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The Truth of Houses

by Ann Scowcroft

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Winner of the 2011 Concordia University First Book Prize, Quebec Writers’ Federation Literary Awards

Shortlisted for the 2012 Award for People’s Poetry (Acorn-Plantos Award Committee)

Poems exploring the idea of home and the difficulties of a deeply ambiguous relationship to that word.

At once wise and achingly at a loss, Ann Scowcroft’s The Truth of Houses is an elegant debut collection. While very intimate—even startlingly intimate at times—the voices of these poems are constantly taking a step backward, wrestling for a measure of distance and perspective. Reading them, we eavesdrop on the uncovering of a personal vernacular that might allow the present to be better lived; we have the sense of overhearing a particular yet eerily familiar inner struggle—a struggle for insight, for an equanimity with which both narrator and fortunate reader might re-enter life anew.

All of which is to say: the houses aren’t fooled
the houses know the five truths

The truth of light: you will see before you understand
The truth of motion: escape is an illusion
The truth of trees: your busy life will dissolve into the soil
The truth of windows: what protects can also maim

The truth of peace:
despite all the other truths
knowing will come to you wearing one hundred faces
contain you as once you contained your
own blood

—from “The Truth of Houses”

“These are poems filled with the intricacies of life – subtle and human, anarchic and generous, intimate as well as far ranging in their time and geography. The Truth of Houses is a wonderful first collection of poems.” — Michael Ondaatje

Winner of the 2011 Concordia University First Book Prize, Quebec Writers’ Federation Literary Awards

About The Truth of Houses by Ann Scowcroft, the jurors wrote:

“Ann Scowcroft’s first collection of poems astounds with its dense writing, as if the author had been accumulating, constructing her vision long enough and could hold back no longer. Oddly mesmerising in the imagery they provoke, these poems are at once intimate and universal.”

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About the Author

Ann Scowcroft has been a professional writer and editor for many years, and was an academic for a few. She has a PhD in Applied Linguistics and presently works in the field of humanitarian assistance. Quebec is home base. The Truth of Houses is her first book.

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Additional Info

  • ISBN: 1-926829-67-0
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-926829-67-8
  • Pages: 104
  • Year: 2011
  • Dimensions 6 x 8.75 in
  • Category: ,
  • Cover Art:

    The cover image is by Geoffrey Bawa, courtesy of David Robson and the Geoffrey Bawa Trust.

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