The Secret Signature of Things

by Eve Joseph


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Shortlisted for the 2010 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize
and the 2011 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Transparent poems that gesture gracefully toward the great silence at the heart of things.

Much of this poised and luminous book is rooted in an idea of epiphany, an aesthetic of everyday incarnation; not the sudden and profound manifestation of essence or meaning, but the smaller steps taken toward it. The moments in which, as Joyce writes, “the soul of the commonest object…seems to us radiant.” If epiphanies are for theologians, perhaps the little steps towards them are for poets like Eve Joseph, and for all of us who attempt to see beyond the names we give things to the names they give themselves.


The rubber plant in the hospital cafeteria is waiting for rain. Palms up beneath a sky of fluorescent lights, its leaves are broad enough to be roof, temporary shelter, shade to small creatures caught in the open. The hiker, for instance, who has made a fire with wet twigs and hunkers down to wait it out under his wide blue tarpaulin.

“…Eve Joseph’s craft and attention, her choice of the perfect word, give a kind of holiness to the song of everyday life. And if some of these poems are honed down to their elegant bones, others are expansive and wide open…”   – Patricia Young

ere is a poem from this book which was part of the Poetry in Transit project of the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia in 2010 –  from “Foul Bay at 2 AM”
– See more at: https://www.brickbooks.ca/?page_id=3&bookid=215#sthash.Wmz01IY8.dpuf


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About the Author

Eve Joseph grew up in North Vancouver. As a young woman she traveled widely before moving to Victoria where she now lives with her family. Her first book, The Startled Heart, was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize.

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Additional Info

  • ISBN: 1894078810
  • ISBN-13: 9781894078818
  • Pages: 96
  • Year: 2010
  • Dimensions 6 x 8.75 in
  • Category: ,
  • Cover Art:

    Photograph by Patrick Friesen

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