Humphreys

Second printing


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About the Author

Born and brought up in Placentia, Newfoundland, Walsh studied folklore in Georgia (USA), before returning home and taking to writing plays, poetry and fiction founded in her love of her ancestral place. She divides her time between St. John’s and Patrick’s Cove around the Cape Shore from Placentia. In 2006 she was named the inaugural…

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Additional Info

  • ISBN: 189407856X
  • ISBN-13: 9781894078566
  • Pages: 80
  • Year: 2007
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.75 x 0.25 in
  • Category: , ,
  • Cover Art:

    Vue 2, from the series 36 Vues du Mont Sainte-Anne by Martin Cormier

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