Sue Goyette’s outskirts is a tour de force. Its originality lies in Goyette’s refusal of despair, her conviction that the connections among people, their conversation, curiosity, empathy and awe, can help us see a way forward. Her aim is to find energy in human love, a way to walk the darkness rather than hide from it. This book will name you, and frighten you; make you laugh, and arm you for what is to come.
Praise for outskirts:
“One of the best poets writing today in Canada, Susan Goyette proves herself at the height of her powers in outskirts. In these magnificent multi-part poems, she fuses genealogical time with geological time and revels in paradoxes. Ranging from the dynamics of families, to bad guests at dinner parties, to lovers and loved ones, and on to deeply moving and terrifying images of erosion and clear cutting, Goyette harnesses the expected to the absurd. As she creates synapses from the personal to the global, Canada itself becomes a character with a voice. With its zesty wordplay and its wrenching of the “eco” from the “logical,” outskirts is both a book and a reckoning. Goyette is candid, clairvoyant, and rescuing in her vision.” — Molly Peacock
“These poems are all about people — the quick-winged emotions passing between people, love’s claws, love’s rock slides, the heart’s narrow escapes. Goyette peels back the surface of the familiar human world to reveal the forest-world mysteries, the shape shifting, the glories and agonies truly at play there. Domestic and shamanic, these open-hearted poems are filled with the lift of discovery and insight. They stir up language, kindle emotion and appetite.” — John Steffler
“Sue Goyette’s poems are immediately inviting. She brings to her work a confident voice, fresh conversational language, energetic narrative style and a sure rhythms. Her unflinching attention to both the fraught territory of family life and the wider realm of the natural world garners material rich in tension and vitality. The resulting poems do not harangue, but speak with conviction, intelligence and a compassion so genuine the reader feels awed and implicated. Soaring above the details of description, narrative and imagery, these poems consistently demonstrate the clarity and wisdom of the poet’s vision and her mature craftsmanship.” — Jury Comments, Pat Lowther Memorial Award
outskirts by Sue Goyette — The Malahat Review