Torch River

by Elizabeth Philips


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Winner, Lesbian Poetry at the 2008 GCLS Literary Awards (Golden Crown Literary Awards) and nominated for LGBT Poetry at the Lambda Literary Awards

Shortlisted for the 2007 Anne Szumigalsi Award for Poetry and the 2007 Saskatoon Book Award (Saskatchewan Book Awards) and longlisted for the 2008 ReLit Awards

“Beneath these sensually charged images lies a complex interrogation of the paradox of nature.” (Quill and Quire)

In this stunning new collection, Elizabeth Philips takes us down into the swirling core of planetary energies, the central mystery of life itself. Sexual love, the wilderness, the births and deaths that connect them, the breathing and the not-breathing that connect birth and death, the interior wilderness of desire and the sensual love of wild things, of trees, earth, water – these are Philips’s themes and subjects, rendered in a language of tremendous immediateness and authority. These are poems that will take your own breath away, that will give it back to you bigger, deeper than you imagined possible.

Who’s to say this life isn’t the eternal life?
The no-time, the hover between in-
and exhale – both wellspring
and spur – is the essence of the extra strength
you use to loosen the screw that holds down
                     or this morning, the heft I need
to shuttle from boulder to boulder
over the slump of rock meant to keep the riverbank
from moving. …

From “Breath”

“[Philips] has a knack for collapsing time and space, tearing the veil, letting the reader slip through the gap to a place of vivid simultaneity.” (The Malahat Review on A Blue with Blood in It). 


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About the Author

Elizabeth Philips is the author of three previous collections of poetry, most recently A Blue with Blood in it and Beyond my Keeping. Both collections received the Saskatchewan Poetry Award for their respective years. She has edited numerous poetry collections and has taught creative writing in the Banff Wired Studio, the Banff Writing with Style…

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Additional Info

  • ISBN: 1894078578
  • ISBN-13: 9781894078573
  • Pages: 128
  • Year: 2007
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.75 x 0.31 in
  • Category: ,
  • Cover Art:

    Photograph by Elizabeth Philips

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