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Cutting My Mother's Hair
April 2006

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Saviours in This Little Space for Now: Poems for Emily Carr and Vincent van Gogh
February 2013

Grace Must Wander

Stephanie McKenzie

ISBN: 978-1-907056-12-3

Page Count: 74

Publication Date: Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cover Artwork: 'White marguerites' © Dmitriy Gool |

Click to play audio Stephanie McKenzie reads "Of Blood and Some True P... play
Click to play audio Stephanie McKenzie reads "Glosses for Theo: An Eva... play

About this Book

In Stephanie McKenzie's second collection, grace wanders through snowdrifts and late nights and finds its way to Northern Ireland, Newfoundland and the United States. In these poems, grace feels a particular affinity with Van Gogh, with Sylvia Plath, with women who can no longer speak for themselves. We learn that grace must wander even with the lonely sight of crows.

Author Biography

Stephanie McKenzie is a poet, editor and professor. She holds a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Toronto where she specialized in Aboriginal literature in Canada. Her book of literary criticism, Before the Country: Native Renaissance, Canadian Mythology, was published by the University of Toronto Press in 2007. She is co-editor of The Echoing Years: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry and Translation from Canada and Ireland (2007), co-editor and co-publisher of However Blow the Winds: An Anthology of Poetry and Song from Newfoundland & Labrador and Ireland (2004) and The Backyards of Heaven: Contemporary Poetry from Newfoundland and Labrador and Ireland (2003) and publisher and co-editor of Humber Mouths: Young Voices from the West Coast of Newfoundland & Labrador. With Martin Ware, McKenzie also co-edited An Island in the Sky: Selected Poetry of Al Pittman (Breakwater Books, St. John's, 2003). Her first collection of poetry, Cutting My Mother's Hair (with illustrations by Michael Pittman), was published by Salmon in 2006.

Read a sample from this book

The Disciples of Winter

for Elizabeth Behrens

Grace must wander even with the lonely sight of crows,
the purple and the purple black, each one spotted
like a snowflake, fingerprint. Birds sing of other worlds
that are not grown here but happen somewhere out there
in the land of blow away the dead and make a wish
we give to children. They have learned to stretch their necks
out, offer up their throats on blue platters of the sky, do not seek
pity, feel shame. Their feathers fallen give us leave to ponder.
Consider the city. It mimics the crow, black throat
caught at the chords sings out a promise of day.
Evening, and morning, and at noon, transparent
and bound to truth, the knowing of winter is clean,
like a scar storied and sure of where it's been.

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