of Light: the Sangan River Meditations
by Susan Musgrave
This new book of poems is a sequence of reflections,
of mindful blessings, on the everyday goings-on around her home on the
Sangan River, ten miles outside Masset on the Queen Charlotte Islands/Haida
Gwaii. They were written the year her friend, a local beachcomber, Paul
Bower, whose logs were used to build her seven-sided house, died of
Listen to Susan read from the book at the Vancouver
Public Library. Thank you to Warren Dean Fulton of pooka press for the
Karl Jirgens, writing in Canadian Literature:
"Musgrave's vision, informed by fierce love, weaves devoted recollections,
quotidian observations, Anishnabi perspectives, and the narrator's thoughts
projected onto the envioronment, revealing "self," "other,"
and "all," as one." Full
Jennifer Boire, writing in Vallum: "Knowing
the notoriety of one of Canada's well-known poets, I open this tiny
book, the size of a prayer book or missal, not knowing what to expect.
Right away I begin to savour the Zen-like musing of the first lines
... the poet distils the essence of words the way a good haiku shines
a light on a brief moment in time ... the book is rich in wisdom, rich
in insight, and well worth the discovery."
Robert Priest, writing in Pacific Rim Review of
Books: "...this volume is a definite turning point. It gives
us a new deeper Musgrave, a friendlier, more mystic seawitch if you
like, neither a tart nor a mugger, but simply this: a true poet capable
of addressing the great themes and sufferings of human kind in a way
that is readable and re-readable."
Karin Cope, writing in The Dalhousie Review:
"Of all the books, this is my favourite, the one that I will keep
on my bedside table and reread. Its stark lines are freighted with wisdom
deep enough that I've yet to scrape bottom."
Susan Musgrave's most recent
novel was Cargo of Orchids (Knopf) and latest collection of poetry
was What the Small Day Cannot Hold: Collected Poems 1970-1985
(Beach Holme). You're in Canada Now
A Memoir of Sorts was
published in the fall of 2005, by Thistledown.
She has been nominated, and has received awards, in five different categories
of writing: poetry, fiction, non-fiction, personal essay, children's
writing and for her work as an editor. She teaches poetry in the University
of British Columbia's Optional-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Programme.
She presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Pandora's Collective
She lives on Haida Gwaii.
Susan Musgrave has a website at susanmusgrave.com.