Monkey Ranch

by Julie Bruck


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Winner of the 2012 Governor General’s Award for Poetry

Globe 100 Book for 2012

Shortlisted for Pat Lowther Memorial Award and CAA Award for Poetry 2013

Comic and sober by turns, these poems ask us
what is sufficient, what will suffice?

… a mandrill, a middle-aged woman, a shattered Baghdad neighbourhood, a long marriage, even a spoon, grapple with this unanswerable conundrum—sometimes with rage, or plain persistence, sometimes with the furious joy of a dog who gets to ride with his head through a truck’s passenger window. Julie Bruck’s third book of poetry is a brilliant and unusual blend of pathos and play, of deep seriousness and wildly veering humour. Though Bruck “does not stammer when it’s time to speak up,” and “will not blink when it’s time to stare directly at the uncomfortable,” as Cornelius Eady says in his blurb for the book, “in Monkey Ranch she celebrates more than she sighs, and she smartly avoids the shallow trap of mere indignation by infusing her lines with bright, nimble turns, the small, yet indelible detail. Bruck sees everything we do; she just seems to see it wiser. Her poems sing and roil with everything complicated and joyous we human monkeys are.”

Monkey Ranch has all the antic sensuality and thrilling precision we’ve come to expect from Julie Bruck’s work. This volume has a pitch-perfect elegance that calms the ruckus just long enough for us to glimpse the vulnerability of everyone involved.  Monkey Ranch is like the best sort of letter from a friend—full of gossip, lively observation, and serious wit.” – Sharon Thesen

Julie Bruck and Monkey Ranch – Winner of the 2012 Governor General’s Award for Poetry – here is the Judges’ Citation – “Monkey Ranch by Julie Bruck leaps about the ordinary world with a deft detachment and flexible artistry – guiding us with its offbeat, caring and companionable sensibility. “There’s enough light to see by,” says Julie Bruck, even though the children turn their eyes away. This humane voice, quirky and patient, will see you through a world stripped of miracles.”


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About the Author

Julie Bruck is the author of two previous books, The End of Travel (1999), and The Woman Downstairs (1993). Her recent work has appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Maisonneuve, The Malahat Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review and The Walrus, among other publications. A Montreal native, she lives in San Francisco with her husband and daughter.

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Additional Info

  • ISBN: 1-926829-74-3
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-926829-74-6
  • Pages: 85
  • Year: 2012
  • Dimensions 6 x 9 in
  • Category: ,
  • Cover Art:

    The cover painting is a detail from Cookie...waiting, by Donald Roller Wilson. More of DRW's work can be seen at donaldrollerwilson.com. By generous permission of both the artist, and the collection of Patricia Altschul.

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