Shortlisted for the 2016 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize
Peter Midgley does not shy away from politics, whether documenting efforts to uproot colonialism or the number of murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. In these dramatic and uncompromising poems, Midgley roves between Canada and Africa, stopping briefly to consider struggles for democracy in places as diverse as Hong Kong and Ancient Rome. With lines that look for justice and record our search for human dignity, Midgley shows us "bodies silent as crocodiles on the kavango" and how "freedom is a lovely word, thin as a thousand paper lights." But still the poet finds time to dream beside a campfire, to caress a beloved or contemplate the "lilied throat of evening."
Working in a variety of languages and referencing traditional African poem forms, Midgley expands our ideas of poetry and language in this book. These are physical poems, poems where you can hear the shells exploding and feel the sea ice closing in on you, poems that linger long in your memory.