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Robinson’s Crossing

by Jan Zwicky

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Winner of the 2005 Dorothy Livesay Award for Poetry (BC Book Prizes).  Shortlisted for the 2004 Governor General’s Award for Poetry [Wisdom & Metaphor by Jan Zwicky was also shortlisted in the non-fiction category of the 2004 Governor Generals’ Literary Awards.] Shortlisted for the 2005 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize, the 2005 Pat Lowther Award and the 2005 Acorn-Plantos Award for People’s Poetry. Longlisted for the 2005 ReLit Awards.

My great-
grandmother slept
in a boxcar on the night
before she made the crossing. The steel
ended in Sangudo then, there was
no trestle on the Pembina, no siding
on the other side. They crossed
by ferry, and went on by cart through bush,
the same eight miles. Another
family legend has it that she stood there
in the open doorway of the shack
and said, “You told me, Ernest,
it had windows and a floor.”

from Robinson’s Crossing

The poems in this book arise from Robinson’s Crossing — the place where the railway ends and European settlers arriving in northern Alberta had to cross the Pembina River and advance by wagon or on foot. How have we crossed into this country, with what violence and what blind love? Robinson’s Crossing enacts the pause at the frontier, where we reflect on the realities of colonial experience, but also on the nature of living here — on historical dwelling itself. In long meditative narratives and shorter probing lyrics, Jan Zwicky shows us-as she has in her celebrated Lyric Philosophy and the Governor General’s award-winning Songs for Relinquishing the Earth — how music means and meaning is musical.

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About the Author

Jan Zwicky has published nine collections of poetry, including Songs for Relinquishing the Earth, which won the Governor General’s Award, and, most recently, Forge. Her books of philosophy include Lyric Philosophy, Wisdom & Metaphor, and Alkibiades' Love. Zwicky grew up on the prairies, was educated at the Universities of Calgary and Toronto, and currently lives on…

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Additional Info

  • ISBN: 1894078373
  • ISBN-13: 9781894078375
  • Pages: 84
  • Year: 2004
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.75 x 0.25 in
  • Category: ,
  • Cover Art:

    "Towards the Porcupine Hills", photograph by Robert V. Moody

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