Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

A stunning new book of poems from the Griffin Poetry Prize-winning author of Loop.
A cell is a world within a world within a world. In this remarkable new collection, Anne Simpson finds form and inspiration in the cell – as it divides and multiplies, expanding beyond its borders. As these poems journey from the creation of the world emerging out of chaos to the slow unravelling of a life that is revealed in a poem that twists like a double helix, Simpson illuminates what it means to be alive, here and now. Rich with the muscular craft, vibrant imagery, and exquisite musicality for which her poetry is widely acclaimed, this collection sees Simpson continuing to “negotiate an ever-changing path between language and structure” (Vancouver Sun) – with astonishing results. It is a work of great vision from one of our most compelling poetic voices.



before you were a cell, dividing into cells and more cells—


before blue before blue deepening and unwinding inside blue before bluegrey before the envelope of morning before opening the crisp envelope of morning before afternoon and afternoon’s picked threads before evening...
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Praise for Anne Simpson:
"With the experimentalism of Anne Carson and the imagism of Anne Michaels, Anne Simpson explores the globe of the heart."
— Halifax Chronicle-Herald

"Anne Simpson's voice is instantly recognizable. . . . [She writes] poems of extraordinary range, intelligence and empathy." 
— Jury citation, Pat Lowther Memorial Award

"Simpson turns our attention to the sharp edges of life, and she does it with language that juxtaposes beauty with death, creating internal tension in the poems. Simpson looks at death and loss with an unsentimental eye." 
Canadian Literature

"With its strong lyric voice and simple yet dynamic forms, [Simpson's work] draws you and draws you in. Simpson's intelligent poetic language renders, in three dimensions, images of compelling resonance. . . ." 
Quill & Quire