That Other Beauty

by Karen Enns


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Shortlisted for the 2011 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award.

An exquisitely musical and meditative new voice in Canadian poetry.

In her debut collection, Karen Enns’ focus is the beauty present to us in almost every moment, however mundane or apparently lost. Her argument is that the act of attention itself is the most fundamental of these beauties.

And when the rooms were bare and windowless,
and the winds came with their black rain and the darkness

and the coats on nails like frameless men,
the pockets hollow-mouthed, I wanted this:

to see the shape of things completely,
every darkness, every rise and fall, small breath.
– from “Confession”

That Other Beauty ranges across memories of a farm childhood, and further back, to the Mennonite exodus from Russia. We encounter immigrants, furnace repairmen and grocers, dead cats, a raven lifting into “the clear, bright density of rain.” Enns meditates on Bach, on solitude, and on exile both accidental and imposed, weaving darkness and light with great fidelity and authority.


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About the Author

Karen Enns grew up in a Mennonite farming community in southern Ontario. She currently lives and writes in Victoria, B.C., where she works as a private piano instructor. Her first book of poetry, That Other Beauty, was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Award.

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Additional Info

  • ISBN: 1-894078-80-2
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-894078-80-1
  • Pages: 80
  • Year: 2010
  • Dimensions 6 x 8.75 in
  • Category: ,
  • Cover Art:

    Beyond Us All by Lorraine Thorarinson Betts, 2008

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