The Sutler

by Michael Kenyon


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If we do not sleep together by March then we will break apart.
Now is the first. Now the second. Now the third. Now the fourth.
If we do not lie down together, you wanting me, I you,

we will break apart. Now is the fifth. Now the sixth. Now
the seventh. Now the eighth. The sun shines and you’re angry. I’m scared
to plan our lives, nothing left out. So we map our hunger

and walk to the nearest town. Now the ninth. Now
roses bloom in January:
and poppy, calendula, azalea.

From “New Year”

In language at once simple and eloquent, Michael Kenyon’s The Sutler charts a falling and a rising, taking the reader through the grief of a failing relationship to the emergence of new possibility. Each poem is a gentleness deeply felt; each embued with a compassion, an honesty both stark and unflinching. Kenyon’s prose has shown him to be a consummate craftsman, and these poems are proof that he is a remarkable poet.

“It is a delight to find a poet emerge full-grown from the head of a prose writer. In the two long poems, especially – ‘Death of a Samurai’ and ‘The Sutler’-the voice is original as well as mature. Let us rejoice!” – P.K. Page

The Sutler is a book that aches with the glory of a trapped heart breaking free. The poems move through a cycle of transformation from the pain of separation to the renewal of self-discovery. The long poem from which the book draws its title is what Cormac McCarthy would write if he were a poet, and the poem sequence “Death of a Samurai” is an equally stunning lyrical meditation on a lost gesture from a remembered film… The Sutler … announces a fully formed and significant voice in Canadian poetry.” – Jay Ruzesky


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About the Author

Michael Kenyon’s work has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the SmithBooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Baxter Hathaway Prize in fiction, The Malahat Review’s Novella Prize, Prism international’s fiction contest, the Journey Prize, the National and the Western Magazine Award. His novel The Beautiful Children won the 2010 Relit Award.

More about Michael Kenyon

Additional Info

  • ISBN: 1894078411
  • ISBN-13: 9781894078412
  • Pages: 100
  • Year: 2005
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.75 x 0.31 in
  • Category: ,
  • Cover Art:

    'Below Night' by Lorraine Thomson, 1997

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