Deepwater Vee

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Melanie Siebert’s stunning debut collection travels remote northern rivers, as well as two of Canada’s most threatened rivers, the Athabasca and the North Saskatchewan. These rivers push the poems into a contemplation of loss and into the terrain of Alexander Mackenzie’s dreams, a busker’s broken-down street riffs, and the borderland wanderings of a grandmother whose absence is felt as a presence. The poems’ currents are turbulent, braided, submerged. Narrative streams appear like tributaries glimpsed through brush, and then veer into unexpected territories, where boundaries blur – between the self and the other, between the living and the dead, between the human and the wild – and loss carries with it both music and silence. In this virtuoso collection, Melanie Siebert has transformed language into that rarest thing, a singular poetic vision.

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CURRENT
 
On your knees in a boat with sweet rocker and no keel, water pillows
up against the red hull with its silt hiss. You sight the drops between
boulders, gear and your yeah-buts, your okay-maybes lashed tight, and
you heel the canoe on its side for the swift eddy-in, the river’s...
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